UP CLOSE : The Frome music promoter offering something a little different to put several destinations on the Frome music map
By Susie Watkins
29th Apr 2023 | Local News
Frome has a music scene, and a lot of musicians, but if you search 'live music' you sometimes only find only one answer.
The town is thriving for a certain type of event, but one local music promoter (and musician) is trying to expand the range on offer and establish new venues.
Danny Green who runs Night River talked to Frome Nub News about how he is germinating new Frome talent, showcasing a new type of music scene, and why it might have something to do with his home-made pasta.
Danny - aka DG Solaris - and his band LAISH told us of his Frome first impressions
" When I first arrived it was the tail-end of Covid, so there wasn't a lot going on apart from at the Cheese & Grain. explained Danny. " They posted they were just about to open The Treehouse, a smaller venue, which is at the Vine Tree pub, and I was intrigued. "
One chance conversation and Danny was putting on shows at the new place, with bands new to Frome, some of whom already had some success, but who were not HUGE names. Danny was a fan : " It is a wonderful venue space for around 100 people and as someone who has always supported grass-roots type music at smaller venues, it was just my cup of tea. Live music, the best live music, with interesting and accomplished performers."
He has a successful recording career too as DG Solaris : Photo Chris Jeney
" I am a folky singer -song writer and had experience of promoting bands when I lived and worked in Brighton and London, but those places are saturated by music promoters so it always felt like an uphill battle against the big competition, plus at the time my focus was more about playing."
Now with two young children, although he still performs, promoting gigs works for him
" I wanted to bring something to Frome, not just take from the town, to get involved, plug myself into the local community and bring artists to Frome who had never been here. Nearly all of those I have booked are under represented and newbies to Frome. Frome DOES have a great name but it is not part of the touring circuit. Artists play London, Brighton, Bristol. Manchester, Leeds ... and so on. I want that list to now include BA11."
The performances at the Tree House have seen the likes of Alex Rex, Emma Swift, Dana Gavanski , Apollo Ghosts, Herman Dune... bands on their way up. And next on the bill, May 27 The Burning Hell , although they sound like a death metal named band, they too are an indie folk. band, hailing from Canada.
Now Night River is lighting the way to another Frome live music venue
With a new baby on board, Danny started organising music for the HydeAway, a hyper small, beautiful cocktail bar which, as the name suggests, is hidden down a Frome side street. He told Nub News : " These shows are my favourites. I have always enjoyed performances where you are really up close and personal with the artist, some of whom play completed unplugged.
"As a member of an audience you are in a room of no more than thirty people and you get something completely unique, where no one talks and just listens to the amazing music. It is like great music played in your front room."
The Beth Rowley show at HydeAway
These nights are on the first and third Thursdays every month, and in May they will have been going a year.
Who could you expect to see there?
"I have quite a long wish list of people who I am trying to get to play, but we have also had some well known people, like Beth Rowley, who collaborated with the likes of Burt Bacharach and Jools Holland. She would have sold out much bigger spaces, but the HydeAway is special and it is memorable. In August Jazz Morley will be playing, she actually approached me, she is amazing and her shows sold out in 24 hours. "
What next ?
Danny is keen to find other new interesting venues, or perhaps several, and he himself will be performing in a church in Norton St Philip with another fantastic Frome songwriter, Izzie Yardley on May 20.
" Nothing against tribute bands, they are great for a big crowd, and they are great at what they do, but I want to champion indie performers and original music. Sometimes in the HydeAway I listen to someone playing to that tiny audience and I think 'wow' 800 people should be listening to this, the talent is so great. I want people to have that same experience, to be wowed. I would love people to just grab a ticket to go and see someone they have never heard of and be blown away. To trust that because it is a Night River show, it means the music will be great."
Do you want to find the next big music star?
"Always ! " laughs Danny. " But I also want the artists to get something from the experience and have a memorable gig and to leave thinking how much they loved playing the venue. "
They will also get a homecooked meal, thanks to Danny who experienced life on the road.
" I know what it is like, you turn up for a sound check and there hasn't been any thought what you have for dinner and the doors will open in thirty minutes and you are starving, it can be so depressing, so I always make them some food, like home made pasta so they get to eat something hearty."
If you are a musician and you would like to play an up close gig in Frome then Danny is open to hearing from you.
" I want to find out who is out there. I can't promise to book you. But I would like to know who is around, to champion new talent. "