A BASINGSTOKE-based singer-songwriter is calling on other performers to take positives out of the chaos caused by coronavirus.

The town's vibrant arts industry was temporarily forced to close down last month after theatres and bars were among the parts of the leisure sector forced to close by the government.

This has had a knock-on effect on performers, who often rely on money made whilst gigging and on revenue from album sales.

Now, Chris Holden, a musician from the town, has called on those in the business to make the most of the lockdown and work on new pieces of art.

Speaking to the Gazette, Chris said: "As one of the many local performers in the area, it is safe to say that we are entering a really unsteady and worrying time for creative types during the coronavirus pandemic, as most of our public venues and events are being forced to close.

"Our backs are currently against the ropes and may be for a long time, but our hands are not tied.

"We have to try and make the best out of a very bad and very real situation. Sitting back and waiting will not make it go away.

"My best advice is to use this time of self-isolation as a chance to create more. Refresh those songlists and work on new pieces of art and self-development.

"Re-stock your creative cabinet and when this all blows over, you will begin the re-launch as a better version of yourself and will have a lot more to offer your venues and clientel."

Some ideas that Chris suggested include working alongside venues to find new ways to create revenue without dipping into their pockets, and pulling together to ensure that venues are earning too.

He adds that the industry has "to keep each other afloat", and that social media live streams may be a temporary solution to replace the live gig.

"Having to stay indoors doesn't mean you have to stay still, you can still move forward. You can still grow."

He also appeal to "creative types" to get in touch with him to "see how they can thrive in these harsh times".

You can find out more about Chris on Facebook or Instagram, at @chrisholdenmusic.