Darlington  R'n'B Live

About the club


Behind the Scenes

Darlington RnB Club have been running since 1995. We have, for the first seventeen years, held our events at Darlington Arts Centre until it closed, due to Council cutback's, in July 2012. We then moved to the Dolphin Centre for four months but we didn't settle there sadly due to sound problems that couldn't be rectified. We are now based at The Forum Music Centre in Borough Road, Darlington.

A committee of 6 people run the R'n'B Club, giving up a lot of their spare time in order that the Club can function correctly. Of course choosing the right band is also an important factor in our remit. We work hard at getting the right blend of bands that cover the wide umbrella of “Rhythm ‘n’ Blues.”

We don’t always get it right but we have a good idea of what our patrons like and don’t like, and we try to balance this when introducing new bands that we feel will suit the majority of people.

The club receives lot's of demo c.d.’s from bands throughout Britain who have heard of us and would like a gig. This means that we listen to quite a lot of material - some good, some not so good. Once in a while we find a pearl in an ocean of mediocrity which makes all the hours of listening to crap music worthwhile!

This side of things however, can be a bit tricky when trying to explain to musicians that their band wouldn’t fit into our requirements. There’s no point in putting a band on when our members wouldn’t enjoy them and the band themselves would not enjoy playing to an unhappy crowd.

But the truth is; some bands don’t help themselves. If only they would spend more time and effort in promoting themselves and not blaming promoters for not giving them a chance, when they haven’t done themselves any favours when supplying poor, or no information about their band. They should realise that if they haven’t enough belief and confidence in their music, then why should a promoter take a chance on them when there’s plenty of bands who do have up-to-date biographies and well recorded demo’s.

However, the best way to choose new bands is to see them performing live. This we do nearly every week. Some bands we have seen many times previously, others never before. It’s our hobby, so I guess we enjoy it. [And it gets us out the house, and from under the wife’s feet!].

There’s nothing better than finding a new band and knowing instantly that they would be great at our place. We check-out the local scene and also the major blues festivals like Burnley and Colne and usually come away with a few contact numbers.

But at the end of the day it’s the people who come through the doors who are the biggest influence on which bands we invite back for a return gig. We encourage our members to let us know if they have enjoyed a band, and if they haven’t we respect their views. These people are, after all; the paying customer and we want to keep them happy.

Even if a big-name band have not gone down as well as we feel they should have, and our members too don’t like them, they won’t be coming back!

It’s not some big ego trip for us. We are only successful because we consistently put on bands that play well and our members trust us to continue to do this.

Fortunately, we don’t have many overheads. After paying the bands our biggest outgoing bills are on publicity. We firmly believe that this is an important factor. If you don’t advertise your gigs - then who’s going to know about them! It’s simple enough really, but some venues don’t believe in spending too much money on publicity and then wonder why their rooms are only half full and not enough revenue coming in to pay expenses.

In this respect our ticket prices reflect the bands fee. We keep the price’s low to encourage as many people as possible to come and enjoy a great night out, and for it not to cost too much. [Sometimes, even though we run a raffle we still make a loss. At other gigs we make a little profit - so we don’t worry too much].

Finally, our belief is that a band plays well if their needs are catered for. We do our best to look after them with refreshments and comfortable changing facilities. And we always provide comfortable overnight accommodation for any of our bands who require it - and we always pick up the bill!

We know from talking to bands that we have a great reputation on the R’n’B circuit for putting on good gigs and looking after their requirements. Henry Ayrton on his BBC Radio York 'Northern Blues' show said a couple of years ago, “Darlington R’n’B Club are one of the successes in the North due to great promotion and imaginative programming.” Paul Jones also said in 2006 "Darlington R'n'B Club - a great venue and a terrific atmosphere"

What better praise could we ask for? But like we said before; we’re not on an ego trip - we don’t do it to be praised, [although that’s nice!], we do it because we enjoy it and when it stops being enjoyable then we’ll pack it in. But until then - long may we continue!

© Darlington  R'n'B