ON SONG: Singer songwriter Steve Reay has produced a song dedicated to Barnard Castle’s arts venue
ON SONG: Singer songwriter Steve Reay has produced a song dedicated to Barnard Castle’s arts venue

A TEESDALE entertainer, who can’t wait to perform in front of a live audience again, is hoping his newly-produced song about Barnard Castle’s arts venue, The Witham, will help secure him a gig there when it reopens.
Steve Reay, from Wackerfield, spent six months perfecting his single, I Just Want to Gig at The Witham, after seeing fellow musician Sam Nixon perform there as part of the Acoustic Café sessions.
He said: “The Witham song took me around six months to write. The idea came to me after seeing Sam Nixon playing there.
“He was on the balcony in the Acoustic Café. He was excellent. I emailed the Witham later and tried calling to get a gig, but I could never get through.”
After penning the folk-rock song in lockdown, he then recorded it at a studio he built at home.
He added: “The lockdown gave me time to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the time. So, I’ve taken a positive from the unpleasant reality of the current situation.”
No stranger to the music industry, Mr Reay ran his own entertainment business, performing at a variety of pubs and clubs during the 90s and even featuring in several television dramas such as Crocodile Shoes, which featured Jimmy Nail.
He said: “I started playing guitar and singing about 18 months ago after a 20-year break.
“Before Covid I had started hosting an open mic night at the Black Horse, at Ingleton, to get to meet like-minded people.
“At some point I hope to get back to that again.
“This is the first track I’ve finished and produced start to finish.”
He added: “It’s been a fun project and a good starting point to get better and do more. It’s been a steep learning curve and my primary instrument is my 12-string guitar, but I do play some bass guitar.
“The keyboards, drums, mixing programming and singing harmonies have been a challenge, but they say the first time is always the hardest
“I’ve released the song on Sound Cloud and anyone can have a listen if they fancy, but I would really love to be able to perform it at the Witham when they’re open again, hopefully it’ll help get me that gig.”
The song is available to listen to free on Sound Cloud or via Mr Reay’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/myherocrashjones .
Until pubs and live entertainment venues are allowed to open up again Mr Reay is keeping busy and is currently working on another four original tracks.