The Grain Bar – Frome – Somerset – 20 November 2019

A cold winters night and I am in an unfamiliar town, Frome in darkest (and it it is dark, very) Somerset. This is one of those gigs I booked much earlier in the year, I think around February.

I had just finished playing a set at the lovely Nunney Acoustic Cafe in … Nunney and was approached by the equally lovey Marion who suggested that I approach The Cheese and Grain venue as she thought I would go down well there. The number of venues whose audiences like original artists. like myself, are few and far between. Most places only really go for people who play cover songs i.e. other people’s music. Don’t ask me why….

Anyway, I messaged her husband Colin and he booked me to play the Grain Bar which is the main bar area in front of the main cheese and Grain venue. It’s a groovy place with a large bar with tables and a very decent stage and P.A. run by the C&G’s main sound engineer a quietly charismatic Canadian, Dom.

And so we get to November (knew I’d get there in the end) and I arrive on that cold winters night…. I meet Dom and great Marion and Colin who know everyone in Frome! After a very decent sound check where everything sounded great straight away. I settle down and chat with Dom and Colin until the allotted time. Tonight I am supporting a local rock band “SwampGrass” who soundcheck just after I’d finished mine. A tasty four-piece with a wonderful female singer.

Cometh the hour, I take to the stage and crack into my set, it’s the 45 minute one. The sound is great onstage and I can hear that Dom is bouncing my vocals around out front. What he is doing is carefully choosing particular vocal lines and using reverb to repeat them whilst I am singing them. I love it when engineers do that, not all of them actually have this skill. When they do, I can extend various lines and Dom can accentuate them.

The audience clap and cheer enthusiastically including my friend and amazing singer songwriter Sue Hart who has come along to support me.

It took me nearly 2 hours to get to The Grain Bar so as soon as I had said my thanks and good byes I packed up my gear and made the long journey home.

I must have done an ok job as Dom has invited me back again to play. I will be back at The Grain Bar 19 August 2020 this time with the band. It seams an age away, just like this one was. That’s the way it is with these brilliant venues, they get booked up way in advance. I’ve got a whole spring and summer to get through until I’m back in Somerset, I can’t wait! Thanks guys!