Before I get onto my first experience of Hammer & Tongue, I have some exciting neeeewss!! Me and Matty D are offishhh, like Facebook official, you get meee?!! We had an amazing weekend, and after posting this picture, I’ll try to remain focused and professional and just write about poetry and shizzle like that.
I’ve been applying for loads of jobs and funding and stuff today, so am going to try to be as quick as possible about this and see if I can finish in under half an hour! Friday, me and Matt when to Future Vintage, with a jazz band and poet, Tiffany Anne Tondut. Matt had a bit of trouble working his way from Victoria to Waterloo, so we missed a bit, but it was good. Bumped into Tim Wells, who told me about this event, it’s gonna be snazzy. My Gran’s visiting from France for her birthday, so I can’t make it.
We went to the Tate Modern for a bit and chilled on the grass near Udderbelly, before going to Poejazzi’s Festival Tonic. Joshua Idehen was hosting and four amazing acts took the stage. First, Harry Baker, who I am hoping will be hosting my gig at The Tea Box this Friday (8th July). Next was Fiona Bevan, a singer who was probably my favourite performer of the day – a bit like Regina Spektor meets Shingai Shoniwa (The Noisettes) with a pinch of Ellie Golding. Next was Ray Antrobus, who I’ve now probably mentioned a few times – Matt could particularly relate to the sober-guy-at-the-party poem after his sober months. Lastly, another musical act Belle Moore-Benham with an incredibly powerful voice.
Oh yeah, and we saw this fox. Urban Fox. Pretty cool… if slightly scary.
Saturday, we went to see Sexing The Cherry, again, around Southbank. It sounded cool, as it combined spoken word, animation and music. At first I felt pretty tired and unimpressed, but towards the middle it picked up and there were some really good lines and ideas expressed, a great musical section, and beautiful acrobatics.
We went to Soho to check out Pride festivities… I was a terrible Londoner and couldn’t find Trafalgar Square so we missed some reality TV stars, but it was fun just walking around and I’m cracked open a couple of cans and we had a little dance and listened to some live music where we could find it. We didn’t see the parade so I defos wanna check it out next year. I saw Romy from The XX passing by in the opposite direction but it was pretty packed and we’re both pretty shy people, I guess, so we just moved with the crowd. I think it was the first time I’ve seen her since the band got all big as well, so it’s pretty weird after seeing loads of pictures everywhere and music everywhere.
Anyway, Monday, Matt went back to Norwich (long distance gaaah) and I went to Hammer & Tongue with my mate Elliot Snook… he’s putting on a clubnight, which I hope to go to, so YOU should defos go as well.
Angry Sam was hosting but he didn’t seem to remember me from Glam Slam – I guess he’s a busy man. Chester P and Mungo were the feature and they were on for about an hour. It was really interesting and very different form when I saw CP support Jamie T in Norwich. Some of it went a bit over my head, and then some of it made me unsure if it was bullshit or genius… there were probably a few too many drug references but ah well, do what you know and all that. The Slam was afterwards and I was on penultimatly which had my nerves going a bit, but I was pleased with how it went and I came third place, which I didn’t expect and it’s pretty cool to get a position even without winning. I can always try again. What was amazing was that, amongst a couple of compliments, one guy said I was his favourite of the night, and said the rhythm and delivery were particularly good. In hindsight, I should have given him my business card, but I feel a bit cringe doing it without actually being asked… a bit too pushy? Or am I being silly?
Peter Hayhoe won, who I saw at Tooting Market, and he was cool. Ahhh. Gonna have to wrap up, I’ve gone way overboard.
So, last night was the third Glam Slam in a row I’ve been too. It’s only on once a year but it is always so fun and I’m always partial to a theme, plus the host, Ernesto Sarezale is super-organised like myself. So, a good excuse to post pictures like the one below. My theme was ‘loss’ and I had to wear blue. I had a ‘San Francisco Loves You’ t-shirt that I got on holiday but I got make-up on it so had to change – gutted.
Shoes (seen in end picture): Vintage ‘Charles’ from Beyond Retro
Lipstick + Foundation: Estée Lauder
Eyeliner: Collection 2000
Eye stars (can’t really see here): unknown
Nail Varnish: ‘Carrie’ SATC
Anyway, I met my friend Hannah after she finished work and went to Nando’s. The loyalty card was confusing me (mainly, because the staff seem to be confused) so I ended up with two chicken breasts. So much for loosing this weight I’ve put on). It was delicious as ever though and I enjoyed my extra big portion, though felt a bit of a pig). We went to The Book Club and I got a drink, before getting a seat downstairs early. Cat Brogan was on first and fabulous as ever. Marcus Reeves, on the timer, who was ‘challenging Annie Lennox’, remembered me from last time which was nice. He has a collection out called ‘Sighs Ten’ haha. When he said he remembered me I said ‘thank you’, afterwards realising that’s probably a strange thing to say.
Chris Young, last year’s winner also performed, who I couldn’t remember before he started taking off his clothes and doing last year’s poem, but he was good, check him out here. It just goes to show, it doesn’t matter about who you’re having sex with… anyone can understand the bliss of when someone likes your company and not just your cock/pussy. Emanuel Xavier was down from New York and he was amazing. At the time I was stressing about missing my train back and he was so good I forgot about it – and believe me, that says something! I would have liked to talk to him, especially as between acts he congratulated me. PLUS, I’m going to New York at the end of July so it would have been cool to know where to go.
Angry Sam was first to compete in the ‘Loss’ category and after he finished I thought there was no way I was going to get through. I think I performed with him at Limehouse Church and thought he was good, and tonight I was sure he was going to win it. He did a poem about an ex from the point of view of her, and got the audience to join in with ‘you’re just a bastard’. I did ‘Space Station’ off by heart and did an intro that lead on from Sam’s. I felt it was the best I’d ever done (gutted my cam ran out of batt) it so it was really hurtful when the scores came… two 8s, one 7, and a 5. It wasn’t so much the scores, but the group of girls that picked the ‘5’ seemed to be laughing about it, and I wanted to cry. But I didn’t. I ended up winning the category with 28 points. Marcus said Sam’s name though (he got 27) and had to correct it, so when Sam came over with flyers it was a bit awkward. I was texting at the time, and stressing out about my train, so was in a bit of a fluster and stupidly said ‘oh, well done, by the way’ when I realised it was him. All he said was ‘so, you won it then?’ so I felt like I’d said the wrong thing. I looked at the flyer and said I was meaning to go anyway; it was for seeing Chester P, who I saw support Jamie T when I had this weird illness that was like Glandular Fever but they never found out what it was exactly. I thought it was a great gig so am hoping to go along with a friend I want to catch up with.
People came up to me in the break and both congratulated me and said how the girls that voted ‘5’ were dickheads and stuff. I couldn’t really stay down after that… though I guess I went from happy to stressed because my dad said I needed to get the train before 11 and I knew I wouldn’t make it out that early. I wish I’d checked the times myself now! So, at the end of the first couple of rounds, me and Emma Jones went to collect our trophies. I knew after seeing her that she would win the whole thing – she did an amazing costume change ‘Work’ poem which was literally 3mins on the dot: perfection. Her second poem was done in the accent of a lot of the girls I went to school with, as she is a drama teacher in South London (brap brap… do the kids still say that?) where she came up with many witty things in place of GCSE including much of the typical activities for these kinds of girls, such as going to the chicken shops after school (yes, there is a previous photo of me posing with a chicken box… you can take the girl out of…etc). She did a final poem on winning comically stating that if you see anyone from Clapham, the best thing to do it to ‘slap ’em’ haha! I did ‘Drama’ for my second poem and thought I did okay, but wished I’d put more thought into which poem I did).
Alison Brumfitt won the ‘Lust’ category with her amazing poem about how, despite popular opinion, sex is better than chocolate. And she did it whilst throwing chocolate bars at the audience, and then dripping melted chocolate down her body. Oh yes, for this category, you had to wear lingerie/underwear or less! I was surprised to see Alain English bare all (both literally and metaphorically) in a poem about masturbation, and Keith Jarrett in nothing but a hat and Superman pants. By the by, he has an Action Man body to match those gorgeous brown eyes. And I mean that in a totally objective way. There was also a guy that did a poem in some old Mickey Mouse PJs, and he mentioned something about mental illness, and I think he was referring to anti-psychiatry, which I’ve been interested in since my dissertation (which I will post after I’ve graduated). However, his poem was about having sex with patients, which reminded me of David Cooper’s idea of ‘bed therapy’ which I believe to be possibly unethical due to the idea of consensus… though he claimed the person who the poem was based on would gain consent, this may not always be reliable in mental health patients. That said, if I was locked up in an institution and could never have sex, it is likely I’d be driven further into insanity.
Ray Antrobus won the ‘Wig’ category (and taking third place in the final round, beat me by a couple of points) and he told a poem about being the sober guy at a party, as he doesn’t drink. It made me of Matt and how I encourage him to drink, tsk tsk, bad Carmina. In the second round he did one about how your voice changes depending on who you’re talking to, which, loyal readers will know, is a subject I have a love/hate relationship with… in the vein of ‘yeah, I am from South London, and yeah, this is a South London accent, I’m just middle class, bitch.’ Carmina: South London, but a bit posh too innit.
It ended a bit before midnight. After congratulating Emma for winning I legged it to Liverpool Street, got the tube to Oxford Circus (shat myself cos I forgot I couldn’t change at bank as Waterloo & City line wouldn’t be running that late) and then got the tube to Vauxhall, where THANKFULLY I saw the train was coming. Some guys ahead of me started running, so I joined in and followed them up the wrong platform. Not only that, but I FELL FLAT ON MY FACE! I was around the corner so the guys didn’t see, and I managed to stand up by the time they turned around (I overheard it was platform 3) but I had grazed near my elbow and wrist, bruised/cut my finger and chipped a bit of my trophy. The train was delayed for 2 minutes, so I sat down for a bit and got my breath back. I had needed some water (and the toilet) for ages and so my throat was as if I’d just done a proper 30min run! I got the train safe and sound and was back home by 1am.
Things I hate:
Living in Worcester Park and not East London.
Saying I’ve been doing this poetry bizz for 5 years… can I lie and say a year?