Thanks all for the input!
Will, this is exactly what I've been saying to her.... I was "polling" Mudcat to see if I was on the right lines.
I've been saying to her since before she recorded this album that her best way forward would be this approach... To book a venue and "DIY". Trying to shoehorn herself into local existing venues' expectations is frustrating. She's done a few pub and bar/restaurant gigs but normally solo, as they don't pay enough to cover the band too.... and she much prefers playing with a band.
There are three or four places close to where she lives that she could book, which would seat enough to cover the band if she could fill them 80%.
It's nice that most respondents have been positive about her music, too. She's a friend, so I'm biased to like her stuff, so it's nice to have my feelings a bit validated. She doesn't like pushing herself forward though!
I'll work with her on this, and hopefully we can start making some inroads!