Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beautiful Frome

For those of you who didn't read my blog about the touring in Europe you can read it here if you'd like. For those of you who did - you will, I'm certain, appreciate what one lovely set of people did for the Troubadours and myself out of their own excitement for life and art... Bare with me - the point to this is amazing!

Here's how an incredible gig magicked its way into my life...

Last year I got a wonderful chance to do a Vital Detox with Anna for a week which was absolutely life changing and I really do mean that. Lovely Anna said she fell in love with my music and began to spread the word, to which one of the sets of ears that she whispered sweet Almeida noises into was a wonderful man and excitable musical being, Dave.

Dave is a drummer and a plumber. Plummer drummer Dave also promotes lovely musical events with his beautiful and creative partner, Bee.

My point? Well, Dave and Bee made a HUGE and special effort to make a wonderful evening happen in their town, Frome (which if you haven't been to I would highly recommend...except I'm scared that if you go you'll never come back. I'm afraid so many of you will go and never come back.) It's beautiful!

Anyhoo... Dave and Bee made the most incredible effort to create a magical and wondrous event and it really was. They cut out tiny Kirsty Almeida logos and displayed them in window dressed displays and on poster boards and printed out some of my artwork and made little murals and adding their own amazing touches. They ran competitions and placed radio ads, interview, press and local shout outs and really pushed to make the event successful.

They stayed in touch with us from the moment we were booked and kept coming up with great ways to get bums on seats. Now, like all towns and cities, it doesn't matter who's coming to play - its tough to get folk to leave their houses but when it's an unknown act, its even harder so what Dave and Bee are doing is not easy and they did it immensely well. They are trying to set up events for their community that have a musical quality about them that folk can trust, bringing in names that may not be well known but that deliver an unforgettable experience. I know some of the acts they are hoping to share in the future and they are all fantastic billings!

When we arrived after our 7 hour journey - we were blown away! Not only had Dave and Bee read my blog about how venues in the UK can make it more comfortable for artists but they had gone through and ticked each example off- one by one!! They had even decorated the room that they had chosen as a dressing room with vintage furniture and fairy lights!!! We had a beautiful bottle of red from a local wine merchant, tea, fresh fair-trade coffee, snacks, water, beers, fresh flowers and to top it all off - a postcard each from Frome STAMPED AND READY FOR US TO SEND TO A LOVED ONE!

Now, that ready takes the biscuit - although they had me at the shop display! We sound checked and then got taken to what I think might be my favourite eatery in the UK, the Garden Cafe, who fed us organic, creative, healthy beautiful food and made sure we were happily full by the time we left for free! (We loved it so much we went again for breakfast the next day.)

The venue was the Westway Cinema in Frome, a quirky, Kooki, characterful independent run by Martina who is brilliant and laid back and very open and caring. We were treated so nicely and even the Mayor of Frome came out to hear the Troubadours (who may I add has the Funkiest hair - check it out).
The audience were encouraged to dress up for a Kirsty Almeida gig and I'm not exaggerating when I say they really took it to town. I would have saved up for some of the beautiful outfits and costumes that came out to play.

All of the above made our job so very easy and the only thing we had to worry about was not letting Frome, Dave and Bee, down. This was a perfect, perfect, perfect evening where the audience, the promoters, the venue and the band worked and played together to make a magical evening. A standing ovation sent us off into the night which ended with us staying with wonderful friends and singing round the fire till the early hours (howling at the moon in my case).

The Kirsty Almeida & The Troubadours award for best touring venue in the country goes to Dave, Bee, Martina & Frome.