Frightened Robot Gun

Time is short and I have wasted a lot of the day after celebrating a friend’s birthday until the early hours. I’m going swimming soon but I’m already ready for bed. It’s been eventful so without further ado, I’ll let you know what’s been going on.

Firtsly, I went to see Frightened Rabbit back in September. Aside from annoying crowd members and post-work tiredness, it was a great gig. They didn’t play all the songs I would have liked but ‘Poke’ was amazing to see live and the highlight of the gig.

The week after I took a surreal trip to Norwich after work to perform at the launch of internet poetry – Bad Robot, an event organised by Catherine Woodward. Ross Sutherland was performing but sadly I didn’t get to speak to him. I spoke to Russell J Turner who was the surprise guest of the evening and had me itching to do his Googleseed poems. James Sykes was also reading and having not seen him before, I was really impressed, with his deadpan humour, he reminded me a bit of Tao Lin’s poetry. Thom James was seen, rather appropriately, in digital form. Unfortunately, not quite a hologram, but a really cool video flickering poetry across a screen.

I stayed in a hotel, *cough* B&B *cough*, nearby the station as I had to get up at like 5.30am or something ridiculous. They didn’t even have any tea:

Skip ahead to the following week and I finally went to Bang Said the Gun. It was all very exciting, entering the room to the likes of Billy Bragg pumping out of the speakers, monochrome scribbles of the event name all over the walls, and an animation reel for the stage backdrop. Not to mention the cool shakers used for applause. Although, after a day at work, shaking it to more than one song as a build up to the start was a bit like giving a never-ending hand-job. Some white stuff came out and got on my bag. But it has to be said, these guys know what they’re doing and put on a cracking poetry (or anti-poetry) night.

Also, Peter Hayhoe kind of remembered my surname, and having not officially met, this made me happy. He also performed a set himself, of which I particularly enjoyed a collaboration with a female guitarist about pulling girls in 1998, dressing up in the actual shirt of his heyday. Dan Cockrill was a great host, and I particularly like the way he step-touched to the music in between acts. Martin Galton also read some funny poems from a book of hate, along with a heart-warming poem of love about his son.

I didn’t get on the open mic as this event is so popular, the next space wasn’t until 25th October, so I’ll be back then. To be honest, I enjoyed the event so much, I would happily be there every week if I could. One of the main reasons for this was the performance from resident poet, Maria Ferguson (and she references Sarah Kane in this video!). She delivered a narrative poem, that really got me gripped and so I’d probably have to say she was my favourite of the evening.Though it’s hard picking favourites with such an array of talent, and diverse talent at that.

The Roundhouse Slam Champions performed and although I can’t remember their names, I wish I could because they were amazing. In turn, I felt wholly inadequate and old. One guy, who described himself as looking a bit like Sideshow Bob, gave a performance that mixed the comedic and the tragic, with some very poignant lines. Another guy gave a highly performative piece that incorporated subtle physical movements and voice control, giving the effect of cut-up text.

The female of the group had me welling up with  her poetry about mental illness, along with her sweet, soft voice, she came across as an emblem of strength and fragility. I hope I didn’t miss anyone from the group as I didn’t make any notes on the night!

The Ruby Kid was the last before the open mic (where I had to dash off). Back in the day he had complimented my poetry over MySpace, and I even performed alongside him at Speech Motion. I knew I would enjoy his set, but he was even better than I remembered. My favourite was ‘205 Panorama’ which had some really clicky lines – you know what I mean – lines that give you goosebumps and make your ears prick up. Sadly, I can’t find this one online so you’re going to have to see him live. It looks like he’s going to be running a night called ‘Howl’ in Shoreditch so I’ll have to check that out in the future.

The event also had some rather desultory activities such as throwing a balloon across the room to win a drink, and having a massive ‘bang’ hat. I wish I lived in Zone 2 and was like a full-time poet and writer, then I would be able to go to Bang every time.

In other news, my poem The Movement of Hands will be published in Issue 9 of Artemis Poetry Magazine. I’ve been sending out lots of submissions and I said to myself that I would be happy if even just one was accepted so I am very pleased! I’ve also got an exciting project in the pipeline for Novemeber 21st, with Apples & Snakes. Keep the date in your diary!

xxx

 

Poetry in Music: Part 2

Bon Iver

The Wolves (Act I and II)

“And the story’s all over you
In the morning i’ll call you
Can’t you find a clue when your eyes are all painted Sinatra blue”

Skinny Love

“And I told you to be patient
And I told you to be fine
And I told you to be balanced
And I told you to be kind
And now all your love is wasted?
And then who the hell was I?
And now I’m breaking at the britches
And at the end of all your lines”

Frightened Rabbit

Keep Yourself Warm

“Oh, you won’t find love in a,
Won’t find love in a hole.
It takes more than fucking someone to keep yourself warm.”

Quiet Company

How Many Times do you Want to be in Love? (no video but here’s the full lyrics)

“Your heartstrings all came undone
When she left you out in the sun

Well, what did you think it would feel like to be in love?

And your heartaches have served you well
And if you’re anxious, I just can’t tell

Well, how many times did you want to be in love?”

Laura Marling

My Manic and I

“I can’t control you, I don’t know you well
These are the reasons I think that you’re ill
And since last that we parted
Last that I saw him down by a river
Silent and hardened
Morning was mocking us, blood hit the sky
I was just happy, my manic and I
He couldn’t see me, the sun was in his eyes
And birds were singing to calm us down”

Jeff Buckley

Morning Theft

“I had to send it away to bring us back again.
Morning theft. Unpretender left, ungraceful.
True Self is what brought you here, to me.”

Damien Rice

Coconut Skins

“You can sit on chimneys
With some fire up your ass
No need to know what you’re doing or waiting for
But if ever anyone should ask

Tell them, I’ve been licking coconut skins,
And we’ve been hanging out.
Tell them, God just dropped by to forgive our sins,
And relieve us our doubt.”

Daughter

Medicine

“You could still be,
What you want to,
What you said you were
When I met you.
You’ve got a warm heart,
You’ve got a beautiful brain”

Kate Nash

Merry Happy

“I can be alone, yeah
I can watch a sunset on my own
I can be alone, yeah
I can watch a sunset on my own
I can be alone
I can watch a sunset on my own”

Regina Spektor

How

“I guess you know by now
That we will meet again somehow”