Frome Street Bandits

Sustainable Frome has argued that a vibrant creative place in which to live is a crucial part of underpinning sustainability.  Hence our early support for the Frome Street Bandits who are supporting Orkestra del Sol this Thursday May 27th – “flamboyant, brassy and irresistibly euphoric’.    Please can you pass this on and support the event at Rook Lane Chapel, £5.00 tickets on the door 8:00pm, thanks


Frome Steet Bandits

A picture says it all

Review of Frome Street Bandits/Orkestra del Sol 27/5/10

Frome Street Bandits/Orkestra del Sol Review – Helen Moore

Going through the doors of Frome’s Rook Lane Chapel a century ago, its congregation would have no doubt taken heed of the strange injunction written above its doors: “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the House of God!”  Last night (27/5/10), however, there wasn’t a still foot in the house, and many leaping off the floor, when the magnificent arts venue hosted a street band extravaganza, with Frome’s own Street Bandits and Edinburgh’s Orkestra del Sol playing to an excited audience.

The Frome Street Bandits kicked off the evening in great style with their carnivalesque sounds, composed of wind, brass and percussion instruments, plus accordion.  A wonderful asset to the town, the band often appear at local events, and with musicians spanning two or possibly three generations, their appeal lies in their enthusiasm, colour, and bohemian style.

They were followed by the main act, the irresistibly vibrant and hilariously quirky Orkestra del Sol.   With sounds evoking Klezmer and Balkan gypsy traditions, and playing wild polkas and crazy waltzes, the similar line of instruments included the extraordinary sousaphone, which the audience was told unrolls to the length of three tennis courts!

Introducing themselves as Top Trumps players – “the 1980s card game, but with musicians instead of cards” – and wearing wigs, false moustaches and bearing spoof names (not to mention the odd tennis racket), the band added a wonderful perfomative element to their set, at times pitting different instruments against each other to great humorous effect and inviting audience participation in clapping and dancing at speed etc.

And although all these antics in the old chapel left me imagining former worshippers turning in their graves in the Dissenters’ Cemetery, I later looked into the history of street bands, only to discover that In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries local musicians often performed in church bands and in non-conformist chapels.  So perhaps the lively spirit of last night’s event may have evoked the tapping feet of former congregations after all?! 

Great performance and really

Great performance and really fun evening