Pete Crompton

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Wigan NXNW Slam Tudor 10-8-2010

The new format was great fun.
What I loved about this new slam was that it was super friendly and fun. It was great to have twin microphones and stand against you opponent, bizarre it felt as though you were actually team mates! Well that is how I felt anyway. I enjoyed Darren Thomas and John Togher as the comperes, the atmosphere was party like, it didnt have the tension I normally feel in a slam evening, it felt like a party to me. Fun, fair and friendly. Great judging, a worthy winner in Racheal. Of course we all chose the wrong poem, we should have read the one about......, and "Why didnt I read that one first!" type situations, but heck thats slammin life! Loved it. I think we should have 2 microphones at the next tudor and try and link in to the previous poet stood alongside, kind of bounce off each other, could be refreshing. Twin mics all the way!

Long Live the New revived tudor.

now, all the new faces, come back, even when it aint a slam!
We are here to have fun and share our poems, we want to see you.

I loved chatting to the slammers and discussing our slam tactics, its a buzz, we are all scared and sharing it, I get in a right state everytime with the only option...of..more vodka! Sophie was joinin me in this application of alcohol I think. What can I say, loved it. Hated losin of course...ya ya ya...next slam please.......................

Kenny you are funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jefferama you had me in stiches with your on tour tales.

I'll be back next year to steal the crown.
and finally for My Darren Thomas rallying call (only he will know) "rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 01:33 am
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interesting idea - i saw some pictures on facebook before and wasn't sure what was going on... if i am honest it would probably made me more nervous but then again - not sure if i would ever want to do a slam (and i perform with a band!)
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 08:11 am
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darren thomas

Hiya Pete - the ‘new’ format was discussed as long ago as last year after a brief conversation with Scott Devon. It’s not a new system of elimination and has been used in many other competitions and league ladders over the years, it was just a case of how it would all fit with the mechanics (and the politics) of poetry Slams. John and me decided that it was worth running at The Tudor because even if it failed miserably most people would be intelligent enough to realise that it was ‘experimental’ as far as our own town’s poetry scene was concerned.

You’re spot on about the two microphones - especially as they were standing silent almost menacingly in their adversarial roles at the side of each other. However, what appeared to happen was once both poets were on stage behind their respective microphones they performed as if they were a duo. Obviously not at the same time but in their respective turns, and this (in my opinion) increased the quality and the standard of each and every performance.

Rachel was indeed a worthy winner. Although to be fair, as usual it’s a case of the width of an eye-lash between 1st and 3rd - although last night, performing experience was more apparent in those who made it to the final. Rachel may not have competed in a Slam before but she had obviously performed previously - which made her not only a wonderful poet to watch and hear - but genuinely enjoy.

I thought the level of judging was fantastic and asking a judge to name their chosen favourite some of which then instinctively went on to say just ‘why’ - made me think that perhaps in the future we could incorporate or elicit every Judge’s reasons into the mix - it all adds to the theatre.

I was more than humbled by the reaction of each poet who didn’t make it through to the next round. In a rather bizarre way having two poets ‘competing’ against one another brought the group much closer together. Yes, it had an element of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ - and yes, it was less tense - but it genuinely felt like the real Tudor mojo had returned even with fewer people attending than last month’s open Mic. A big ‘thank you’ to all those who participated after they said that they would - namely those below who were drawn against one another in the following way

dave ord v peter crompton
jefferama v michael wilson
sophie hall v rachel mcgladdery
steve pass v isobel

semi
peter crompton v michael wilson
rachel mcgladdery v isobel

3rd place
peter crompton v isobel

final
rachel mcgladdery v michael wilson-

unbelievably some poets failed to attend or give prior notification of their intended absence after they had ‘signed up’. Somewhere in at least one of my dictionaries there is a suitable word to describe them.

The Tudor - Two Mic's for the price of one. Now THAT'S value.
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 08:24 am
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Well I can't remember having so much fun in ages! I loved the new format. In the last Wigan slam I was on quite early. I found the judges unfathomable. One gave me a 9 and one gave me a 7. Some much weaker stuff got great scores later on - though I absolutely agreed with the 1st 2nd 3rd line-up.
I liked th simplicity of the voting system - a preferred name. Often it was obvious that there was only a bugs whisker in it and very hard for the judges.
There may only have been 8 poets but I must say, those 8 poets put on a great night's entertainment. Every poem was a winner and really worth listening to. It also permitted the audience to spend some time socialising as well as listening. The audience and the whole pub was very respectful and attentive - quite the most intimate and thrilling slam, I have ever witnessed.
I did feel a bit sorry for poets like Dave Ord, Jefferama and Sophie who were drawn against such strong contestants in the first round. It would have been nice to hear more of their stuff.
I enjoyed meeting and listening to Steve Pass. It was his first slam and there was only one vote between us. I look forward to hearing more of his stuff. I am sure he will be one to watch.

Thanks to Darren and John for organising it. Yes - I loved the twin mics - it felt more like a holidy camp - entertaining the kids and towards the end my nerves went out the window - I just strutted my stuff and loved every minute of it!
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 09:53 am
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i really enjoyed the slam...had previously been opposed to even the idea of poetry competition...but I agree with all said, that the atmosphere was great. The new format works (biological classification flow charts were invented for a reason ;) and a healthy tension, an anticipation of a winner simply added a bit of a magic glow to all contestant's most entertaining performances.
It was the first time I d heard Rachel's poetry and I was so very impressed the way it soaked straight into my skin like osmosis and snapped my synapses with unusual recognitions.
Michael's work i have always admired, the first poet I heard at my first visit to the tudor. His subject matter is compelling and he just has such a lovely voice.

i still dont believe you can compete in poetry..its so subjective, but it was unifying to watch our stars shine up there, like a proud mum would x

Thanks John and Darren. I believe I may be next years judge, so start sucking up now ;) x
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 04:24 pm
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A cracking night. Hats off to the judges who had such a hard time.... any one of those poets was a worthy winner, but Rachael really pulled all stoppers out and was a well deserved top dog.
Ive got to say though that my favourite spot was seeing Pete and Isobel square up to one another! Whilst Isobel steam rolled anyone who dared to cramp her style, and Pete waxed lyrical about the evils of the toilet roll,we all had a highly entertaining time. Well done to everyone who took part!
Cate xx
Wed, 11 Aug 2010 06:58 pm
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Pete Crompton

Oy Oy Cate!
the Loo roll poem just er, rolled out.

:-)

'Square-in' up was fun with Izzy Izzy, I also felt proud to read alongside Mike WIlson. It was really really nice feeling to read alongside.

Im very very interested in this reason, do you not all think (slammers) that you would have felt different? Is it just me and Izzy who think this, I mean, it felt like it was your team mate and NOT slam opponent, yet if you would have asked me beforehand I would have said it was to feel the opposite. I just dont understand it, I think its the fact we had rounds and that we were close, it just feels so briliantly fair at last, with one caveat ALL performers should get 2 rounds (yes i know this time not enough poets but in future maybe)

as I felt for everyone who only got chance to read once, sometimes you only get going after the 1st poem.

A test of stamina is a good way to judge a performance poet, just to see you past any beginners luck, so round after round is fair and makes me feel I have had value for money. It also gives you a chance to hone your night specific strategy if you are using one. I switched tactic halfway knowing that I come alive on the rant style/humour aspect. Writing humour is harder for me than Love/surreal poetry, but I found my real voice lies on both but true slam voice is in the humour and vitriole.

Another important thing i think is audience input, I really think it woudl have benefited for any swing vote to be from audience appointed judges too. Audience reaction was I presume taken into account by judges.

this said, the way it was done on Monday was pretty spot on. I only made it thru the 1st round by one vote, experinced winners can be out by 2nd round, and I think thats good. Knockout bang gone!

AND
who decided who read first?
example i read first on the 1st 2 rounds.

and others read 2nd on all rounds, so not sure how that effects it, I know for usre in regular slams it makes a difference.

Ideas? Thoughts on the back of Darrens Goatie Beard please.

Thu, 12 Aug 2010 12:36 am
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hey pete,
i think you are right, the first/last reader positions are very different and i think there should be a point made to variate them fairly. The judge will always have the latter poem resounding in memory. A first reader really has to blast through that.
I think your true slam voice is in vitriolic humour...that kind is caustic and burns right through there.
The reason i dont enter my poetry is that it takes a few reads...your second poem was one of them, it has complex layers. whereas the loo roll only has one or two if you can afford andrex ;) my laughter went out to the bit about trying to get your fingers through that damn plastic wrapping and delighted that ive not heard another comedian make that observation funny...and taking the blame graciously warms an audience in unity of men's shaking heads and of us girls thinking,'why i do i need half a roll for such a little pee?, I just dont know where we put it!
similarly i think jeff should have read one of his knock out comedy rants and though he showed his versatility, I think a first round should knock em down and remind just who you are and where your strength lies.
But what do i know of slam strategy's ive never entered. i liken them to the dance competitions i entered weekly growing up...every one for me was for the trophy, nothing else would do. i wouldnt want to bring that to my poetry.
i think the simple quality of rachel's work just shone through, with a steady clear strong voice and resounding connection with the audience...
who knows, maybe I had it right when i suggested that poetry just cant be judged, but it was such good fun watching it done x
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 03:05 am
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I think that it is impossible to have a perfect slam format that suits all cos at the end of the day someone has to go first or last. I was very fortunate this time in that I was last out of the hat and got to see everyone's stuff before I performed. It was a huge advantage going second in the first round - it enabled me to choose which of my pieces to do - I hadn't decided until I got up there.
I do think that class poetry - poetry that is a cut above everything else - shines through no matter where it is put. Rachel was not unlucky in her position but I am thinking back to Fatima at the last slam. She was on very early but still came through to win.
I think funny/vitriolic/ranty poetry is always at a disadvantage unfortunately. No matter how much the audience love it, it always loses to the serious impact stuff. That isn't a criticism - just an observation. Audiences want to be moved emotionally as much or more than they want to laugh - that's probably not a bad thing... but it must be hard for funny poets.
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 06:21 am
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Monday's slam was the first one I've been to. I thought the evening was very entertaining. Rachael was a worthy winner but the overall standard of poetry and performance was outstanding from everyone and many of the individual bouts could have gone either way.
I liked Pete's toilet (roll) humour and Isobel's Shakesperian poem. I enjoyed the poems of Dave Ord and Steve Pass and would have liked to have heard more of their stuff. John and Darren did a great job. Cheers
Thu, 12 Aug 2010 07:13 pm
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darren thomas

I s'pose with hindsight (or a little more foresight) the four 'losers' from the first four rounds could have had another round between themselves leaving 6 in total after that. Then 3 lots of 2 leaving three finalists taking it in turn at one mic?

There are several possibilities, all of which depend on the amount of poets who arrive and perform but over all it was a breath of fresh air - doing for Performance Poetry what Barry Hearn has done for Darts and Snooker - for now at least.

One thing that was more than apparent was that 'in house' competition appeared both healthy and productive. If we all improve as a result then it won't be too long before we can take the finest PP's on in their own back yard.

I can't wait for the next one. Where specially commissioned trophies will also be presented to the top three. The prize money will be doubled (at least) and TV rights will be sold globally. What?

Fri, 13 Aug 2010 11:34 am
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Just checking in to say that the slam was great - and I know that the new format would've worked out just great if everyone had turned up, if only for the intricate diagrams set up on the front page.
Rachel - who was the winner and also who I was up against in Round 1 was fab and I've never seen her before so that was great.

I'm not sure which Slam format I perfer yet. There are pros and cons to each. But it was nice at least to do something different.

Oh and Pete it was lovely to see you - I hope you found your shiny cufflink ;)

X
Mon, 16 Aug 2010 04:53 pm
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