A MUSICIAN who is putting on a series of pay-as-you-feel gigs says he hopes they can be the cultural equivalent of a food bank.

County Durham singer songwriter Steve Pledger came up with the idea after deciding to put on a gig at his local community centre in Annfield Plain.

He said: “We have things like food banks that meet our physical needs, which is a positive thing, but it’s easy to think that if people have food and clothes and a roof over their heads then they are supported.

“People are more complicated than that and more interesting.

“Why should folks who might be struggling in other ways not also have access to something a little less tangible?

“You can go to a pub and get live music but that can come with it’s own baggage.”

Following a successful first event in Annfield Plain in April, he is now putting on a gig in Durham on Friday, July 12.

And he hopes further events will follow in Chester-le-Street and further afield.

The Northern Echo:

Annfield Plain singer songwriter Steve Pledger

He added; “The gig in Annfield Plain was really very positive. It worked as well, if not better than I thought it would. In terms of a gig it was the same as any normal gig I would play.

"It wasn’t about the concept, it’s about an evening of live music. But the ethos that underlines the evening, even if it wasn’t mentioned, it does bring a spirit and a sense of community.

“The reaction was very warm and encouraging.”

He is calling the series "On Trust". He said: "I believe that the more we are given the opportunity to prove ourselves trustworthy, the more trustworthy the majority of us will show ourselves to be."

He added: "I'm keen to make it possible for people who wouldn't be able to pay anything to come.

"If you can pay a pound or two, or nothing, everyone is welcome."

The Durham gig takes place at RT Projects, in Gilesgate at the mental health charity's base in Mill House Court, Gilesgate.

Doors open at 7pm and places can be reserved by visiting www.ontrustevents.co.uk.