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Petersfield -

Entry: £6

Open Mic Event

Contact: Leah, 0783 431 6040 or www.petersfieldwriteangle.co.uk

Write Angle Open mic PLUS Guest Performers Poetry & Music, the third Tuesday of every month.

Guests include Richard Digance, John Hegley, Attila the Stockbroker, Richard Digance, Rachel Pantechnicon, Speech Painter, Sara Hirsch, Patience Agbabi, Susan Richardson, Mab Jones, Audi Maserati, AF Harrold, Pete the Temp, Hannah Tristram, Brendan Cleary, Jonny Fluffypunk, Jude Simpson, Paul Lyalls, Johnny Jet, Project Adorno...and more
PLUS OPEN MIC Every Month

21st November 2017 19:30

ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER – UNDAUNTED!

A lunatic misogynist billionaire with a nuclear hairdo had a date with a nuclear button in the White House, having received about 3 million votes fewer than his opponent. The UK hurtles towards Brexit after the most virulently xenophobic right wing press campaign in British history and a vote based on a bunch of ‘promises’ which were repudiated the day after the result. (Attila’s no Remain fanatic either) And on a far more positive note Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour wins its biggest share of the General Election vote for 20 years with an unashamedly socialist manifesto!

The world's changing fast, but Attila's been keeping up - and he's more fired up than in his 36 years as a performance poet! He believes he understands why it's all happening. At his gigs all over Europe you will have heard his humourous and hard-hitting take on the momentous events of the last few months - and much more.

He's discovered his deeply personal side, and has been writing poignantly about his family, and recent cancer diagnosis. These evolved into his latest collection ’Undaunted’. He'll also be reading from his fascinating autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’ as well as his songs, accompanied by his trusty mandola, Nelson. All these are bound to make you laugh, cry or get very very angry. Whatever, you can be sure you'll leave still feeling Attila's presence is with you!

For those not aware, Attila was launched into public consciousness by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel in 1982/83. He's toured in 24 countries, done over 3400 gigs and released over 40 CDs/LPs/singles, 8 books of poetry and his autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’.

In the UK and other English speaking countries, he's best known for his spoken word poetry and acoustic songs, but in mainland Europe he's better known as the leader of his band, BARNSTORMER, who have regularly toured Germany, Holland, Austria and Switzerland since forming in 1994. They've done well over 700 gigs. Barnstormer play an energetic and melodic mixture of medieval music and punk and they've released 4 albums of Attila’s compositions. The band line up consists of Jason Pegg – guitar, Cookie – bass, M.M.McGhee – drums and Attila on fiddle, mandola, recorders and vocals.

Along with this very special guest, Write Angle will have its Regular and Popular Open Mic for those of you who'd like to come and share your talents! You don't have to be a star. But if you do want to, you have to start somewhere! Take a step on the WA ladder to fame! Bring your poetry, guitars, music, song...and just enjoy! Or just come and enjoy the evening! We guarantee you won't be disappointed! The gig is at Townhouse Pub/Bistro, 28, High St, Petersfield, GU32 3JL - 7.15pm for 7.30pm, Entry £6.

The raffle will be for two free meals at an excellent local restaurant . Who knows. You just might win it!

Time: 7:30pm (7.15 for 7.30pm)

The Townhouse

28, High Street, Petersfield, Petersfield, GU32 3JL, GB

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Monthly Event (Usually held every 3rd Tuesday of each month)

Note: Write Out Loud does its best to ensure the accuracy of event listings but can accept no liability or responsibility if it's just plain wrong.

Upcoming dates for WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC

WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19th December 2017 19:30

WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 16th January 2018 19:30

WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 20th February 2018 19:30

Reviews for WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC

leah

Sun 3rd Dec 2017 23:04

ATTILA 'FILLS' THE ROOM MORE WAYS THAN ONE!
Attila the Stockbroker filled the room at Write Angle's November gig - not only with the power of his presence but by filling the space to 'standing room only' - the best attendance in a long time. He is a masterly force of nature. His energy is boundless! Whether ranting about his political convictions, playing numerous instruments such as the mandola, mandocello, bass recorder and violin, singing the lyrics he composes, or digging deep into his feelings about illness and family, whatever he does, one feels his sincerity and natural connection with the audience. With a full programme of gigs while touring the country, Europe and beyond, he snatches time to write and compose – he wrote nine songs in the previous three weeks!

“You have to be young and black to rap!” Starting with Spirit of the Age, Attila rapped that, giving the lie to it: “I'll be rapping to the day I die.”

With his deeply held political views, he rants....and rants. Looking back to the period when England had no monarchy, he sang of the great ranter of Cromwell's Commonwealth time: ”I have been a ranter for nearly 40 years....but I'm a total lightweight compared to Abiezer Coppe.” More topical and poignant was The Royal Borough of Chelsea and Kensington who “serve Knightsbridge, not Latimer Road” ending with “Appearances matter more than flesh, skin, hair, muscle and bone.” There was also his Corbyn Supporters from Hell: “We undermine everything that moves.” In Rock n Roll Brexit, he chronicalled the formalities, difficulties and indignities of Europe with borders that he used to experience, saying that, if these had to be suffered again, “I'm British and WE HAVE TAKEN BACK CONTROL!”

In addition to his politics, what we also get is Attila the loving family man. In Never Too Late, his tribute to his step-father, He tells “You were the head of the household, I was the stroppy kid”, as a chorus to “Here's a poem I wrote for you, you decent, gentle man”; ending with “It's never too late to tell anyone you love them.” It's no wonder Attila has a fan club of over 6000 people!

At the open mic, newcomer Dick Senior had Referendum in which “John Major's bastards bided their time” until they were “probing the cracks in Cameron weak”. Still political he followed with A Famous Old Etonian, where he described Boris as “the Bullingdon” bore with “Government by the Etonians, for the Etonians”. Another newcomer, Denys Whitley, told of schooldays in Ireland with Rabbit Killers, recounting the grisley details of skinning the rabbit then “march back in triumph past the younger kids, holding up the fur and tail”. In Heliport, he told of the solar wind and the edge of the solar system – a physics lecture beyond the capability of this reviewer!

In Rosary, Sue Spiers itemised the things to pack for a holiday in Spain, if that will be possible after Brexit, ending with “Hale holiday, full of gin!” Then, in November 1987 she looked back to the devastation caused by the “worst storm in my recollection” to oak trees and people's lives. Richard Hawtree's My Tongue was a version of an early Irish poem about Cormac the king of Tara, in which, all the experiences of childhood, “seduced my tongue to what I've left half said”. Colin Eveleigh A Brush With Life paid tribute to his father, “He was never still, mostly silent and ever resourceful, my Dad”, painting everything, even his bicycle, in battleship grey - “was there no end to this dubious stash?” A keen potter, Colin tells, in Pressing the Button Marked Fire “like diving into a volcano” of the excitement of giving birth to new objects that leave to go to new homes but “Those that didn't make it, I love you even more”.

In Leah Cohen's Winter ,“Please, bury my feelings. Freeze them till the Spring”. In Child's Tale, “You love to edit the tale of my life and credit yourself as if you'd written the contents” while in My Selves , she read of meeting her selves in different places including a traffic jam on a busy day, ending with “maybe it's time we met...”. Jilly Funnell, with guitar, did a duet with Phyllida Carr, on bongo drums – a lovely tribute to Jimmy Lee, WA's October guest. Then Jilly sang her raunchy Principle Boy, about Cinderella's disappointment when Prince Charming took 'his' tights off, the consolation being “her sisters might be ugly but at least they're boys.” Richard Lanchester's Age of Enlightenment was dedicated to poet Heathcote Williams, telling how everyone says, “We got to have more” but all his things are second-hand -”I'm not part of the rush to buy the newest, the latest.”
Andy, from Hoyk in the Scottish Borders menaced your reviewer with talk of imminent class war; then, in The Lonely Man Contemplates His Non-existence, he gave a truly lyrical description of a walk in the rain and mist with his girl, who asked, “have you ever run with your eyes closed without being in control of yourself?” Fearfully he did it and then, while she ran towards him, “I saw every blade of grass spring from her footsteps”. Another newcomer, Bethan Screen, in Sweetheart told how “being a young girl is to be visible and commodified”, and that the attentions of men are “a dripping tap that whisper, whistle and shout.” and after any incident, “you wish you could have reacted in a different, more intelligent and effective way.”

Isabelle Sene, operated on for breast cancer, told of her experience adding humour to lighten it such as when the nurse kissed her before the operation, her father said, 'They never did that to me!' She also told of how, when “the consultant marked the breast to be removed, he leaned on her right breast , to which she screamed, 'NO, THE LEFT' 'sorry' he said, 'I'm having one of those days when everything goes wrong'!”

Jezz closed off a great evening, singing Cadillac Dream and High and Dry, both very emotionally and sensitively rendered.

There were several raffle prizes, the first a voucher for two meals at fine Italian restaurant, La Piazetta; the second, Attilla very kindly offered his book Undaunted, and third and fourth were vouchers Leah & your reviewer offered, for the Spice Lounge Indian restaurant.

It was a deeply charged, memorable evening with the outstanding and formidable Attila together with a wealth of talent from new and regular open mikers and an appreciative audience expressing their gratitude and still laughing, as they left the room.

Write Angle will be presenting the very confident and comic performance poet, Paul Lyalls on 19th December for Write Angle's Christmas special. It will be another 'Don't Miss' evening! You're in for another night of talent – both Paul's and those of you who share your talent at the popular Open Mic!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Nov 2017 (event)

leah

Mon 23rd Oct 2017 00:58

REVIEW: JIMMY LEE AND OPEN MIC AT OCTOBER WRITE ANGLE
Jimmy's early experiences, shaped by deprivation and disruption, could have had him turn out any which way, yet his story is one that, whatever the world threw at him, he rose above it and thrived.

He's a great performer - telling Write Angle of the high and low points of his life but his songs tell it all. His lilting, melodious, natural delivery deals equally with hardship, nostalgia and sentiment. He captured all the feelings and wrapped them in tunes and words that had the audience engaged, empathising with each turn of fortune.

Burma Star told of his early childhood memories, full of hardship and change caused by his father's absence in Burma and the soldier's reaction to Jimmy's mother having a child while he was away - 'Never knew what fear or hate was until it came into my home'. In Hard Man, Jimmy finds a box of letters after his father's death and it contrasts the war damaged man with the sensitive youngster he was when he first went to the far east - 'Then I read his letters to his mum and dad from a frightened lonely soldier lad. From a red cross bed written while his wounds were healing'. At nine, Jimmy had an idyllic time with his playmate, Lucy Cartwright, riding with her on the crossbar of his 'bike without a saddle and a bell that did not work.' Only to have his romance come to an end when the Cartwrights suddenly moved away.
Jimmy joined the Navy at fourteen. No Flowers for Geordie tells of the death of his fellow trainee when they were sent to sea in the Suez campaign, and the harsh discipline at HMS Ganges - 'The 'bully boys' came nightly, did things a boy coundn't tell. But they made him write in his letters home: Mamma your boy's doin well'.

He was very well received by the audience, many of whom offered praise when they left. We'll be very keen to have him back. He has a lovely lilting voice- power and emotion with a strong range.

At the Open Mic, Chris Welch, new to Write Angle, read Martha Keys' Seeds of War and Seeds of Peace which talks of hope - 'maybe you could begin to believe peace can be as strong as the killing and the wrong we all have lived and died through'. Then, as a young boy, Colin Eveleigh played on the Portsmouth beach; in Munitions he explained how he collected shells left over from the war and had fun exploding them! - 'We tried to blow up a public toilet...'.

Phyllida Carr took Another Journey on the Bike, telling of riding to East Meon 'when the autumn day turned into night' as hurricane Ophelia came to Hampshire. Your reviewer read his Typhoons and hurricanes, about the 1987 hurricane that struck 'England's green and pleasant land'. Jilly Funnell's poem, Feather, dealt with her enthusiasm for the glamour and sequins of Strictly Come dancing – 'I want a partner called Evan with snow on his shoes. Who'll teach me the steps and the spins to use'. Her You Make Love a Slow Train poignantly told of unrequited love, while All the Way to America told of another enthusiasm.

In Scarsdale Switch, Leah told of commuters bound for the city 'in slim trim pinstriped suits classic skirts and gucci bags....' contrasted with the 'weary faced, bleary eyed, in woolie hats, worn torn coats... maids arriving to clean in 'the big houses hidden in lush greenery'. Then, To those who leave to Find Themselves – 'even artists on the roam from time to time, return to bring their dirty washing home'. And, In Eveready, another tale of unrequited love: 'Maybe there'll be even someone. Almost anyone would do. Someone who is always there. Who wants me just as I want you?'

Jezz played and sang Counting Crows' Gonna Get Back to Bases - 'But we only stay in orbit for a moment of time and then you're everybody's satellite. I wish that you were mine' and Tom Petty's You Don't Know How it Feels - 'There's somewhere I gotta go and you don't know how it feels. No, you don't know how it feels to be me'.

The raffle sponsor was Fez, Petersfield's great Turkish restaurant and a new-comer to Write Angle won the £45 voucher. We hope they'll come back and tell us about their experience.

nd next month, the irresistable Attila the Stockbroker takes to the stage and of course, once again, the Open Mic is there for everyone to take part and share in the entertainment! Every month another star. Always different but always great!
Jake Claret

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Oct 2017 (event)

leah

Wed 27th Sep 2017 23:20

WRITE ANGLE SEPTEMBER REVIEW - OPEN MIC AND TOLU AGBELUSI

“What is poetry?” asked a newcomer at our September gig. 'It could be anything', someone responded. Even after ten years of hearing all styles of poetry, Write Angle regulars find it difficult to answer.

One dictionary described it as 'literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature'. (Do you agree?)

Each month brings a different professional poet (or musician) – either recommended, or they apply and Write Angle researches them – the aim being to continue having high quality guests that entertain and broaden your experience of poetry as well as give you the opportunity to get up there at the mike and share your own talents and skills with an audience. We can't please everyone all the time but it won't stop us trying!

Tolu Agbelusi, Nigerian poet, Playwright, Author and Lawyer, had made such an impact on the audience the first time with us, she was asked back as the head-liner to perform in September.

Unexpectedly, she brought her accompanist, Shadé Joseph, who played the keyboard with some of Tolu's poems – it worked beautifully and added a poignancy and emphasis. But, with or without the background provided, Tolu's voice has a musicality on its own. She shared a wide range of her experiences, emotions and ideas.

Her poetry deals strongly with relationships and she started with 'My Mother Says Our Relationship Feels Official which set the tone, ending with “I love my Mother. My mother loves me. We just rarely speak the same language.” In 'The Gift', about the meal her mother taught her to make and which she then proudly served to over 20 people, “She was admiring the gift she spent years pushing into my hands.” (the meal being the art of preparation – not just for a meal but for 'life'. There were many more but the poem 'Museum of Women' struck an important chord as it talked of all the influences that had made her: “This body is a monument of many women”. Being a lawyer also led her to speak of some of the cases she'd had to deal with.

At the open mic, Colin Eveleigh's 'Amazing Grace' , a very moving poem, continued the relationship theme about his daughter Annabel who died suddenly, at 24, of epilepsy – he found her, and desperately tried to save her but it was too late - “It's so real, so vivid ~ this hell hall of mirrors reflecting everything that happened.”. Something not easy to put to words. Then Jilly Funnell's 'Song for My Mother, Waltzing Matilda' told how her mother was taken to a far country - “Loving and hating Australia....her heart split in two.” and “Just one song made her cry..”. In 'The Marriage Song of The Land Girl', Jilly told how the land girl “went to work in (her) wedding dress, the day (she) married you.”

Leah's 'The Gal is Gorgeous told of two cousins, jealous of each other -”she'd pay by the dozen to be born her cousin....”. Then, 'In My Search' “We're descended from machines...” Then, 'Living in Cocoons', about life in an oasis of peace while the world crumbles: “. Phyllida Carr, once again showing her ability as a poet (and good, at that!) described her close relationship with her trusty steed, in 'A Bicycle Ride'. She told humorously of an early morning adventure including the puncture and the welcome cup of chocolate.

Shadé Joseph's Lovely Day by Bill Withers waxed lyrical about the singer and his song: “An epic type of romance that begs to be plucked from his ribs...”. First time at the poetry mike, and co- member of Leah's playwriting group, Sue Shattock spent the weekend on a poetry retreat, and read 'The Bench' - “Autumn gilded leaves and blooded feathers.....All things must end.” And The Poetry Course, with “My younger self came visiting.....”. Sue is a 'natural' on stage, and her delivery did justice to some very creative ideas! Write Angle hopes she continues writing poetry and returns with more.

Richard Hawtree's 'Oh Poem' told what he wanted a poem to do, among other things: “I want lovers to forget each other's names in the manic flush of reading you.” And your reviewer, in 'Idea for a Poem', told how, “In the night I have my finest thoughts, creative cohesive, practical.” In the day, “All is erased, all is undone.”

Was it her beginner's luck that won Sue Shattock the £50 raffle voucher, sponsored by the excellent French style Cote restaurant, Chichester?

We hope to see you all again and do bring your gifted friends along as well, next month when we have Jimmy Lee, excellent and very memorable guitarist with his pleasing style of song.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19 Sep 2017 (event)

leah

Sun 27th Aug 2017 10:23

REVIEW: TWO CLAIRES AT WRITE ANGLE

Several New people, attracted by our posters and The Post, showed up to WA's August event, featuring Claire Booker and Claire Dyer. As it was warm in the upstairs room at The Townhouse, the opened windows admitted the noise of traffic, police sirens and revellers spilling out of the downstairs bar but in spite of that, the audience seemed well tuned to the of music and poetry that filled the evening.

Although the two Claires were booked together, they do perform separately and each is a strong, headline performer in her own right.

Coincidentally, there was an unplanned element of nostalgia, within the 29 poems read and performed by Claire Dyer, and Claire Booker which seemed to somehow continue with the open mikers.

Claire Booker started with a beguiling poem of her 'First Kiss' – 'you are seven, I am six'; about her father suffering from dementia in 'Visiting My Father' – this is full of gaps, like his mind with occasional 'bright berries of memories'; of her bossy elder brother in 'Building My Brother's Sand Castle' as, King Canute-like, he tried to hold back the incoming sea; in 'On the Centenary of My Teacups', memories 'of mouths, people who sipped on roses, their lips figures of eight,' and 'stories lost, family lore, weddings, wakes, heart-to-hearts...'.

Clare Dyer's poems included one about her great-grandmother, 'Queenie' – her grief at her child buried at sea; her rebellious grandmother in 'My Grandmother Played Tennis in 1916 – it was with her brother, 'home on what will be his last last leave; and her mother's baking in 'The Memory Cake', including as ingredients not flour, butter, etc but all the favourite things of a seven year old. Though their styles are quite different, both held the audience in their grip from beginning to end.

Poet and potter, Colin Eveleigh was a strong start at the open mic with his 'Red Dot'. His work is to be exhibited at the local Arts & crafts exhibition – 'making an exhibition of myself' – telling of the anxiety to get red dots by each piece to show it's been sold (all his sales proceeds go to charity). Leah read two poems about Hiroshima, one serious: 'Hiroshima Hiroshima' , - 'Truman's expensive new toy' - the other, 'Holiday in Hiroshima', humorous in a macabre,cynical way – 'Well, here's your one-way ticket, LITTLE BOY.' She finished with a short poem, 'Words' – 'What harm can they do?'

Jilly Funnell followed with some musical nostalgia, ‘Hello My Baby’, ragtime song from 1899 penned by Howard and Emerson, her poem ‘Looking Back: My Thirties in the Eighties’ - Gosh, was I in good condition' and, then, her song ‘All the Way to America’. There is something in the way music and poetry blend so well with each other.

Your reviewer read 'Typhoons and Hurricanes' about his shock when the 1987 hurricane attacked 'this green and pleasant land'; then 'Letter Writer, Letter Writer', about an unfriendly neighbour – 'We met your family, they say: It's you she talks about so much'.

Bruce Parry, who brought his music teacher with him, set up his trusty hammer dulcimer, for the lovely Gilbert and Sullivan's 'When a Merry Maiden Marries', followed by a traditional Irish tune, 'My Own House'. He then read his new poem, 'Time Immemorial' – 'Rest in peace my 1970's wild!'. Julie Beaven, his teacher, who plays the Celtic harp (she constructed it herself) played 'My Love is Like a Red Red Rose' and 'Greensleeves' followed by another Irish tune 'Shulearoon. They completed the set with a lovely duet, 'Gentle Maiden'. We're hoping they return with some more music. The harp and dulcimer make a wonderful sound when played together.

One of the new members of the audience won the raffle prize, a meal for two at the excellent Links Tavern at Liphook. It's an excellent restaurant and we hope they write a review of their experience, in verse perhaps!

Several members of the audience wandered over to tell us they'd had a great evening which is always 'good news' to hear. We hope to have more poets and musicians in future. So please, if you enjoyed the evening, do tell your friends and family. We'd love to hear more music and poetry at our Open Mic. We'll provide the guest performers! You provide the Open Mikers!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Aug 2017 (event)

leah

Thu 25th May 2017 00:08

Sara Hirsch Wins Over Write Angle audience again!

On stage, Sara's as natural and confident as if she was born there. Words pour out; her voice and eyes carrying them as if she's speaking just to you Herpoetry varies and runs a fine line between being totally hilarious and deeply poignant. She's highly entertaining and animated and has the unique ability to switch the atmosphere in the room to suit each specific poem. Her work is sharply observant, and her storytelling, fluent and accessible. 'With words, Sara says, ''..., you can bend truths, change minds, you can play with words...but your silence….your silence is your secret weapon. Your silence can speak of all the reasons why you can't. Your silence arrests me. Holds me hostage. To your silence, I am handcuffed….'

In her work on 'Feminism and Architecture', the men are building while looking at the women looking at them. The women still have to look like women. Men can wear anything – T shirts, whatever, but if women wear the same, they have to be grateful if they get home safely. Sara speaks of wanting to build pools on every street corner. No lines - only one massive one in which there's no judgment, no racing, just fun. She's always grateful for the edge – 'I need to know my limits... Beauty is the point where air meets the space. She then explains why people should be designed differently.

Her poem, 'How to be Better' makes you laugh while somehow feeling guilty. 'You don't listen to podcasts? You should listen to podcasts. You can download them to your smartphone. How much storage do you have on your smartphone….Do you read articles? You should read articles..On your smarphone, or your tabet. Do you have a tablet? Buy a tablet. One with storage..Do you write every day? You should, in your notebook or on your laptop..' and on and on. (Is it your mother? brother? father?) Sara puts together all the 'shoulds' – till you're 6 inches tall!

She then tells of her adoration for her father. How, each November, she pulls his jumper out of the drawer and wears it through the month...remembering him.
'What does it feel like to be loved? It's a fairy tale city. I don't think I can answer that', she says. 'Thirty-six hours in total with a break in the middle. How long did it take to fall in love?' 'If I had to, I would probably say Twice times half its length'. Her language so accessible yet simple words put in such a way, they produce enough energy to blow up the room! On 'Hair dye and Dementia'- 'Last week my grandad called me Sonja and asked if I was a natural blonde. On visiting the sex clinic, she says, 'There is something distinctly unsettling about sitting in the waiting room at the sex clinic

What does she hope her life will be? '...I want the kind of life that by the end of it, I'm tired. Proper exhausted, like I need a cup of tea and a chocolate digestive before I can even begin to digest it. ...you know when you're in the middle of a life and then you lose your place and you have to start again at the beginning but then you end up discovering this massive thing you missed the first time 'cause' you were distracted? ..or when you've saved your life, but then you log back in and it's all been deleted and you didn't do a backup?'

Sara's subjects seem to spring o
ut, one after the other. On falling, she says, 'My thoughts feel claustrophobic on this kind of train, my brain feels too small for that kind of email. Send help. Send pillows, please, and possibly cake. Make all this seem manageble.Mould me a mountain I can easily climb, build it out of marshmallow. Leave footholds enough to get me to the top and remind me to drop cushions in case I should fall. That is all…' As Richard Marsh says of her, 'we all stumble at some point. Sara invites you to join her in enjoying the fall'. She is pure magic! If you can't get to see her, or even if you do -we suggest you buy her book, 'Still Falling'. Sara is pure energy – on stage and page!

Meantime, our Open Mic started with Dominic Prag, first time WA performer but no 'first time performer' by any means. He takes poems, such as 'Philip Roth's 'The Explosion' and adapts them into songs. He also writes his own songs. 'Charlotte's not coming'. Dom has a good voice and style and we'd love to see and hear more of his work. Richard Hawtree then performed 'Skydiver', about a man who jumped 15,000 feet. 'I'm thinking of a soldier in the Great War'. Then, 'Climb the Steps', about Bishop Fox of Winchester, during the period of Keng Henry VII. He was an admirable man, well respected and trusted and in his latter years, having become blind, he had a staircase built to the castle with 7 steps, 7 paces between each flight – so he could easily get to the 7th set.

Barry Smith spoke of the forthcoming Chichester Festival, then read 'Earth Bound', about alternative life styles. - modern technology versus the old outstretched rod, moving it about, until it twitches and suddenly, you've found water! 'Remove your shoes. Don't disturb the kharma'. 'Seek out laylines. Empty your minds….yes, it works! 'River' followed. He then spoke of the small town in Mid-Bedfordshire where 'a little boy growing up on the river Ivel, deserted the town for something more. A bit of reminiscing...Interestingly, 'mindfulness' appeared in both Sara's and Barry's poems, and was followed by someone who runs a course on 'Mindfulness! Colin Eveleigh got up and read, 'Doing time by numbers, going from 1,2,3 4 to 5,6,7,8 and on...'gotta make every moment count...if we live to 80.

Bruce Parry then read about an unexpected holiday he had, with some friends, to Blankenburg. How breakfast at the hotel consisted of hard boiled eggs, no egg cups, and neither the British, Chinese, Bolivian, or Russians at his table knew what to do with them! He told how some of them tried smashing, some crushing with their fists, some had egg shells remaining, but then Bruce took a coffee cup, placed a napkin at the bottom, cracked the top of the egg off and slicing the rolls into toy soldiers, dipped the soldiers in the eggs and everyone else, intrigued, now did the same. A delightful tale! Hopefully these will also end up in a book!

Jilly Funnell told of her love for her daughter and their exchange of 'I'll always love you, butterfly daughter', and 'I'll always love you, butterfly mother'. Very tenderly done. Then Jilly spoke of the poet, Julia Darling, 'who looked outwards, not inward. She faced things other people don't. Julia passionately believed that poetry should be part of every modern hospital. She wrote life saving poems'. May (Speakezewerdhogge) then read of 'Life in the fast lane'. Cars crashing. 'Missing in action', flowers around a tree. Three girls, side by side. Only the tree knows how he has met his death in this senseless state. Phyllida Carr then did several sing-along songs, 'Runaway Train', 'Clementine'., on her harmonica with the audience joining in, followed by Jake's 'Poets of Petersfield, describing how some are good and some are bad. Yours truly then did a few poems including, 'Re-Birth'. 'When my waters break, will I pop out and be myself?'

The two free dinners at La Piazetta were won by a multi-time winner – who promises to use it herself instead of giving them to her family – we promise you it was not fixed! It's simply the nature of the gamble! And, the evening came to an end! This is Sara's second time round and we hope she'll join us again in 2018! This reviewer is already looking forward to hearing her again!

And, right now, we're looking forward to seeing you all next month when we have 'first timer' comic poet Cynthia Hamilton, very highly recommended by several performers including Paul Lyalls!

Hope to see as many of you as possible!
leahx

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 16 May 2017 (event)

leah

Thu 11th May 2017 13:27

DID WRITE ANGLE PUT 'POETS, BOB AND PAUL, ON THE SPOT' ?

April's Write Angle Poetry & Music Open Mic evening brought guest performers Bob Hill and Paul Canon Harris of 'Poetry on the Spot' with their unique style of taking any simple word to world-wide issue and, in 15 minutes, creating a poem from it. However an apology is required from yours truly who misunderstood and thought they'd be taking words or suggestions from the audience when, as it turned out, they brought their own prompts! (They did promise they'd do it 'next time though')

Bob ended up handing Paul an envelope with reference to the chosen phrase, 'the scientific study of extraterrestrial phenomenon'. Then, when Paul left the room to write the poem, Bob entertained the audience with his poetry. He based his work on the theme of 'Home Is'. His first poem, 'Moving in' dealt with dad taking charge of their lives while each marked their territory around the house. 'Brazilian Love Affair' told how, at 15, he had his first 'love affair' - with the footballer Socrates.

He then got poems on the buses...spoke of how he was born into a Christian family and was religious before he even knew he was, but when he understood things better, gave it up and settled on atheism and the Koran. His poetry was interesting and informative about his life from extreme poverty through a good education to writing poems. Paul then returned with his completed poem about a young woman who 'studied it because she knew the truth was out there and she had to find it'. ..
When it was Paul's turn to choose an envelope with an idea for Bob's 'on the spot' poem, he came up with ''Drunk torched peanut bag and made love to ambulance (from the North Devon Journal' - yes, these were real articles! With Bob out of the room, Paul, a retired vicar, announcer on radio of 'Thought for the Day, and father of four young men now at university, read his poems, starting with 'The Bargain Shelf' where members of the National Service had to 'scramble for bargains'. He spoke of the Isle of Wight's Southern most tip, where he lived with his family for many years, coming up with some lovely imagery of the island, including a poem of 'brothers hunting among the rocks'.

'The Memory Game' followed – with people at 'different stages of memory loss and dementia, playing a game. 'What's it called', 'I don't know how to play', 'Is it my go?' 'Have I been', and 'Have I had my lunch yet' being repeated, over and over. Sad and realistic. Paul then read 'School Photo', with 'divorced, beheaded, died', unraveling like an empty scroll. Then, 'Facebook', where you can be happy with a 'happy face'...fat, (yep, there's a fat face)..and a non PC poem about the difficulties of entertaining – 'This poem may contain nuts'. Everyone has special dietary needs these days, and a clever, 'Do not use Adverbs in Poems'.. Bob then returned, reading his poem starting with 'The siren called..he toasted his love...'.all good fun! It did bring a lot of laughter.
Liz Verlander, an absolute star and comic at the Open Mic, recited a poem about a man who thought he was so great, he charged women for dates and sex. Meanwhile, now that she's fifty, she meets men who aren't interested in sex as much as moaning in bathrobe and slippers. 'Please Cut My Hair' followed and had everyone in hysterics (as do all her poems), 'No, she didn't come because she watches 'Coronation Street', She doesn't want conversation – just 'please cut my hair'. The hairdresser finally just went quiet and started cutting. Then she cried. 'Okay,,,but please stop now'....then we all get cuts in life…

Kim West's poem about her chemistry teacher who could hypnotise and said 'chemistry is not your forte', but putting his hand on the back of her neck certainly brought out the chemistry! She read of local councils cutting monies for libraries and books which increase our worlds. 'The changing face of our economy'! Di Castle, who's written poetry books including 'By the Book', read poems about the reality of parenthood, its joys and disappointments..'They went to classes on parenthood. Mum was a real high flyer. Now she doesn't talk shop. She can't do this or that. She's fat. 'I know I was the same as her'…

Then, a poem read with a ten month old baby's voice, being given pretty Easter eggs, only to then watch as..'Mummy sat and ate them!' Finally the poem about nan who showed up at nursery school to pick up her grandchild but being 'dressed to the hilt', her grandchild didn't recognise her nor did the school acknowledge this 'glam gran'. Next time, she didn't get dressed up but looked more 'as a nan should look, and her grandchild and everyone accepted her!

Tee Francis followed with some poems, that seemed to irk some, with their 'non pc' words, but this reviewer found them clever. 'Awakened beside her husband at 3am, her heart pounded..not for the husband beside her but for another man….Jeremy Hunt...The BMA NHS on his lapel, health care better if privatised, 'privatise mothers' milk, while vulnerable, trusting people die'...Then, the woman whose partner left her...she let herself go, stopped caring, stopped painting her face, dying her hair. She stopped caring...and '.. became herself'! Her third poem, a sonnet about the beautiful cherry blossomed garden with its blue tits, robins, and those who don't notice - but prefer a beer!

Phyllida Carr, just back from South Africa, unlike Tee Francis' unaware beer guzzler, was deeply impressed and inspired, showing her lovely cheetah tee shirt and played 'Shosholoza', - a Traditional South African song - mix of Ndebele and Zulu, on her Ipad. The room went silent. Difficult not to want to join in...the rhythm was haunting. Jilly Funnell did 'Requiem for a Baby Boomer, about a very special friend who was 'never going to die'. A sad poem performed with great emotion. This friend always went on holidays and Jilly thought it appropriate to 'bring on vacation time'. Jake, her driver, took them as Jilly travelled on the 'Blue Badge Coach', in and out of Paris, Spain, Frejus, London...you name it. A trip to remember!

Colin Eveleigh read of sitting at the top table waiting to lecture on Mindfulness. He didn't want to be there, was uncomfortable, yet it ended unexpectedly with so many interesting questions...it didn't matter whether he wanted to be there or not, he was mindful during his speech. 'Anyone can be mindful, given permission', he said, and was shocked at the end to be asked by his sponsors, 'would he give the talk again? 'We've given ourselves permission to be mindful too'.

Jilly Funnell was at the mike again, this time with her guitar. 'He was the top. He was my favourite black dress.. Anyone who didn't understand, didn't know him'.
And another good evening ended with someone who's won the free meal for two so many times, people are bound to think the raffle is 'fixed'.

May will be bringing the wonderful and awesome Sara Hirsch, the poet's poet. We hope to see you all there – along with your family and friends and, especially those poetic and musical folk who want to share their talents at the mike!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 18 Apr 2017 (event)

leah

Thu 30th Mar 2017 14:57

GREG HARPER – FOURTH TIME AT WRITE ANGLE!

Guitarist/singer, songwriter Greg Harper's fourth visit to Write Angle was yet another success, with his soft gentle touch, evocative melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. And in several songs, he accompanied himself on the harmonica, adding a lilting and haunting quality!

The audience joined in on many songs and, when leaving, told us what a great evening it was. Greg's building a fan club and several of our people said they already planned to attend his next gig.

His songs are written and performed with great passion and an earthy honesty. 'Cool Clear Water', warned of the dangers offracking, while 'The River' (Lavant), spoke of the many jobs - 'dredging out the litter, filth and scum', measuring the nitrogen being washed out to sea…' After The Rain', a lovely song questioning why people moan about rain when 'everything is so sweet after…'

Greg sang 'Gossomer Wings', about the 'Plight of the Bumble Bee' and 'The Broomsway' (inspired by 'The Old Ways' byRobert MacFarlane), 6 miles of what is hailed as the 'most dangerous of bridleways in the UK', running off the Essex coast from Wakering Stairs, out across the sands. He calls it 'death road'.

His concerns about the balance of man and nature are clearly stated, but with sparks of cynicism, nature always wins out.

'King and the Country' summoned his strong emotions about the WW1, and how now, 'instead of 'digging for my country – inthe trenches, you'll be dry and above ground'. 'Unspoken', about the things we've all forgotten, while 'Well Spun Lies', another favourite, speaks of how spiders wait for the flies while 'Juliette waits to be kissed by Romeo (at least with the spider, you know where you stand)'.

Inspired by Mr Putin, 'It's all been done before' spins the lies in 'bringing democracy to different countries – the usual rhetoric - even after the treaty's been signed, tanks and soldiers are still shot down... He did end on a positive note with his song'Hope'.

It was said, 'To be able to compress the essence of a story, the emotion, the cause and effect into four and a half minutes takes a rare talent and one that Greg Harper seems to have in his soul'. I think everyone there would agree with that!

Meantime, our Open Mic began with Bruce Parry playing 'Floppy Mule', an American song on his hammer dulcimer, followed by a wonderfully visual short story, 'Promenading With An Aspirin', about his four 'young' aunts, in scarves, walking the promenade, the pier, in their finest, waiting for a glance from some handsome lad' – and popping in an aspirin 'in case of an impending headache'!

Jilly Funnell recited 'Feather', about wanting to dance', she'll 'take all his directions, obey every command, and afterward, with her 'strictly ballroom boy', there'll be a lot more..including TV. Well done! Then, 'The Kiss', a poem about loss of love, 'missing you, the kiss is missing…' She then played the guitar, singing of her Dublin Housewife whose husband keeps going off leaving her on her own, while 'she should be getting a lot more kissing' however, happy ending. After too many lonely nights,she does the leaving!

Reuben Edwards, first timer, but far from – played a neat banjo. 'The Halting March', (It's syncopated..either Irish or Scottish) 'Wisp before breakfast', and a duet with Bruce Parry's dulcimer, 'Old Joe Brown'. What a lovely sound, the banjo! We hope he comes back!

Richard Hawtree, lovely performance voice, did a haiku, 'In time of Brexit' very topical..followed by 'Lethe', (1928) of his grandmother who spent time in Alexandria when 'Paris courted Alexandria...she was a flapper bride..a time when drinks were swagged in cocktail trays. She still recalls those times, when Europe danced the steps with Alexandria!'. A wonderful nostalgic poem! Jake did a poem about an 'Idea For a Poem', great during sleep, that fades by morn, but how he'll keep a notebook by the bed to be sure not to forget. Leah did 'Don't Throw the Ketchup out…' an effort to save the Earth, 'WatchingTime Fly' and 'Will You Blame Me For Trump'?

The winning voucher for Petersfield's wonderful 'Tai Tong', dinner for two, was won by a Chichester film buff who also loves Chinese, so we're pleased.

And here's a special plea... Don't forget your own poetry and music. Our evening wouldn't be the same without you – andwe'd like to try and encourage you to bring along friends and family – especially those who write poetry, play guitar, banjo, bongo or even tango! We definitely need more poets! Here's a chance for you to perform your work, be heard and even have a youtube made while you're at the mic! (free!)

And for those of you who come and watch, that's fine too!

Don't forget our next event. 18th April. Bob Hill and his Wonderful Pop-Up poetry! at Townhouse Pub/Bistro, 28 High Street, Petersfield. Entry: £6.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Mar 2017 (event)

leah

Fri 24th Feb 2017 22:37

REVIEW: LOTS OF LAUGHTER & MUSIC AT FEBRUARY WRITE ANGLE WITH ROB BARRATT & OPEN MIC

February Write Angle had Rob Barratt, one of the funniest performers yet. His audience was with him from the moment he began. He invited them to join him in many of his poems and songs. Extremely clever, he presented a varied selection –non-stop, starting with Why 'I Don't Want to Swim With Dolphins'. '...they might give me dolphin fever. They probably don't want to swim with me either. Dolphins smell of fish. Swimming with them is my death wish…'

Stewart Taylor, open miker and pro, called him 'atrociously good'. His unique style of twisting words left one not knowing what comes next except it's bound to get laughter! Rob produced news items about the 'have and have nots'. 'The Queen, 90, has a cold and will miss ... ; Samia Chomley, 94, has a cold and'...down the list to: 'The Queen will be flown to Sandringham in a private helicoptor, Ms Chomley by private nuclear submarine, then by Red Arrow, (got laughs) alien spaceship…'

'Dedicated to the suffering of teachers, 'The God of Data', a lesson from The Book on Dataonomy', in biblical form – 'They know not what they mean..and I shall create a new world of education and it shall be created in five days like what there are in a week...it ended with 'amen and awomen'! 'Distressed', brought his furniture to life. 'His painted window frame's been stripped...the cupboard hates the plates that have no mates. The rocking chair will never sleep because the magazine rack has big issues...the shelves themselves lack shelf respect...the dressing table's dressed to kill...the blind's kept in the dark..the curtains are hanging. They need to pull themselves together…'

As part of an Australian gig, as Lady Guinevere seeking a man, he pointed at the audience, calling out, 'I need a lad', 'I need a man..a young man. At least, that's the plan...I need a Knight'…. Again, much laughter. A poem about The Turner Gallery without a single Turner painting, got the response, 'It's a concept, darling...this is modern art.' So Rob created his own show which turned him into 'the next conman'! He ranted about 'Scottish Weather, 17 in Aberdeen. Then, with 2-4% Neanderthal in us, there should be a Neanderthal Independence Party (NIP) as they feel threatened by Homo-Sapiens. 'We must club together and not cave in..'

His 'Missing Letter' poem about the various supermarkets losing their first letter as well as any items and all personnel, was absolute magic! eg. (Coop) Oop sold icken breasts, ucumbers, and heckouts...aitrose sold eetabix. Ainsbury, ausages, trawberry jams, nickers..We were pleased to have Rob as a guest and we hope he'll come back. Meantime, contact him and buy his CD or books.

Meantime, our Open Mic started with Jake's clever 'We know where you go to, our Donald', a poem/song (based on Peter Sarstedt's Where do you go to, my lovely) of Trump's presidential days; living in his tasteless tower built by immigrants...selling goods not from the US….Mexican bans - backed by the Bible belt and rednecks..but at night you tweet your thoughts, don't you, Donald'. Colin Eveleigh's poem, 'Mice in a Bottle' of an evil man emptying bottles with two mice, into a pool. 'I didn't save them. Was I man or mouse?' Then, 'The Mug Tree' about a workman's mug caught up in a tree for many years, growing with the tree, becoming stronger, happier as it sees the sun and sky, 'I wonder if just before the bough breaks, there might be a cracked porcelain moment of perfect silence, perfect peace....' . Good imagery!

Leah did a short play using 6 members of the audience. It turned out great fun and a good ice-breaker for the evening. Jilly Funnell played, 'El Paso', creating some haunting guitar music. Then, 'Hypnotherapy Blues', a poem about a break-up and seeing a therapist. The 'witch', when told about him, said 'nothing was your fault'. However, after two visits, it turned out she fancied him!(beware). Then, 'He was the Top', about 'her Michaelangelo'. ... hot and sunny, her shiny bargain mall, he was inscrutable...people who say 'it happens', just didn't know him. 'Stage Door Jilly' followed, cleverly done with all 'illys' and ending with 'It's the actors I adore', followed by a lilting melody, 'Yellow Bird'.

Stewart Taylor's 'Ikea', spoke of the crowds, pointless purchasing - not him! Short-cut to the cafeteria. 'The pre-teen staff guiding customers'...where? Not Stewart! 'I know where the toilets are' Then, 'Joined Up', about enlisting in 1915. 'Daddy, what did you do in the Great War'. Now everything's at peace. Smooth finished walls. A turn in history. He never signed up. The girl repeats the question all through the poem. She waits. He turns away. Very moving poem! A strong poet!

Richard Lancaster played a big bongo drum. 'it looks African, it's from Los Angeles. Not wood, but plastic. Bowl at the top. Long stem at the bottom. Beautiful instrument. Lots of tonal range, and Richard demonstrated. The desire to get up and dance was instant. Beautiful sound and beautifully played. A great instrument and an enthusiastic drummer!

Richard Hawtree did 'Independence' an experience he had in Cork, 'just the two of us, drinking in a neglected garden, cracked terrace - where the gardener had been off since Independence day'. Then 'April Leaps', a lilting poem where Spring will happen anyway and linger where the wind gets strongest, in the April air. All in all, a very eclectic and enjoyable evening – one of the best. Lots of laughs and warmth throughout!

One of the regulars won two free meals at 'Half Moon Pub', Sheet.

One of our very close friends came into an unexpected inheritance and decided to send us £100 as a donation to Write Angle! We are shocked, grateful and thank you wth all our hearts, Helen!

Next month, we're looking forward to Greg Harper, great guitarist and singer. Peace and environmental issues plus whatever new issues are at hand! Do come and join us.

Note: Philip Young announced the Petersfield Music Festival starting in March with Edward Thomas, remembered in a special concert. Please check your website for more information

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Feb 2017 (event)

leah

Wed 25th Jan 2017 15:17

JUSTIN COE WAS JUST THE CURE TO START THE NEW YEAR OFF!

Justin Coe was just the cure Write Angle needed to begin the New Year! His burst of energy as he leapt on stage and continued on into 'overtime' almost all but wiped out the stresses and traumas of the last year! As a teacher in schools, and father of three, his work was bound to bring out the 'child' in us, and it did!

Justin is full of talent and natural warmth – a joy to follow as he sings with guitar and gets his audience to follow along. He read some poetic prose from his latest book, 'Dads Don't Cry', dedicating a song to his third child, 'who hasn't had anything written for him yet'. Also several funny and poignant poems from his forthcoming show, such as 'Are We Being Silly?' , 'Ten-to-Ten to Tenterden' with audience involvement – then, 'Henry V', (being a soldier in the school play)'The Lepers' a new piece trying to collect money for a charity. 'The Baby Olympics', first time sung, about the "joys" of parenting, and a wonderful long piece, 'Elmo, the Strong Man, from 'Boys Don't'.

'Numpty Trump', a nursery rhyme about a certain President, and poems from 'The Dictionary of Dads', including 'Daddy Disastar' ("his car is wrecked and his driving's wreckless/his favourite outfit is his breakfast"), 'Grinning Dad (a portrait of Dad from a baby's perspective), 'Shapely Dad' Pirate Dad' (about a child's wild weekends with his father) and 'Wendy House Dad' (a Dad who has daughters and finds a whole new side to himself!). 'Nan on a Caravan Holiday' (another audience singalong, with Phyllida Carr and Jezz on Kazoos - about taking up painting late in life. First time done with guitar! Justin's shows are coming out soon. Might be worth checking out his website for dates.

The Open Mic was a mixture of poetry and music. Richard Hawtree did poems of the internet. Using Pastorale, a very ancient genre of poetry, dealing with the love and lives of shepherds and sheperdesses who sing, sometimes mourn a love affair that's gone wrong. In his poem, - a young Knight wants to transform himself, as does his beloved shepherdess. Based on the idea, 'Come live with me and be my love'. Then, 'Digital Detox', made of computer expressions.'polyclots maximus' - we all need it every now and then'.
Priscilla Ellis, organiser of Petersfield's Trump day, spoke of a banner, 'Bridges not Walls' to be installed over many bridges throughout England. She invited people to come along to the one nearest Petersfield. 'We want to show him how we feel, even if he won't see it', she said. ' Bruce Parry and his ever wonderful hammer dulcimer, played the beautiful lilting 'Star of County Down' and the folk song, 'Bonnie at Morn'. Then 'Tangerine' and 'Silver Studded Christmas – about family gatherings during that special season.

Alfy Garnett, first timer at WA, was going to play his electric guitar; however, with no cable, he ended up doing the next best thing - au natural – with his sweet voice and great personality, we hope he returns – with the 'missing' equipment. Adele Philips read a poem based on a true story – The Sinking of a Ferry' from the Port of Piraeus, and the rumours of its cause –- to the 'smell of diesel, and the swaying side to side'. Good, strong, visual imagery. A poem with two voices, 'Ready to Die', were read by Leah and Priscilla.

Jilly Funnell played 'Olay Jose', by Debby Cracknell on classical guitar, a very pretty Spanish melody, followed by familiar and fun songs, 'Darling, please don't save the last dance for me'. (I don't know why I married you…. The last time you smiled was 1989'), and ''Great Love, Break Up', another 'tongue in cheek' song. Jezz then came to the Mic with his new outlook. 'I'm practising relaxing' he said. The audience laughed. He played 'A Long December' and 'When you Go Away', two pretty ballads. (What would we do without Mr 'Charisma')? Phyllida played her harmonica, while everyone joined in with 'Sweet Molly Malone', 'Oh, my Darling Clementine' and some others. Speech Painter, author of the 'adult Mr Zeuss', who appears from time to time when someone he particularly favours shows up to perform, smiled all the way through, (when not laughing) – and was greeted by fellow pro, Justin, with the warmth the poetry world often displays when meeting and greeting each other. 'He's good' he said to me after Justin did his second part of the evening, and I totally agreed! Then again, it was a warm cosy evening for such a cold, cold night. Thanks to all who showed up, participated or just enjoyed - and made it a really special occasion for all! Our good wishes to multi-time-winner of the raffle for Lemon Grass Thai restaurant in Petersfield – excellent, exotic food and ambiance!

It was a good start to the New Year. Here's wishing everyone a 'follow-up' with all the hope for peace, love and good will, that a new year can bring!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Jan 2017 (event)

leah

Fri 30th Dec 2016 00:12

RICHARD DIGANCE PLAYS TO A PACKED HOUSE IN PETERSFIELD

This December, Write Angle didn't stick to its usual format. Instead of an open mic and guest performer, the 'Write Angle Christmas Special' provided an evening of entertainment, starring the legendary comedian/folksinger, Richard Digance, TV and Radio Star. Richard was BAFTA nominated as TV Entertainer of the Year, and winner of the 'Gold Award for his services to music from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors'. He's well known and respected in the field, having done movies and TV shows, including his own, 'Abracadigence', 'Digance at Work', 'Richard Digance' and 'How's Business'.

The room was packed to standing room, with not only some of the regular group, but also Richard's fans who came from near and far to see their favourite performer and share in 50 years of nostagia. Richard surprised everyone by bringing Tom Leary, a fine and accomplished violinist with him.

Tom has an endless list of credits and formed a new duo with P J Wright, having worked with Lindisfarne and The Gary Fletcher Band. A humorous and interesting man, there's not much Tom hasn't seen or done within the music world. He's a beautifully tender player with a great gift for writing melodic tunes. Famous for his laugh among other things; his mirth is highly infectious.

Between Richard's guitar and Tom's deft hands at the violin and mandolin, songs going back to the 50s & 60s, brought back many memories. The room was alive with the audience singing or humming along as Richard went from song to story to song. At one point, Tom 'deliberately' played out of tune and with Richard kiddingly trying to control him, they had everyone laughing. Songs such as 'The Hour Song', 'I'm Coming Home', Jack of All Trades', Searching (a lovely song sung with Tom Leary) about how we search for our mother's milk and continue searching, never finding the answers. Tom also played some jigs with Richard, a song 'Toy Box (we're flopping round and round)' and Washerwoman, about his mother.

Richard was surprised when three members of his family he hadn't seen in years, turned up to see him. He was clearly overwhelmed and emotional about the reunion, and shared some stories with the audience. 'My father was a bigot'. 'So was his brother' came a shout from one of his family. Richard agreed.

He told several stories of his life including being in Memphis, drunk and not expecting to perform, when he heard 'Richard from England' being announced. At first, he thought, '.. another Englishman with the same name'. Realising it was him, and suddenly ushered on stage, he groped for something to say, remembering that country and western were all about broken love. He didn't know what to do, so proceeded to make up stories about his relationship with his father. It went over much better than he expected! (The sign of a real showman)!

Richard's a well seasoned performer. He can hold an audience in the palm of his hand with the most simple of stories. His rendition of the 'Twelve Days of Christmas', performed as a 'thank you letter from a woman to George', stopped only as a story or song intervened...then started again, finally ending in the second half of his performance – thanking 'Darling George' for all those lovely gifts – birds, more birds – filling sinks, bathtubs, then cows, Lords a 'leaping, drummers and pipers, until the house was so full, she finally gave up and suggested George end their relationship.

Richard's hatred for Trump was pretty clear. He wished someone would shoot him and, with all the security guards front and back, wouldn't it be great if one of them called out, 'Hey, Donald' and as he turned around, followed it up with 'Donald, then….duck!' On the subject of politics, Richard said he didn't mind people having differences of opinion but he wished they wouldn't fight because of it.

Richard announced that in 2017, he will be writing the music for the new West End show, 'Elephant Man', along with Tom Leary. We wish them both luck in their new project.

Meantime, there were lots of cakes - very few of which were eaten, (is everyone on a diet?) and one of our audience won the raffle for two free meals at Cote restaurant, Chichester. We know they will enjoy the French style food as well as the wonderful service. (It happens to be one of our favourite restaurants).
Here's wishing you all a peaceful and harmonious New Year and we look forward to seeing you in January when Justin Coe is our guest and our Open Mic is back in service!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 20 Dec 2016 (event)

leah

Sat 26th Nov 2016 13:22

GLITTERING PROJECT ADORNO AT NOVEMBER WRITE ANGLE

November's guests, 'Project Adorno' (Russell Thompson & Praveen Manghani), appeared in sparkling gold jackets.

With lights dimmed, the use of video and sound, they brought to life the humble beginnings of TV Screen and song writer, Dennis Potter. Using background scenes, starting with the Forest of Dean, where he spent his childhood, to celebrity status with plays such as 'Pennies from Heaven', 'The Singing Detective' and 'Lipstick on Your Collar'.

The show charted Potter's course with interviews, mostly with his daughter, Jane Chowns, his long-time producer, Kenith Trodd, several academics and John Belcher, the keeper of the flame in Potter's native village. Potter was the son of a miner. Many scenes of Hammersmith Bridge, symbolising his mother's birthplace, were used in two of his plays. His daughter Jane summed up Potter's character, as the other interviewees discussed their first impressions and lasting memories of Potter's sublime work.

All this was done through song and guitar, lending a subdued atmosphere to the room as the duo went from song to song – at times stopping - for audio comments from Jane, his producer and the academics. Songs such as 'Seeing the Present', celebrating one of Potter's best known interviews, in which he spoke of 'the nowness of now'; 'The Church of the Mixed Metaphor, alluding to his upbringing as a church goer and the imagery in Sankey & Moody's famous book of hymns.

Also included, 'Blue Remembered Hills', a wonderful film in which famous adult actors perform as children. Potter wasn't only loved but also criticised for songs such as 'Blackeyes', his most controversial novel/screenplay – 'was he being misogynist or just writing about misogyny'?

In one song, (1993), Praveen connected his own experience of working in the civil service with watching the similarly themed 'Lipstick on Your Collar'. Another, 'Rozoxane', a reggae, told of a miracle drug that came close to curing Potter's debilitating psoriasis. The song, 'Hide and Seek', from the novel of the same name, is the key to Potter, himself. Jane ended after the song, 'Famous Last Words', with a summing up of the man no one really knew but who fascinated so many.

It was an interesting and challenging programme that definitely held attention and raised questions. At times, the sound was a bit muffled and we hope this helps clarify, somewhat. Alternatively, the sound lent a surrealistic 'feel' and was almost hypnotic. The audience was attentive throughout.

Meantime, our Open Mic brought Colin Eveleigh, poet, potter and tutor of mindfulness. His poem, 'Somme Total', a tribute to Armistice Day, about the soldiers of the Great War in which he told of his wife's great uncle who died, age 20. 'Where there was carnage in 1916, it is now serene…' The allure of war never fails'. One must 'gather each falling tribute lovingly in one's arms'. A very strong poem. Michelle Magorian, newcomer, followed with a poem about her mother: 'Miss Invisible' -'shorthand for I am old' - she heard bombs fall...danced all night...was married in Bombay...where is she now? Well, she has friends in France, Tel Aviv and Idaho. She's always visible. So cheer up! Signed...Yours-dot-com! Humour with a lovely twist.

David Roberts chose to overlook the problems in the US and go for his love of 'Manhattan'. 'She may be young enough to be your daughter' ..'it's the most romantic place...where intellectuals hang out. The land of the rich and free'. (this New Yorker agrees) 'A View from my Conservatory' followed, where 'clouds fly by at the speed of night'. There's 'so much more life in his garden...thrushes, robins and blackbirds...flowers...'where I can see the world, and no one can hurt me'. A good poem.

Bruce Parry had two new poems; 'Going Home' about Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. With its 'rusty fire escapes, fishermen, they come from in-land and far...a lovely description. Then, an 'early' Christmas with 'Sofas' about 'Mr and MrsTotally Self-Centred', 'out to buy a sofa, made of reindeer skin (only £4000) they don't need with their unlimited credit card'. 'Something to bounce on like they do on the tellie – Then slide and bounce and eat chocolate cake – but that's too much work. 'We don't sell sofas. We sell dreams' says the salesman. But they must get home. They're missing the tellie. Just as long as the delivery is before Christmas..'.(a bit of fun and lots of cynicism) – lots of laughs!

Michelle then returned to the mike with two poems based on two different kinds of women. One who wants to go away for the weekend, 'Pack of Three' – but must think first of her two children who'll be left behind. 'Please don't ask me to go away. If you want me, you have to remember there are three'. Then 'On And On' about a woman who broke off with someone – he went on and on and on and on...talking, never stopping...Then he went on and on..when all she wanted was a man who'd use his mouth in a different way….not go on and on, but 'turn her on'. Finally, a sad 'goodbye'. It was very well read and true to the bone!

Jilly Funnell got up with guitar and sang a very clever, funny Christmas song, 'Principle Boy' – the one who plays in panto. When you get him home, that's when you find what's really inside his tights….

Jake read two poems, 'My Brother' about his late talking brother who became a great talker but early onset alzheimers took his words away; then 'What's a Girl to Do?' about the challenges facing a woman in the old west. Yours truly did a poem about a birthday party followed by a short script, 'Strange Bedfellows', a love scene between Clinton and Trump (before his triumph) and 'sadly - badly' acted by Leah and Jake. Speech Painter and Philip Jeays had come along and we wished they'd perform but it was their night to prefer just watching 'Project Adorno'.

It was, in all, a very warm and good evening with lots of laughs and a very special BIG thanks to our special guests - not to forget our ever fabulous open mikers!

One of our 'regulars' won the two free 'unlimited' two-course meals for 'Half Moon'. Enjoy it, Colin!

And if you want to see his exhibition of pottery, it will be on display this coming Saturday at the Physics Garden, Petersfield.

We look forward to seeing you all on December 20th when we have our very special guest, Richard Digance! Entry fee £15pp, - not what we normally charge - but this will be a very special evening and from what everyone says, well worth it! Richard Digance is a legend!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Nov 2016 (event)

leah

Thu 3rd Nov 2016 11:57

HYLDA SIMS & SIMON PRAGER & OPEN MIC

Hylda Sims, 'love child of itinerant, communist, market traders', showed up to a full house at October's Write Angle, accompanied by Simon Prager, both carrying backpack guitars and 'rarin to go!' From poem to song to guitar duo to solo and back again, they varied the numbers from folk songs to mostly Blues. There was 'Cake Walk', by Simon, 'The Bearable Oddness of Being', a poem in prose or 'just prose' – Hylda wasn't sure how to define it. Then, 'My Guitar', a poem by Hylda, 'Careless Love', by Hylda, 'How Can a Man Stand Such Times and Live', by Simon, and 'Mooching Round Soho', a lovely lilting 50s song, impossible to listen to without joining in.

These were followed in the second round by 'Cracker, 'Bad Brexit Blues' (how she's losing her cleaner from Cartagena; Her lover from Lithuania, her bartender from Bologna (who served a Euro brew), her dentist from Transylvania... lots of fun - but point made! Then, Simon's 'My Mother Doesn't Know I'm on the Stage', (his mother would accept him becoming a criminal – anything but the stage) and 'Midnight' Special'. A good round of bouncy and rhythmic sound filling the room end to end. Feet tapping, bodies swaying... There's something about having musical guests along with poetry. Hylda and Simon are a duo to beat duos! Their energy and charisma fired out all over the room!

The Open Mikers came in strong with good poetry, guitar and ukelele. Maria Hewitt led with 'Splash', based on a painting by Hockney. 'was it a flash or reflection', 'His Wish', - that a great rain would come over'. 'Changes', about changes of clothing essential non-stop representing an active life through to bed clothes! Colin Eveleigh then did 'The Mind Reader', which he 'is not. Nor to judge you. The you in question is me'. (Interesting concept). Anna Bushram, first timer from Portsmouth, did 'The Dawn of Night', 'not easily overshadowed by the dawn of day'. Then, 'The Last Word', 'A Rushed Sentence' and 'Damn Those Monkeys'. All having to do with evil and good. (a strong poet) 'Is there no redemption?'

Chris Sangster and his ukelele did two lovely and familiar songs, 'The Perfect Place' (bouncy and happy) and 'Goodbye Love', a sad ending to a romance. All went well but for the intervention of the chainsaw! It was suggested he bring it along to play next time - but he said he prefers the uke! Speekezewerdhogge -yes, you got it- (aka May), did poems about the marking of time. 'Beautiful Reason', 'Sugar Coated', 'Watching the Sun go Down' and 'A Touch of Seasoning'..('a sky so still, I could touch it...hold it'). .For all that exists, May shares her sense of gratitude. (good poet)

Tash Finn did 'Caught', a true story of a woman on the Golden Gate Bridge. 'Racing along the highway in her car, she stops halfway across the bridge. Gets out and tries to jump off'. Tash's style of repeating the incident over and over, enhanced the poem beyond words, into sheer imagery! It produced a high level of emotion. Jilly Funnell, a great fan of Jake Thackeray, told of the Thackeray Society having just found 16 songs of his, never before heard that will soon be recorded. She adapted the idea of Thackeray's 'On Again, On Again', about a lady who talks too much, to the poet's wife having to deal with her creative husband's non-stop writing inspirations, including in their most intimate moments! She doesn't want to be unkind by interrupting his flow but, yeah, time to get rid of him!

Morough O'Brian (Mari), read poems from his recently completed book, 'The Moment You Know', about the difficulty when a child discovers he's gay. It shows how he approaches and is approached by relatives, friends and what he feels. Broken into 5 parts, Parents, 12-13yrs, Sudden Thoughts, Could They Survive (14-15) and 'Life goes on'. 'It's about a way to understand so you don't fear. When you fear, you hate'. We wish him much luck on his project.

Jimmy Lee, guitarist/singer graced us with some memorable songs - the most powerful being 'Hard Man', about the father he hated, who was so tough and beat him, so he grew up 'hard and strong'. Jimmy sang about how he 'stopped believing. Counted the days till he'd be leaving'..At some point, years later, they befriended one another and it went on till his death. Afterward, a wooden box was found containing tender love letters his father had sent his mother, from the army. Somehow Jimmy now understood his father. A wonderful song that resonates still and hit many people in the audience. He also sang 'Written in the Sand', an emotional song . Jimmy's lovely lilting voice and great playing were a great additive to the evening's entertainment. He's a star! We thought he was so good, we've invited him to come back as a Special Performer. He'll be with us either in June or October '17 and we're already looking forward to it!

Leah and Jake added some poetry as well, rounding out a great evening of musical and poetical entertainment!

The raffle for a meal at Fez, our local exotic Turkish restaurant, was won by one very lucky person in the audience. We keep saying 'it's worth buying the raffle. (are you listening?) You just never know!'

We look forward to seeing you this month (November) when we have 'Dennis Potter', brought alive, by Project Adorno.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 18 Oct 2016 (event)

leah

Sun 2nd Oct 2016 23:34

JOELLE TAYLOR – 'UNEARTHS THE DEEPEST SENSE OF TRAGEDY, LOVE AND HOPE'
Joelle Taylor - September's evening was another great one for Write Angle. Although the audience didn't fill the room, what was lost in quantity was made up in quality. The open mikers, as ever, were great! Their enthusiasm and responsiveness made it an unforgettable evening! Poetry, stories, guitars, and hammered dulcimer added variety in music and song. It is, after all, our audience who keep Write Angle in the 'limelight'!

But credit due to our guest as well. Dressed in tie, waistcoat and torn jeans, hair cut short, while in front, standing tall and proud, Joelle Taylor, 'male/female, ageless and timeless', but ever a powerhouse of energy - brought everyone into a focused silence. She made them laugh and also conveyed many a thought provoking sense of tragedy, all evident in her innovative, crucial, hard rending poetry, and formidable presence. Her mobility of expression and body movement carried emotion distilled into beauty of language – many phrases hard to forget – 'Fear is your father forgetting your name' - yet somehow still bearing its strength. 'We will never rest in peace- not while police stand guard outside school gates and children have Kentucky fried complexions'...and knowledge is privilege and the libraries of our lives are pillaged'.

Sadly, Joelle had lost a very special friend the week before – someone she'd travelled and performed with, for 35 years – Emotionally distraught, she said she was dedicating the evening's poetry to that special person. It's no wonder she's been called a 'shape-shifter, myth-maker, linguistic risk taker, a poetical activist, surrealist with a raised fist (Patience Agbabi). She is that and more. Her poetry is razor sharp. Her poems convey the 'lifestyle' of council living but don't allow its poverty or rawness to get in the way of the possibility of getting out! 'Every one of these tower blocks is a book. Open it. There is hope in it. There is poetry'.

In 'Crystal Kisses', the audience was asked to shout 'Rapunzel' and she wasn't happy with it, but one swift word from her raspy throat and wide smile soon brought in the loud rant she wanted, and out came the poem'. Her poetry, sharp and to the point. 'Crystal...about girls at the top of the ivory tower waiting for their 'Pimp Charming' to save them'. 'He has already betrayed you. He is not climbing but pulling. These are not your dreams he's fulfilling as he stands before you half-drunk, grinning, introducing you to the gang...He makes her presents of stealing gifts...'

Joelle not only shows the poverty and rawness of living in council estates, but she also finds the beauty and potential existing beyond the obvious. In 'The last poet living', 'I am the last poet standing on this blank stage of bruised pavements, broken with missed opportunities and well-aimed misunderstandings…' You will see poetry in the Braille of night skies, in the length of time a parent takes to say goodbye…..or that girl perched on the lip of the tower block preparing to fly as wild birds escape the gilded bars of her ornamental rib cage, even in the gangland's wasteland warrior cries'.

Joelle wrote 'The Human Rights' for Jo Cox, and is now working with young men in council estates as well as on a project with Lemn Sessay, for refugee kids in Kent.
'There are children who sleep in school uniforms'...'Some children wash themselves in the water of their mother's self pity'... 'There are those who leave their skin in the washing machine till it no longer fits them'.

Hardly a phrase in her book, 'The Woman who was not there', from which many of her poems were read, is not worthy of mention. She was a hit for most of the audience though possibly came on too 'strong' for some to handle, but there's no question she held the room attentive througout her entire performance! Big applause for a very special poet!

Colin Eveleigh, so keen to come to Write Angle, accidentally came the week before! His poem about 'Mindfulness'. Using our senses to be aware of the beauty of creatures. 'Is there an off-switch to meditation. Is it being driven by a giraffe? There are no rules in meditation. It's about awareness. Being mindful is being aware. Awareness is survival – being mindful in every day life! To be fair, I do see things without being aware' . (thoughts to think upon). Leslie Prior brought a beautiful painting (hers) which had started with one theme and suddenly under bright reds, became something else. Called 'Confessional Art', Leslie tried to convey that what she started, turned into a historical venture of the house of Swiss French Architect, Corbusier, during WW2. She went on to tell about his architecture. 'A house is a machine for living in' and in 1920, he suddenly pursued the purist theory of painting reflecting his belief that anyone could re-invent themselves, as her painting did!

Richard Hawtree, leaving for a conference about Virgil, the Latin poet, in Ireland the following day, read 'Shedding Tears', about his experiences in the classroom. Aeneas did things the others could not...like stripping the oak, but when he shed tears, not blood - our freshly scanned examiners grew leaving Britain with the sting of war'. (not sure of this) Barry Smith read his only poem of Bognor Regis, inspired by a clown convention. As usual, it's impossible now even, to speak of the poem without seeing the 'town of weird and wonderful clowns in full gear' as Barry's poems are so visually descriptive. Then, one of Chichester. 'Slow Fair Incident' . The equipment was in good order. The little girl was King for the night'. The banana skin dropped….

Jezz got up and played two cover songs he loves. 'This one's for the ugly people', he laughed, and went on with Jacque Brel, 'In the Port of Amsterdam', to 'The Fratellis Whistle For the Choir'.No matter what he does, the emotion in his voice comes through and it's hard not to feel his love of music. More from Jezz please.. (but...how about something original???). What does Jezz feel about mistakes? 'It doesn't matter if you make mistakes with the words as long as you love the song'.

Bruce Parry played a lovely melody, 'Gondoliers', a Gilbert & Sullivan song (1889) on his hammer dulcimer. He then read the second in a series he's doing on parks, inspired by the autobiography of Charlie Chaplin who said, 'all he needs is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl' .

'A Walk in the Park'(1916-1987) gave a very apt visual description of park scenes – ice cream dripping, knees scraping....a thousand Sundays of church bells ringing and the meeting of park keeper, David Dewey Hughes and Felicity, as he helped her with her blanket and picnic basket. It all changed with search lights and fire bombs. Felicity disappeared with the coming of war. However, years later, they met again. This time, for good. A park bench now remains with their names engraved.

Jilly Funnel then got up and did a poem about being a very proper lady, having a house like Miss Marple's house and fancying the local farrier. She had everyone laughing at the punchline. Then, with her guitar, she sang 'Swan' – a lovely song about the pub her father used to take her and her sister to – 'before they 'fell out', and how wonderful it was, (the memories we cherish)

Speech Painter ended the evening with the 'second set of lyrics' from the 'Adult Dr Seuss'. 'What is the Sound of the Siren?'. (still a work in progress) 'The siren represents so many different things to different People. He then spoke of Dr Theodora (for those who don't know, Dr Seuss' first name) posing the question, 'What music is best? Can you help me please?' He had everyone laughing. Another great performer!

A lucky regular won the raffle, an unlimited meal for two at the Links Tavern, Liphook

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 20 Sep 2016 (event)

leah

Sun 28th Aug 2016 16:17

SPEECH PAINTER PAINTS ROOM ROSY WITH LOTS OF LAUGHTER AND FANS
August was a great month for Write Angle as The Townhouse was filled with lots of excited fans, anxiously awaiting their favourite guest performer, Speech Painter. He's been getting around the UK, performing and gaining fame through his books, poetry, singing along with the very talented guitarist/singer,Will B' and Kylie, (who couldn't make the gig) – and now, as ever meeting new challenges, he's added his skills on the harmonica! 'What next', we ask ourselves?

And as he's 'just starting', the determined Speech Painter, had the audience hysterical laughing, at his efforts. Whether 'off key' or 'on key', he showed he's a Star!

Starting with his 'take-off' on 'Cat in a Hat' (by Dr Seuss)– his 'Twat in a Flat' – story of Mandy, her partner, the 'wise' cockroach and the twat upstairs (who thrives on drugs – especially roaches (aka dope) - not to be confused with the cockroach. The landlord is after them for owing past rent and the twat upstairs makes every effort to get them to take drugs to 'forget their troubles' but it's the cockroach who convinces them 'it's not the answer'. The book has already sold over 1 million copies (whoops – not 'Twat in a Flat', but 'Cat in a Hat') and Speech Painter is trying to raise his sales to match Dr Seuss - but it's not for the kids! The book is very cleverly written with Speech Painter almost perfectly replicated the one vowel, two vowel etc, words – that Seuss used – the man's a genius! (Speech Painter, as well as Dr Seuss!) No wonder he's doing so well, he already has a fan club!

Following that, his latest book, 'Bedtime with Geoffrey', an 'adult Dr Seuss', inspired by David Lynch, his 'favourite film director', had him dedicate a poem to Lynch. 'You murdered all those teens. You make my stomach churn, you are darkness, Mr Lynch, and all that heavy breathing behind those closet doors' – and 'you have a thing for Nicholas Cage!' the audience laughed. Speech Painter's timing is spot on- and he has the audience in his grip throughout his entire non-stop, performance! He now wants to write a musical – What's the book about? 'Let's face it. It's meant to be filthy', he smiles devilishly, looking round the room. 'It's about when someone wants you to go to bed with them and you never will….'get Zack in the sack!'

Admitting his 'terror of the harmonica' - even writing a lyric about the anxiety of playing it in public - didn't stop him singing and playing it, along with the fabulous guitarist/singer, Will B, in a series of songs. After 'Intoxication Honey',(Speech Painter explained how you don't put beehives next to rhododendrons – as they poison the honey). Known as 'the very first form of chemical warfare', when the enemy hoards would come into a village, they'd eat the honey and fall into a coma for a very long time! (don't even think of trying it!)

Songs, on the theme of the road, (less deadly), followed; 'Hitch', Sheldrick Road', (one you might well leave, humming), 'Harmonica Song Motel', with Speech Painter breaking in, intermittently, with his 'dreaded' harmonica, always leaving the audience laughing. Will B added his lyrical voice and style, providing all good fun. The audience loved it! What instrument next, we all wonder!

Meanwhile, our open mic brought Chris Sangster forward with poems from his book, 'Now We're Coping'. 'Every new thought, every song, every sense we use, has a meaning... Then, of 'The Energy of Alba' (name for Scotland), his native homeland, having 'energies we may not see, but feel…Every instrument brings vibrations to the heart' Very lyrical and nostalgic. Tim Barrow asked 'What if everything disappeared...death of the pyramid..if nothing was inherited, passing things from one world to another – Tutankhamun, taking everything with him to his death. (interesting thought). Then, 'Conquest'….of the buds in summer, who will get there first? 'Magpie' followed, with Tim's clacking bringing the magpie to life! - good description of the magpie.

JeanAnne Naumcyk read, 'It's my time'. Finally retiring from work, she feels the weight off her shoulders. Is ready to take her own time when, suddenly, the family descends upon her. There's more time for them, they think - but JeanAnne isn't having it. She's off to Scotland - for good! (reality or what?) A poem dedicated to her granddaughter, Kya, 'who she watched grow from a baby and now wonders, 'will she move mountains, or what?' Colin Eveleigh then did 'Shall We Dance' about relationships that break down and 'we find a new partner too soon'. Colin suggests we 'give up the fighting, the arguing etc'. (btw, a big thanks to Colin for not only the poet he is, but for his kindness in helping out by doing videos of each performer as David was not available).

Richard Hawtree had everyone laughing as, having just arrived back from a festival in Ireland, he couldn't find his poetry, so revealed the contents of his entire suitcase on stage adding more humour to the evening! He's a 'natural' and it took an occasion like this, to bring this out into the open! He read an Irish lullaby, 'based on a medieval Welsh poem and set in Cumbria. 'Dinagad', about a housecoat and how it was spun. Lots of applause and whistling followed. (more, Richard, more!) Jake then read a poem about when his brother David and he took their first trip together, to France. 'Smelly Feet' wasn't the problem after all, as he found out, having blamed David for not washing them – but the cheese they had purchased in France!

Phyllida Carr showed Speech Painter a thing or two – with the confidence and ease in which she played the harmonica. Her repertoire growing, she played 'When the Saints come marching home' and more – the audience joined in, always adding to a more relaxed evening. Brian Lawrence then told the story of how he decided to hitchhike in Alton after many years of not having dared. A young lady stopped and admittedly, the nonagenarian was flattered – till he realised from their conversation, she was a PE instructor in the army and he wasn't exactly 'in the flower of his youth'. What did she have to lose? (Brian, we love you and your adventures!)

Jilly Funnell played guitar and sang a lovely song from her book of memoirs – about one of her favourite pubs, 'The Swan', now 'so posh, wisteria no longer winds round it' - 'where she and her sister used to go, 'in the days when they were young - so great before they 'fell out'. Then, 'Red Shoes', a song about a little girl who was miserable because she wanted red shoes so badly but she was being punished. However, it has a happy ending as Jilly's songs usually do!

It was a 'high energy evening'. We called Speech Painter to say how good he was but he got there, first! 'Great evening, wasn't it!'. He's one of our favourite performers and for those of you who haven't seen him, we highly recommend you check his website to find out where he's performing next! We promise you'll be in for a treat!

The raffle voucher for two free meals at Chichester's wonderful, exotic 'India Gate', worth £50 was won by one of our 'regulars'. She's in for a treat as well.

We hope you'll come along to our September Write Angle when we have a new performer, Joelle Taylor. Speech Painter said she was 'amazing'. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing and hearing her! The Press Release will be out soon, so you can find out more about her!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 16 Aug 2016 (event)

leah

Sun 14th Aug 2016 11:05

BRENDAN CLEARY – ONE OF UK'S MOST INTUITIVE POETS & 'FOUND POETRY'

July's Write Angle was different from most. It followed a very successful day of poetry writing in a workshop run by Jenny Lewis. It turned out a success, with 15 people attending. Many new ideas came up, such as 'found' poetry.

Other than saying it's like a 'collage of words' that come from books, adverts, anything you can think of...those who originally rejected the idea as 'stealing' ended up being quite pleased with the results of their effort! Poems were made from maths books, photography...you name it. Even first words of different sentences were used! Credit to Jenny for keeping everyone 'awake' and enthusiastic for such a long day, and it extended into the evening where the 'poets' had the opportunity of performing alongside Brendan Cleary.
Only Brendan Cleary could wake up '…. in Czechoslovakia in the peaceful suburb of Prague with a splitting head from too much 80% vodka and now not only talk the language, have a beautiful Czech wife, 3 handsome healthy children (whose names escape him), read Kafka in the original and a pocket sized Philip Marlowe in the Czech translation.. ' ...and so his performance began. He's also 'probably the only person in the entire hemisphere who doesn't know anyone named Steve;.. nobody leans across in trains and says 'heard anything from old Steve' or 'Where are you and big Steve off to on the weekend?' Steve doesn't send letters from Southampton...Doesn't ever stop by for a smoke In the afternoon - all done in his wonderful Irish Brogue that brings each word to life – both gently yet with a fierceness. What he feels, you feel. He takes you with him, as he moves from one space to another. 'Everyone has a hero or heroine'. Brendan celebrated Kylie Minogue in a love poem, 'Kyle, be mine. You're such wild fire and magic..Your dance steps send me all to glee...you'll never cuddle up to me. You touch me in places I've touched myself…

On a more serious note, poems from a collection he'd written in 2013 dedicated to his brother Martin who passed away in 2007. His anguish was evident, ('it took me a long time to be able to write these') as he read, 'Feb afternoon. 'I'm clearing out your stuff. Loading your socks and wackers, your tee shirts…. and jeans….into bin bags for Oxfam.. Your complete set of the Vietnam socks I threw into the wheely bin but I'll keep your albums…your Manchester United posters... I'll keep your albums in magnifience nick. I stacked them on the sofa where you won't sit anymore….and some things I'll give to Keith (Keith Robert Gillespie, retired Northern Irish professional footballer (?)).

Brendan's family received a telegram from Alex Ferguson, but 'it meant nothing as our family wanted Martin back'. Memories of when Martin accidentally killed his friend's cat, and then went missing. Brendan would 'like to think that poetry could bring back the dead. '

Going from poem to poem, such as, 'Every Sunday, I play Nina Simone's 'My Baby just cares for me'. You spring out from the bar and we dance around the bar. We even waltz by the beer garden and for a few precious minutes, everybody just smiles, or 'on your rooftop, smoking weed, and you told me I was the same age as your dad and he looked much better so I decided not to pursue ….or you for that matter', and 'It was probably a Tuesday when I tied you up because you wanted me to. I had a silk scarf. It did for a blind fold. And later we had pizza... or I think it was pizza'. Then, 'If I could go back, it would be '72 when Jim Henry harried me because I snogged Sharon McBride…' Brendan has a rare charm – you can feel his mind is a collection of his work. It's no wonder he's known as 'One of UK's most intuitive poets'. The poet and the man are one! Sheer genius!

Meantime, Steve Scholey, from the poetry workshop, put together a 'found poem' though he said at first he didn't like the idea. 'surgeons achieve precise deletions cutting pathways they coudn't otherwise cure. Specifically remove the memory of ….' Margot Meyers, another workshop poet, did, 'As My wife arranges the lilacs in a glass, nothing in all the vastness of life hides summer but the trembling, ...we read the letters of the dead like puzzles of god'. She then did her own, '..I suppose if it was going to happen, it was going to happen on llangollen bridge. I see my double'.
Catherine Faulds, workshop poet, wrote for 'the centennary of John Cage, composer, referring to his famous 4 minutes silence ..'but what about the noise of crumpling paper...telling time, confounding critics, ….into body music to match John's body ... Colin Eveleigh, a 'regular' attending his first poetry wkshp ever, called it 'a brilliant workshop' 'He read of a little boy at school with a green glass Eye' which kept falling out. His own eyesight is good, he said, but he wants it better. Then, compared it with how he wonders if his life expectations are too high. Is he asking too much?

Richard Hawtree wrote a poem for a sick friend, 'On the way through the hall, you turn back to the rosary beads, not out of piety but.. because you love beads….your hands are those of a mathematician working an abacus….Determining the shape of things unseen. And confident that even if the stars fall on their courses, your love beads will store that gathered corvus in a blue monstrous orb - or stir the hanging baskets circling your windows.' Bruce Parry's holiday in South Wales, took him along the Dylan Thomas route, finding it very inspiring. On a different note, he read 'Charity Shop Ghosts', describing all the contents ..wanting to be seen again...loved again. Looking at Charity shops in the context of small museums, so many stories are told...come in come in We can show you the past, the present and your future.'

Rodney Wood, poet, then told how he'd been practising voice articulation and emphasis up until showtime, which turned out to be an empty room. He had only reached the end of the first line...when the second reader, a young guy, took over and the crowd appeared. ….It was over but at least he had learned how to articulate and emphasise. He then read of having to be
circumcised in '75. The 'Who Who Doing'.(?). ….describing his 'part' as a 'cute little face one had drawn just for fun. It looked like something the cat had been playing with'. He said visitors laughed. the nurses kept flirting..while it was dire pain. Worse when his mum came to visit. He felt he'd been embraced by an iron maiden. Sad, yes, but very funny!

David Roberts read of love fading'. It's funny how love fades as you start to get older. I'm looking at your sagging bottom... with a growing of time and the parting of the seasons, then love begins to fall just as the seasons begin to fade'. Then, 'The Last Supper'. About two lovers gazing at each other across the table. Will they ever meet again?…. an atmosphere of pain and fear of rejection at the last supper. ' Finally, 'Jess, the dancer' ….she takes you to another place.

Jilly Funnell played guitar and sang about a woman born in 1873 who had the 'original' toyboy. She supported artists, poets and fell in love with a very young man. She sang 'My boy was young, bright as the sun...my precious one...but fate had its way. Now I am alone...Then, using two accents, American country and 'proper' English, she did, 'Everyday starts with the tick of the clock… about a woman who lost someone she really loved, and thinking about wanting to go back, but realising it would be wrong. 'But she's strong and 'won't ever give up! Jake read about a thieving bastard who had one redeeming feature. He spoke in verse. They set a trap and caught him. Hung him from a 'poet tree'.

Jenny Lewis recited from her two year project 'Writing Mesapotamia' , which she's working on with the Iraqi poet, Adnan al-Sayegh. It started in the Ashmera museum in front of the Asyrian carving that inspired it: 'Read our footprints on the long road out of Babylon. They'll tell you How the river stops and the fish became tin. How the air had a taste of marble and our lungs fought breath as they turned to stone. How our souls disappear into the shadows of dates of palms. Still we journey... Flying between continents - between airports. Each new city that's our providence…..

Still the mother and child leaving their country forever. (Lovely poem). Jenny will be reading with Adnan in February. Jezz at the mic, then said, 'Starts in E major. That's about all I know about it', he said, then proceeded to play a happy song, 'if you love me…' in his lovely gentle and emotional way – that one never tires of. Then, 'Think you're very clever, don't you, boy'…

All in all, a great evening! Brendan was super and the poets very good. It was a hard evening following a long day – but we made it! The raffle for two free meals for Tai Tong, our local Chinese (excellent food) was won by one very happy Chinese food loving enthusiast! We look forward to Speech Painter in our August Write Angle! Hope you can all make it!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19 Jul 2016 (event)

leah

Tue 5th Jul 2016 21:34

JUNE WRITE ANGLE – GUEST PERFORMER HANNAH CHUTZPUH SHOWS SHE'S GOT WHAT IT TAKES!

With little sun in the month of June, Write Angle's gig brought warmth through the wit and wisdom of Hannah Chutzpuh to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience. 'By now, you know I'm not straight', she said confidently! The open mikers, as usual, presented an eclectic assortment of poetry. There were lots of new faces as well!

Hannah's poetry is strong and geared to making people feel good about themselves. Her poem about Jo always having to 'ask' for permission, 'could I have some of that, please' while a crowd of friends share without asking, tempted her to want to say 'no'. The audience laughed (but how many share Jo's lack of entitlement). Hannah's theatrical style and 'straight talk lend themselves well to her poetry. – She spoke of relationships ending. 'The house is divided wih masking tape marking the boundaries not to be crossed. ('I don't have the strength. I am plastic safety scissors when I want to be a sword'). I'm being 'reasonable' she said, however if he crossed, she'd kill him. The cat could cross them of course.

Having worked in a refuge for victims of DV, she read of abuse - the majority who go back to the mates in spite of the damage done. She spoke of the dangers of meeting on Facebook. How the first date was so good, they were already planning a second and third, but her fear of strangers, led her friend to check him out. He used different names. She realised she got 'close' - but escaped in time'. 'An abuser is a heat seeking missile'. She spoke of how she tends to pick wisely but realised she'd made mistakes and was starting to notice there was a pattern. She saw the difference between starting to trip, and falling. She spoke of London once being safe but now, with a killing a day, it could be anyone. Getting hurt, learning to protect yourself – once, we could be tall as redwoods. Now, to survive, we're tumbleweeds. We've grown callouses where others have grown roots'.

Pride (and a bit of jealousy) was evident as Hannah spoke of her 60 year old mother who decided 'I don't have to be here anymore'; she bought an Ipad, and now is part of musical bands, has two charity jobs. She's paid off the mortgage, goes to museums and galleries. Meantime, Hannah spoke of working in Job Centre. How to survive 'if you're middle class and bolshy; 'Act as if 'your career got a flat tire and this is the garage' – and 'everyone is behind glass'. Funniest poem was 'Necrokitty Comic Sans'. Hannah sent her dead cat to be cremated. The ashes came back with four poems -, written by her dead cats. 'Dear Pet Crematorium', she responded, furious that her cat should wait till she died to write to her, 'I am not her mum. I do not need to be told to be strong when she knows I am strong. I don't need to look for my cat in the 'first ray of sunshine'. But mostly, 'It hurts that she chose to communicate in comic sans!' Hannah's personality and energy brightened the room!

Colin Eveleigh read 'The lights are on', referring to a football changing room where the lights were never switched off till he put a sign up. It worked, however, not for long! Then, 'Performance', and what it feels like to perform. The fear, embarrassment...Liz Verlander, a 'natural' performer with a great wit and skill, dedicated her poem to Facebook. 'Like' comments to share. 'Inbox me'.Then 'dedicated to her 18 year old daughter Janet' who passed her driving test – She's terrified to ride with her - afraid she might get arrested. 'She's adept at a left but a fright at a right – Janet's response, 'It's my right to not turn right'. Like Hannah, (and yours truly), Janet worked in a refuge and spoke of women who go back to their partners even though facts show every week, two women are killed by their partners. 'He raped you, then called you whore'; but it didn't stop her going back.

G Rimes read about a young refugee who fell asleep in a lifeboat. A sailor bought her food and took care of her. After several weeks, she asked when they would get to America. Turned out she was on the ferry to the Isle of Wight'. Clever poem by a witty man! David Roberts read, Salome 2, about the artist Lovis Corinth who painted her as a lady of the night, then, 'The Irrational Man', the story of the film put to poetry. Lesley Prior then read 'Coriolis' a word that came into her head. 'Is it the name for a band or perhaps a conspiracy theory' (we'll have to wait for the next reading)..Richard Hawtree, often told his poetry is obscure, decided to satirise a sonnet on obscurity, 'Good Readers'. Created for those who crave obscurity – very good poem – well done. Jake, our compère, then read, 'Is it True'. His son asked if he wasn't wanted'. 'We didn't want a child so soon', he responded, but when you were on the way, we didn't stop you coming...Then, 'Fidelity and Hormones'. 'She was ready for marriage, fidelity and faith – though she went with different men searching for 'the one' . He then read 'The secret of a good marriage'. Every man must have a shed!'

Jood read 'All Very Well'. 'It's all very well to break a spell. How was it cast in the first place. Fool yourself to thinking one day all will be well. (a very good poem) Then, 'The Hand of Man' Both poems showing failures but still revealing a lot of hope still remaining. 'The Holy Communion will be reborn in our lives'. She called her third poem, 'Forsaken', 'This miserable little poem'. The audience didn't think so! Jilly Funnell played an instrumental, 'Ragtime Serenade' (by Peter Nuttall) on guitar, followed by a song, 'Hymn for Him', about growing old. It was dedicated to Marguerite Patten, her favourite TV chef, who she loved. Jilly related, saying, 'I'm more Marguerite than Nigella' and, 'we like Fred Astaire and sentiment. Jilly has a natural charm and glow that comes through on stage. She's a 'natural' performer.
Including a bit of 'happy' heckling in the audience and some chatting, (which shows how relaxed these evenings are), everyone was tuned in to the performers and a good time was had by all!

An audience member was lucky and won the £40 voucher for a free meal for two at 'Seven Fish', an excellent fish restaurant in Midhurst.

Please check out our Press Release, soon to come out – for Brendan Cleary plus 14 brand new poets at the open mic, apart from our 'regulars'. It's gonna be a great evening so don't miss out!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Jun 2016 (event)

leah

Tue 31st May 2016 12:26

WRITE ANGLE'S MAY GUEST ,TOLU AGBELUSI – A PHENOMENAL WOMAN!

May's Write Angle brought in a guest who took the audience's breath away! In her very gentle manner, she tackled subjects that were far from 'delicate'. Tolu Agbelusi, Nigerian born and living in London, conveyed stories of life in Nigeria for a young woman, and her transition to living in London. Her first visit back to her homeland, where she was given 'Instructions on going back home'. Switching to Nigerian accent, she told, 'You are no longer in London. First, customs. Then, men will help. They will cut the string from your shoulders'. She told of her parents wanting to be sure she had plans for her life. If not married, then a lawyer...not secretary...while all she wanted was, 'be happy'. She also told of all young girls trapped. One who wanted her daughter to be just like Tolu and said, 'She is married at 22, living in a mansion, goes to church, and is successful, while she was already 24…'

A powerful story teller, she used her acting skills to bring poems from her latest project, 'Home is', a play about what 'home' means to each person. This is not about the name of a place everyone calls paradise...how it influences your identity, what it means to each person…There was emphasis on women being abused, and no matter how often warned to stay away, they return. One powerful poem, 'Wake up', about women who always get into the wrong relationships. 'The last one held your heart with barbed wire hands'. The audience was totally with her. Another strong poem about the house she lived in, in which 'he' had control and she finally realised she was not free.

She also did several poems of people caught in the human crush at Hillsborough Football disaster, Sheffield in 1989 where 96 died and 766 were wounded - the worst disaster in British sporting history. After the longest enquiry ever, it ended with the realisation that it wasn't the fans' behaviour but the fault of the South Yorkshire police for failure to control the crowd. 'Daughter' , Discovery', Hallelujah, 'Barely' – one describing 'I feel like a car folded over by a bulldozer...I couldn't breathe or maybe I could'.. Tolu's confidence in performing her work produces a natural humour as well as pain/pathos. She has a wonderful grasp of language and conveys imagery, effortlessly.

Of Maya Angelou, her favourite poet, she said, 'If she was alive, we'd have written poems together' It inspired her to write, 'Fly' - 'Go ahead, seize the mirror…' Everyone laughed, as she asked the women in the audience to join in with her. 'No...no', she felt their response wasn't convincing. She had them say it till she finally got the response she wanted. 'I'm a woman. Phenomenally.. phenomenal woman. That's me. That's me'. Now you can give the mirror back. Fly'. All in all, Tolu had the audience in her palm from beginning to end. A wonderful performer! Responses from the audience as they left – 'You have to have her back!' (I didn't want her to leave).

Meantime, at the Open Mic, Bruce Parry read from his father's book, 'Watchman', overseeing the village, chapel house, the woman who seldom went out. Children scared, believing she's a rat by night. The minister who says, 'of the young, meet them halfway. Of the old, they're nearly home. Meet them all the way'. JeanAnne Naumcyzk, back after too long – with spiders picked up by her vaccuum. Then, a witty poem of Lady Marion loving Robin Hood who the Sheriff wanted for himself (or was it Robin's tights she wanted)! Barry Smith's poem described the beautiful historic pathway running alongside the Sussex Selsea steam engine (slowest train ever) through Shelbourne Harbour – 'the sense of antiquity and being there forever', a site well worth visiting.

Jood read 'The Side of the Road' about death to the beast - the weeping wailing woman at the side who kidnaps small children. Then, 'Shame Down Satan', sung and spoken with the wrath with which it was intended. Two powerful poems. John Haynes, having lived in Nigeria, and South Africa read 'Ballad of the Petrol Queue' - like most Third World countries where corruption is the way of life. 'It makes the country easier to rule'. Then 'Voice' based on a politician who thought most important to teach what can be done with one's hands: 'That's true education'. Finally, 'The Children of Soweto', about the uprising in South Africa.

The creative Audi Maserati, using his ukelele, did songs – to do with the full moon. An anti-war song about a spoon. 'It's not about watching TV. It's about loving and kissing, chilling out for a while...a song I don't want to end'. Then, 'It don't get better than this' and 'Contemplating Moonlessness, 'The very best place to put a smile is right there on your face'. Richard Barnes played guitar singing about a dysfunctional folk band where everyone had different beliefs. Very funny. Then, Richard Hawtree performed 'The Epiclesis', part of the Eucharist where the priest invokes the power of His blessing on the Eucharistic bread and wine, mostly done in Eastern churches. His version referred to an early Irish prayer, 'come down to reach for us'. Lovely rendition.

Tim Dawes spoke of those who set fire to themselves - in a poem 'Let's ignite again', 'walk far from doubt. walk toward purpose. Let me not go quietly out'. An inspiring poem. Then, a beautiful one of his mother 'My Name is'. She died of dementia. 'A strong woman with a defence against Gypsies, Communists and other threats.... She'd kept a diary, always beginning with 'My name is Gillian Mary ….' Toward the end, 'a broken garden fence of a woman', she was just writing, 'My name is……'

Leslie Prior read 'Love regiment disaster, questions unanswered', about the breakdown of a relationship – the anger, disappointments...then 'The Shortage of Short Men'. 'Women are just too high to reach...when Jake takes the mike, he might not know I'm even there at all'. Then a poem about her two cats, George and Jennie. 'George rules the larder. I love him so much, I might even grow a tail'. David Roberts did 'Magpie' and 'Snoggers Lament', two sad poems, 'Where is my woman. Where has she gone. Has she flown away...…' and 'Thinking about the more loving days'. Jilly Funnell rounded out the open mike, starting with another sad tale, 'Waiting for the Assassin', Her 17 year old cat dying. 'My sorry choice – to let you die, pray you won't turn away from me in fear'. Then on an upbeat, a very funny incident of a very attractive man following her, flirting with her, and Jilly suddenly finding herself complimenting strangers, finding everything around her beautiful. One person said, 'she's so nice' while another said, 'Maybe we should call the police'.

She finished with her guitar, singing, 'Jimmy on a Cloud' (we think it should have been 'Jilly on a cloud!'. Very good performance! Very good evening!

A £45 voucher for two meals at Nagshead, a great pub/restaurant (Chichester) was won by a lucky audience member.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 May 2016 (event)

leah

Fri 6th May 2016 10:19

CAM BROWN WINS THE AUDIENCE WITH HIS FLIGHT OF SONG!
It was a musical night. Not to say there was no poetry but music was definitely the theme. The audience was geared for it but Cam was always a step ahead. His fingers move like lightning, his grey curly hair swings round his shining face, his eyes smiling, and you know what follows will be lyrics that catch you 'off-guard' and keep you listening till you're hysterical laughing! He plays to the audience, loves it and it shows! His songs were from the '50s, '60s and '70s. His influences, Paddy Roberts and Jake Thackeray.

Having read, 'They don't make characters like Paddy Roberts anymore - the civilised English gentleman type - his humour recalling a time when mischief could be made with the inclusion of a double entrendre, - a 'nod and a wink'.. (Paddy, called one of his albums, 'vulgar', then delivered a charming series of a more refined era of British humour!)' That, for me, aptly describes Cam's style. Risqué but gentle and too clever to be not taken lightly!

From the time Cam took to the stage, he had his audience well in grasp. My favourite, an American song, 'She Left me for Jesus', was a big hit. But then, so was 'The Ram of Derbyshire', 'Christopher Columbo' which got laughs galore. Cam went on with 'The Finding of Moses', 'Cowboy Poem', a contest between two cowboys who had to use 'Timbuck Too' in a poem – 'The Philosophers Song', 'Bedbug Song', (hysterical), Sister Josephine (well known tune), 'The Vicar and the Frog', 'Tights in White Satin', 'The Tattooed Lady', 'The Ballad of the Two Town Shoes', 'A 'Cautionary Tale', 'The Hole', and finally, 'Let's Do It'. He could have gone on and on. No one left their seats. They loved it and he did as well. Cam runs the Open Mic at Chelsea Arts Club, London. He has a collection of guitars and has been playing over 50 years (he must have started at age 5!) He is a star, in every sense of the word! A man who leaves his audience humming his songs long after they've left the room and maybe even looking up the songs and doing a bit of karaoke when they get home.

Meantime, the Open Mic had Richard Barnes on guitar singing about the lonely sailor, 'Ready for the Storm'. Then, 'Our Town', where things have changed – and the good things become memories to hold onto. Richard Hawtree read his poem, which was entered in the Limerick Poetry Trail and is on display in Archer's Clothing Store, Ellen St, in Limerick. 'April's Flame', about the welcoming of Spring. 'Let Spring sway in both your wintry hips and linger where the wind is strongest in the April air'.

Sondhild read 'Aegean', a very descriptive piece about living in Greece. Barry Smith did 'Antidote for Babylon', about the Tennyson Walk around the edge of the Isle of Wite. 'a walk, well worth taking!' He followed that with 'Airbourne', about a 'brush' with the eagle owl, 'who have been targeting bald headed men!' The audience laughed at Barry's shiney head. He followed with a tale about Yehudi Menuhin who owned the oldest concert Stradiverious which he lent to a man named Giles, who accidentally dropped it, and as it tumbled down the stairs, Yehudi just got another violin! Barry detailed the contrast between the Canterbury and Chichester Cathedrals, always with the eagle owl in view
Leslie Prior read, 'Getting Out of the Box'(of crisps – trying not to break any,) which she knew she had to do. To ensure it, she got the suntan and is keeping her scruffy hair, to remind of the 'good times' that are there ahead of her, after her 'careful' escape. Chris Sangster read an 'ode' to his new conservatory, 'Through the Roof', where you see sky, sun, rain, changing seasons. Then, on his 'baby guitar', aka ukelele, he did 'Sweet Dreams' describing how love makes the world go round. Jilly Funnell followed with her guitar and a lovely song, 'El Paso', based on rock country singer, Marty Robbins. She then sang 'Dublin Wife', the poor woman left at home as hubby goes round the poetry circuit but she finally gets on-line to do some research, only to type right into hubby's profile!

David Roberts did 'Shakespeare's Skull' which was stolen. Then, 'Black Swan', with bright red beak. Wild and dangerous - a free spirit. Finally, 'Never Trust a Naked Bus Driver'. Certainly tell your teenage daughters to never trust one! Murrough read from his book, 'The Moment You Know', a poem about 'It's out...the secret...but you'll still never be free'. Then, he told about the experimenting and curiosity of young children – all so exciting - but also irritating'. Paddy Brady and guitar, got up to sing 'I Loved the Ground She Walked Upon', written during the time of Joyce, but he knew she'd never have him'. Then, an Irish song, 'Maloney wants a drink'. Everyone sang along. Bruce Parry followed with some lilting Irish tunes on his hammer dulcimer. 'My Own House', (lovely) followed by 'A Walk in the Park'. Gwenith Trudy Griffith dedicated her life to collecting everything about Queen Victoria. Her one regret – not living in the V&A museum.

Liz Verlander won the audience with her clever poetry and excellent performance style. 'What would I say to my 20 year old self'. 'Eat chips'. Divorced 5 years ago, she read 'I have a crush'.'I have no right to have the crushes, when gone are the days of girly blushes, and I should be focusing on hot flushes!' (Please come back, Liz. You are a star!). Her poem, 'Upeck' about Charlie having nothing against pigeons, indeed he is tolerant of all religions..Charlie is a seagull and just feels all pigeons should go back to Trafalgar Square to be with their own kind. (oh yeah - Ukip, lend an ear).

All in all, a very good evening. People laughing all the way out the door, commenting that this was 'our best evening yet' (said so often but we still love to hear it). This was our first time in Townhouse and it's a perfect venue for our gigs so please try and come over and see for yourself! We're always getting new people, new talent but the comments stay the same. It's our ninth year but we're still bringing in new talent and a good audience!

Cam Brown's friends won the raffle for The Half Moon meal for two, so that means a trip back from Surrey to our part of town!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19 Apr 2016 (event)

leah

Mon 28th Mar 2016 10:18

Greg Harper & OUR OPEN MIKERS - AN EVENING OF HIGH SPIRIT

March was our last evening at 'Folly Upstairs' and we managed to drum up a crowded room with many new and familiarfaces, and a lot of enthusiasm. The evening was a huge success.

Due largely to Guest Songwriter/Singer/Guitarist Greg Harper who won everyone's hearts and, as several of the audience said, not only were his voice and guitar playing at top range, but his songs conveyed deep and important lyrics conveying the importance of staying in balance with nature.

Greg's love of nature and anti-war sentiments came through loud and strong. He used sound effects, replicating airplanes overheard during WW2 as he performed his songs about war, and had birds tweeting in tune with the peace and tranquility of the countryside. Greg's a 'country boy' with folk songs that emphasise his true love of the environment. 'Bricks and Dust'is a perfect example of what's replaced the beauty of forest and wilderness. In 'All Gone' and some other songs, he had the audience join in. Where are the trees now – the colours...the cool, clear water.

The audience loved him and emails have come through asking us to have him back.

Jake started the open mic with 'Is It True?', his son asking if he wasn't wanted – followed by 'The Photograph in my Father'sWallet'. He carried Jake's mother's photo through two additional wives, only daring to take the yellowed photo out after theydied. Barry Smith then followed with a very visual 'At the Turning of the Tide', historical and mythological associations of Harbour Place in Bosham Harbour where the High King [Canute] ordered the flooding tide to turn, to today's oyster catchers, tourists etc. He then read 'Dallas Belle', of some things you don't forget, like your first girlfriend, President Kennedy being shot…

Sally Davis, first timer, read 'Pavlova', a fun poem, referencing English desserts, 'I can't forget our first sticky date', hoping it wouldn't end in 'strudel' - to good audience response. Then, 'Who do you think you are', a wonderful descriptive poem about someone'.(..his fists are fat with punches never pulled in his imagination') but the ending.'a child still waiting to be rescued'..said it all. Jood, another newcomer, read, 'Well, I Never!', generalising Brits, Yanks, Italians...as the Irish jiggle along..'our point of view is down the loo', 'while Jihadi Joe – let them all in. The World's on the Edge'...got much applause. Then 'Gossips', How tittle tattle can ruin people's lives. Finally, 'Mountain Music' about how everything seems so clear up there whereas in the plains, one can lose themselves.

David Roberts began with Woody Allen's 'Crimes and Misdemeanors': 'You don't know who you can you trust these days..followed by the 'Jade Scorpion'; then, 'Emmer', a wonderful tribute to Keith Emerson, composer, for whom David conveyed much affection and sadness. 'He was 'a true musical iconoclast' - The 'Jerry Hendrick of the keyboard''. Finally, 'Dancing in the Rain', '... nothing as wonderful as….'. Lesley Prior, another newcomer, did 'Cappucino Lady', whose conversational poem included meeting with a friend who cares...things sometimes are rough. 'No offense, Matey. Today I emigrate'. Again, much applause.

Mandy Law, first timer, did a short love poem, 'It may run deep or perhaps shallow..just a kind word or two may soften…' (be good to hear more). Denise Olley, also new, did several haikus which spoke of birds (travelling the hibiscus heart), and love. A successful form for her poetry (would be nice to hear more). Hazel Swainson then did 'Marmalade', (beautifully read) – it had a 'wildness' 'He spread the sun like marmalade but now the sun began to fade'…. Richard Hawtree, in an effort to help Irish speakers who add syllables such as 'fillum (film), wrote a humourous poem, 'Helping Syllables'. Ending with 'Stockholum'. He then read about Meredith Hammer, who translated the 'Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius' from Greek into Latin, which never went to print. Colin Eveleigh read a loving poem about his father, 'A Brush with Life'. 'Painting the house, (and everything), battleship grey, going to war, never still, always resourceful...they were inseparable. Colin displayed his dad's painting brush and palette which he'd turned to a work of art This writer shared some poems as well and lastly, Greg got up to finish the evening and continued with his wonderful array of songs and music. A lot of smiling faces led to a perfect end to a perfect evening! Many left with comments about how 'it was the best yet'. (Heard that one before!)

The raffle was for a meal at La Piazzeta won by one of the newcommers.
It was our last evening at 'Folly Upstairs', and as the Spring Equinox marks the beginning of the new season, April will now mark the beginning of our new 'home' at Townhouse Pub/Bistro at 28 High Street, Petersfield. We're very excited and are looking forward to it. They have wonderful food so you can have a 'pre-entertainment' meal before coming upstairs on a Write Angle Tuesday...or whenever! They also have a beautiful garden where you can sit and relax. A lovely, lovely place and we're grateful to the owners for letting us have the room upstairs!

We hope to see a lot of the 'regulars', as well as newcomers, as we reach into our 9th year. There'll be a Press Release out very soon on our April guest, Cam Brown, so make sure you put 19th April into your diaries!

Hoping you're having a Happy Easter Holiday!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Mar 2016 (event)

leah

Thu 25th Feb 2016 13:43

DOMINIC BERRY – VEGAN OVERTAKES WRITE ANGLE STAGE

Dominic's got a voice, confidence and powerful stage presence you won't forget. He's quick moving and energetic. His eclectic repertoire varies from childrens' poems like meeting a dragon on the way to school (who ends up swallowing the water in the pool), to sexual tales where five men are trapped behind toilet doors – each with his own horrific story including one 14 year old afraid to come out as he's tormented by some guys outside – he also faces the stigma of mental illness, where you can't take off work because you suffer agrophobia, stress or depression', but you can if you have a twisted ankle'.
He speaks of having had a tough childhood as the only child of a single parent. 'Single mums weren't looked upon favourably in those days' – he was bulllied a lot, had to wear second hand clothes, and learn beans on toast cost money - but somehow knowing 'everything changes', he got on with it. 'I drowned that dream but I never drowned!' A moving poem about 'Insomnia', describing every detail that goes on in one's mind, so sleep becomes impossible – 'till just before morning, when she flies away.'

His feelings about Cameron 'You'll never clean toilets for cash', to Valentine's day where his love is turned from that of a woman to being a vegan. Then admitting he's gay, ('as if you'd never guess it'). Dominic talks about how easy to escape one's real self, to games, where you take less chances. 'I'll obey. Let's invent a reality'.

He involves the audience and had them change his Valentine wish (you have to counter with the loss of love) from 'Oh, l'amour' to 'Au- bergine'.
He'a now working on 'Mindcraft', the transference from dealing with real emotions to game playing. Dom has a natural theatrical flow and his words seem to come naturally and easily to him. He's a strong poet with a flair for theatrics which enhances his performance to top level. He was working on 'Wizard' when with Write Angle', last, and has since received five grants to carry the play from location to location. He may not be 'everyone's taste' with his references to sex but, if you can stand the heat, you soon realise his poetry goes beyond the words to the emotions we experience universally, which control us and which we, in turn, must learn to control and put to positive use. Dominic is an example of someone who's made it – however hard and impossible it may have seemed and he's loved by many, both poets and audiences, and gives one heck of a performance!

At the Open Mic, Chris Sangster, read a dedication to Pam Ayres, he and his partner Jackie were fortunate enough to see – her kids off to school, and her new life starting, she had the audience rolling in the aisles. Having won the raffle, Chris dedicated a Valentine's day visit to Fez where the intimacy at each table was soon disrupted by 'Sally Shout' and her mum who filled the room with the 'rattle' of Sally's day; appropriately called, 'The Ear Acher'. Chris then sang his song, 'Estima' with his ukelele, inspired by 32,000 people from all parts of Estonia and other countries, all holding hands forming a chain, inviting the audience to join in. A lovely rendition.

Jilly Funnell went on with 'He was the Tops', followed by guitar and song, 'Hymn for Him', about people in a relationship getting older. 'We had so much in common' Holly Rose Thomas, newcomer, sang Al Capella, 'In the Arc of your Mallet', an Irish melody - lilting voice. She works at spiritual retreats and read a poem called, 'I am Everything', which evoked her experience with nature, in particular, a palm tree in Spain. Two inspiring pieces. We hope she comes back -with her guitar.

John Smith spoke of the weather limiting his time at the golf course, followed by some short poems, 'The Moving Hand' – 'the best poems are the ones left in your head', his shortest poem about The Tortoise and the Pie'. 'The tortoise was dormant but his pie crawled away'. A love poem for Valentine's day, ''The Downfall of a poor soul'.

David Roberts did 'Alice', '..a nice girl but her husband was having an affair. 'Deconstructing Harry', a complex character who ends up unable to 'reconstruct'! 'Black Hole' about loneliness in a black hole in your soul'. The poem was well received with compliments from several people. Finally, David did 'Love and Death'. You fall in love many times but only die once. (Fortunately, Woody Allen makes a film every year which should keep David going for a while)! Tim Dawes read a very clever poem which written, appeared as smoke soaring upward. 'War is just not what it used to be. There can be no smoke with no fire. We must learn to read from bottom up'. He, too, had a David Cameron poem, emphasising his annoyance that Muslim women must learn English within two years or be sent back to their native country, adding that law doesn't apply to any other people coming over.

Audi Maserati did his shortest love poem, 'Hand in hand they walked out of this song like a love affair'. Then, three songs on his uke, about dogs. 'Roxie's got a dog'. 'It's imaginary. It's only ever there when she wants it there'. His last poem was about Jesse, (when she was a puppy) his dog who died last year. 'My dog chased a squirrel up a tree. The squirrel got away. My dog runs in circles chasing her tail'. No matter what Audi does, he has the audience laughing. - even if it's choosing the right chair to sit on.

Phyllida Carr played harmonica to the background of a portable organ-piano. and came up with some added music, 'When the Saints Go Marching On'. 'Alphabet song' and a classical piece, all of which the audience joined in to sing. Colin Eveleigh read a sad poem 'Beautiful Bird', where the built-in wardrobe in his bedroom has mirrors that face toward the window. 'Thump – the sound of the birds hitting the glass very fast. 'Should I put up drab drapes'...Then, 'Stillness'…. Stillness is here.. No reason. No purpose. Enough to make one think! Bruce Parry played 'Both Tides Now' on his hammer dulcimer – lovely melody – a joy to hear. Followed by a poem 'Palace of Dreams'. Will old picture houses ever be the same as they were - (will the same be said about today's cinemas in 20 years time)?

The raffle, a Thai meal at Chichester's 'Thai House', was won again by- you guessed it, one of our regulars – who was almost 'forced' into taking it. You can't point the way luck falls! It just does!

Not a large crowd at 'Folly Upstairs' this evening but the intimacy lent itself well to the kind of evening it was. Every Write Angle creates its own ambience.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 16 Feb 2016 (event)

leah

Fri 22nd Jan 2016 16:45

Justin came Just in Time to 'Save the Day'!

As some of you may have noticed in our forthcoming news, Adnan al-Sayegh was due to guest perform but he'd double-booked a poetry tour in Paris and Egypt and we were in a bit of a conundrum till Speech Painter suggested Justin' and we're pleased he agreed to do it.

Justin Coe, a favourite with poets, 'brought in' a carload of poets from Bournemouth's 'Poetry on the Spot' including Bob Hill and Carrie Carrie (who'd just seen him at the 451 and was keen to see him again).

No way to describe Justin Coe, except as someone who bursts on the stage with instant energy and charisma. He knows how to connect with the audience; a fabulous performer who teaches kids poetry, as well as being father of three. The audience was totally responsive, as his theatrics went from serious to profound to humour. Starting with 'Pretend you're at the Royal Court... ' he did both parts of a poetical two-hander, called 'The Village Jesus', (every lesson he taught was like the sermon on the Mount) and, 'If someone steals your crisps, give them all your crisps' .. 'keep your pride inside'.

Justin saw 'Werzel' as someone worthy to follow and described his school days from adolescence up through puberty when 'a single pubic hair marked he was normal'; he then discovered boys. A love affair between inquisitive youths leading him into all kinds of problems, including telling his parents. The word 'Gay' became his word! The more he rebelled, the louder it sounded. He finally became its defender but, still, his curiosity led him to ..how to 'do it' and Werzel was sent in to teach. So many questions...all had answers. There's no way to describe the physicality of Justin's ability to express his anger at repressions and his excitement discovering new thinsg. Werzel was his hero until Justin asked a single question that got the wrong answer. He then understood, 'The only Jesus that believes in me is the Jesus of the Gays'.

He spoke of his childhood in Deal, the summer job he had – (it didn't last long). 'The only thing that's true in life is death'...He played guitar with the audience singing - even mimicking the teacher of a dyslexic class (from his book). The audience also 'pushed' as his first child was being born. The description and poetry that went with it, were real and 'touching', it would have been hard not to relate. Much of his poetry dealt with childhood issues. It worked. Of his many concerns; 'One day, there'll be no homeless on the street'.

We couldn't have asked for a more successful evening. He proved a hit with a full and very enthusiastic audience. And our new premises, 'Folly Upstairs' is a huge success. 'Great room. 'Perfect for a poetry and music evening!' - constantly being said ... for which we thank Jerry, Gavin, Johny and Chloe for the room and even helping set it up!

Following, Bob Hill did a tribute to David Bowie as did several others. 'I don't know where I'm going but I know it's better than this'...he recited of times in history, persecution of peoples, 'that needed to fail'. He talked of hearing the adage, 'If a child lifts his father, his scrotum will blindfold him' and told of a time he, his father and son got together – of knowing when men needed to know when to step aside, and let their sons move in. How each generation takes over the previous but only when it's the right time. David Roberts did a tribute to David Bowie as well ('Starman') and a poetical summary of 'The Purple Rose of Cairo', 'Manhattan' (the place for falling in love) and 'Vicky, Christina, Barcelona'. Richard Hawtree's poem was based on the oldest surviving medieval Welsh lullaby, 'Dinagads', an account of battles in the old North, the 7th century text known after its protaganists (worth a listen to the youtube).

Carrie Carrie, first timer, did 'On the Bus' based on two passengers together but with a barrier between – 'we occupy different spaces'. Colin Evesleigh who teaches about mindfulness, read about 'Just a Thought' and then continued with thoughts of overthinking...'The passing moment..is this all it is. If you want to be mindful, you need practice…'. Lynn Fornieles, an architect and artist, inspired by a piece of charcoal pencil, wrote 'Mark on the Wall', creating a lovely visual experience of the charcoal, embers...fresh wood..everyone around the fire. Stories being told.

Phyllida added some new songs to her repertoire on the harmonica including 'Life is just a ball'. Damien O'Vitch, who recently had his poem in the 'Hammer & Tongues finals at Albert Hall, performed a very angry poem, 'Prayer' for some 'young blokes he saw in a takeaway' saying 'the world doesn't revolve around you', 'we've only just met, yet, . you show this car crash of your personality'. Then, 'Warm Public Love', where 'cheeks against yours is an embrace'….ending with 'please wash your hands'.

Bruce Parry played a lovely Irish tune, 'Ineshea' on his hammer dulcimer and followed with a poem about 'Charity Shop Ghosts' – describing each item having its own life..wanting 'to be seen again. To be wanted again'...finally ending up tidying all the vinyl records (a labour of love, m'thinks') as he sees the shops as museums. Jilly Funnell, guitarist and songwriter did 'I need Words', about finding words that come from her gut. Then, the clever 'Jeremy, Jeremy' (name rings a bell) 'Your beard hasn't tickled me once this week' and 'I'm labour till I die', then 'pick up the phone. Get permission to call me from Ken Livingstone.' Finally, a song for Richard Digance, next December's WA guest performer, 'I'm not Ginger Rogers. You're not Fred Astaire. Still we just might pull it off'.

Audi Maserati did the Salvadore Dali, from his dada notebook – 'want to feel the buzz of being alive', and other poems, 'The Piano and the Peach' as well as 'Afternoon tea', when Aristotle and Billy the Kid were discussing nuclear fusion and Buffalo Bill came in through the window. 'Timing is everything'. Together, they 'sorted out the world'. All good fun! Chris Sangster, having spent 'the longest day of his life', with Jackie - babysitting - ended the evening with his ukelele and two songs, ''Sweet Dreams', and 'Goodbye Love' which speaks for itself. Also a poem, 'Quest', about adventuring across the sea creating an empire. A good beginning for an ending!

The raffle for the wonderful, exotic 'Lemon Grass' restaurant was won by a newcomer – a great prize. We hope she enjoys it. (it's one of our favourites).

It was certainly a full and eclectic evening with people standing at the bar, sitting on chairs or relaxing on sofas. Roars of laughter were the keynote for the evening and, hopefully, inspiration came through for those who haven't yet got up to the mike – and for those who did!

My apologies for any mistakes I may have made. It was a good start for to new year!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19 Jan 2016 (event)

leah

Tue 22nd Dec 2015 14:53

Write Angle celebrates Poetry & Music Jollys at the 'Folly'

Christmas is always a special time for Write Angle. So much to be done, that an evening of poetry, comedy, music and food, is a 'welcome relief'! Epecially at our new 'Folly Upstairs' – a warm, cosy place to sit back on sofa or chair...and enjoy, or get up and show what you can do!

December's Guest Performer Paul Lyalls took to the stage with a giant leap – the 'only poet who has a code by which his life is lived'; 'Carpe post meridien' (Seize the afternoon) and he does! He tells of how he was entered twice in the Guinness Book of World Records; as the first poet ever to perform at the new Wembley Stadium, then for having the smallest audience ever!

His stories and poetry go on without stop. He was with Denzel Washington when they passed a homeless man. Having had a good day, Denzel bent down and gave him $50. The man jumped up and shouted, 'Hey everybody! Will Smith's just given me 50 bucks! He then recited 'Some things that only happen in the movies. '... any lock can be picked with a credit card or a paper clip. Only in the movies can one bullet blow up a car…

Paul said, when he reached 40 not long ago, he immediately realised 'life starts at 20'. Then told of a friend who was so excited at reaching 50 – till he saw a magazine in his doorway. 'SAGA', advertising rails for your garden, but the one that really got him was 'slippers with headlights'. He had the audience laughing from beginning to end. My favourite though is when his wife asked' what are you thinking' (he hates that) and he didn't want to tell her he wished he was in IKEA in a cupboard waiting for someone to open the door, so he'd jump out and say, 'excuse me, What country am I in'.

Paul is a wonderful and polished performer. He is funny, warm and – his timing is perfect –He involves the audience and they're with him from start to finish!

At the Open Mic, Bruce Parry read 'War Time Christmas Underground', a moving poem about the bomb coming and those at Bethnel Green. 'Everything chipping..falling' Then, a story of a girl who wanted a yellow skipping rope but he didn't want to buy it for her so he offered her everything else but she insisted on the yellow rope. He finally had no choice but buy it for her. As she left, laughing and happy, a brilliant shaft of moonlight lit up the calipers on both her legs. Nick Eisen, newcomer and professional poet, read 'Ho Ho Frickin Ho'. Santa was tired, bored – it was time to protest. 'Santa's going to strike', ending with, 'I'll purge your urge to buy'. Then 'DIY', a poem describing the assembly of items in flat packs. If that doesn't make one stay away from DIY, I don't know what would. 'Assemble all shown in C in diagram 2..tighten bolts, ending in 'you've now assembled the human condition, an interactive work for which there is no guaranteed instruction manual!'

David Roberts did 'Wind Messenger', about a black cat with wings sent to Earth. Then from a painting called Winter'. 'The end of things and looking forward to the blossoming of Spring.

G. Rimes did 'Identity Mistaken' about a man named Barry looking for employment. Chris Sangster did 'Carbon Credit Christmas'. 'Do angels leave carbon footprints? The world is cooling, not warming. We're not as smart as we think..the earth is used to self-healing.' Then, 'The New Train of Thought' about a woman looking from her work window, at the train to Gunwharf Keys passing, on a raised level – day after day, watching the passengers and 'fluorescent light, her only light'. Come Christmas, though, she's happy. He then played the ukelele, 'Hope you have a happy day'. The audience joined in. Jake and Leah added their Christmas poems for the holiday.

There must be something about newcomers to Write Angle; so often, they win the raffle, this time a £50 meal voucher from Côte, the French restaurant in Chichester. A fantastic place with great food and service! How do we get these wonderful restaurants to offer us raffles? (someone asked) We don't know but we can't thank them enough for supporting us the way they do!

All in all, a very good evening with lots of laughs and good spirits!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Dec 2015 (event)

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Julian (Admin)

Sat 12th Dec 2015 16:19

Hey Leah, a great write up of a great performer. Thank you.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Nov 2015 (event)

leah

Fri 27th Nov 2015 11:13

ATTILA'S AUTOBIOGRAPHY 'ALMOST' STEALS THE SHOW

In 2000, Attila stood in an alleyway called 'Arguments Yard', in Witby, North Yorkshire, and, looking around, shouted to his mate Mick, 'This is it! If I live long enough, I'm gonna write my autobiography and this alleyway's gonna be on the cover'. Fifteen years later, in November's Write Angle, at the 'Folly Upstairs', he held up the book, to a full room of his fans. The alleyway, of course, on the cover!

The audience came from local areas, Portsmouth and afar, to see their favourite poet - a great performer - (tutored by his mother in classical violin), and after 35 years of performing his work at literary and music festivals, rock venues, arts centres, pubs, universities, schools, folk clubs and punk squats in 23 countries including Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and a hotel basement in Stalinist Albania, he completed it; almost 300 pages! The story of the good, the humourous and bad times in his life.

Whatever your politics, somehow, listening to this loveable poet rant on, 'cos we're Lefties and we smell!… you feel as if you've known him forever. Attila shares his life – in stories, poems and songs. He make you laugh, want to cry, but as he says, “All I’ve ever wanted, is to do things on my own terms, earn enough to live on, and be able to say ‘f...k off’ or ‘well done’ to anybody I want to. I publish all my own books, release all my own recordings, book all my own gigs. I don’t rely on anybody else for any aspect of what I do, and it works.”

He knows he's stubborn and difficult and his audience loves him for it. The timing of the book was perfect as 2015 proved a very bad year. Attila went through serious health problems and his poem,. 'A Spin In The Tail', written just after his autobiography was completed, tells of how he suddenly had pains and the NHS began tests. 'Flexible cystoscophy...a camera up his nob... he saw his internal organs on a large TV screen – bladder cancer. Attila's world went upside down. With Robina's support, it went better. Out of this horror, he suddenly grabbed his mandolin and did a song of his determination to live, to make it through. He has great respect for the NHS. 'Then, the fear of waiting for the news' but, somehow, he had everyone laughing...it was caught early...one message for all. 'get your nob out for your doc' He then read a poem called 'Candid Camera'. More songs and stories, bursting with emotion - with amazing energy, bursting from one to the next, non-stop.

In 'My Poetic Licence', he speaks of having to fight. Atilla, ranting rebel poetry, welcome...'We're commies, we undermine everything that moves and they fight us' ….It was the miners' strike that converted him to go 'left' in his politics and he knew it'd be a struggle but he had to say what he thought. He called 'Pakistan..a pear shaped plan'...expressed hate for Thatcher, Royalty...the rich, Rupert...newspapers that minimize the important and maximise mediocrity (Prince Harry's Nob'). In his poem 'Everytime I Eat Vegetables, I Think of You', he speaks of having seen the 'the brutal worst of capitalism. By filling in ledgers, 'he got to know exactly who was investing in other people's misery', the snobbish, status-obsessed partners and the bored, victimised clerks. Like it or not, he's determined to hold up 'that red flag till the day he dies'.

Attila speaks of his father, who died when he was 10. He wrote a poem, 'Poppy', a highly emotional poem for the man who was a published poet and fought in WW1. Four year later, when his stepdad moved in, there was a 'family feud' which lasted years, finally ending with his accepting 'You were the head of the household and I was the stroppy kid'. They admitted their love for each other. 'It's never too late to tell someone you love them'. Attila's mother, a professional musician, developed alzeimers in 2004. Attila watched how his stepdad cared for her, attending every need. He, too, stopped writing – until 2011 - and helped care for her. Attila manages to capture humour with pathos while ranting. From audience reaction, there's no doubt his audience is right there with him – all the way!

With little effort, he sold 11 copies of his autobiography to Write Angle fans (at £14.99 each!), and we hear it's already being well received, getting rave reviews. We're sure our guest performer will do very well with his performances and sales, as he continues his UK tour.
Meantime Ryan Moss opened the floor with a poem, 'Waiting for God(ot)' about being a child trapped in the rain, waiting for his parents, 'Why aren't they coming for me'. He'll join the circus if they don't come soon' – he caught the spirit of the fearful and angry young boy. He then read 'Terror', of living in world needing love. Muslim terrorists, not to confused with good Muslims. He works with many good Muslims. 'We didn't blame the Germans for Hitler. Why should we blame the Muslims for ISIS'. When Caucasians are evil, we call them mentally ill but Muslims are called 'terrorists'.

Gareth Toms then read 'A Rhythmic Response to a Question about Information in a Job Interview'. Answer. 'You won't find a job here!' Then, 'You and I will never be King of the Multi-Storey Car Park', about how big cars make statements: 'A new car for your wallet-drenching girlfriend. I'll just walk by choice', ending with, 'that baby-seat enhances everything'. Then, the embarrassment of an Englishman in a bar in a pub. Then, 'Fortune Lane' where he worked as a gardener, stole gas from his boss' car.

Colin Eveleigh read of living near a naval firing range when he was ten, and trespassing, seeing the canons, rockets...he and his friends tried to blow up a public toilet. 'It's how it was after the war'. Tim Dawes did a sonnet on the celebration of his visceral garden of summer desserts. 'A sonnet so clean, it mentions custard twice'. Then, a 'Truth and Lies' poem. 'Choosing to Ignore the Warning', based on the Miners' Strike. The meeting between Tim and Peter Tachell, another Green party member, during the strike . How some of the facts were true. Some lies. 'A whole new way of going down'. G Rimes then told of how he converted their garden shed into a craft room for his wife. The voices in her head stopped. Crafts can be therapeutic!

It was good seeing Chris Sangster again. He read of 'What hasn't been done yet? What's the next new thing? Tree felling – too dangerous. Funeral embalming...here lies granny. Seems he wants something new to do! He then read 'That Little Black Bag', how people leave it waiting for the 'poo fairy' which won't come. 'Take it with you!'

Jake then read a 'shortie'. 'Confucious he say, never lend money to kin' while Bruce Parry took out his hammer dulcimer and played a 17th century 'Medieval' tune, 'The Kettle Drum Song'. It had a lovely warm wintry feeling to it. Then, 'Bonfire Memories', with crackling twigs, chidren dancing, Guy Fawkes day – it will go from generation to generation. Keeping with memories, 'The 6ft Christmas Tree', bringing back the family around the tree and all the goodies that go with it.

Surprise guest performers Speech Painter (lyricist and singer) and Will B (singer/guitarist), always a joy to have at our mic, played somgs about two unfriendly places: 'Motel', about a place so depressed, 'there's no hope in hell' no joy – not even a bar of soap, followed by 'Hitch', in The South Downs, 'where 'someone has to die.... You wouldn't pick a stranger up.... The Saxon church is engulfed in smoke. I tell you to be careful. I tell you to beware. Cos you have no idea of the things that happen there'. Lastly, Leah did 'Carphone Warehouse' about promises made and kept, to not repair your pho

The evening ended with the winning of two three course meals at the Links Tavern, won by a very surprised young man, and preparations are now on the way for our very special Christmas Evening. It will comprise lots of truly rich as well as delicate finger-pickin' goodies, prepared by the chef of the Folly Upstairs Restaurant. That, plus our wonderful performance poet who's as funny as he is clever and a fabulous performer, Paul Lyalls, - we hope you'll all come along and join us.

Price will be £14 and we promise to make it a memorable occasion ! Do put Tuesday 15th in your diary and plan to join us for an evening of festive fun. And please bring your friends, and your poems and songs along as well! Open Mike will add to the entertainment!

Please let us know by email as soon as you can, if you're coming so we can plan the food accordingly.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Nov 2015 (event)

leah

Sun 8th Nov 2015 20:30

20 October Our First Gig at 'Folly Upstairs' with Guest Performer, Dan Simpson and our popular Open Mic

Dan Simpson, Write Angle's first Guest Performer, at our fabulous new 'digs', 'Folly Upstairs', brought science, maths and poetry together, all adding up to an original, clever and fun evening.

Starting with 'Packing a Poem': 'Imagine a suitcase is the poem'; he then spoke of tidily packing it, fitting things in places; tucking verbs into nouns like squashing socks into shoes. Mixing metaphors with underwear, Rolling verses into one another. Then, when the lid doesn't shut, sit on your poem to close the lid. His poem about 'The Passing of a 'Deadline', brought laughs. He's from Bexley, 'the home of Kate Bush and the BNP', describing his town with memories of 'sliced white bread and butter'; he worked at Starbucks. Talked of 3.59pm on the 'last day of school'. Then, a limerick about 'The Man from Lands End' who 'he's written out of existence, and the importance of 'striving to be something greater than your creator'. Inspiring ideas such as 'destiny is in our own paths'.

Dan loves writing poetry about poetry. 'It's meta poetry'. He told of the Post Modern Post Office. No packages, no postmasters, no building... only poetry. 'We are post modern, post feelings.…' Then, the study of knowledge. 'How we understand truth...when all ability to understand the world deserts you. There is no god. There is no 'why'. Maybe you don't know which toothbrush belongs to you and you've been using your housemate's for the past 3 months'.

Dan describes poetry in shapes. He took out a large sheet of paper. 'This is a big poem. '. He then unfolded it over and over till it completely hid him. But then, as he folded it back down, explaining that 'a big poem can have big problems. It can get too big for its boots.' Finally, when it was quite small, he cast it aside. 'Sometimes it's hard to get what you want to say into the shape you want it to be...such as the shape of your heart..shape of a river..The shape of love. Love is not a shape poem. Dan teaches and especially loves kids in primary school. 'There's no cynicism. 'This poem written by a 5 year old is probably the best thing you've ever read'. Not mediated by a lifetime of living. It's powered by simple cartoon coloured words.. 'Remember when imagination was everything and you were a poem written by a five year old child'.

His poem about love. 'Drunk and stumbling, they fall into love, spilling love's lager. Love's a mean drunk but he's meaner when he's sober and this was his first drink after a very long day…. Love has deep battle-line creases on his face… love is here to break hearts. Then, invited to perform at a hen party, the poem steps up onto the stage...it's a stripping poem – a hunk of masculine verse'.

Dan has a wonderful and unique way of seeing things which really stimulates the mind. He's a super and unusual poet who loves interacting with the audience. It's pretty obvious they love him as well! His imagination carries him in places that none of our poets have visited before.

At the Open Mic, Dave Allen's poem was a 'shaggy dog tale' about taking his laptop to the beach (spectatularly bad idea) then, inspired by what a friend of his saw (he just missed it): 'with water dripping down my rippling torso…' It's bikini season. Never saw the sky so blue. Something leapt from the sky and a bloody gull grabbed the flake from his ice cream...each bird steals from another...midst the lovely beach scene, but then, a big dog was about to lay some 'eggs'…it was a fun poem told in Dave's laidback way, with the audience in hysterics…

Bruce Parry had a dream that there would be a shelter. followed with 'Harvest Moon'...watching over our bewitching hours…; 'Sacred Sanctuary' – the new exodus...all our Western religions would make the ultimate sacrifice...giving sanctuary to the homeless...where will the shelter be. A Europe to read. The exodus had begun. Then, 'Blood Moon'….giving the world a madness...WW3 had begun. No bells rang and no religions survived. Very interesting ideas in an eerie tale.

Sue Millett's poem dealt with 'poet's block'. The question being, should she continue, or stop and wait. Colin Eveleigh was 'The Queens Paperboy' ...Remembrances of when all papers and magazines were sold out. As he rushed to get the bag that had the magazine with the photo of a 'naked lady', the money dropped out. He rushed to grab the coins. Fifty years later, it all came back. No naked ladies in Playboy anymore. But the adventures of young boys gazing at the photos lingers on!

Maria Hewitt read about refugees. 'Through the tears of my drowned child'...She spoke of 'Godliness' and 'what are you waiting for. The atrocities, destruction that plays the world...that you created in your own image...What are you waiting for? 'What are you waiting for?' Then, a poem on 'How wonderful is the computer...there- ready to do it's thing. But...where was the inspiration….'

Barry Smith said he loves cartoons, and told of his visit to Bath. How those in the 18th century were just as vicious as ours are. In his poem, 'Bath Comforts', he asks, 'Where are they now? The Assembly Rooms in Bath. Pictures from the 18th century ...it's easy to laugh...where are these men now who Beau Nash found a handful! ….'See they sits with stick and spy glass...eyeing out the feathered headdresses and lacy bosoms. A time of fun for men… ...very different from today..while he and wife were in an elegant apartment...all comforts supplied...moules meunière, sliced pork, apple sauce….tomorrow they 'really will' have to bathe in the natural thermal waters and visit the pump rooms for lunch. (wonderful poem - Barry certainly caught the spirit!)

He read a poem inspired by a picture in Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, by Paul Klee, called 'The Blue Rider'. Although it looked like a simple child's painting of a small harvest scene, Barry continued, it was a complex study of the tale of the last judgment of the Munich Hanging committee – the tale of transmutation..the father of chemical warfare.. the picture of the tale in the suitcase. Found in a child's bedroom. A tribal artifact requiring a final solution. 'This is the tale of a gallery's jewel'. It was read with passion, depicting ugliness at its very core.

John Smith got up and said he wanted to write a 'real poem' as he's been criticised too often for writing about writing. He said 'it's another rambling monologue only he decided to use 'menagerie'...So, what's a small zoo to do with a monologue. Big beasts like politicians, religion, traveling along all with windows firmly closed by tax credit cuts…a step to the kitchen...decided to call it 'Bacon Sandwich'...then thought of the moon…He went on to why he has been called 'Johnny the Nut' – a light beam shone on his head. So John S, in spite of wanting to write 'a real poem', once again did one of his unique monologues and had everyone laughing.

Phyllida Carr played the harmonica.. 'Blue Moon' with the audience singing along. Also, with everyone watching the Rugby, she played a dedication to that, as well as 'Oh my Darling Clementine' - all songs as ever, accompanied by voices of the audience.

Ryan Moss read a short story, 'You Never Told me That'. About a couple, married eight years, who had difficulty as the husband was unable to enbrace his wife due to a childhood trauma. He had been abused by his single mother for years. They had sex but no hugs – no intimacy. The wife met an elderly man whose wife had died and he was lonely. All they did was meet and hug. When he died, he left her a note that she's made him the happiest man and now she must tell her husband how she felt about his lack of intimacy. She, meantime, had decided to leave him and before going, she explained her inability to handle his lack of affection. He didn't know. After she left, the two had never ever been closer. It was a very good story and something new to add to poetry evenings!

Jake then read a poem, 'Listen to Father' in which he realised he couldn't learn from his father's mistakes but had to make his own. 'He used to ask me why I always did my 'thing'. His second poem, 'Fidelity and Hormones' about a woman who believed in marriage but also believed in freedom to do her own thing. She found it wasn't so easy to balance the two and it made for many difficulties. Leah then read poems about a 'Possimist', (combined pessimist and optimist) , 'Audition for Divorce', 'Adopting a Dog'' and 'Lollypop'.

Richard Hawtree's 'Panopticon' told about the prisoners from the failed 1798 rebellion in Dublin's Kilmainham jail designed by Jeremy Bentham so that the guards could see all parts of the prison. David Roberts read 'Looking at the Face in the Mirror' – 'is it me or is it you?'; 'Silver Birch' - 'if only that tree would wrap its arms around me'; and 'Old and Grumpy' – 'complaining about everything, whem you're old and grumpy'.

The raffle for a free meal for two at La Piazetta, was won by one of the lucky open mikers. A great Italian restaurant in town. Meanwhile for those who don't know it, 'Folly Upstairs' is providing special pre-show 3 course dinners starting at 6pm so you have a chance to have a great meal before watching and partaking in Write Angle's evening of entertainment!
All in all, an eclectic evening with an enthusiastic audience and very good performers and the guest performer, Dan Simpson, was certainly a 'perfect' start to a 'new beginning' at 'Folly Upstairs'. Our huge thanks to Gavin, Chloe and Ryan who provided the drinks and food – and even music during the intervals. There are still some glitches – the sound equipment needs adjusting but we'll get it sorted!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 20 Oct 2015 (event)

leah

Tue 22nd Sep 2015 13:02

SARA HIRSCH EXPLODES ON STAGE

First of all, we want to give special Thanks to Richard Gordon for letting us have the space at 'Forks Handle Kitchen', for Write Angle, as our usual location, Square Brewery, is under renovation. We cannot thank him, Yasmin, or Georgia - enough! There was food and drink available all through the evening. And now on with the show!

...If anything ever got our steady handed, video man, David Stone, to comment, it was September's guest, Sara Hirsch;- and as I couldn't say it better myself – here goes!

'She didn't just perform on stage. She exploded. In the audience, she didn't look unusual - but when she got up, she took up the whole space. She was exceptional…. (and if that wasn't enough),... 'If you can go from a one string fiddle to a full musical orchestra, She was the full orchestra!' David wasn't alone. Everyone said she was 'brilliant'. She had a freshness and vivacity... '- the best yet'...(okay, so they've said that before..and before...and…) the audience was gobsmacked over her energy and emotive projection! She made you laugh one moment and feel tearful the next.

As Sara said she'd never been billed as a comedian before, she said she'd start with a joke, get it over with, and then do poetry!

'I Don't Want an Easy Life', told of her wanting it complicated.. to have done everything...have it smack the lving daylights out of her. She wants life to mother her; sweep her off her feet. 'If life really does have a meaning, I want to take the time to find it'....a long convoluted joke, full of mistakes; gritty and difficult to swallow. So awkward, when she gets to the end, she hasn't got the energy to do it again. Her life is funny...with men. She has terrible cocktail skills... Sometimes it's hard but she likes it that way...'. What a poem to start the evening! '
'Deaf Poem' , where everyone thinks she's dying. She's 26 and thinks she can't hear.. Lovely and hilariously funny. Her friends say 'Have you finished your 'death' poem yet, and she says, 'death'? No! It's Deaf, not Death'!!! Then a Haiku. (might have been the joke) – 'I don't like goatees, but if I were a man, then they might grow on me'

From the Edinburgh Fringe, her 'favourite place on Earth' – where she just performed her show, 'how to be a teenager', soon to be toured around the UK..came the poem, 'Unmade Bed'.. 'How was it for you', 'We lay like starfish….I tuck the corners in...I can't make that bed and lie in it. We lay like coiled anacondas. I tell him I like the bit between his torso and his hip. One day he tells me there isn't any romance in general. She covers herself to cover her confusion. Today they are together and perfect….But tomorrow...You wondered how long it would take the penny to drop. The penny took so long to reach the ground, it started to collect interest...Then it took so long, it became a pound...

She portrays relationships...and you feel her pain as she speaks.. 'My Best Friend just got engaged...my best friend is finally growing up..and he will make the best husband...and so will he!'. The audience loved it. Then, 'Play Fair', about monopoly - 'It's not for the weak hearted...If you're going to play, play properly...she went through it – If you mortgage your house you have to pay back but don't worry, if you pass go you can collect £200 – a 'play' on real life and the cruelty of having to give things up because life demanded it...

In her newest work. 'National Gallery', she gesticulates, 'I want the background angels to sing for me'. She'd carry Davinci's unfinished work - Nothing changes. Paintings still hang in galleries and people still visit. I am still as unfinished as I was then. I am an idea...a tragedy of art' ...her honesty and confidence come through and we feel we're her friends as she confides...'I write a lot about myself, but don't worry. I think I'm through my self indulgent stage….I think I'm coming out of it'..(I got the impression she would have been loved, whatever stage she was in)
Lastly, 'Heritage', a long, powerful and very sad poem about 'your beautiful only sister...her haunted smile still – just because you couldn't save her, - if somehow they would have been wiped out in a concentration camp – about the guilt of those still alive. 'if I could say anything to you, it would be this. It was worth the risk.' There were many anecdotes. Sara is a powerful performer 'making no money since she started performing', - but we have little doubt she'll be up there amongst the best as time goes by. I would wager there wasn't a single person in the room who didn't relate in some way to her angers, relationship angsts, and life, in general, with its pains and joys. David got it right! She was 'the full musical orchestra'!

Following that, one of our favourite open mikers, the predictably good, unpredictable John Smith did a humerous monologue, 'In the Beginning'… which involved challenging himself to write a poem that included the 30 most famous expressions from novels, or as he put it, 'hitching a ride on the coattails of other people's genius….'when the clocks just struck 13...'I must go down to the sea again…..a thing of beauty is a joy forever...Hope springs eternal… you may forget what you remember or remember what you hope to forget...life is really simple but we insist on making ...do not go gently into the night. Do not go gently into debt. The price of everything and the value of nothing. Good night'. Very clever and witty. Good applause, as ever!

Munnya (Michael Usuwana) then performed 'Secret Admirer'. 'Maybe one day youll see me as a nice guy..we'll get to see the stars... and in the morning... I promise you babe, we'll never be apart. Her name was Myra... desperate to be closer but I can't deal with emotion and commotion….maybe I need a cigarette...or nicorette...am I correct...The poem seemed to show the confusion between wanting, and being afraid of ..relationships – not easy. Munnya, aka 'Word Maker', now has a manager and his first CD's for sale. We hope he'll bring it with him next time. Keep an eye on this guy!

Richard Hawtree read 'Watling Walking' based on a quotation from Brewers Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Poetically, The milky way has been called the Watling Street of the sun. Londoners named it 'Noble Street'. Watling Street. ... to Cardigan. The word is a corruption of Vitellina strata, the paved road of Vitellius, called by the Britons Guet'alin. (okay, so I cheated and looked it up). Richard's poetry is lovely but can be oblique and it helps to have 'Google' nearby...just in case.

Chris Sangster, back from a song festival in Estonia, with over 35,000 people in the choir, wrote, 'Estimar' about how it was under Russia, then Germany -finally free 25 years ago, when it entered the European community. Still a young country but gaining confidence through singing, it created a human chain, hand in hand, through Latvia and Lithuania. Chris' song/yukulele told of 'singing with a single breath' , 'Thinking as One'. 'Estimar...land of our fathers'...a very gentle, lovely song. Then, 'Please Think about Me' . Though life was good, it's time to part. Enjoy each day of living. Problems don't matter any more.' (speaks for itself).

Barry Smith created 'Landscape Poem', inspired by a ballet in Covent Garden. And so we travel 'while bush, stone, fragments of light catch the worrying wings of drowsy curtaining lush shuttered primevil domain...we drift with honeysuckles..we feel the pulse of the sea..while the sky turns purpley blue to pewter... awash with waves of wiry heather - bronze age dwellers...reference to tribal struggle we feel the pulse of the sea...a trinity of transendence…A painting was created! Jake Claret then did 'Her Big Black Dress' about falling in love with a woman in a large shapeless black dress and seducing her in his imagination as he pictures what's beneath. 'The object of my fevered gaze touches me in every way'. Her clothes are like a tent. What he cannot see is more appealing...as his imagination takes over and creates the woman he wants to see. Interesting idea!

Audi Maserati then did 'Frieda' and 'Marsha, first one written in 1973, second in 1982. 'I got extradited from Manchester for being 'ironic'. He told how he'd done poetry fast in the past. Now if he does them that way, his eyes pop out. He then put sunglasses on, 'Clearly an affectation!' Everyone laughed as he proceeded to recite them fast. In his inimitable way, Audi created an image of the times..'They move into a corner and tell each other lies...She said she worked the tills at Tesco. When the night was over….he took her home. His intentions were purely carnal... love and being young. 'One thing about being an 'old bloke' is you can write things in real time' - 'Marsha on the motorway'. Hotels motels...Marsha serving food . Both poems about getting his leg over...when guys talked of girls..when times were wild and wily.

Mike Knee, guitarist, sang Love songs, ' In the office of lost property', and she did dig deep and she found the heart of me'..I love you with every chamber of my heart'. Second was.. 'In the arms of my soulmate, in the arms of my lover. G Rimes then did a poem, 'Yesterday I was pulled over by the cops' for speeding , and then said 'Aint you got nothin better to do...out there are burglars, shop lifters and thieves...my heart felt heartfelt road rage The cops said 'they'd arrested the burglars and shoplifters who said 'aint you got nothin better to do. Arrest the drunks, the speeders...etc...so I'm sorry Sir but now you must consider yourself well and truly nicked'. Very funny!

Bruce Parry shared a project he'd been working on for many years, divided in three parts...using the underground to show the different times and uses, back to the war. 'The 5.30 Underground'….scurry of people….they scamper..sitting, standing, swaying...pickpockets...Next day it all starts again. 'Mind the Gap Mind the Doors'. Platform 2 – going home..dark tunnel, posters peeling down...Central Line. Bethnal Green...Platform 1 Circle, Platform 2 District. 'Wartime Christmas Underground'….same underground...a place to lay before the bomb. Nobody knew the bomb was coming. Wardens shouting. Platform 2...at Bethnal Green...to find a Christmas underground. Wonderfully descriptive. Phyllida Carr then got out her trusty harmonica and everyone sang along as she played, 'Bread of Heaven' and 'Swing Low, Sweet Chariot'.

Newcomer, Russell Stone played the Shruti Box, and sang some haunting oriental sensual music – in English and 'in the language of love'..'I see a young man killed by war..he has stolen my heart...I see a politican racked by power. She has stolen my heart...then, in his second language, using his voice, a drum and meditative sound, he played his instrument and sang in a ne tonuge. Very calming and rich. He has played at White Eagle Lodge and other spiritual festivals. There was total silence in the room as he projected his powerful and emotive voice…It was a truly good and diverse evening – one of the best yet! First time we had it at 'Fork Handles Kitchen'. Next month, we're back at Square Brewery, hopefully!

The raffle was won by a newcomer who seemed quite surprised and pleased! Two free meals at our local authentical Turkish restaurant, 'Fez' down Bakery Lane behind Waitrose.

Lastly, Leah was invited to perform some poetry at the Chelsea Arts Club, for which she got a free meal. (the most I ever got paid for my poetry!) It's her 3rd year and it was a success. People laughed, and afterward, some asked if she was professional while others said they liked her poems. (she didn't 'fluff' her words, once!)

More to come on Dan Simpson, next month's guest!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Sep 2015 (event)

leah

Sat 22nd Aug 2015 10:31

AUGUST BRINGS ANDREW GRAVES

After a 4 hour drive from Nottingham, Our August Guest, Andrew Graves, appeared in a 'tight' 4 buttom red and blue striped jacket and trousers, along with his charming wife Ann – he seemed so serious, I did wonder what Write Angle was in for – but, contrary to appearances, when he took over the stage, a star was born! The audience laughed from start to finish. He got straight into it and showed what a pro can do! 'I'm 45, an entertainer, teacher, preacher, etc, and have managed in all that time, to clock up an impressive 9 ½ seconds on Nat'l television. My body can't cope with that breakneck speed of my rise to fame and fortune'.

Then, 'Dear Jeremy Clarkson ...It's only four wheels and a roof, a vehicle and not the truth, you can't caress an oil stain or fall in love with a traffic lane, ..a car is money and petrol smell, combustion engine motor hell, traffic jamming dents and prangs, insurance cons and joy ride gangs. A car might get you there real quick, but a car cannot extend your…(you got it)!'

Andrew worked as a pot washer, youth worker, stacking shelves in supermarkets – his wife tells him he's 'brilliant brilliant brilliant...at always choosing careers guaranteed to make no money'. His first job was with ASDA. He was on the 'YTS 'Youth Training Scheme' for 5 days a week; he thinks it really meant 'You're Totally Stupid'. He returned to the dole office begging for anything else than shelf stacking…. said he loved animals ...a few days later they put him in butchery (be careful what you wish for). Brought up in Mansfield, he's now living in Nottingham City, which the press now calls 'Shottingham'. Andrew wanted to put right that places like that and other small towns are ignored (and shouldn't be), except for the bad things that happen.

He had researched Petersfield and was impressed that John Wyndham came from here. He referred to a book John had written, turned into a film called 'The Village of the Damned'. Walking around town, Andrew said he could see where John's inspiration came from'! 'I warm myself to your poverty'. A lot of his poems were from his latest book, 'Light at the End of the Tenner'.

'He's a writer, mod and regular face on the performance poetry scene and has been cited 'the hardest working poet in the East Midlands. We can believe that – although, like good ice skating, his work and stories flow out effortlessly! Very into football, he told of...'Something Brave and Ridiculous'. 'The referee calls silent victory prayer. The spirit of '77 fully realised. The referee calls time on this game of man and gods.' He played out the story of a particular game dedicated to old bighead Brian Clough, one of the Football League's highest goalscorers.

Andrew's favourite comic is Superman, the creation of two Jewish immigrants, Siegal and Schuster. The original Superman was on the side of the working classes. Fighting corporations, supporting striking workers - he feels we could use the original Superman now. Super Power to the People...'a sign of mankinds epic fail'….'If he existed now, the media would call him a terrorist. He'll rip up every palace door and share the crown jewels with the poor….He'll round up all the CEOs. He'll tear up loans and build new homes.' A definite theme to Andrew's work is those living in squalor and poverty. Sees how Romeo and Juliette clashes with the council estate. Andrew's now working on a new show, - 'God Saves a Teen', an hour long narrative, soon to be produced.

Open Miker, Bruce Parry played some lovely songs on the hammer dulcimer including Oriental tunes, followed by a story of some 52 different gnomes 'found in a sock in a box' in the attic. How they 'sat, stood, fell over in the wind – on guard in darker storms'. (That box, week by week, is becoming more exciting as it reveals its 'inner sanctum'). He then talked and read his poem, 'I was a London Tram'. Lovely lilting memories for those who remembered!

Colin Eveleigh read a very visual account of 'Seaside Dip English Summer' describing 'Gliding, Swaying...a step by step description of what it feels like to go seaside dipping. 'Floating, skirting, somewhat hurting….' back on the beach shivering….good imagery! Then, with planes flying that day to commemorate 'The Battle of Britain' , he read 'Missing Man' about 'Spitfire and Hurricane wings'….'wait! he's going to crash...in September 1940 you could understand it. But not now in Shoreham, at an air display….stunned, disbelieving...they were told they'd be updated…' Very moving.

John Meriton and guitar joined us with some new songs he's written...Two relate to Thailand - his daughter lives there, on a river boat in a town called Pai, one of the many places hippies now inhabit....from all over the world. It's also a 'great music scene' . His first song was for his grandson, called 'Little Dylan' . 'Every passing week he sees the world in a different way'. 'Little Dyl is growing strong'…..high spirited song from a talented and very happy grandad. Really caught the emotions John has for this boy.

Then, a song, 'Walking in Berlin', about his trip to Berlin. 'Struck by its centre which had all cultural things. Now a magnet for young people. Ancient and modern. From a crumbling city to a shining metropolis. It contained memories, all the pain's within...future lies for all together...'Freedom to think of joy and sin'...bound in time for worse or better…' Very emotional song, sad and yet, a feeling of promise. Lastly, another song about Thailand, a place 'where love grows. They never grow old...a very special place'. John was in 'top form'
Caroline Blackburn, with her very special talent for performance, did 'The depth of the water doesn't matter when you're drowning'. 'One day my heart fell asleep. Purity is dressed in squalor. Naivete has raped wisdom and knowledge was not aware. ...'What do I represent to you?' What string would you tie around my fingers….' dedicated to a very dear friend…(hope to see more of Caroline's work).

David Robert did 'Butterflies' – 'better to watch those in the garden than have them in your tummy. Then, 'Stardust Memories', those moments of joy, now changed – money is gone, career on the rocks, Wife has gone'…..Where are those moments now?' 'Whatever Works, followed, 'Do whatever works – learn from the university of life'. Lastly, 'Ashes', the first sports poem he ever wrote. About cricket: 'the English regain their noble name'.

Jake Claret, compère, spoke of his father, a businessman who always failed and when he did, went back to the stall in the marketplace. 'Something to be proud of' - Jake went to posh schools, never laughed, was diligent - did all the things expected of him. Then a poem chosen for the book of Portsmouth, 'Where are they now' All those brave sailors. Who are their sons in the present day. Are we better off or do we look back to the days when we were brave but we were poor?'
Finally, 'That's My Girl'. About his daughter, Sabra playing, getting hurt and being rushed off to A&E, with a possible concussion. Then, going home, she ran straight out the back door into the garden and got on the same swing! Yours truly did a few poems including, 'I stole a skirt' because of a short story she read called 'The Poker Game'.

Another good evening ended. A smaller crowd than usual but a high spirit throughout! Here's to next month when, due to renovation at The Square Brewery, the gig, starring the fabulously funny and talented Sarah Hirsch, we'll be at the 'Fork Handles Kitchen, Petersfield. More to follow. Put the 15th September (gosh, is it almost September already???) in your diaries! You won't want to miss it!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 18 Aug 2015 (event)

leah

Mon 22nd Jun 2015 13:02

Spliff Richards leaves June Write Angle audience breathless

Spliff took over the room as soon as he was on stage. He may have come from Petersfield but he's Brighton personified. Long, thin, tattooed, twisted beard and hair bound up – not your typical Write Angle performer – he performs in rapid-fire style yet you don't miss a word and though he doesn't pause for breath, he leaves the audience breathless. They loved him and applauded after each poem. He has an easy relaxed style. 'This is a special night for me' he smiled, thinking back to his youth spent in Liss.

He covered a wide range of issues, from race, speaking of South Africa's 'fences ten feet tall, guns, Apartheid; to being told by kids he was 'half caste' . 'You're just not caucasian. You have 20% more chance of incarceration' - to 'Nostalgia', where he points out the dangers. '... such a sweet intoxication', - to think things were different 'then' than now'. He covered faith to inequality; paper qualifications to natural talent. 'Schools are not the only way to get smart'. 'If you're not good in school, you'll fail in life'. 'I didn't listen when they said you can't make a living as a poet.'

'Embrace every age'., he says.'I've seen 20 year olds complain. He compares burning and looting to 'the government sending forces to lay down their lives'. '... religion is not the only place to find God. 'Academia is just a flavour'. 'Stand together but think alone' 'Kids don't learn from what they're taught. They learn from what they're shown. 'A pessimist', he said, 'says things can't get any worse'. 'Oh yes they can', says the optimist! Again the house filled with laughter.
He believes , 'Without faith, all of life would fall apart'. 'Is it better to believe a lie or disbelieve a truth'. He wouldn't have gigs if he didn't have faith in his promoters. Though we all have faith in something, it separates us as well. His 'Big Family' reminded us 'we're all in it together- no matter who or what you are'. 'The lessons of life take a lifetime to learn'.

'The only way to appreciate life is to appreciate death'. Actor Brendan O'Connor commented, 'I loved Spiff. Powerful stuff he spouted!' He wasn't alone. The audience was equally taken with this gentle but well, Spoken-Word artiste!

At the Open Mic, Richard Hawtree read 'In Flashy Flip Flops', based on a poem by the ancient Greek poet, Anacreda. I'm trying to do a 'strange impression of obscurity', Everyone laughed. 'The God of love makes contact once again' He spoke of a beautiful woman, but realised he hadn't a chance as 'her eyes press a younger woman to dance'. A nice break from his usually ''more' obscure poems. Brendan O'Connor read 'Be with me' – a conundrum. 'Be with me. Not quite black. Not quite white. My body feels my soul is leaving...I would ask never to be lonely' Then, 'A Thousand Lives'. 'Do we know this ancient pet, or are we its ancient secret'. (cats) Finally, 'AEIOU' about 'round vowels'. Again laughter.

The delightful Phyllida Carr played 'I want to go home' and 'The runaway train' on harmonica as the audience sang along. Sorrel Wood read love (or hate) poems. 'For what it's worth'. About being 'pretty much grown up now' ending with 'I'll keep on loving you until I die'. Then, 'Letting go'. 'I cannot, will not – let you go'. Bruce Parry played a romantic American love song on his dulcimer, then read a two-part poem about Mr and Mrs Bright. First, describing their 'Spanish root' style house with 70's furniture, in Spain. Then 'A Car Boot somewhere in England', where the table was topped with all their Spanish goods including soap on a rope.

Bruce ended with an Irish song, 'Geese in the Bog' on his dulcimer. Lovely music and sound. Audi Maserati, ever a favourite with the audience – spoke of his love for 'The Game of Thrones', then read 'two diametrically opposed poems' (to more laughter) – about 'girls who make you crazy even before you know their names' – seeing them on beaches, etc...then 'The pointless song' (that makes a point)' 'would you ever go out dancing in your dressing gown?' Maybe it's worth a try!' (point taken)

He then played the ukulele, 'Imagine that the moon was not as big as you supposed', 'all those lovers lost under a moonlit sky' and those 'love songs left unsung'. This led to yodeling which he loves doing! Audi was on top form. Chris Sangster played 'Times I wonder' on the guitar, about how 'things get better when I see the sun in the sky'. Then, 'Goodbye Love', 'You're leaving on that train'. (memories of good times). Tim Dawes said his mother taught him 'Definition of a gentleman is one who owns a ukulele but doesn't ever play it'. He then read 'Climate Changing Season', about how seasons were fixed..now they've lost themselves with change of climate and with that change, 'some purity is lost'. Following that, how sonnets were originally written by men to get women into bed. Then a bit of fun as he implored Jezz (not quite convinced) to be the recipient of his sonnet as he recited, 'Should I return to time when we were two entities not yet joined......(not sure it achieved its objective).

Jezz and Matt teamed up with guitars to sing 'It's a marvellous night here in Petersfield'...followed by 'Back to Basics' – two love songs. Rich and emotional, with elements of fun. It's hard to leave not singing his songs. G Rimes read 'Self Editing'. How he loves tapping away at the keyboard, hand picking each word. Ending with 'who says you can't polish a nerd'. All in all, a good guest and open mic evening. The audience loved it and their enthusiasm was obvious. The raffle sponsor was India Gate, the great Chichester Indian restaurant and the prize went to someone who's won many times before. We promise – it's not 'fixed'!

See you all in July when we have the wonderful, talented and imaginative Mab Jones from Wales. More news to follow on that!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 16 Jun 2015 (event)

leah

Tue 5th May 2015 12:48

'BECOMING AN ANIMAL IS SOMETHING TO BE EMBRACED' SAYS SUSAN RICHARDSON AT APRIL'S WRITE ANGLE!

April's Write Angle brought a full house; the audience from as far as New Forest, Shoreham – to see Susan Richardson, from Wales – her 3rd time with WA. 'I love coming here to perform', she said. ''I always feel so warm and welcome'.

Hard to describe the evening – you had to be there. Susan is sharp, vibrant, dynamic, original, bringing her love of Shamanism, involving altered states of consciousness to encounter and interact with the spirit world and channel transcendental energies into this world. She shared stories, myths, personal experiences, through her poetry and prose;- such as a young girl, abandoned by her family, thrown into the sea from their kayak. She tries to climb back on, grips the side of the kayak, and her father chops off her fingers. She sinks down, becomes the goddess of the sea, each of her fingers, a different variety of fish. She then has to power to decide who's been evil to the environment, and punishes them. 'Do not mistake me for a mermaid..... Do not harpoon me with pity...'

Interested in metamorphosis for years and obsessed with extinction of wild and beautiful animals;- Susan tells of 'The White Dove', inspired by a French fairy tale about a baby girl child cursed by a witch. If sunlight fell on her face before her 21st year, she'd turn into a deer. As she's about to be married, it happens. However as her prince is a hunter, he finds her living in the woods. Susan interrupted herself, 'I know she loved living there' (everyone laughed) but she had to follow her destiny and marry the prince. 'Let my words be bright with animals'.

Susan believes 'becoming an animal is something to be embraced. 'From animal to human'. She spoke of shape shifting. A former snail becoming human and having issues. He must wear sunglasses. He has a human feeling he was born in the wrong body. At the end he's successfully all mole. 'If you're French, my revenge will be especially slow'. Then, a Sorceress who created a huge bubbling cauldron of inspiration for her son and left it with her servant boy, meant to stir but not taste it, which he does. It incurs her wrath and she chases him while he tries to escape, each changing themselves into other animals. Finally she becomes a black hen and pecks him up.

Susan dreamed she had become a penguin. With skin tingling, she went off garlic, crisps, samosas, red curtains, - her fingers bend. Tears taste of fish. She makes a nest of pencils and string. Then faces the hard new truth between her legs, and hatches the egg! She spoke of the first written metaphor, and how animals are used in adverts. 'We name cars after them. We personify in various ways.

There was the lion's argument about superiority of humans. Humans have language. Animals don't. 'If a lion speaks, we could not understand him. We'd correct his grammar. We'd insist he speak English instead of Lionese. He'd say 'take a degree in my language of strangling, ungulate and rangulate with vultures for the meat. Then we'll talk'!'

The audience was won over completely. The 'human/animal' applause said it all! We look forward to having this amazingly creative performer with us yet again!

Meantime, the open mic was pleased to have Dave Allen back. It took him 'over a year to write the poem'. Based on a photo of himself as a boy....and a glider with a one meter wing span, he made, called 'The Dragon Fly' – on its test flight – 'sharing with brothers Wright'. The Dragon Fly flew high. Smash! The crash broke the plane. 'Back then, this boy had dreams. I wonder now if they're still living on the wind'. Wonderful wistful poem!
Chris Sangster, inspired by a Shaman visiting him, wrote, 'The Channelling'. He played guitar singing 'Guardian Angels', told of a child almost run over by a car moving on its own. 'They 'guide us day and night...Guardian angels, watch over me'. Then, gave a good descriptive view of Cambodia's Angkor Wat. Chris brought to life, its rich history, including its kingdom, monuments.

Michael Sherman chose Easter as his theme. The most looked at things including daffodils – He caught the sunlit flowers. He Googled and found kittens, shopping and debt took first place in peoples' interest. He read 'Eulogy to the black bird', following it with 'If there aren't blackbirds in heaven, I may not go' 'Surely a master of nature's music''. Then on a religious theme. 'I felt him enduring the pain...his mortal journey finally shed'. And an excellent poem, 'A Million Starlings'. in a wanton ballet' about Winter which he hates. 'In Secret'. Seagulls wail a constant hunger...' wonderful poet!

Bruce Parry did a very humorous, 'Day Out with Garmin Satnav'. He 'humanised' it with a conversation between them. The Satnav became confused. Very humorous. He played a Welsh tune, 'Valley of the Lambs' on the Dulcimer. Lovely sound. Finally, read from his father's book of childhood memoirs, while his mother produced the drawings – about Moses, the night watchman.

Jamet Turner read poems from her book, proceeds of which will go to 'Jacksplace Hospice for young adults', including' Searching for the Mist' and I cry to the Mountains', as well as 'Self-Catering where she went on a 'self-catering' holiday, which ended not quite as expected! Audi Maserati started with, 'Cheese matures and people just get older'; then read a poem about a 16 yr old soon to be 17!' Followed by 'Timing is Everything;- 'Imagine Jean Luc Goddard in a room with Aristotle, Billy the Kid, and Buffalo Bill, discussing the world.....they polished off the biscuits and sorted out the world'. He played the ukulele, doing 'Strange Animals' including a 3 eyed chicken, 3 headed snake...and 'The Waving Woman' love song. Audi's amazing to watch, no matter what he does!

Robert Redford, one of 4 Shoreham Poets sang 'A Bar of Soap', performed against a CD. 'We changed the World'. About grand hypocrisy', greed, and a need to change things.

Big Jay, another Shoreham poet, attacked the politics of wealth vs poverty. 'No one's helping the poor while the richer get richer'.

Niall Drennan produced a new immigration questionnaire 'what's your real name? What have you got in your pocket? You packed this bomb yourself?' (clever..but sad) . 'I started to start smoking so I'd know when sex was over'. He performed a poem about his mother 'hardly knowing him'.

AP Staunton' phone conversation he had in 1981 in Brighton, called 'I won't keep you hanging on the telephone'. 'The rent's okay...everything's okay...you sound Northern'. 'I am', he said. 'How Northern' she asked. He's a noddie. Carries bricks. She wouldn't take him. They're a truly good group – politically orientated to making it a better world.

It was a really good evening – eclectic and fun. Almost everyone commented, as they left, how much they enjoyed the evening! And, one of the Shoreham poets won the raffle for four free meals at 'The Links', Liphook. (How convenient as there are four of them)! Hopefully it will bring them back! And we know they'll love The Links; the food and ambience. It's a great place to go.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Apr 2015 (event)

leah

Mon 2nd Mar 2015 23:07

I’d been wanting to visit the poetry night at Petersfield Write Angle for quite some time. I’d been intrigued as well as informed by the detailed reviews sent in to Write Out Loud on a regular basis by its organiser for eight years, Leah Cohen, and their mentions of semi-legendary figures – at least to me - such as Audi Maserati and Rachel Pantechnicon, names that I somehow associated with the A3 trunk road that rushes past this historic Hampshire market town. Rachel, an irregular guest poet at Write Angle, wasn’t there on the night I visited – I understand she’s a fairly elusive figure these days – but I got to hear Audi, and a host of other entertaining open micers, plus guest performance poet Lucy English, pictured, from Bristol but with links to and memories of this neck of the woods, too.

One of the wonders and pleasures for me of poetry open mic nights is that each has its own identity. But first impressions can be misleading. I thought at first that Petersfield Write Angle was a kind of old-fashioned literary society, and regarded affable compere Jake Claret’s reference to the steepness of the stairs to the room above The Square Brewery pub and the possibility of installing a stairlift as an ironic reference to the mobility of some audience members. As possibly it was. But you only have to look at their snazzy website and extensive roster of big-name guest poets to know that there’s a lot more to Write Angle than that. By the end I left full of enthusiasm for a night packed with interesting and unexpected contributions, and charmed by the warmth and generosity of the audience, too.

The range of open mic contributions included former soldier Duncan Filer’s despatch from Helmand; Richard Hawtrey’s elegant reworking of an Icelandic poem found on a flyleaf in a Petersifled bookshop; Michael Usuwana’s rap poem praising women with generous figures; Barry Smith’s reflections on prostate cancer patients awaiting radiotherapy; and a report back from the frontline of abusive relationships by Imogen Thomas (“This is the first time I’ve done this in public.”)

Then came my Audi Maserati moment. He did not disappoint, turning out to be a laid-back, hippy figure retaining a decent amount of wild hair, and a nice line in songs that he played on a superior kind of ukulele. There was also Speech Painter, with a poem of epic length and historic sweep about the modern-day issue of cartoons and cartoonists; Bruce Parry on the hammer dulcimer, which he said had helped his writing, such as his poem about ‘Mr and Mrs Insular’; John Smith’s monologues about comedy and poetry; Chris Sangster’s poignant poem with a happy ending called ‘The Widower’, sandwiched by two songs; and G Rhymes (“It’s not his real name, but he likes to be called Grimy”) with a poem called ‘The Oral Tradition’, about a poetry appreciation class.

Lucy English is a novelist and poet who has performed worldwide, and now teaches performance poetry at Bath Spa University. She was once described as a “hippy chick love mother sex goddess”, although she tends to play that down these days, pointing out that she is now a grandmother. But she did recall being known as one of "‘those disgusting hippies", and being banned from local pubs, when she lived near Petersfield in the early 1980s.

Her poems at Petersfield were warm, wise, amusing and touching, and delivered in a confiding, easy-on-the-ear voice. Her set included ‘The Company of Poets’, which concludes with these lines: “They know everything’s been said before / but they’re going to say it again. / In case you didn’t hear it the first time.”

‘The Ghost in Clapham’ is about thinking she saw her long-dead father “buying squashy plums opposite the underground”, and contains sensible and resonant reflections on his life, and his daughter’s as well. The longer, three-part ‘My Mother and my Sister’ was even more moving. For an encore, there was a change of pace, with ‘Let Me Be’, of which it is fair to say that it’s definitely about sex.

Host Jake and founder/organiser Leah also read poems towards the end of the evening, and are a fine team. Leah had suffered a fracture which meant it would be difficult for her to file her customary review this month. So she was grateful that I was there to fill the gap. I know this won’t be up to her knowledgeable standard and word-length, but here’s my effort, anyway. The atmosphere and fun at Petersfield was just another reminder – as if I needed reminding – of how much I love this job. And I won the raffle!

Greg Freeman

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Feb 2015 (event)

leah

Mon 30th Jun 2014 22:12

CAM PLAYS A 'MEAN' GUITAR AT JUNE'S WRITE ANGLE

Owe it to the sluggish heat, holidays, football, whatever, Write Angle had a smaller-than-usual crowd to greet its June guest and open mikers. Sadly, too, as many who were there, said, the usual crowd 'missed a really good evening'. Others commented that a smaller audience made for a more 'intimate evening'.

Whatever, Cam Brown was a great guest. He plays a 'mean' guitar and his fingers fly over the strings in perfect timing, and so fast, it's almost difficult to keep up! He did folk songs and some jazz, from as far back as 1893. He plays and sings non-stop, obviously loving every moment that the guitar's in his grip!
After a brief word of how he and this writer discussed folk music and one of the Oxford dictionary definitions was 'music for ignorant people', he went straight into 'The Ram of Derbyshire'. It set the mood. From then, it was 'The Old Dun Cow, (Harry Wincott) to 'Let's Do it' (Victoria Wood) to 'The Vicar and the Frog' (Fred Wedlock), to 'The Tattooed Lady (Paddy Roberts, 1960). Several songs by Jake Thackray, such as 'Sister Josephine' (Oh Sister Josephine, What do all these policeman mean) and 'Words and Music' ('I love a good bum on a woman.....')

Some of the songs were 'a bit more than bawdy' and misogynist, but they seemed fitting to the times in which they were written and performed, and Cam managed to create an ambience of 'back then, when'....It was a true fun evening, with the audience joining in as familiar songs came dashing off his supple fingers. This writer asked about the guitar and was told it was worth quite a few thousand pounds. Not unsurprising. To keep up with the way Cam played, would require a very 'well trained' instrument!

Meantime, the Open Mic had guitarist, Paddy Brady, first timer, with 'The Irish Pub', ('wherever you go around the World, you'll find an Irish pub'). Everyone joined in. Then, a song about 'Grace Grifford, artist and lover of Joseph Mary Plunkutt, poet and scholar, who, in 1916, as a leader of the Dublin rebellion, was caught and sentenced to be shot. Grace and he were married in jail and given 10 minutes together, just before his death. The love story between them became one of the most poignant to come out of the struggle for Irish freedom. The song was done with great feeling.

Jack Warshaw, another singer/guitarist also did a tribute, but a different war. His was for the 'D Day Dodgers', the Allied servicemen who fought in Italy during WWII... he also talked of when folk singers were paid $1 and depended on tips; about Bo Jangle walking in while a friend was performing. He then sang 'Mr Bo Jangle', another familiar and loved tune! Jack was soft on the guitar. Nice singing!

Chris Sangster told of how audi maserati and he are writing songs, and performed in 'Liss Has Talent'. As a recent grandad, he read 'Boyhood' about his son. 'Gauche actions, crazy hair styles...and the transition to 'standing proud as boy becomes a man!' Then 'The Visit' where an old lady 'takes advantage' of a young man. 'While you're here, can I ask a little favour' – somehow ending up hanging a picture, fixing the light bulb, TV, Bathroom sink, etc...(don't trust 'little old ladies!) Then, 'The Taking of Troy' - how the embryo Troy becomes the thug, Troy. Finally, 'The Valentine's Day Ear Acher', about he and Jackie in a romantic mood in a restaurant being 'attacked' noisily by the totally uncaring 'Sally Shouts', and her daughter who 'remained silent throughout'.

Gilly Gillingham said he hadn't written a poem in 16 years and since coming to Write Angle, hasn't stopped writing. He thanked WA for their encouragement, then read 'Muse-less, muse-less' followed by 'how love doesn't end at 70'. He met someone in Tunisia and returns often. 'They don't speak the same language but share love'. Then 'Sex After 70' and finally 'Little Blue Pills', which had everyone in hysterics!

Jake gave a poetical update on what's been going on. Pakistan breaking agreement with Darfur, Gaza and its 'daily attacks', Iraq - the Sunis and Shiites. 'his enemy's enemy is now a friend'. Leah did a tribute to 'a porter who becomes Harrod's Santa at Christmas.

The raffle prize, a free meal for two at Fez, was won by, of all people, Cam Brown, who will now have to make a return journey from London to Petersfield, to claim his prize!

All in all, an easy and comfortable evening. Different from the others, but then, aren't they all?

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Jun 2014 (event)

leah

Tue 22nd Apr 2014 11:53

AN 'EVENTFUL' APRIL WRITE ANGLE EVENING

How often do you get to hear what goes on ' inside' a professional performer's mind. when he suddenly stops mid-stream saying 'I can't go on. I didn't want to come tonight...nothing to do with you....It's me...' and 'I'm not comfortable performing live'.

It's happened to famous Hollywood stars throughout time, (often leading to drink and drugs). Even Sir Laurence Olivier admitted he got 'sick to his stomach' everytime he had to get up and perform - and it happens at Write Angle. The fear, shaking, self-doubt, nerves,...but they get up and do it! Sometimes a drink, prayer or deep breath can bring out courage.

April's guest performer was Patrik Fitzgerald, icon punk musician/poet of the 70s, who brought in a packed house, including fans from Portsmouth, Southampton, Chichester – everywhere. After showing his great talent, giving the guitar a thousand voices, and singing, 'Here Comes The Bus Again', 'Dance Music Late Night, and 'Benefit Schemes' (written when he was 16), he suddenly stopped. Someone suggested the lights be turned down to 'create atmosphere'. In spite of saying 'I can't see, Patrik attempted some more songs in the dark. With the lights back on, Nicola-Ann Ross, first timer, got up with Patrik, and everyone sang 'Hallelulah'.

Many of his fans still have his records from the '70s, (Mark Cassidy; 'I waited 35 years to see Patrik perform'). Their enthusiasm filled the room, and they got more than just songs and music - they got Patrik - the man, the introvert - baring his innermost feelings; how he creates his music. He was asked; 'Who inspired your style the most? How do you perform with Attila the Stockbroker?', and 'What would you rather be doing than performing?'. Patrik answered each with honesty. There's no doubt most would have preferred hearing him just play guitar and sing but knowing more about the artist certainly gave a greater understanding of him as a man as well as performer.

It's obvious he's going through a rough time and Write Angle hopes he will get through it to the other side and back up on stage where his talents can be seen again - if he wants it. He certainly has a huge and enthusastic following and we doubt that will disappear.

The evening went on, and with a third of the audience left, an intimacy developed. Speech Painter, doing his beloved 'Jehovah Baby' and his guitarist Will, adding good humour singing 'Audi's Strange Guitar' and 'I found my freedom'. Audi Maserati and Chris Sangster then teamed up as 'Ensemble Acoustique' – (they were really good)! Chris had performed earlier, reading his 'Mad Mary', Rock Star diva queen who became a drug and booze addict, finally found dead in the bath. (Amy Whitehouse and Whitney Houston).

Audi 'uked' 'Dan Dare's Best Chat-up Lines: No 1, his shortest ever poem, 'Usually takes 3 hrs to get into the zone but I'll do it in 3 seconds!' 'Get your helmet, You poof!' ; then chat-up lines 2 &3. Also, Dexter Morgan did 'Poetz', crediting Write Angle in poetry, for giving him the courage to 'perform his writing' so now '(he's) proud to come out of the closet'.

Other open mikers were Sven Stears, 'Turn your brain off. Turn your body on. Turn off the TV!' strong slam poet, with audience participation. David Roberts did his 'favourites', 'Danny Rose' and 'Celebrities'.- people obsessed by celebrities. Gareth Toms did 'Cycling Takes The Mute Out of Commute' – (cursing allowed), then 'Kafka on the Moon' and 'Lump', (used to be food – a lump of sugar. Now the word has become ugly'). Barry Smith talked of scams and 'Educating Juliet where you put financial details on the email – (no thanks!) His last was 'Isle of Wight', wonderfully descriptive, (In the shadow of the valley, skulls with shrouded faces mourn).
Andrew Wilford, first timer, compiled articles from The Guardian into a poem. (Catastrophic software bug to come. £56m lost in homophobic featured money wasted...). JPF Goodman read of living near an airport, wondering 'will it crash'?, then 'instead of flying off, why not have an intelligent conversation?' Mark Cassidy did 'Scaling The Heights' - as seen from a boat.. about rock climbing – including a white face in a black spread-eagle, a wonderfully descriptive poem . Then, '45RPM', written to celebrate those 7” singles. '(Ignore the limits of long play scratches)'. '(What went before outstrips notes yet to hear)'. Nicola-Ann Ross sang 'Why do Stars Suddenly Appear' followed by 'Stand and Deliver'.

Lastly, apologies to Phyllida Carr who wanted to get up and perform but had already left before Jake, our compere, could call her. No fear! She starts off May's evening! And regrets that JeanAnne Naumcyzk could not be with us. She will hopefully get better soon!

All in all, an interesting evening with apologies to those who came expecting to hear more of Patrik Fitzgerald's music. We do understand your disappointment - and thanks to Patrik who came, in spite of not being sure whether he wanted to or not. We wish him the best, and particularly for his forthcoming new album. Many thanks, as well, go to 'The Seven Fishes' Restaurant, who sponsored the raffle.

Next month, it's Pete the Temp, the comic/poet. More about him in the Press Release to follow!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Apr 2014 (event)

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Greg Freeman

Thu 27th Mar 2014 15:36

Little Machine are indeed ace! Saw them at Kingston's Rhythm & Muse last year. They're playing at the upcoming Cheltenham poetry festival. Btw, I believe the quote is from Don Paterson, also at Cheltenham; not John.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 18 Mar 2014 (event)

leah

Thu 27th Mar 2014 13:30

WRITE ANGLE MARCHES ON WITH 'THE LITTLE MACHINE' AT ITS HELM
March's Write Angle guests, The Little Machine, a three man band, filled the room with music and song, making it a magical evening! There's no question they're on the way to the top! 'One of a kind', they take poems from 3000 years ago to the present, including Sappho, Shakespeare, Keats, Byron, John Donne to 'anon' (and on and on) - to Lewis Carrolls's Jabberwocky to Philip Larkin's ''This be the Verse' to Carol Ann Duffy's 'Mean Time' and even Hylda Sims, of The Poetry Cafe, London – who came down especially to hear them sing her song, 'Summer's Gone Too Slow'. She was delighted..It was fabulous!

Though only three, Walter Wray (accoustic guitar & vocals), Chris Hardy, (electric guitar, vocals); and Steve Halliwell, (keyboards, bass, guitar & vocals), work so closely, they create an orchestra of sound; perfect coordination and even add elements of mystery using sound effects. From 'scary' to magical fun! No two songs alike. They ran from folk to blues to country to ballads to...you name it! They sang a song 'A Piece in Bloom' from their CD, 'Madam Life' – 'Madam Life's a piece in bloom, Death goes dogging everywhere, She's the tenant of the room, He's the ruffian on the stair... – the songs often have a sinister quality but then they're quickly followed by something completely different. Mesmerising sounds that kept the ambience of the room on a 'high' from start to finish!

And, music sheets were handed to the audience so they could read or sing along! Seeing the words as they were being played and sung, added a lot to the evening. It was hard not to get 'caught up' in the lyricism of the words! Every song was sung with a vitality and variety that prompted much applause. We do hope they'll come back again. By the way, when asked why they're called 'The Little Machine', they told us 'A poem is a little machine for remembering itself' (John Paterson) and they said their aim is to bring 'Poetry to the people and People to Poetry'. We've no doubt wherever they go, they'll succeed! They certainly did with Write Angle!

Meantime, our Open Mic had Hylda Sims, reading an excerpt from her latest book, 'Peckham in Person', about. Brian Walters, 40, overweight virgin, living in squalor – but a good poet, who not only gets discovered, changes his name but has his first sexual experience with a delectable gothic punk named Yula. Also a poem from 'Reaching Peckham' called 'Skin', the story of Brian(aka Olly) – and Yula! Barry Smith then spoke of attending a concert in Bath, the one place you meet people 'older than you'. 'This Way Up; (The chandelier casting light from another age on the wheelchairs steely back rest....'. Then 'Pay and Display' (on a car park) and 'Pilgrims of Light', about an ancient area on The Isle of Wight where pre-Raphaelite glass, built into the church of St Lawrence, brings description of the past; 'Quiescent solitude'. Beautifully written.

Dexter Morgan stimulated by a prase in the Bible, And Esau was an hairy man', aqnd his poem was about a hairy child, born out of wedlock, whose mother was given a banana for her 'baby chimpanzee'. Clever tale greeted with much laughter! Bruce Parry then read a short story about the adventures of first using his bus pass, 'first time' from Fareham to Gosport. Tea breaks for the drivers, no signs at the bus stops, and everyone having shopped at Iceland! Very funny tale! Maria Hewitt followed with poems based on a picture of a boy sitting on the edge of an infinity pool. Based on, we think, Sutherland, the man who earned £3m advising corporations – 'no limit to my imagination', 'They call me because of my infinite knowledge...'. (a bit of sarcism) She then read 'Ad Infinitum', starting with a happy couple going through life finding 'too much to do' to see each other – till it's too late!

David Roberts, did Woody Allen's 'Mighty Aphrodite, 'Deconstructing Harry'and 'Sleeper' in poetry form. 'Asleep for 200 years'. 'Time to kill the dictator and his dog and build a new Jeruselum'. Audi Maserati and his Appalachian Zither, then stood up to a lot of applause as usual. Between ad libbing, he did two DaDa poems, ' the piano speaking to the peach' (wonderful), - where 'all's well that ends well', and the four famous men ('you have to dispend belief') Aristotle, Jean Luc Goddard, Buffalo Bill and Billy the Kid got together, 'polished off the biscuits and sorted out the World'. Then a song about Clancy, 'never too late to be a rock star'!

Jack Warshaw used the 'theme of the year' and guitar/sang about 'The Green Fields of France' and WW1. His second song, written by a 13 year old Black girl in the Seeger household, was joined in by everyone. 'Freight Train, Freight Train, Run so Fast'. Michael Sherman did 'Homeward Plods His Weary Way', about time passing. Then, love poems. 'Love's Bargain', 'Once upon a kiss', (...slipping thin athletic nights no more. Now is the time for holding hands;' and Molly's World'. Daryl Revko, visiting from Cheltenham, read 'Get the pigs off the beach', a topical political poem, contrasting the haves and the have-nots. Leah did 'You know I'll go back' and 'Possimist', an optimist/pessimist.

And Jake, every the gracious Compere, once again, managed to get everyone in! A credit to his skills. David Stone also did a grand job videoing the performers! Now time to make up youtubes!

It was a good evening, bringing out a lot of guitars and song but never excluding the poetry which makes up most of the Open Mic. The raffle was for a 'no limit' two free meals at the newly managed Links Tavern! A great restaurant where you can get anything from kids meals for £6 to sandwiches to light meals to seabass to T-Bone Steak! And the ice cream is home-made! Great prize – won by Daryl Revko.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 18 Mar 2014 (event)

leah

Wed 5th Feb 2014 14:00

NEW PERFORMER STARTS NEW YEAR!
The start of the new year brought in new performer, Steve Pottinger..Although a first timer with Write Angle, Steve's published three poetry books, co-written the best-selling autobiographies of two leading members of UK punk scene (Steve Ignorant of Crass, and Ross Lomas of GBH). He's a regular at Blackpool's Rebellion punk festival at the Spoken Word Stage of Rebellions, and performs round the circuit..His layed back style is strong, confident and theatrical. It's so gentle, it's like hearing love poems but don't be fooled. He's a rebel who 'speaks softly but carries a strong word'!
His poems and stories flow together. He's a great raconteur, combining humour with cynicism. 'Thirteenth Floor', inspired while he worked for the homeless, descibes a 'down and outer' who, after 'all he's been through', still maintains his innocense against all odds. Steve hopes social services won't destroy him. He tells of the hen party in his railcar when he hadn't slept for days – how they endless shrieked but had so much fun, he found himself laughing, and how important laughing is. Another, 'Beryl's Laugh', ...in a cafe,..formica tables, mothers barely more than girls, arthritic men, Beryl laughs down a benediction..and for a moment, unpaid bills are forgotten...
Some know what they want to be when they grow up. Steve 'never had a clue.. still doesn't'! He wants to travel, see the world, meet people etc. His poem, 'Key City', based on his home, Warsaw, in the West Midlands – where all keys and locks were originally made – a city of 250,000 people, once thriving with factories, forges, fires, furnaces - ' now on its arse', full of charity shops. He also tells of his dad , a GP, and where once existed 'identity, pride and dignity', it's now gone. His poem 'Bongo Bongo Man' tells of how when angry and pissed – you blame the Bongos – 'Hate isn't the problem. It's greed'. He spoke of Blackpool, where his grandad lived and which he visited after his death. How it has no pretensions. It is what it is. Set on seafronts. Very picturesque.
Steve's philosophy comes through every poem. His one love poem, written so he'd have 'one token love poem', reeks cynical. It won't last. It can't. 'Tumbling Stumbling'..compares to a grand piano and an elephant which ends up breaking it. 'Then, 'The Day They Elected Wilco Johnson (guitarist) President'- a tribute to a man who had cancer. 'We're all just feathers blowing in the wind' but wasn't going to spend time in hospital but just went on performing! In 'The Punk Ethic', he says, 'do what you want to do'. On Edward Snowden, the first three days he was missing – he woke up in a street full of strangers. Everyone around could be FBI. 'Right now he's in the spare room with digestives and some tea. But if anyone asks, you never heard it from me'. I can go on and on. Orkney, which he describes with much love. His grandad grew up there. 'Did you ever go to a place you'd never been but felt you were at home'. In 'Dry Land Drowning', he spoke to a South African, asking how she got there. 'I came by Barnsley'. Steve found out her dad ran a pirate anti-apartheid radio programme. In spite of being called an 'angry man', Steve sees the good in the world. A wonderful entertainer and much appreciated, by the response of the audience!
At the Open Mic, newcomer Mark Arnold did his own political rant. 'Up the Flagpole'. Then, 'Life is like a cigarette'. (We hope he returns). David Roberts did 'Butterflies', a lovely descriptive poem. Of two lovers parting. 'At the last supper at the last hour...' Sven Stears – a takeoff on poems with long titles and short (two words) poems. He did 'Hound' - 'he bit your wrists'. 'Treading on water is the same as drowning', and 'The Dog House- a good place to be'. Finally, 'Harmonica.' First time he played. The poem so aptly describes the parts of the harmonica. Excellent!. The casing made of a stone. It hides reeds made of bone, and the frame of a death machine. The wood of a guillotine (Sven's got talent! - we hope he makes it!)
Chris Sangster did 'Greyhound Angel'. A tribute to a stranger who helped someone who couldn't get money, was hungry, tired and couldn't call home. Also a poem about Orkney, (highly descriptive). 'We who come in the footsteps of ancestors'. Then, 'Don't Mistake the Weather for the Sky', a poem that inspires. Maria Hewitt did 'The Ant Queen', afterward asking what it was that damaged it. (we won't give it away). Then, about her dog. 'A friendly dog can be dense'. Finally, 'That Rocket'. Is it not cosmic intrusion (interesting idea). Finally, 'Star Sign'. Stars signalling in morse code, their 'search for peace'. Dave Allen's 'I Could Have Sworn I Deleted Her Number'. -'each time I called her, I didn't do it. My dick did!' (clever man with words). 'Then I was between do and don't. Hey, don't forget, you're still facebook friends'! His second poem 'My Backpack rests against my back. She's late...next installment next month – if you liked it. (The audience loved it)! JeanAnne Naumcyzk did 'Cruise on QE', describing the ship with its shops, entertainment. Then, 'Why Green Still', no snow, more rain. Seasons mingle into one. Will the sun become our winter friend?' Finally 'Sparkle', what remains after Christmas, birthdays are gone.
The ever amazing Audi Maserati tuning his uke 'like tuning a sitar', did a song about 'yesterday is history', about a cowboy who 'stopped killing folks for fun' after meeting 'that girl' 'when the theatre came to town'. He resents people who spend '£10,000 to throw a party for a socialite when it only costs £10 for a mosquito net.' Another song about an 'internationally recognised playgirl, given plastic surgery, ending with 'her disconnected perfumed feet'. His song, 'Hi Honey, I'm home' was lovely, sad and 'too real'. 'Nothing went right for me. I feel like the whole world is crushing in on me,..Hi Honey, I'm home'. Then, 'The Ballad of Vince and Shane'. - love for a dog. Jack Warshaw sang about Greenwich Village in the 60s. Then a softer song, Passing Through, Passing Through', in which everyone joined in. Tricia Cane read 'I sit by your side' about a harmonious love that can't last. Then a poem describing the morning sun. Finally, 'On Driving Safely'.
Gilly, an audience favourite, read love poems, 'To Womankind' – explaining the power they don't realise they have. A second poem had 'I possess the world in you and you possess my heart'. 'Encore!' was heard as he left the stage. They love him!
All in all, a very enjoyable evening and a good start to the new year! We hope it all goes as well as January did! And we hope to see you all next month when Steve Tasane, a 'favourite', takes over the mike! And of course, the open mikers.
And our restaurant, meal for two freebie, was Fez – the best Turkish restaurant in town!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 21 Jan 2014 (event)

leah

Mon 23rd Dec 2013 23:50

WRITE ANGLE PAINTS CHRISTMAS 'SPECIAL'
In spite of the cold, wet weather, Write Angle managed to pack the house and provide enough savouries and sweets - including some takeaway! Truly a 'Chrismassy' evening with a lot of familiar faces returning- John Smith, ('is it possible to plagiarise your own work?') Dave Knight, ('An eye for an eye' and 'Wasting Time' – dialogue with friend who stopped being..., a very 'happy' Lysander White, (love poem and Spread the mockingbirds everywhere) Michael Usuwana, ('Faces & Places' and 'Ashes to Ashes & Dust to Dust' ('.. too fast last time') David Roberts, 'Natasha' and 'The Wedding', Leah, 'The Kids who fell from the sky', Bill Wood, guitar/singer ( 'At the court of King Arthritis') as well as newcomers; singer/guitarists, and poets, Davy Byrons, (Irish folk music) 'Belfast, the town I love so well', David Gillingham, 'Crying at 56'; meeting the mum he lost at 5, Jimmy Lee ('Night of the Cranes' and 'Written in the Sand') and Andrew Barker, (2nd time) from Spain ('Why The Turkey'..and The Ghosty Donkey) – Christ's birth.
Also, Turi Thomas-Millard, (Why I put you on speaker-phone' – 'I can pretend you're still here' and 'Dominica' (highly visual), Ron Jamieson, 'Sleigh-ride', Molly Karn, (from Canada) - 'Iridescent Frustration' (waiting for the plane) and 'Writer's Block'. .not to mention the 'regulars', Dave Allen, 'Why Do Salmon Die After Sex?' - think of the 1000 mile upstream swim!- Sven Stears, 'Satan is Angry' and 'This Girl' (I want to tell her she's beautiful but that would only be scratching the surface)'. Steve Tasane (February 2014's guest) did 'Alphabet Rap', and 'growing up with anger management issues', JeanAnne Naumczyk, .Maggie Rhodes, and Graham Sims.(visiting from Cheltenham)..Cliff Oakley and others.
Jake was a bit concerned he wasn't going to fit everyone in as half the audience (20) was all geared to get up and perform! Apologies to Chris Sangster (he'll be first, next time).. Dave Roberts and Leah remained un-videoed as David Stone's videocam ran out of battery. (first time!) Suffice to say it was a 'full' and 'joyous' occasion with laughter and good spirit thriving throughout!
Audi Maserati, as ever, in tip-top shape, had everyone laughing from the moment he got on stage. 'Think of my performance as a book with a cover in front, a cover in back, and in the middle is another cover'. He did 'Crosseyed Guitar'.(hillbilly)..'I'm sticking with you cos I'm made out of glue';, the bloke who had a conversation but did all the talking 'You aint nothin' but a hound dog!' (no end to his repertoire) His 'natural' spontaneous manner is always cause for applause! He played guitar and Appalachian stick zither. Sven Stears did hilarious haikus that were and those that weren't.
GUEST PERFORMER SPEECH PAINTER was great, with familiar, but always a joy to hear 'All you can buy on Ebay', 'You can spend a pound or a hundred grand, get 'The face of Jesus on a jalopeno, a human kidney, pictures of (his) ex-wife...'), 200 lbs of cocaine; then, 'Jehovah Baby', 'a confessional love poem'; the stresses of Christmas ending in misunderstandings 'Who put the Bump in the Bumpety Bumpty Bump'...you put me in a mental institution. I put the cape in escape...'. Then, the adult Dr Zeuss, actually started by the original author but never completed. 'The Cat in the Hat', now 'The Twat in the Flat' – a fabulously funny, clever take-off; followed by 'Will I Am', 'The Songs of Wam' – done with an energy that lit the room!
Afterward, he introduced his band – Will B (guitarist) and Kylie Earl (singer). He hadn't sung since age 12 when, doing an imitation of Elvis, he 'fell flat on his face'. However, Speech Painter, determined to get back to music, agreed when Will convinced him he could 'talk' the songs and he agreed. 'What's my theme?' he asked. 'The Road' he was told. 'Okay, and what else?' 'The Road', Will repeated. Hence, between Speech Painter's lyrics, Will's music and Kylie's lovely voice, 'The Road Project' was 'born'! Speech Painter even managed to add 'Rhododendron' to the collection, saying the flower was the first form of chemical warfare. In Asia, they put hives next to Rhododendrons and it intoxicated the honey. Other songs, 'Hit and Run', and 'It was the wrong turn' – plus far too much more to mention -. . He's such a joy to have as a guest. A much loved performer! From the enthusiasm and applause of the audience, it was a memorable evening – a good ending to another successful year!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Dec 2013 (event)

leah

Sun 8th Dec 2013 14:03

RICHARD TYRONE JONES is 'all heart' at October's Write Angle
The rains didn't stop Write Angle from entertaining a full house – with Guest Richard Tyrone Jones and the Open Mic, as popular as ever. .Nor did it stop him arriving same day almost 'sleepless' from Seattle. An eventful journey included an unexpected airport return, just after ascent! Richard collapsed and couldn't breathe. Not enough beta blockers. He was rushed to hospital – as his plane resumed its flight!. Not a great way to arrive at your own performance – but if that doesn't define professionalism in show biz, what does!
Richard, 34 years old, had a suspected blood clot, stroke and enlarged heart (by 2 cms) at age 30. 'My heart almost died, (it stopped for 4 mins)' he said, and all I got was this lousy tee shirt' , he held up a gift given by a friend. Taking the humour of his health a step further, 'at least I got a book, show and CD out of it'. I don't think he's recommending anyone else go through what he did but he's created some great and witty poetry and stories, including describing the great specialist who treated him. 'How could he not have been. He was an 'ultra' sound man!' - the doctor who touched his knees 'a bit too often' and the stunning Italian medical student they sent in, whose multi-questionnaire made Richard fantasise that she was in love with him. When asking compère Jake 'how much time do I have left?' Jake's response led him to 'You're right. I'm now immortal. If I want to die, I'll have to cut my own wires!' The audience laughed.
He does wonder if holding a mock funeral on his 30th birthday, 'with many fatherless red haired children' (he has ginger red hair) didn't attribute to what followed.
His poem 'Passing', a tribute to 'any artist silenced by the government'. 'They took away her audience. They cut out her tongue. They lobotomised her so she fantasised. Finally, she scribbled on the sky'. A love poem, 'Security Marker' about a man painting all his valuables. 'He painted her every surface. When she stepped out naked on the balcony, those who saw a ghost, were wrong. Those who saw a spirit were wrong. Those who saw an angel, they only saw what I saw'.
Richard's poetry and stories, built around his heart, are 'full of heart' and he performs with confidence and emotion.
The Open Mic had a happy John Meriton guitar/singing 'It Wasn't So' , about seeing someone you think you know, and it isn't'. followed by 'Maybe all insects, like us, are looking for love'. (why not) He then was suddenly joined by audi maserati who as ever, creates humour as he steps on stage. 'I was hoping he'd come on' John told the audience. A great rendition of John's 'Rachman' song played along with Audi's, 'The Elegant Tony Ritz'. Both about evil men to whom money came first! The audience loved it.
Audi then announced, 'I just wanna look like a rock star' and, recited 'Cowboy Poem'.. Raised by she-wolves, had a bad childhood, killed for fun - his life changed when 'the theatre came to town. He met the girl of his dreams. Great poem. Great presentation – or should it be said 'he's a winner every time!
Bernardo Garces, first time at the mic, after attending WA often, translated a piece about 'Books' from Spanish to English.. 'I would ask for half a piece of bread and a book. Books are the same as saying love'. Every word spoke emotion.. Another welcome newcomer, recently from Spain, Andy Barker, read a rhyming story of a bullfighter, his wife, the Matador and the horse. It flowed easily and gave view to Spain's almost extinct sport. He talked of his 'other self' writing serious poetry while in Third World countries.
Barry Smith, just a 'wee bit' cynical, read of 'things ordered on computers. Stuff you really don't want but others believe you do!' 'Hello! Hot offers just for you!' Combat chapped lips, skin taped jeans – gears of war, the new judgement game!' Having been to an exhibition, where he was meant to be inspired by the paintings, he found the 'autobiographical reference of artists' stirred him more.. In 'Synoptic', 'Monet had myopia. Picasso couldn't wait to take his models apart'. Pollock splattered his way as Jack the Dripper'. Clever stuff. The audience was hysterical. Then, 'Vital Statistics', 'I know it's true – because I read it in a book! (laughter was heard) '5% of the Universe is made up of atoms. 95% of the oceans are unexplored,.and on, up to 50% of the human genome is shared with a banana'.A strong poet with a good sense of humour and exploring mind!
Chris Sangster read 'Autumnal Theme', sharing memories of his holiday in Corfu. 'Seasons drawing to a close, toys hang listless in the breeze', the stirring reds and golds soon to be winter – to grow and re-new. - appropriately timed -. Jake Claret, Compère, read 'No Surprises', about his daughter's new tattoo. 'I knew you wouldn't mind me being nude...but that tattoo!'. Then, 'Rood Words' referring to an Ecumenical conference in Westminster Cathedral. '99 people of all religions speak of peace. Do they really want it'. Leah read about her dream that Carphone Warehouse told the truth about mobiles being rubbish. David Roberts read 'Anything Else', a conversation between passenger and taxi driver. (Not Woody Allen, was it?) followed by 'why do Hollywood endings have to be happy. Don't sad endings say so much more?' - (hoping that didn't apply to David's last poem about Madeline McCann)!
Duncan Filer performed his first poems from memory! (good work!) - about politicians. 'People, people, people..let us make hay on this bright Orwellian day'. Then, ''We're fighting the wrong war. Maybe we should be fighting plasma TV, and a boy playing modern warfare!' Dave Allen took all summer to write a poem about the beach, excluding nothing! The threatening sky, 'how can feet get grilled when you're so chilled' – the guy in speedos sees those torpedo. What torpedoes? Enter 'Alsatian invasion'! (why does Attila the Stockbroker come to mind?)
The audience travelled with Dave all the way to the bitter end, howling between laughter and horror but so painfully beautiful! Dave's got to make it up there! So much talent! Finally, Sven Stears, doing 'The Old Man At The Bus Stop'. - a lifetime of journey painted on his skin, leaving scars of maps for someone to follow'. Then, 'Career Advice'. Pointing to various audience members, 'You should be an elephant technician where endangered conversations weep'. 'You, a consultant to the barrier reef', - a paparazzi to the stars. No one wants to be a zero in their own fantasy'. Sven is now in Canterbury having been commissioned to write a poem. We wish him luck!
All in all, a very good evening with lots of variations and themes! Not to forget the lucky winner of two free meals at Tai Tong, the wonderful Chinese restaurant right in Petersfield

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 Oct 2013 (event)

leah

Thu 28th Nov 2013 16:10

WRITE ANGLE PLAYS AGAINST BUCKINGHAM PALACE – WITH AFRIC MCGLINCHEY NOVEMBER GIG

Even though competing with the Palace's performance poetry reception (200 poets) for the Queen and Duke - a poetry 'fan', November's Write Angle still managed to pull in a full house! A cold night but warm and welcoming evening, high in spirit – lasting past 11pm!

Afric McGlinchey, special guest, who flew in from Ireland, read poetry with the music of Africa and Ireland, two countries she knows – her poetry, personal, erotically charged, accessible and powerful. She expresses love and its pains.'that last night, he was just an arm's length away but it may as well have been a continent'. 'No need to tell me that I'm made of stone. I'm one half a couple'...suddenly he was buying Calvin Klein and Boss, had his teeth cosmetically enhanced, picked fights three times a day.....' 'You did the main course. Here's dessert, baby!' (how could anyone who's ever been in a relationship not relate??)! 'Do not lie to a lover- on the other hand, do not tell him the whole truth.' In 'Moving in', she asks 'will you have me as I am with just a satchel and a laptop...my heart can shred to tatters still'.
She seduces and enthrals with her innovative style.. 'Outside the sky is white as snow. The slow languid sway of sun people. Already Africa is melting away'. 'She belongs to an endangered species; she sees the world through the eyes of her soul'. (Paul Duncan). Afric had moved 18 times before her marriage – then 17 times more.

Expressing her daughter's love of horses, 'She searches country roads until she finds one...Her hands open with an apple core invitation. He shivers, snorts, bends to the scent. Then, blood-warm attention, as she steals to the feast of his back' ('Girl without a Horse)'. Her son, when 19, took a road trip. 'My son's Nairobi to Harare Motorbike Odyssey'.

Afric gets ideas from headlines, 'Bohdran (drum) Makers Suspected as Goats Go Missing'. Beautiful description of the wild herd in moonlight, the van releasing sheepdogs and 'a night for stripping skin'. Three poems dedicated to Tokoloshe, an evil spirit, who had to be exorcised; people slept on mattresses held up on bricks; a witch doctor was called. Her year in London produced 'A Different Skin', about immigrants. 'even to the bus driver who takes your fare, you are invisible. Many of Afric's poems come from her latest book, 'The Lucky Star of Hidden Things', highly recommended. Could go on and on but will stop with a special tribute to the title 'At not flicking my tea towel at his departing behind'. Wanna know what it's about? Buy the book!

There were 15 open mikers! Although themes varied, they seemed more serious than usual. Ageing, politics, corruption. Michael Sherman, inspired by words he heard on the radio, read 'Have you taken your pills, Tommy?', then went on to how young people never think they'll get old: 'outside feels like inside without walls'. He then described his street - very descriptive: 'People still sucking on the oxygen of hope' and 'The Far Shore: 'How did I lose her. She was inside her joy. Night falls like a tear'. Beautiful language. Maria Hewett followed with 'Winter on the Army Ranges' and 'Entanglement', 'Plants surviving steadily..sometimes tangling till strangling', and 'Hello Adam'. Barry Smith read of 'MacBeth living in NE Asia. 'Man's hardness to man' and 'the pains of technology and the trials of art'. Also 'the poet in the meadow'. The impressed and the oppressed. He talked of Lou Reed, 'Me and Herbie down at the Poetry & Jazz Cafe'.

Chris Sangster asked 'Why do they do it' - performers who return with their same music. Then, 'A New Train of Thought', about a woman working under the trains, her mum waiting. But when she sings in the choir, she feels joy!'. Then, 'My Little Black Bag': There's no dog poo fairy! Helen Whitten, first timer, took us around the world. 'Tsunami Forces' 'The image froze in my mind' and 'Censored Pages', Moscow to Siberia. 'The Tsar lived beyond his death.' and Nigeria. 'Closer to God'. Leah read 'Ancestry Bug' dedicated to David Stone (their video-man): why search the past? Dave Allen, always funny and a favourite, performed 'Climate Change': 'The World that's around you is ready to drown you', 'ice caps collapse'. 'It isn't black gold. It's black blood'.

Jack Warshaw, singer/guitarist, taken by Ken Loach's film 'The Spirit of '45, did 'There's no country for poor people'. Whether nationalised or privatised, same hard faced men make decisions running them. They don't work! Then 'No Time to Love' (1977, Warshaw) condemns the injustice to political prisoners. The song's well known in UK, Ireland and Europe and translated to other languages. Dave Roberts did 'Ronnie the Rabbit' – who controls his mother's house but seems much more at home making Woody Allen's films into poems! 'Sleeper' and 'Midnight in Paris' where he settles down with a young French girl to write a worthless novel! Bruce Parry did 'A Discarded Edwardian Tram', bringing back Hansom Cabs, feathered ladies. Then, 'Three Moons': the lovers', harvest and spiritual. Chris Sparkes visited 'Church Norton 2013' where his dad, died ('93) now his mum ('13): 'Myself in the dark shadow created by the bright sun they walked in'. Then, 'All Our Loving', the days of the space race, free love, Dillon, Drop-outs...

Jimmy Lee, another newcomer – great guitarist and singer, did his 'Lament to the loss of their chalk stream; 'Someone broke into my heart and stole my chalk stream water. Best was 'My First Love', when he was 8 and fell in love with Lucy Cartwright. But then she moved away. audi maserati performed 'Charlie Montana', sometimes a cowboy. Sometimes a spaceman. 'Howdy Ma', with ma answering 'Would you care for a sandwich, stranger', a wonderful story that almost brought tears.

Michael Ray, Afric's partner and a poet in his own right, did 'How's the water? What the hell is water? 'How repulsive you all are' 'Crap is choice and crap is crass' 'The world turns and all I do is tread water'. The evening definitely had common themes and, even though it may have been more serious than usual, there was still that element of tongue-in-cheek humour, the stuff that happens when you're least aware! Afric finished her second round of poetry to an appreciative audience and a raffle number was picked out of a hat to award two free meals at 'Nag's Head', Chichester.

All in all, a very full and exhilarating evening! Next month, being Christmas, we'll have savouries and sweets to celebrate the season, along with guest performer, Speech Painter and some 'surprises for Write Angle' which he won't reveal. We do know he's planning to have others join him. We'll just have to wait and see!

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 19 Nov 2013 (event)

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Julian (Admin)

Thu 10th May 2012 14:27

a great review! and if Dominic says someone's good, he is.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 May 2012 (event)

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Rose Drew

Mon 7th May 2012 14:54

Dominic Berry is wonderful: inventive, brilliant, energetic. I've seen him twice, at the York Lit Fest 2010 Slam, and as the Guest Feature at Speaker's Corner in York.

Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 15 May 2012 (event)

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Julian (Admin)

Wed 25th Apr 2012 15:09


DOMINIC BERRY PROVIDES 'A NEW SLANT' TO WRITE ANGLE
Write Angle's April guest poet/playwright/ performer Dominic Berry, had David Stone, our video man, in such hysterics, he couldn't hold the camera straight. His comment to Leah, 'You're making Petersfield the centre of excellence in portraying the extremes of life!' Never before had the audience laughed so hard with any performer. 

No wonder Dominic, more energy than a 1,000w halogen bulb, was champion of New York's famous Nuyorican Poetry Cafe, Manchester Literature Festival and Cheltenham Slams – and why he's 'one of Manchester's finest poets'. He's 'Fearless...covers a wide variety of issues' is 'effervescent and life affirming' ,captivating his audience with poetry that is 'carefully crafted,.sincere, often very funny- a true performer who touches hearts and changes minds'

'Yes! I'm Gay and I'm finally coming out of the closet....as a vegan'!!! Dominic, once agrophobic, started with 'Tomorrow I will go dancing'- then shared his feeling of how the thought of going from Manchester to a strange town, Petersfield to perform for people he didn't know, would go down with the 'old' Dominic but from his showmanship and ability to involve the audience, including a poem about aubergines, he showed he 'had overcome! His poetry included how everyone said he'd never change - but he knew he would. He gave credit to his single mum. She was 'solid with stardust'. 'If she had died, then she would have been human'. In 'Time Travellers', he revisits 'the first person who broke his heart', exploring the relationship. Then, celebrates his current 6 year relationship, 'Gays are like dogs. Since it's 7 years to every one, that makes it 42 years- not bad!' The audience loved it and given the choice between hearing a poem about socio-political structure or one of a more 'Gay' nature, chose the latter! Everyone seemed on a 'high'.

In Dominic's second half, he and Ben Jewell performed a compilation of scenes abridged from his play 'The Wizard', soon to be produced at The Cockpit theatre. 'I chose the more poetic parts', he said 'since it was a poetry evening'. Gargoyles, yorkshire tea, zombies and gorgons playing mortal combat - two young neighbours, both lonely, befriend each other. One overdosing on computer games and the other suffering from agoraphobia and thinking himself a wizard. It might have been a bit 'heavy' for the end of the evening but imagining it in its totality, 'Wizard' definitely has potential to be a highly creative and powerful production. Dominic made the evening, at the very least, 'an unusual one and a 'first' of its kind! Jake said he 'hoped he'd come back'.

Meantime, the Open Mic had ten fabulous minutes of the unpredictable Audi Maserati, 'the Professor of skylarking and shade avoidance of the da da institute of disembodied poetics' – a special treat. Dominic said 'Id come down from Manchester every month just to see him perform - even just ten minutes!' Audi, preparing for his Brighton appearance, was in top form, starting with a lost poem found in his hair about wanting a spacegirl for his partner. Then a story of a boy who asked his father if it was okay to tell a lie'. 'Truth is better' , he was told but as steam from a train passed, the boy heard 'Truth is butter' which became his lifetime philosophy! Refusing to use the mike as it 'makes him go cross eyed', Audi played some lovely tunes on his ukelele, 'is it too important to be a button on the shirt, a pencil behind Jean Paul Sartre's ear – the audience joined him in.'The Ballad of Stan and Rosie'- beginning of a new romance but the favourite was the ' green plastic plectrum he found in London which 'must have belonged to someone famous. Then Audi discovered Leonard Cohen had been there a few days before, so knew he now possessed the 'treasure'. Another great performance!

The witty John Smith' read an unusual monologue of 'reverse snobbery', stimulated by Dr Ben Johnson, 'the original smug clever bastard'. He unearthed a poem (not from his hair) he had rejected called 'Doggerel Third Tuesday'. Very funny and clever. Maria Hewett then read of her impressive experiences in Equador and the Galapegos, 'Through the window of the taxi'. 'Volcanoes poke at the city' 'Hard to think the marshmallow avenue of volcanoes there 750,00 years ago!'

A second poem 'Am I the Only One', exposing the expectations of mother and daughter from each other. 'Why me?' 'because you're my mother'! Too true to life! Brian then had everyone in the dark (literally) as he read in his usual poetic style, about the 'Yukon Gold Rush', (1909) 'The Shooting of Dan Macgrue. JeanAnne Naumcyzk read from the book of poetry in which her poem 'Perhaps One Day', had been published – 'pulled by a magnetism hard to control' 'take care to forbidden fruit' and 'return to the one you are with', yet – perhaps one day...She then read 'This is my Dream of Olde England', a visual description including horses, carts and ending with 'this is progress!'

Jack Spooner, a newcomer and 'student' of Audi's, read of meeting someone at a party. It didn't go quite as intended and they ended as 'best of friends – on facebook'. A bit of cynacism. 'What she thinks is a zit is some food stuck on her face'! Then a love poem – to a glove. Working with Audi was somehow visible and Jack received lots of laughs. We look forward to hearing more from this young man! Lysander White then took to the mic, with his own dramatic version- of romanticism and couplets from a composite of TS Elliott and Shakespeare. Asking for love 'to his lifeless body'.

Alex Lawther, (presently acting the young 'David Hare' in 'Southdown', at the Harold Pinter theatre, London – go see it!) , got up and told of having his first massage – not as expected but funny – then read a poem of the sadness of a relationship which was a rebound, and had none of the elements of real love. 'Is the relationship good because you want it to be good?' 'Love is a tautology. Your philosophy has clipped the angels wings' the most cliched clinch'.

Write Angle's charismatic and much loved song/guitarist, Jezz got up and sang 'I will cry when you go away', followed by another lovely ballad, ' Karma Police' – both about love.

The raffle winner got meals for two at Nagshead, Chichester, a great restaurant with an ongoing and sumptuous Sunday roast – even served on Saturday and most days!

And the evening came to an end with Leah overwhelmed by the still laughing audience, hugging her, saying 'what a great evening. We loved it!'  It was also pleasing to hear from Bill Don, 'I've come three times now and every month has been completely different than the one before! -and all good! There's now a great opportunity for more Open Mic poets to come forward, now that Write Angle is attracting large audiences so now's the time to come forward and 'strut your stuff'!!!.


Review is about WRITE ANGLE POETRY & MUSIC +OPEN MIC on 17 Jan 2012 (event)

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