Latitude 2014 – New Voices


This time last year I was performing at Larmer Tree festival, and now I’ve just come back from Latitude Festival, where I performed as part of the New Voices. It will be the first of five festivals that I will be performing at this summer, and considering how nervous I was and how surreal it seemed, it went really well.

Fellow New Voice: Charlotte Higgins

Some of my highlights from the festival include…

Poetry: Charlotte Higgins, Talia Randal and Page Match
(I didn’t see much else but poetry this day)

Music: Catfish and the Bottlemen
Poetry: Dizraeli
Other: Josie Long

Music: Haim
Poetry: Luke Kennard and Raymond Antrobus
Other: Eric Lampaert and Sophie Wu


So, Friday I arrived at the performer campsite after taking a mini-bus after my coach and a nifty little buggy (wasn’t quite so swish on the way back). In the glorious heat, I put up my tent and made my way to the poetry stage. I got there in time to see Charlotte Higgins, another New Voices poet. I loved the way she conveyed such powerful words in her softly spoken manner, and I felt this was even stronger on her Sunday night performance as her passion permeated the audience. Next up was Talia Randal and as she spoke of journeys through London, I immediately wanted to book her for She Grrrowls.

I stepped out to watch the end of Kelis and then Crystal Fighters. I was on my own and feeling a bit lonely and anxious of what lay ahead of me. I ate a Twister lolly that was more expensive than my book, but whilst I have employment, I don’t need to worry about that. Bohdan Piasecki was next up and, being the leader of the Roundhouse Collective, I then felt at home. I stuck around for Peter Hayhoe, Raymond Antrobus and Rosy Carrick’s impromptu set (which I was really happy about, so thanks George The Poet). I saw Andy Bennett, who also made me feel at home, and he gave me his food voucher, which I later spent on chilli with Ray and Hollie McNish. My anxieties were fading away fast.

I was told that Two Door Cinema Club were replaced by Lily Allen, who had already had a secret show slot. I waited too long to find out that the rumours were true. She even did a cover of a TDCC as I was walking away. I used to like her, and I liked ‘Hard Out Here’ as a song, but I don’t think her reaction to racism criticism was positive. Also, I find the rest of the album as a whole a tad boring. But, I do kind of feel I cut my nose off to spite my face and probably would have enjoyed the set. I just feel that as horrible as it is to hear accusations of racism, it is important to engage with that criticism and be open to it,because the complexities of race are just as complex as gender and we all need to learn. Just because someone does something wrong, doesn’t mean that can’t redeem themselves. Anyway, I went back to the poetry tent and watched Andy Bennett and Attila the Stockbroker, ending with Page Match, which was all amazing fun!


Saturday I slumped on a sofa to watch Josie Long, who was brilliant, and I then headed to the Poetry Stage to catch Rebecca Goss. It was incredible to hear her poetry since reading Her Birth. I watched John Osborne‘s New Blur Album for the second time and next it was Luke Wright before me. I was hoping he would do his garage track and he did! I was next up and after expecting to see the crowd dissolve, Rosy had done a lovely job of bigging me up, and there were more people left behind than I expected. The crowd was lovely and I left the stage feeling happy. I sold two books, though when I finally managed to meet my friend despite the lack of phone signal, I was told I forgot to say exactly where I would be. This meant I didn’t meet my friend straight away; I watched Richard Marsh’s show, Wing Man, as I was compelled by the subject matter and wasn’t sure whether my friend was also still in the crowd. I made my way back to my tent, meeting Peter Hayhoe and Dan Cockrill along the way. I shall blame them rather than my brain for not seeing Conor Oberst, who I was told did Bright Eyes songs to and is one of my all time favourite musicians. Still, this is part of the whole surreal experience of Latitude as a performer.

After catching one song from Conor, I watched Chimene Suleyman and then tried to contact my friend, managing to finally get through in time for First Aid Kit. We hung out with her boyfriend and brother (who bought a book – thank you!) and we watched a bit of Bombay Bicycle Club and Catfish and the Bottlemen, who were particularly great live. We saw a bit of Damon Albarn and parted ways. I returned to watch fellow New Voices Ben Norris and Tommy Sissons, Mark Grist and Dizraeli. Ben was on form and the crowd showed their appreciation with a massive queue for his Nasty Little Intro. I had seen Dizraeli years ago, but he was truly phenomenal and his time on stage whizzed by. Beat-boxer, Reeps One ended the show and I left in the middle as the rain started to fall, and after being up talking to poets until 4am the night before, I wanted an early night (in comparison) before my Sunday set.


I wanted to see Michael Rosen, but despite being up hours before, I didn’t leave early enough and the tent was full by the time I got there. Instead I watched Eric Lampaert and Sophie Wu on the Cabaret Arena and I was glad I saw them because I loved them both. I watched RSC: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again after seeing a bit of Selena Godden. I enjoyed bits of it, but I was insanely tired after having four hours sleep, and had my prescription sunglasses on, so I nodded off now and again. I heard other people saying they didn’t quite understand it all, so maybe it wasn’t the brief few seconds I missed before I jerked awake. It was interesting and quite poetic in its expression. I wanted to see The Molinogroup, but I ended up needing to swap signed copies with non-signed copies of my Nasty Little Intro. On my way back I caught some of the film about Amanda Palmer, which I enjoyed as I’ve loved her since The Dresden Dolls. I then saw Andy Bennett and was excited to hear some of his epic poem, to be published by Nasty Little Press. Luke Kennard was amazing to watch; at first I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he was just as entertaining on the stage as on the page. Next I saw the lovely Deanna Rodger before heading off to watch Parquet Courts who were great. So great, in fact, that a drunken man came on stage thrashing a chair to the floor, jumping around in joy, and left waving his cock at the audience. I wished I wasn’t on my own and tired and standing on the edge rather than in the mosh pit. Oh to be young. I felt very old looking at all the teenagers, despite being told on my return at Tesco in Wimbledon that I looked sixteen.


I walked over to the poetry stage via Woman’s Hour, annoyed at my disappointing noodles, but happy to catch some Roger McGough. I watched Haim who were incredible live, and got ready for my final set whilst watching Lemn Sissay and Jonny Fluffypunk from backstage. I felt nervous again, and I think I built up my expectations and left the stage not feeling as good. I didn’t get a big queue like Ben, but I hold on the the moment where one of the audience members asked for a hug, saying thank you in a way in which it was clear something I said had moved him. I clung onto that to make myself feel better about not selling as many books, not realising how much I wanted people to like me and my poetry and validate me by buying my book. I told myself that this hug was what poetry was all about (and not because he fancied me, Ben!)

I didn’t bother coming out for The Black Keys, and watched James Grady, Tim Clare, Charlotte Higgins, Ben Norris, Raymond Antrobus and Scroobius Pip. I hadn’t seen James before, so it was great to see him. I had seen part of Tim’s show, but seeing a whole hour was fantastic. I got a bit emotional at one point… strangely identifying with Tim’s anxiety but in a very different way as he is more extrovert and I’m more introvert. I’ve said Ray was one of my highlights from that day because he really stepped up the the pre-Scroobius slot and it went perfectly. We all stood up for the final act of the night and enjoyed the familiar spoken word until he was played out with ‘if you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.’ I failed miserably at talking to Scroobius Pip, unsure how to say ‘remember when I judged you at that slam…’ a story I regularly drop into conversation when the man in question comes up. Instead I spoke to some merry Northern poets, introduced myself to John Cooper Clarke, and hung out with Ben and Bodhan until I couldn’t face dancing awkwardly anymore, and had an early night at 2am.

I ended my time at Latitude with a 40 minute trek, with my camping gear, trying to find where to get my bus from. The directions were very very poor. I should have waited for a buggy and told it to take me there. I set off at 7.50am and didn’t get on the bus until 9.35am and being the last one on, they weren’t even sure if there was room. ‘Er, that’s my coach, I am getting on,’ I thought. The journey back was fine and I nodded off a bit, unable to read Caroline Bird’s beautiful poetry as I had intended. Overall, it was a brilliant weekend and couldn’t have gone much better! I was so tired each night, I even managed to sleep through thunderstorms. I am truly thankful to Luke Wright and Tania Harrison for putting me on the bill, as well as all the many poets who made me feel part of the family.

Nasty Little Intro – Out Now!


Head over to the Nasty Little Press website to buy my Nasty Little Intro for just £2, or save on postage and packaging by catching me at a festival, gig or She Grrrowls event. There are just 200 copies and both Hannah Jane Walker and Sye Sanders have sold out, so snap them up fast! I highly recommend all the others on offer as I have read them all.

On Friday I’m off to Latitude Festival to perform as a New Voice on the Poetry Stage. I’m extremely excited, and rather overwhelmed at the surreal feeling that I was at Larmer Tree Festival last year and now I’m at lots of different festivals. Teenage Carmina would be proud. Being a strange concoction of introvert + shy girl + quiet one, all my joy is naturally bobbing along with a undercurrent of nervous anxiety. Poets are generally lovely though, so hopefully I’ll be okay and not have to rely too much on the magic fridge I’ve been told about.

On my return I will be collaborating with Not So Popular on the next She Grrrowls event at Blessings in Shoreditch on Wednesday 23rd July. We have Hannah ChutzpahSelina NwuluAmy AcreKemi Taiwo, Prudence Chamberlain, Eley Williams and more.


Nasty Little Press and Festival News

I’m thrilled to announce that this July I will be publishing a mini-book of work as an part of the ‘Intro’ series with Nasty Little Press. In 2011/12 I completed an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship (aka Survival Guide for Artists) and one of the goals I wrote done specified getting a pamphlet published by Nasty Little Press, so… two years later, life feels pretty unreal right now. The books have just come through for me to number and sign – they are a limited edition print of 200 and cost just £2 and will be available to by online and in person.


Under the ‘Stage’ section of goals in my Arts Plan, after ‘organise my own series of poetry events’ was ‘perform at Latitude’. Through dreaming big and planning pragmatically, I am slowly making steps with my ambitions.



So, this summer I am extremely excited (and a bit terrified) to be performing at a total of four festivals. First up is Latitude, where I will be performing a mixture of old and new work as a New Voice at 2pm on the Saturday, and 8.30pm on the Sunday on the Poetry stage. Since winning the 16-25 category of Poetry Rivals, I will also be performing an hour long set at Secret Garden Party  at 5pm on the Sunday at the new Amphitheatre stage. Everyone is free to come and go within that hour (except my boyfriend).

Then I’ll be heading to Camp Bestival and Bestival as part of Roundhouse Poetry Collective of 2013-14. This was also listed in my Arts Plan as a goal. At Camp Bestival the collective will performing on Guardian Literary Institute stage (5-6pm) and The Den Stage (Saturday 11am-12pm), and at Bestival you will find us in the The Amphitheatre. Although only a couple of poets photographed on the websites are actually in the collective, we will soon be officially launching ourselves out there, equip with a new name, and hopefully some promotional photographs. We will be performing our final showcase at the Roundhouse on Wednesday 20th August.



Towards the end of May I did a spoken word set at headCRASH Cabaret and tried out some new material. Some of this is currently being edited and any feedback would be greatly appreciated as I am working towards a first collection.

In other news, there’s going to be a change of features for my event Carmina’s Poetry Tease as sadly Hannah Jane Walker has been forced to pull out. I’m currently emailing madly to try to find a suitable replacement. There’s so many people I would love to perform at the event but I’m also wanting to keep in mind the kind of event this is and the ethos of it. I’ve emailed a couple of people that are so famous it’s unlikely I’ll get them but it’s worth a shot. There are so many amazing poets but I don’t want to barrage everyone with messages just yet so I am nervously awaiting a handful of responses to see if anyone is able to do it yet! I really want to sort it out – ideally before Latitude as it would be a great time to try to talk to people about it, and potentially discuss it further with the poet that accepts the offer!

If any poets out there think they may be able to step in and think they are aligned with the ethos of the event, I’m looking for… ideally female poets, poets that bridge the gap between the page and the stage, poets that exist as established names in the scene, poets willing to share old material with some newer poems, and poets that value the arts. Just contact me via email at

On Tuesday 10th July (this coming Tuesday!) I will be headlining at Words, Words, Words as part of Kingston’s International Youth Arts Festival. I still have some free guest-list tickets if anyone would like to contact me about them. Otherwise, it’s only £5 and there’s an array of talented people joining the line-up – all under 25 years of age!


Reasons to Live in Norwich

My boyfriend, obviously.

I did a gig at The Birdcage. I tried to do my set off by heart. I’d practiced intermittently the last couple of weeks. I stumbled a few times but I did not reach for my paper (not concealed in my boots this time, I admitted that it was the poems that were peaking out of my cardigan pocket). Host, Andy Bennett, compared me to Dockers MC which was cool. It’s actually the second time that’s happened, so I’m thinking of starting to market myself as “a posh Laura Dockrill” or “a shy Laura Dockrill”.

Ben Smith eased us into the night with laughs that played on prediction and expectations, leaving me to be the filling in a comedy sandwich. It was a fine evening of entertainment, including comedian Alex Holland who I could really relate to with his tales of walking through groups of teenagers in fear. I was excited to see Lewis Buxton who I’d heard was similar to Luke Wright and I could see why people would say that; with his confident manner, his way of delivery and use of narrative and skillful use of rhythm and rhyme.

Adam Warne wove between poetry and comedy and appeared very naturally, taking away the microphone and telling us of Facebook anecdotes in between sonnets. John Osborne read us some lovely new poems about seaside towns and afterwards I got a nice message of compliments about my set which made me very happy. To round off night night, Cielo performed with a female violinist to add to the mix. It was a great set and my boyfriend loved it to so I’m glad he saw them, especially as they have some motivational songs, which he’s always on the look out for!

Ross Sutherland – Comedian Dies in the Middle of Joke

Molly Naylor and The Middle Ones

John Cooper Clarke

Latitude Poetry Club

Again, nights at The Birdcage. Clunge Collective the other night, and headCRASH – where my next gig will be on June 20th.


“Are you doing burlesque?” – “No, I’m doing poetry”

On Sunday 4th March I finally made my first appearance at Finger in the Pie Cabaret at Madame JoJo’s. I did a sound check which was a bit odd as I’ve never really done one before. I then had a long time to wait in the dressing room. My nerves were building in this time, and made all the more intense as the room was bursting with other performers; mostly burlesque dancers. The atmosphere was more intense than other poetry gigs, because there was more of a sense of unity and collectivism – we were putting on a show together, rather than just individually putting on each act. It was a very supportive and friendly environment. Everyone was lovely, but burlesque dancers Shady Lane and Velvet Lune spoke to me the most. Marga, another burly girl, from Italy, made a great effort to speak to everyone. Although not in the show, Annaliza Jennings was also really lovely – she does the marketing side of The Cheek of It!

The butterflies in my stomach, and sudden mind-blanks regarding my act, reminded me of my days at Gemini Dancers shows (Royal Albert Hall baby!) and UEA Dance Squad and Pole Dancing competitions. Before taking to the stage, the hosts (Moonfish Rhumba, reminded me a bit of Flight of the Conchords) assumed I would be doing burlesque when checking my act, and I told them I was actually doing poetry. They were going to mention I had books to sale (Carmina’s Poetry Tease) but sadly didn’t which is a shame because I would have mentioned it myself at the end and maybe would have sold some. It’s not really something you can just mention every time someone compliments you!

I wish someone had filmed the performance as it pretty much went perfectly. I was thrown a bit at one point when I thought someone had been laughing inappropriately, but I remembered all my poems – yay! I felt I performed well and gave a performance worthy of the £10/12 entry (although, as we discussed, none of us were getting paid). I think most of the material I chose suited the environment and I got a few laughs. And although I felt a little less glamorous than all the burly girls, without the glitter, I thought that my outfit gave a nod to the cabaret surroundings, wearing my pink fascinator (which I love). As I stepped out of the backstage area and into the audience, I was surprised by the people sitting directly behind the door. A guy gave me a thumbs up (which I will assume was in approval of my performance) and a few other people congratulated me on my efforts and said they enjoyed it. One girl put it on the same level as Glastonbury performances (organisers, take note for 2013!) Overall, it was a great show and I was really happy to be a part of it.

I did decide to take out one the poems I was going to read as it may have been misconstrued, as there is a line that says ‘I will not wear nipple tassels and knickers and call myself burlesque.’ I had the feeling that this may be seen as a negative statement and I didn’t want to have to explain myself. What I mean by that line is more complicated than a statement about burlesque dancing. It is more about the idea that not everyone can be a burlesque dancer, and is more a reference to girls that go out clubbing in such attire (I have witnessed a picture of one girl where she only had one of the nipple tassels on) and a comic poking at myself for times I may have gone out with too-revealing clothes, where the goal is to attract male attention. It is a statement to say I will not act like that, with an implication that maybe you have in the past but need to embrace the past and what you have learnt.

It is also about the discussions that took place at Madame JoJo’s. The burly girls told me that the clientele of the Proud Cabaret at Fenchurch Street wasn’t nice. I got the impression it had a seedy vibe, and attracted leery men that just want to see naked women, which is not what burlesque is about. If I were ‘Proud’ I’d take on board the feelings of the performers and get stricter with the audience. The point is, there is so much more to burlesque than simply taking your clothes off and I realised that more than ever being in the company of such lovely ladies; witnessing the nerves, the glitter, the hairspray and the huge amount of preparation it takes to get an act polished to perfection.

Here’s the full poem:

Tick the Box

I will buy a Yorkie bar, let it melt in my mouth and drink milk,
ignore the calories and not stick my fingers down my throat to be sick.
I will dream I have a dick
at night in my bed alone, wrapped in Cath Kidson flowers

I will be unattainable, no I’m not available
for you to screw, do what you do, and leave in the gutter
like butter wouldn’t melt.
And any tears I cry are simply for the time I’ve wasted in my life
over those that didn’t deserve more than the stir
of the spoon in my cup of tea,
because life is short and some people you just don’t need.

I will drink a cocktail or a can of lager,
and don’t want to know you if you judge me on the choice.
I will be shy as I am but you will never take my voice.

I will not wear nipple tassels and knickers and call myself Burlesque.
I will not fuck drunk, load each hole with spunk and call myself a feminist.
I will not be a nought
or throw myself over the balcony
or drown myself in the river
or have my tongue cut out by some Tereus
I will not be trapped in the attic
or be called over-dramatic,
or be told to rest, suffocated by yellow wallpaper
until my death.

I will not let you put me in a box of what you think female should be,
all I know is who I am, and I can only be me.

It has been a bit of a Feminist weekend. On the Saturday I had taken the day off work to go to the Million Women Rise march. Sadly, none of my friends came along so I had to go on my own. It was a rainy morning but by the time I arrived at Bond Street, the sun was shining. I got a bit of free cake from the Hare Krishna stand and chatted to a couple of people. We marched through the streets with tourists snapping cameras and filming like we were celebrities.

It was great doing the different chants and making a statement in such a way, that seemed to have more impact than Reclaim the Night due to its central pathway. My favourite was ‘power to the women, women have the power, sisters can you hear me, getting strong by the hour. Power! Power!’ This was because, it felt (needless to say really) very empowering. The rally in Trafalgar Square was interesting, informative and very moving.

Taking advantage of my time off work, I also went with a friend I hadn’t seen in ages to the Hayward Gallery. David Shrigley’s Brain Activity and Jeremy Deller’s Joy in People was showing. I’d only seen Shrigley in books and in collective exhibitions.

It was great to see the variety of work he has done and his 3D work, which is pretty much like walking into a pop-up book of his illustration work. He is known for being very comic, but it was interesting to see the more macabre side.

I was not really that aware of Deller,
however, I really enjoyed what he brought to the show, and found it interesting how
a thread of the concept of obsession in his work. The mining stories reminded me of my Grandad as he is from Barnsley, which was the setting at the point I started viewing from. It was also intriguing to watch the piece about Depeche Mode fans.

It also documented a lot
of the 80s and 90s which gave it a real sense of that era. I especially liked the quirkiness of the cafe installation, and the recreation of his bedroom exhibition. I also liked Pensées, which included extracts from his artist’s book, compiled from toilet graffiti – and in this case, surrounding an actual toilet. When a queue formed, this amused me quite a bit.

I found both artists inspiring in terms of my own work. Deller’s bedroom piece had elements of my own idea for my MA showcase. Shrigley inspired me in the more general sense, about how text and imagery work together, as well as this mixture of comedy and tragedy.

Well, it’s a longer post than usual, so if you’ve made it to here, congratulations. One last note; you can now find my work on Zukuri UnLtd – I have one piece up and running, with the next to follow shortly.

On here, look out for the Artist of the Month for March. As you can see, I’ve been busy, but it’ll be posted soon. Meanwhile, see if you can guess who it might be?! Also, I will be attending Lady Ha Ha  at Norwich Playhouse, to celebrate International Women’s Day. Let me know what you’re doing for it!


Surreal House & Latitude Festival

Last Thursday I went to meet up with my Gran at Barbican.  We went to Indulgence Bar & Grill for Pimms and a two course lunch, which was really nice.  We went to the Surreal House exhibition at the Barbican Centre afterward.  It was really interesting, although I had seen some of the pieces previously.  I liked the psychological side of it, and the links with poetry and literature. 

One section also reminded me of an experience I had at my Gran’s cottage in Sussex once.  I was unsure if it was a dream at the time, as it was so strange, I could only describe it as a nightmare.  I was in the same position in bed, but I felt a cold presence , and a pressure as though someone was trying to suffocate me, and I wanted to call for help but I could speak or move I recently found out his is quite a common thing, called Sleep Paralysis.  I’m glad I’ve only experienced it once, it was really scary!

Anyway, on Friday at 4:45am I awoke to begin my journey to Latitude Festival!  I was going alone, and I knew a few people going but would only see them in the evening as I planned to spend most of the day in the poetry tent.   The text I had with te instructions I realised had given me over an hour to travel from Waterloo to Liverpool Street!  So, I took a bit of extra time, but still had to wait for ages.  On the train to Halesworth, Niall O’Sullivan had booked his seat next to me and I was only half sure it was him, as I’ve only seen him in person a couple of times at the Poetry Cafe.  Anyway, I realised it was him for sure when he came on stage haha!  So, I’d wasted time talking about who was sitting where, when I could have been talking about… I don’t know, poetry I guess, or how to get backstage haha.

So, as I enjoyed everyone’s acts, I’ll try to keep it concise.  I got to the poetry tent at around midday; I sadly missed Molly Naylor’s set, and arrived in the middle of Sabrina Mahfouz’s set, who I’d seen at the Feminist Midsummer party (my MySpace blog for details).  Luke Wright was the MC for this section,and I’ve seen in Norwich before (and even lay down near me at one point) and also at Southbank for E4’s Udderbelly.  Next was Rosy Carrick, who I can’t actually remember as it was so long ago but I’m sure she was amazing haha. I remember Martin Figura, and as he brought the poems to read from it made me think I could be up there next year, if only I knew how to go about it… Anyway, next was Niall O’Sullivan and his set was really good, though all the while I was kicking myself for the train seat business.  I left for a bit to get a drink then saw a bit of “Larkin about”, followed by Paul Lyalls who I just had to remind myself of, but remember him also being very good now I’ve reminded myself of what he looks like!  I’ve been writing my diary and other such stuff so I’m afraid I’m not going to offer much more varied descriptions… but if you’re reading I’ve linked all of the poets so you should just check them out for yourselves!

Kriss Foster was next, and although he was entertaining I’m not sure I’d describe him as poetry, more of a cabaret act, or an act for a small music stage.  Then it was Tongue Fu which made me want to try out the event, which basically consists of a jazz band playing music while you try to read your poetry over the top of it.  I’m very much interested in the ways poetry and music overlap, so it’s something I’d like to try out, though I can’t help thinking it would go horribly wrong the first time.   Anyway, after that was Joel Stickly who started to MC the next section.  Some of his set was good but I wrote down to remind myself that I didn’t like a poem he did about a woman with a double chin, I think it’s a cheap shot at an attempt to be amusing… I have a thing about judging people’s physical appearances.  Maybe because I’m so insecure myself that I wouldn’t want to pass judgement on someone else unless it was about their personality and the fakeness of their hair on hair adverts *cough* Cherly Cole/Tweedy *cough*.  Next was Tim Cockburn, who is often published in Stop Sharpening Your Knives, and I just checked and I submitted but was rejected – boooo!

Hannah Walker was up next and I remember seeing her a few times in Norwich, and she is so much better than the first time I saw her, as I wasn’t blown away then, but now I would probably say she was one of my favourite acts of the day.  Martin Newell I thought was really cool and really enjoyed his set.  Next was Clare Pollard and again I really enjoyed her, I felt like I’d seen her before but I’m not sure where.  Rhian Edwards was okay, I think perhaps she is more of a “page poet” but now that I think about it, it was probably just because I needed the toilet and wanted to get some food, but I didn’t leave when she was on so it must have been good!

I went to the comedy tent with my chicken and chips and saw David O’Doherty.  I recognised some of his set, but I think he’s really funny so I stayed to the end and got to hear some new material too.  I sung along to Laura Marling as I walked past the Obelisk Arena (note how they don’t say “main stage”) as she was on a bit late and I wanted to get back to Ross Sutherland.  I’d seen her at Hop Farm and she was amazing, and would have loved to watch her again, but oh well.  Ross did this thing where you write a line of poetry and members of audience did the same and then he’d read out the results.  I was right at the front, directly before him, so I went to grab the clipboard.  The first line he’s written was ‘Bob Geldof didn’t cry when’ and I wrote ‘his daughter fell into the river’ as it was the first thing that came to me.  As I passed it along, I realised it’s not only appropriate (Latitude has a river) but one of his daughters is Peaches, who has annoyed me since she got a column for Ellegirl magazine and can’t even write well.  So that was a close as I’d got to introducing myself.

I can’t remember what I did next, probably went for another drink – damn those pesky plastic eco-refillable-cups!  I was back for Byron Vincent who was really good and wearing what appears to be his signature stage outfit.  Anna Freeman was I think built up a bit too much, but still was entertaining enough.  Kate Tempest was amazing as always, I would have gone round to buy her book & CD but they said it was £20 and so I think it’ll have to be one for the Christmas list! I’ve decided all I want is poetry books.  Although, I will probably ask for some clothes too as I love new clothes and never really buy new stuff other than as pressies from my parents.

Next up was El Crisis who was good, but I preferred his act when he was part of the Spoken Word Allstars later.   Joshua Idehen was next, who I knew from seeing at Farrago events, and he took over as MC.  Hollie McNish was next who I also know from Farrago events and have mentioned previously in my blog.  Then it was Chris Hicks who I very much enjoyed, and I think may have seen in Norwich before.  Inua Ellams I’ve also seen at Farrago (good thing I’m back doing a feature there this Thursday!), and he was really good, seemed like a really sweet guy as well.  He started to go over time though so had to leave the stage, at which point I went to check my tent hadn’t blown away and got a jumper for later.  Amazingly, with all the wind my tent was still held by five pegs in the sand-like soil.  I must have been a bit tipsy by then as I had jotted down a poem in my notepad, I say poem, it was more like a list, and a list I gave up with at that.  Here it is:

The Portrait of a Lady

over a third the way through

with the España bookmark,

a much loved jumper given by a friend

to be lost this Sunday,

the tent,

the sleeping bag,

the toilet roll from the last festival.

I walked past Florence & The Machine, who could be heard from my camp anyway.  I bought some nachos and another pint, as I was feeling a bit peckish again.  I watched the Spoken Word Allstars which was really cool, a kind of blend of poetry and music.  Next was Brigitte Aphrodite who I would have seen before at Southbank at the launch of Laura Dockrill’s book but I think me and my mate Ricky were a bit late as he’s always late and therefore I blame him!  She was really entertaining and I loved her glittery outfit, and she seemed like a nice girl.

 I went to get another drink and it was getting quite difficult to get out.  However, by the time I got back, Tim Clare was on and I couldn’t get back to where I was sat as it was so crowded.  It pissed me off to be honest, and I thought where were you before eh?  Everyone suddenly wanting to be at the poetry tent.  I’d heard good things of Tim and although it was good, it was a bit disappointing that over half his set was basically comedy.  It’s nice to have a laugh between poems, but sometimes people think it’s only entertaining when it’s funny which I disagree with, and seeing as Kate Tempest probably had the biggest applause out there, I think we can see that I’m right haha, as she can make me laugh and cry, you know, that’s skill.  Anyway, then it was Eddie Argos from Art Brut.  I saw him in his band years ago in Brixton Windmill and I thought they were overrated.  Although I saw Luke Wright loving it at the front, I have to say I didn’t really see his set as extremely poetic.  At this time I’d bumped into someone from uni so I wasn’t paying enough attention to properly judge.

I went to get another drink… I thought I should get a bit tipsy since I had no booze of my own and was planning to meet up with people after.  Sadly, I had no reception just at the time I needed it, and there was nowhere to use a phone that would work, a nice girl lent me hers but then there was no answer.  I walked around, wanting to dance with everyone but not wanting to look weird and dance on my own.  I didn’t want to waste the night so wandered into a tent where people were playing pass the parcel to a jazz band, and it was all quite surreal, then people were muttering something about Phil Jupitas in the Cabaret tent, so I went along but it was just him DJing.  I felt a bit down and disappointed as I made my way back to my tent.  I tried reading Henry James but the batteries in my torch were going and I was too drunk and tired to be bothered, so I tried to get to sleep.  I was woken at like 5am by kids being loud as they left with their family.  It was really hot by then, so I drifted in and  out (but mostly out) of sleep until 9ish.

I packed up and waited around an hour for the shuttle bus.  The bus to the station then didn’t leave until 11:05am.  I saw Marie from my internship was sat in front of it which was a weird coincidence, I don’t think I was aware of her going, or at least I couldn’t remember she was.  I managed to get on the trains I needed earlier despite my ticket being for specific trains.  I was dying for water as there wasn’t any at the campsite and couldn’t go back into the arena (even though the camp was meant to provide water).  I waited until I got to Liverpool street at about 2pm and bought some Quavers and a bottle of Ribena, which ever since Reading with Ribena ice lollies has started to be a good hangover cure.  My mum luckily picked me up from Clapham Junction, but it was a bit annoying as I was earlier than expected and had to wait around 20mins for her to turn up.  Once she arrived I was alright and went home and just relaxed.  We got a Thai takeaway, but it was a bit average.  Then watched The Women, which was totally the type of film I wanted to watch, but no way would I recommend it haha!

Anyway, time for Big Brother like now, so I better go!


p.s. After Big Brother I found out two rapes happened at Latitude.  One of them was a group rape which is horrific to think about, that a group of men stood round to watch.  It makes me fucking sick.  Not to mention that I was alone at the festival, and the thought that it could have been me, I’m so lucky, those poor girls, to have their lives destroyed like that from one stupid prick!