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Performance poetry or just shouting?

I like shouting.
I like poetry as well, so combining the two seems a likely direction. That said, there is a difference between reading a sample on a screen and hearing it through the poets mouth. would you rather buy a book by a poet, or a CD of them half pissed and shouting as in the background public patrons laugh at own jokes and order drinks?
Fri, 11 Aug 2006 11:07 am
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Pete Crompton


with regard to the poet being half pissed, its a lot easier to perform half pissed than fully pissed, so thats a start for them. As a performance poet myself I found that i needed a few drinks to 'loosen up' . I consider myself someone who shouts when reading my poetry and that is becuase i am passionate about it, there is shouting - and there is shouting. It is like with many things - its 'how you do it' , not 'what you do'

regarding the people in the 'pub' being in the background. If the cd is worth its money it would have been recorded from a decent set of microphones, typically a pair, and the mixing desk should be such that there is a balance between background and ambient sounds , along with the poets voice.

it may be necassary in order to achieve the atmosphere to hear the 'pub' ambience before the piece is performed , then if done correctly the cd should be produced by using the microphone slider on the input to the sound desk.

Have you purchased a CD ? if so perhaps you could suggest to the vendor or producer / poetthat you found the noises distracting.

I understand it can be frustrating, I have on my own collection of performances, suffered with the noises from the pub / venue . I prefer theatre environment with the bar outside and you bring your drinks in (such as Green Rooms , Manchester...or contact theatre)
Sun, 13 Aug 2006 08:43 am
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I think hearing the poem straight from the horses mouth actually adds a lot more to the poem than reading it on a computer screen or a page of a book.
Thu, 21 Sep 2006 10:27 am
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"I consider myself someone who shouts when reading my poetry and that is becuase i am passionate about it, there is shouting - and there is shouting."

Unfortunately, Pete, most of the time people can't hear what it is you're actually shouting about, because they can't discern the words from the noise. I've seen you a couple of times, and can't actually remember a thing you said. Though it was probably passionate, and may even have been important...

Slowing down, taking a few deep breaths and actually pacing yourself are actually a better way of getting out what it is you have to say.
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 03:18 pm
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Pete Crompton

I know what you mean there Steve.
I cant recall a word of it either.
Its why I still take pieces of plastic menu cards with me, you know with the poems written on.

I wondered why you never came to the shows any more.
I always thought passion was a feeling rather than a word.

I definitely know what you mean about not recalling what someone said, I saw you read a few times and cant recall even a name of a poem you read and that's because your performance was dull, un-animated and to be frank, stuffy . There are extremes.In performance, perhaps we are at either ends you and I.

that said, I took the time to READ your stuff which I enjoyed and thought it to be high quality.
I agree there's no point ranting on if the audience cant decipher unless that's the intention of course. As I said passion is a feeling. Passion is enough to get results, you must harness and learn.I'll take your points on-board and they are appreciated.

see you at the Trof where we have to shout ridiculously loud to be heard.

This thread is 2 years old aint it?
talk about delayed reaction, where you been!

seriously though Steve, If you do the Trof gig again YOU WILL HAVE TO USE THE MIC !

we could not hear you at the back.

Mon, 14 Jul 2008 04:51 pm
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Well what can I say? You've got chilli sauce on your chin (from Bad Kebab) always sounds very funny with the intonation Pete gives it! This was apparent when Frank read this poem of Pete's at the last Wigan WoL.

As for Pete ranting that's part of his style but his diction has clarity and I, as I'm sure many would agree can always here the full content of his poems. Plus his delivery lends itself to his expression of the piece if you watch him.

He has won many slams, and has a great profile in the North West scene, perhaps artistic envy there Steve!

By the way you should listen to Man Alone, very funny but filled with pathos as I'm sure many single guys may relate to this!
Mon, 14 Jul 2008 05:05 pm
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"He has won many slams, and has a great profile in the North West scene, perhaps artistic envy there Steve!"

I have never had any interest in that appalling American invention, the Slam. Any more than I'm interested in MacDonald's, Dunkin' donuts or other fast food outlets. Why I should be envious of a slam winner, I've no idea.

I'd still like to hear what Pete's got to say. I've read some of his poems online, and they're worth hearing.
Tue, 15 Jul 2008 12:38 pm
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Steve you need to get over yourself you are making a lot of sweping statements and judgements about people you don't even know!

Chill out man!
Tue, 15 Jul 2008 03:47 pm
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It seems to me that Steve is tending to get up on his high horse a bit much. In any artform there are going to be styles of work and delivery. If there were not then we would have little real variety.

A couple of years ago I shared a stage with a group of rappers. Now rap has never been my style and I'm certainly not a fan BUT - and this is the important bit - I put my prejudices to one side and listened to their words. And when we had a lunch break I chatted with the group and was really impressed with what they had to say and what their concerns were. I was also surprised that they wanted to know more about the poetry myself and others were performing.

I'm still not a rap fan, as I expect Steve is not a Peter Crompton fan, but I did gain from the experience and I will always appreciate artistic endeavour even when I don't like the style.

In Peter's case I appreciate and like his style. I think he brings a passion and intensity to his work which could just not happen if he slowed it down and delivered more quietly. So to Peter I would say keep on doing what you do - you enliven the poetry scene and it is such variety that will bring the artform to the notice of a wider audience.

To Steve I would say to continue working the way you do, avoid Americana if you like, and we will still appreciate what you do. But please try to have a more open and accepting approach to the work and styles of others.

Tue, 15 Jul 2008 10:27 pm
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darren thomas

I've never met Steven Waling. I have however, read some of his work and witnessed some of the comments that he's made on this site over the last, what? Eighteen months?
It seems to me that everybody likes to have a dig at him for speaking his opinions, which, under normal circumstances, are usually well articulated and filled with an apparent quest for literary knowledge. His opinions therefore have to be respected before they can be readily dismissed.

Only when we have read as many books as Mr Waling, then perhaps we too can become as book enlightened. Until that time, let us all soak our minds into the stagnant water's of reality and dry ourselves on each other's empirical towels.

Let's not get offended when people say we're shite. Learn to live with that perceived failure. Enjoy the fruits of 'averageness'. Wallow in the steaming mudbath of 'mediocrity'. Wade, armpit deep, into the well of 'delusion' and then, and only then, will we begin to enjoy the view from where we're currently at - with our shoulders back and double chins held high and shouting,


And that Sir, nobody - can - deny.

* I admire SW for his honesty. Sugar coated back scratchers are not in my house either. Personally, I enjoy Pete's work. He performs it with a passsion that I can only dream of spelling. I am not SLAM friendly. They are far too 'panto' for me and my austere fat face. Now - leave our Pete alone.
My Dad's bigger than your Dad.
Tue, 15 Jul 2008 11:21 pm
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"I'm still not a rap fan, as I expect Steve is not a Peter Crompton fan,"

I said that his poems are worth hearing. My criticism is that I can't hear them, it's nothing to do with the standard of his poems. Please don't put words in my mouth.
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:40 am
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"avoid Americana if you like"

Most of my influences as a writer are actually American: New York School, Beat, Black Mountain poets.

And I love Americana, especially Calexico, Lambchop and M Ward.

It's just that I think that Slam's are more to do with that side of America that brought us the invasion of Iraq and the World Wrestling Federation than with poetry. It's a bear-pit mentality.

I happen to believe that poetry has more to do with beauty than with competition.
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:44 am
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Pete Crompton


I was annoyed at first as it seemed so random and unfair. You implied I have no stage skill.

This thread is 2 years old, I have moved on since it was started, I reckon in the early days you may have had a point, though its unfair to make a statement about me unless you seen a good cross section of my performances. People change and learn. I agree I used to bawl it out, and still do sometimes.

You made a statement here and It seemed strange and out of the blue as its such a long time ago, why suddenly come back on board with it. I'm 2 years on from that time. Have you been to a show recently.?

I do accept your point.
at the other end of the spectrum, you can be too quiet and that was my criticism with you at the Trof, and it was difficult to recall what you said, I put that down to a very very noisy Trof (very difficult venue sometimes)

can we leave this thread here me and Steve will chat when we meet up.
Wed, 16 Jul 2008 11:58 am
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