Since The Railway Hotel closed its doors to the public last week, the landlords, management and musicians have been coming up with inventive ways to carry on entertaining regulars with live music, thanks to the help of Denis Walker.

Denis is an online events organiser and active member of the LGBTIQA+ community, and became friendly with the new managers when he helped them with renovation work. He also recently helped opened the new office for the local Green Party upstairs at the pub. 

Last night - Monday March 23 - he launched the Railway Hotel Emergency Broadcast System - Outside Broadcast, with the first of what hopes to be regular events transmitted from the inside of musicians and performers’ homes.

David Woodcock’s open mic - which usually runs every Monday at the Railway Hotel in Clifftown Road - was aired with the help of his bandmate and partner Wendy Solomon who is a singer, songwriter and musician in her own right - from their home.

The show went out via an entertaining live switch between  the control room where Denis sat at the helm, and the ‘Barkley’s Bar’ live lounge view of the home of Wendy Solomon and David Woodcock who performed some of their material live. It then zoomed into to a mix of live streamed performances of music (Fi Nancy Dulake) and poetry (Lara Mackie), and a piano performance from Denis himself, interspersed with a pre-recorded live set by Tom Burgess, and music videos of released music by local bands. 

The Railway Hotel Emergency Broadcast System - Outside Broadcast follows The Quarantine Sessions, which were held immediately after the pub closed, where bands were able to come into the pub, one at a time, to perform together from a safe distance, covering the mics with disposable shields.

However, after just a few sessions, the landlords and management decided to tighten safety measures even further and made an announcement at the weekend, that they were cancelling The Quarantine Sessions.

The first broadcast of the Railway Hotel Emergency Broadcast System - Outside Broadcast came just after the announcement from Boris Johnson that we need to “stay at home”.

Commenting this morning, Denis said: “I was really pleased with how it went. We’ve already had over 1,300 views on last night’s video! I’m working on the technical aspects of connecting people up remotely to make it possible for people to play as a band even though they’re all in different places. We’re going to try to keep the videos coming daily if we can.

“As far as possible, we’ll try and stick to the normal pub programme - open mic on Monday, jazz on Wednesday and bigger acts on Saturday. But given the current situation, that won’t necessarily work all the time - we’ll have to see what we can do day by day.

“We all need something to take us out of the current crisis - and doing this is one of the things that’s helping me. I got a letter from the NHS this morning telling me I’m extremely vulnerable to coronavirus, so I’ve now got to be completely isolated from everyone.

“Keeping the stream running daily will give me something to do and keep in contact with the outside world. At least we’ve got technology to keep in touch with other people that just didn’t exist even 15 years ago.”

*Tune in daily via