Pit pop band Dennis release live stream of gig to help save historic Redhills Miners Hall

A band who fuse the rich sound of colliery brass bands with folk rock are releasing a live stream gig in aid of a campaign to preserve one of the region’s most important reminders of our mining heritage.

Tuesday, 16th June 2020, 4:45 pm

Hetton-based band, DENNIS, who’ve become known for their unique ‘pit pop’ sound, performed live at Redhills, Durham Miners Hall in December 2018, as part of The Redhills Appeal, the ongoing Durham Miners’ Association campaign to renew Durham Miners Hall.

Video highlights of the concert, in The Pitman’s Parliament at Redhills, will be screened live online for free on Friday, June 19.

The DENNIS, Live at Redhills EP will also be available across streaming services, including Spotify and Apple Music, and on CD, with proceeds going towards The Redhills Appeal.

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DENNIS performing at Pitman's Parliament. Photo by David Gunton.

Dan Gibson, singer with the nine-piece band, said: “For our band, coming from a mining community with our families living and working in pit villages, we felt a bursting sense of pride playing at Redhills. It's such a unique place to play with social and cultural history and important heritage built into every part of the place.”

During the performance, DENNIS were joined for the encore by the national award-winning Houghton Area Youth Band, featuring young musicians from across Durham’s coalfield communities.

Redhills has been the home of the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA) since 1915. It once housed a council chamber where colliery delegates took important decisions that transformed the area. This ranged from building homes and welfare halls to setting up community hospitals and libraries.

In recent years, a campaign was launched to preserve the Grade II-listed building, which is in urgent need of repair.

Redhills. Photo courtesy of Durham County Council

The DENNIS performance came as part of a DMA project to develop Redhills as a centre of culture, education and heritage.The DMA recently secured vital funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for the renewal of the Miners Hall.

Alan Mardghum, secretary of the Durham Miners’ Association, said: “This concert was a wonderful occasion at Redhills – a County Durham band drawing on the traditions of brass band music, joining local young musicians in the magnificent setting of The Pitman’s Parliament. We are glad that we can join with DENNIS again to share this performance with people in their homes.

“We very much look forward to the day we can welcome people back into our home again. In the meantime, we wish everyone well, and hope they enjoy this special performance from these talented County Durham musicians.”

DENNIS, who recently performed at Glastonbury Festival, Mouth Of Tyne Festival, Durham Gala Theatre and Sage Gateshead, have had all 2020 festival appearances and shows postponed until 2021, which will coincide with the release of the bands second full length LP album.

DENNIS performed at Redhills in 2018. Photo by David Gunton

The concert film will premiere live on Friday, June 19, at 7pm on Facebook @RedhillsDurham. It will then be available on the DENNIS YouTube channel.

The CD will be available to buy from online stores at redhillsdurham.org and www.dennisband.com.

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