This autumn Durham singer-songwriter Sam Slatcher will be taking fans on special gigs around the landscapes that inspires his music. From nature reserves to ancient ruins, and from hidden architecture to the impressive Durham Cathedral, the folk songwriter will be performing his songs on a series of ‘wandering gigs’ in and around Durham.
The idea was inspired by the daily walks that became a feature of life during the recent lockdowns. In Sam’s words:
“Covid has been a chaotic time for musicians who have not only lost income through cancelled gigs, but also lost that intimate connection to our audiences. It has however given us a chance to rethink and create new ideas. For me, the concept of outdoor ‘wandering gigs’ is one. These are gigs on the move with space to breathe, soak in the autumn and give audiences – and us musicians – something a little different to experience!”
Different walks, different themes in Durham
The walks each tackle a different theme of Sam’s writing. The ‘Sanctuary’ tour (10 October) brings original songs written in the Stories of Sanctuary project with Syrian refugees in 2018 to some of the sites that inspired them. The ‘Chaos & Solitude’ tour (24 October) features Sam’s latest album and involves wandering and performing around the abundant nature of Flass Vale Nature Reserve, outside the city. Finally, the ‘Northern Saints’ tour – the longest tour of nearly 4 miles – takes an audience from Durham Cathedral to Witton Gilbert via Beaurepaire ruins, a 13th century Manor House along one of the recently launched Northern Saints Trails.
City of Sanctuary
This won’t be the first time Sam’s music has made a splash in the city of Durham. In 2018, Sam released ‘City of Sanctuary’ a song lauding the city’s rich medieval history of offering sanctuary that has been played over 120k times on Facebook, which inspired the Stories of Sanctuary project that toured the UK with classical Syrian viola player Raghad Haddad from the National Syrian Orchestra, as well as the social enterprise Citizen Songwriters that runs community music projects across the North East.
If the idea has legs, Sam hopes other musicians might be inspired to tour their music under the banner ‘The Wandering Gig’.
Tickets are limited to 15 places per tour and can be booked now via Eventbrite at: https://www.samslatcher.com/tour