Sunday, August 14, 2022

The hot, late, one - with bonus supermoon

Avid followers of this blog, who've probably been sighing 'it cometh not' like Tennyson's Marianna mooning around mossy flowerpots, will have noted a week's delay in this bulletin. This is because last week's planned highlight, Folksy Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing on Frome's ECOS last Sunday, was sadly cancelled due to a vehicle crash, and the blog felt a bit thin without dramatic focus. So instead here's a bumper sunshine special with a music focus.  

As the warm dry evenings continue, the Thursday sessions of Open Mic at the Gugg in Stalbridge are increasingly popular. With fresh-made pizza on site and 3 hours of live performance free (though donations to this community project are encouraged) it's not surprising every seat in the courtyard is filled. The last two sessions provided the usual wide-ranging variety of sets and some stella performers. Here's Nick Coleman last week, powerfully recreating 60's songs Simon & Garfunkel's Mrs Robinson and Del Shannon's Runnaway. And here, from this week, is Frome's Carl Sutterby who wowed the crowd with hi-energy classic punk ( Babylon's Burning specially smashing) played on ukulele. 
Among other highlights for me in this latest event were the Beagles playing Lindisfarne's Mr Dreamseller, and I still believe from 'Twitch'.

In Frome, despite the annual exodus to Boomtown & other festivals, the pubs have been throbbing with music. Last Sunday saw a Jazz Jam at the Cornerhouse, a session of fearsome talent and unrehearsed splendour.  This is a totally inclusive night, with musicians from local funk bands playing alongside trad jazz aficionados, and numbers ranging from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock. 

A different musical mood, though still just as hot, on Saturday when Unit 4 fulfilled their pledge to make it funky  at The Sun, 

and on Sunday we enjoyed the return to Bar Lotte of mega-popular Rosco Shakes with their 'jump jazz' versions of blues classics.


There's some great visual art around, too: Bath's Victoria Gallery has an exhibition of work by Mary Feddon, showing until mid-October.  'Simple Pleasures' is a celebration of the work of this artist originally from Bristol who painted still life and flowers with a delightful quirky style until her death in 2012. The show is beautifully curated, and includes some work from her husband, fellow-artist Julian Trevelyan.

Frome's Black Swan Arts gallery is still buzzing with interest in the Arts Open Exhibition, where 185 selected submissions now fill the Long Gallery, the Round Tower, and the shop too - all for sale, though quite a few have now been taken. Sadly I missed the judges' talk on criteria & judging process, but 'Writers at the Black Swan', our regular ekphrastic poetry group, enjoyed exploring the works in thoughts & words on Monday. Thanks Jane Hughes tor this snap of us waxing lyrical.

The first Sunday in the month always brings the Frome Independent, a wonderful chance to wander through stalls in the car-free streets, enjoying the market atmosphere & street food, especially under the azure skies we've had for several weeks now. I did a bit of onstreet-sales myself, outside Hunting Raven Books, inspired by some great reviews sent me about my new novel Blow-Ins. You can hear more about the book, and how it came to be written, in this week's Variations on a Theme, the regular mixed-bag-culture show of Eleanor Talbot which you can listen to online as broadcast on Frome FM. My interview starts at 1.23.50, but the eclectic music on Eleanor's shows is always great!

Final footnote goes to the weather: love it (I do) or worry about it (as we all probably do, for -literally- existential reasons) this fortnight has brought solid sunshine and cloudless azure skies to Frome. Our grassy meadows are turning to straw and our river is become drying sludge in many places, so to end here's a typical image from my walks this week: Whatcombe fields, on the edge of town.  Rain, apparently, is due soon....


No comments: