An internationally recognised songwriter has helped keep a West Cumbrian venue going through lockdown.

Snake Davis - an internationally renowned saxophonist and musician has adopted an isolated rural community and given support to The Gather venue in Ennerdale.

The Gather in Ennerdale had recently been newly designated a Small Music Venue by the Arts Council and they were looking for great musicians to help launch their new venture.

A spokesman for The Gather said: "It started with a casual conversation with Snake Davis when he played a gig with Gareth Moulton at Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven, West Cumbria. We asked: 'Do you play small venues Snake?' he answered: 'How Small?' We said: 'Oh, 60 maximum …. including staff and artists …'"

Since that memorable meeting, Snake has transformed into the biggest fan, supporter and advocate for The Gather, already performing twice and with three more scheduled appearances. Audiences from all over the world are tuning in to see him, even from as far as United States and The United Arab Emirates.

The spokesman added: "Snake loves The Gather and loves Ennerdale! Snake, his wife Sally and son Joe are loved by Ennerdale in return, not least for everything they have helped us do in establishing Upstairs@TheGather as a go-to performance venue for some great artists."

They explained that after lockdown came in they turned to virtual performances and streaming live music. Snake has helped them to specify all of their streaming equipment and with his son Joe came all the way from North Lincolnshire for the weekend to help them install it and offered training for their staff and volunteers.

The spokesman said: "Thanks to them we are now confidently streaming weekly shows on a Tuesday at 7pm."

Snake has played with a wide range of musicians through his long and renowned musical career, from Lincolnshire to Japan, has played in big venues and Arenas including The Royal Albert Hall and now of course the intimate Small Music Venue Upstairs@TheGather.

Snake creates very close bonds with other musicians and for his latest collaboration with The Gather he has assembled a group of “All Stars” who will join him to stream directly from there. So far nine other artists will appear together in one great show. 'Snake Davis and The All Stars Band' will be on December 1 at 7pm.

Events manager, Emma Shepherd said: “Snake has really done us proud this time. Everything he puts together is great, but with all his musician friends it promises to be very special.”

The Gather manager, Carol Higgins, said: “Who would have thought, when this all started a few months ago, we would be streaming such a great array of stars from Upstairs@TheGather”

Peter Maher, promoter of the shows, said: “ It’s a remarkable privilege to be able to bring great performances into people front rooms, especially during lockdown. There is no charge to view these gigs and so they are open to all; mobile phone, laptop, PC, iPad; whatever you have you just need an internet connection.

“Remember though that these musicians have not been able to perform since March and so there is an opportunity for the audience to contribute a tip via a PayPal account; every penny donated goes straight to the artists.

“What has been particularly fascinating is the geographical spread of our audiences. Last weeks gig featured the folk singer George Meuross and was watched by people across the UK including Kent, Cleator, Carlisle, Kendal, Cromer, Hampshire, Blackburn, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, Somerset, Avon, Pontefract even viewers in the United States and The United Arab Emirates.