Glastonbury Festival Poetry Headliners 2013

There are 2 days left before I start the journey across the country to get to a huge, huge field full of some of the most talented musicians, djs, singers, dancers, jugglers, trapeze artists, van chefs, kids entertainers…and poets I may ever see. I’m just a bit excited now.

This week, I have been shopping for batteries and a head torch and cleaning my wellies, waterproof trousers and thermosk flasks (not that it’s gonna rain right?). I have also noticed three things about Glastonbury Festival I find a bit bizarre.

1.There is a huge selection of hippy-styled outfits sold in Primark for the festivals. I walk past them everyday and find it a little odd. They are not selling waterproof trousers, or bumbags, two essential items.

2.I have only one friend who is also performing at Glastonbury. I was really excited about seeing his band play. We are both doing only one 20 minute set. We have both been programmed by different people to perform on the same day at the exact same time at different ends of the festival. (If you have to choose between us, I’d say go check him out instead : http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ej58q9/acts/a52p5v)

3.The headline acts for the Poetry and Words stage are not also appearing on the Pyramid stage. I think they should be. Cos they are good. They are very, very good.

So, I will be watching them all. I love poetry, but I like to be realistic. If you can choose three, that’d be sweet. I have just done a poem for Random Acts on Channel 4 with Kate Tempest, so in a completely unbiased way, I’ll start with her.

ps. There is a Slam Poetry competition at Glastonbury Festival Poetry and Words stage. It is open to anyone. The winner gets a slot at next years festival. It’s a great prize. My next post will give you all the details. OK. Back to the headliners…

1. Kate Tempest

Where to go online

http://katetempest.co.uk/

Official Bio

Kate Tempest started out when she was 16, rapping at strangers on night buses and pestering mcs to let her on the mic at raves. Ten years later she is a published playwright, poet and respected recording artist.  Her theatre writing includes Wasted for Paines Plough, Brand New Ancients for the BAC, and Glasshouse for Cardboard Citizens. She has written poetry for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Barnado’s, Channel 4 and the BBC. She has worked with Amnesty International to create a schools pack helping secondary school children write their own protest songs, and was invited to write and perform a new poem for Aung San Suu Kyi when she recieved the Ambassador of Conscience award in Dublin.

Kate released her debut album Balance with Sound of Rum in 2011. She has featured on songs with Sinead O Connor, Bastille, the King Blues, Damien Dempsey, Pink Punk, and Landslide. She has just finished recording a new solo album Everybody Down with acclaimed music producer Dan Carey. She’s toured extensively, supporting Billy Bragg on his UK tour, as well as supporting Scroobius Pip, Femi Kuti, Saul Williams and John Cooper Clarke. She is 2 x slam winner at the prestigious Nu-Yorican poetry cafe in New York. She’s played all the major UK and European music festivals either solo or with Sound of Rum. She’s headlined Latitude festival and her poetry has been featured on the BBC’s Glastonbury highlights. In 2012 she launched her first poetry book to a sell out crowd at the Old Vic theatre in London.

Her first spoken word release Broken Herd came out on Pure Groove in 2009. Her poetry book/CD/DVD package Everything Speaks in its Own Way was published on her own imprint Zingaro in 2012, and is available now.  A new collection of poetry will be out in 2014, published by Picador.

2. Attila the Stockbroker

Where to go online

www.myspace.com/attilathestockbrokerpoetry

www.myspace.com/attilastockbroker

Attila the stockbroker

Attila the stockbroker

Official Bio

Sharp tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger.  Inspired by the spirit and the ‘Do It Yourself’ ethos of punk rock, and above all by The Clash and their overtly radical, political stance, he started as a punk bass player in 1977 and took the name Attila the Stockbroker in 1980, blagging spots for his poems and songs in between bands at punk gigs. He quickly got a couple of John Peel radio sessions, a deal with London independent label Cherry Red Records and before very long was on the cover of Melody Maker.  He hasn’t looked back since!

He has performed his work across the world at literary and music festivals, rock venues, arts centres, pubs, universities, schools, folk clubs and punk squats in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, the Basque Country, Romania, Bulgaria and Stalinist Albania. In total, he has performed more than 2800 gigs in 24 countries and at every Glastonbury Festival since 1983.

As well as all his solo gigs, where during his songs he accompanies himself on mandola, Attila plays violin, bass guitar and a variety of early music instruments and from time to time gigs with his band, BARNSTORMER, a unique and energetic mix of punk and early music!  He has released numerous CDs, DVDs and books of poetry and music.  This year he is promising us a special insight into UKIP and the bankers.

‘A popular poet who actually earns a living at it rather than sitting in a garret feeling sorry for himself.’   ~ The Observer

3. Dizraeli

Where to go online

http://www.dizraeli.com/

Dizraeli

Dizraeli

Official Bio

Dizraeli is a Bristol-born rapper, poet and musician. Although rooted strongly in hiphop traditions, his work draws inspiration from old folk music, recognising the common ground shared by songs of the people from any point in history. He leads the 7-piece band Dizraeli and the Small Gods, fusing beatbox, strings, turntables and harmony singing in an unashamedly heartfelt reinvention of hiphop. touching, funny stories of riots, atheism and Englishness though folk, rap, spoken word and hymns. “(Dizraeli) embodies 21st Century folk” (The Independent 2011).

Dizraeli has performed at Glastonbury, Latitude, The Eden Project and The Royal Festival Hall among countless others. He has won both the Farrago UK Slam Championships and the BBC Radio 4 Poetry Slam, and written several hiphop plays including the award winning ‘Rebel Cell’, with Baba Brinkman. “Folk or hiphop? I don’t know, but Dizraeli makes me realise how wonderful it is to hear real English – fluent, witty and arresting” (The Times 2012).

4. John Osbourne

Where to go online

http://www.johnosbornewriter.com/

John Osborne

John Osborne

Official Bio

John Obsborne’s John Peel’s Shed

As heard on Radio 4 and fresh from a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival is John Peel’s Shed. In 2002, John Osborne won a competition on John Peel’s Radio One show. His prize was a box of records that took eight years to listen to. This is an ode to radio, those records and anyone who’s ever sought solace in wireless.

5. Luke Wright

Where to go online

http://www.lukewright.co.uk/

Luke Wright (photo Steve Ullathorne)

Luke Wright (photo Steve Ullathorne)

Official Bio

Luke Wright has been described as “the best young performance poet around” (Observer) and “the most relevant poet of his generation” (Exeunt). He has created seven solo poetry stage shows, which have toured the world picking up a clutch of five star reviews. His debut collection, Mondeo Man (Penned in the Margins), was described in the Huffington Post as “a riot of cheek, giggles, boobs, tears and Facebook – while keeping its artistic integrity firmly intact.” He is host and co-curator of the Spoken Word Arena at Latitude. His poems range from jaunty political satires and bawdy bar room ballads to bleak retellings of sensationalised murders and scandals.

“Visceral, poignant and riotously funny.” The Scotsman

6. Kate Fox

Where to go online

http://www.katefox.co.uk/

Kate Fox

Kate Fox

Official Bio

Kate Fox is a Northern poet, performer and writer.  She has been a regular on Radio Four’s Saturday Live since 2007, and has written poems for everyone from BBC Two’s Daily Politics show and the Great North Run to Amnesty International and some colostomy nurses.  Her new and selected poems “Fox Populi” have been published by Smokestack and her stand up show about not wanting children “Good Breeding” is having a full run at PBH’s Free Fringe in Edinburgh this year. 

7. C R Avery

Where to go online

http://www.cravery.com/

C R Avery

C R Avery

Official Bio

C.R. Avery’s talents include being a: Beatbox Poet; Punk Piano Player; String Quartet Raconteur; Rock & Roll Matador; Playwright; and Outlaw Hip-Hop Harmonica Player.  Whether performing to thousands at the Royal Albert Hall or the lucky few who made it inside the packed past capacity speakeasy, C.R. Avery is a unique, raw and dynamic performer. He is a one-man band, but one for this generation; with the rare ability to sing poetic verse while beatboxing simultaneously while pounding the piano and adding harmonica like a plot twist. C.R. Avery has recorded over fifteen albums as well as writing & directing six hip-hop operas. He has toured throughout Canada (including almost every major folk festival) the USA, and garnered the attention of music peers the likes of Tom Waits, Charlie Musselwhite and folk legend Utah Phillips.

8. John Hegley

Where to go online

www.johnhegley.co.uk

John Hegley

John Hegley

Official Bio

John Hegley first appeared at the Festival in 1980. Then he was performing with Soapbox Theatre in a show for Children. Children are still welcome, as the poet performs verse sung and spoken with the assistance of his nephew Paul Hegley on guitar and Keith Moore, who is no relation, on double bass.  Last year, Keith was to be seen transporting his double bass away from the Poetry Tent in a wheelbarrow.

‘More Elvis Costello than Alan Bennett’ ~ Scotsman

‘Awesomely mundane’ ~ The Independent

‘Scandalously talented’ ~ Sunday Times

‘Bleeding marvellous’ ~ NME

‘Like a good deed in a naughty world’  ~ Herts Advertiser

‘Makes little sense’  ~ Luton News

Have a great festival,

Hollie x

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