Sunday Part 1


One last time for pre-show act The Antipoet, kicking us off with typical bombast, then, three tracks in, they announce a Serious Poem – It’s Not Guns That Kill People. They ask if they should try doing more serious stuff, and the crowd absolutely concur. The moody bass rumble and the backing track add to the atmosphere of the rant against the NRA their ilk. Next comes their tribute to their sadly departed mate Tony, who they met at Glastonbury (Martial Artist Physiotherapist). By the time that’s done, the swelling crowd lap it up, chuckling and cheering. While Ian has finally donned his spiky, patent high-heels boots and basque on in this tent, Paul strips off for They’ve Got To Learn, an enthusiastic defence of the power of profanity. The lads’ partners join them to help the audience out with a set of cue cards with the extraordinary words written on them. The audience manage very well to chime in at the right time. Then crowd favourite I Like Girls kicks off (and I’m invited to grant the audience a alternative (queer, non-binary) perspective, as has become traditional over the years). They finish with a round of thanks to everyone, the flourish of new album title track Punk Uncle, and a roar of glorious cheers.

Compere Rosy Carrick takes to the stage in dungarees and revelations about her morning ablutions. She then gives a rousing, touching introduction to… oh, wait, it’s me…

Blogger Fay Roberts takes to the stage. To say I’m nervous would be understating this tremendously… And then I do my usual opening piece, Blissful Chance, and it turns out I do know what I’m doing, and the smallness and passivity of the audience and the loud drag yoga on the Sensation Seekers stage doesn’t phase me (though that’s quite the leotard!), and I’m grateful, in retrospect that my first appearance on the stage was with The Antipoet, because it’s only another festival stage and I know how to do this, and the key thing is not to let people know you’re bricking it.

The beautiful soul that’s Dominic Berry took some lovely photos and videos, and here they are (well, one of them – we’re experiencing a small problem with videos… they’ll come later)

We have a surprise guest (for complicated reasons – I won’t bore you), Australian artist Omar Mousa. His bars glitters across the beat of the outside, tackling Australian culture and toxic masculinity. I am in an adrenalin come-down, and busy signing the one book I’ve sold, so I don’t take in much, but I am going to look him up later, not least for stepping in at the last minute for reasons that… well…

Shama Rahman takes to the stage amidst a tangle of technicians and wires and instruments and cases and musicians and busy-ness (an audience member tells us he’d “rather be warm than Wu-Tang” in response to Rosy’s request for expansion on why he didn’t like their “mostly karaoke” set last night. I was busy having a loneliness and exhaustion melt-down, but I heard their chants and oddly congruent backing tracks while trying to settle down). Rosy performs her Arnold Schwarzenegger poem from Friday, then, the musicians being unready, another one I’ve not heard before, about the awkwardness of holding hands (called, oddly enough, Holding Hands).

The band launch as swiftly as possible into their truncated set with Ships In The Night, which passes through at least three different musical genres that I can count in dizzying profusion. Shama tells us that all her songs start as poems, and the next one is another person’s poem, which translates as Matchstick – “It’s a revolution song… don’t underestimate the power of a single matchstick – it could burn your whole house down…” I assume it’s in an Indian dialect (I’ll check later). She then gives us the title track from her latest album: Truth Be Told, the one with the glorious dance (the one I had in my head as (I Sing To Myself) Song To The Sea, as that’s a repeated refrain). And the synaesthesia shivers kick off for me with the beautifully dissonant ripples of instrumentation, and her voice dances between ribbons of mystical shimmers with an almost forceful, rock-inflected delivery. (I find myself forgiving her for sitting on my beloved cajon, which I unwisely left on the stage after its brief appearance with The Antipoet). The final track (All In Your Mind?) is yet another genre, the sitar and bass snarling under her chanted, almost rapped lyrics. The sound technician outdoes himself, giving her almost more reverb than is decent (almost!), and the growl of poem-song draws more intrigued audience members. Let’s hope they stay through the inevitable disentangling (and me retrieving my drum) to watch the next act!

Murray Lachlan Young takes to the stage, introduced as “the suavest man in existence”, which he grins at (and somehow manages that with faded, black jeans, a nondescript top, and flip-flops – it’s probably partly the voice, and partly really suiting silvering hair), asking us to bring the energy up with applause for ancient nomadic structure, recently emptied compost toilets, the benevolent part of Universal Consciousness, then a series of things that no-one likes or wants to applause. Then bongos. “Tippy-tappy-tip-tap-tap” he demands from the audience, which they’re, well, a little too listless to engage with. It melds into a series of rhythmic portraits of festival clichés, followed by a query: should we have a national referendum about the thong (men, wearing thongs, specifically). Young men flee towards to the end, and he weaves that into his outro. According to his recent reading, the tipping point has come: Britain has more famous people than normal people. He gives us a poems mostly using the words known and unknown, which growls and keen through the full range of his amazing voice. Honestly, his voice has only got more theatrical and astonishing over the years since my brother and I first stared at him on late night 90s TV. He goes on to rhythmically pillory one of P Diddy’s more outrageous antics in something uncomfortably close to an impersonation of a stereotyped, young person of colour. Avoiding going to the loo has apparently reached new, dark levels (eating charcoal tablets to avoid defecation until the person takes a laxative). The toilet talk continues. Horrific mentions of despair and death concerning Glastonbury history… with regard to defecation. Again, I’m struck with the phenomenon of headliners talking more between pieces than doing pieces. The Voice of a Portaloo follows, almost inevitably.

Someone tried to crash out in his tent, which is near the naked male sauna, where he did a naked gig, including the next piece: Tae A Scrotum (yes, in the style – and accent – of Rabbie Burn). I snigger helplessly. I won’t lie. We finish with the “erotic folk song poem” Dogging – what folk songs aren’t singing about, apparently, but should. “You’ll be pleased to know there’s a singalong chorus: And a-dogging I will go/ Oh, a-dogging I will go”). It’s a tour of the UK as seen through the medium of carparks.

(Yes, I got a selfie. What?!)

Courtney Conrad takes to the stage in a floaty, open black dress combo with big, pale flowers interweaving on it (yes, I’m still noticing clothes – don’t @ me, as they say). Her delivery is even stronger than her first performance on Friday. It’s a very similar set to that one, but with some I didn’t hear last time, and the usual enjoyment of summoning up other moments I’d not captured then. Maybe I’m in a different place myself today, but I hear more strongly the intensity of both her love and despair for her family and cultures, the difficulties of language and translation of Otherness within Otherness. It’s brave and quiet and a gritted teeth sharing of brutal, beautiful truths.

(I missed taking a photo of her. Sorry!)

Jonny Fluffypunk is greeted with an “Edinburgh Fringe size of audience” so, to the sound technician’s mild disquiet, he drags the mic and stand into the auditorium, but luckily he knows what he’s doing when it comes to sound equipment and feedback, so no horrific feedback ensues. “If you were here yesterday, you’ll learn a valuable lesson about the craft of seemingly spontaneous banter.” And then goes on to start with a very similar rant, minus the rock ’n’ roll bit, then a different kick-off poem – his ode to coffee, which breaks the fourth wall at nearly every other line, asking for audience participation to better complete the fourth line in the spelling section gifted to him by Oxford: “F – Fuck Tea!” (we end up with “Filtered, frothy, fumigates my brain…”). It’s reached that point of the festival where nearly everyone references the toilets… To be fair, they get emptied halfway through JFP’s set, adding a distinctive fragrance to proceedings. And, like the drifting whiff of human marsh gas, I wander out of the tent to make myself a sandwich. I’m sure the set ended well, though.

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Introducing: Murray Lachlan Young

Murray Lachlan Young by Poochi Purtill
Back to perform with us is Murray Lachlan Young, 13:10-13:40 Sunday. If he’s new to you/ you’d like a reminder, read on:

In his own words:

“Current regular gig – Poet Laureate of multi-award-winning BBC6 music.

“Murray has also written for Shakespeare’s globe, The CERN institute in
Switzerland, MTV USA. 2015 saw Murray’s co-adaptation of the critically acclaimed Dylan Thomas’ Under Milkwood Movie Directed by Kevin Allen and starring Rhys Ifans, long-listed for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

“Murray’s 2017 satirical verse collection How Freikin’ Zeitgeist are you? Reached No. 1 in the Amazon poetry charts. His new book is a 6000-word poem The Mystery of the Raddlesham mumps.”

Fay’s words:

If there’s one poet on the bill this year that 19-year-old Fay would be freaking out over the notion of witnessing live (25 years later; sorry, love), it’s this chap. Just as I was expanding past my jazz/ folk/ classical roots with a life-altering Britpop mixtape by my best mate at university (let’s not get into what happened when I was introduced to techno and trance), going clubbing for the first time, and working out that I actually stood a chance of getting off with girls, MLY was turning up on the late-night TV shows my brother and I were watching being all louche and curly-haired and insouciantly foppish, wielding an unrepentant and rhyming wit. My brother grew his curls out and started competing in poetry slams. I started wearing tight velvet trousers and enormous silk shirts with waistcoats. Basically: there’s a legacy (even though it’s me now performing poetry and the last time I saw my brother his hair was razored very short).

Anyway, if you’ve not experienced this dandy highwayman (who’s done pretty much every Glastonbury since 1996 except 2015), you need to imagine a kind of Russell Brand of poetry, only with better hair. I mean this, you understand, in a good way. His voice is the dry side of fruity (barely changed in all this time) and, I’ve discovered, he can do wickedly accurate impersonations (19-year-old me is frankly swooning now). Whimsy barely covers it when it comes to the delivery, words used, topics covered, and occasional musical accompaniment (Casio keyboard/ wurlitzer accompaniment to a poem about being stalked by the Rolling Stones, anyone?), but nothing’s beyond his pen – from the politics of public personality to the public personalities of politics, seagulls, and the gullibility of the public – MLY, as you’d imagine from someone who’s been Poet-in-Residence to various clubs and radio stations (often concurrently) for the last couple of decades or so, can write about pretty much anything, at very short notice. It often rhymes, and/ or follows standard ballad or even limerick format, but you get the strong sense that Young is messing with everyone as he does so – a double-bluff, a knowing nod about the accessibility, predictability and limitations of hard rhyme, which he repeatedly subverts by either breaking out of it, over-pronouncing something into fitting, or reaching out with his extraordinary vocabulary and snagging the exact right word.

19-year-old me may be struggling to fit the person who wrote “Simply Everyone’s Taking Cocaine” with the one doing children’s poetry in drag, but shhh! no-one tell them. In the meantime, 44-year-old me will be drinking it all in, taking photos, and maybe sending one or two to my brother while I’m at it…

Sneak preview:

The FULL Glastonbury Poetry&Words 2015 Line up

Behold, the dates and times of all the stars of this year’s Poetry&Words tent at Glastonbury. Thanks to P&W’s very own behind-the-scenes veteran Jack Bird for designing this year’s poster. Is very pretty 🙂

PW Poster Final

The first of our special interviews will be going up soon. Keep watching.

Scott 🙂

The last Poets

And we’ve got doozies…

Murray Lachlan Young

MLY_04%20DT

The legendary Million Pound Poet – and an absolute don’t miss.

Poet, screenwriter-writer and broadcaster. Murray Lachlan Young is one of the UK’s most prolific and best-known poetry voices. He came to international notoriety through signing a million pound record deal with EMI records in 1997.

Subsequently he has become known for his numerous appearances and residencies on BBC Radio 2,4 and as resident poet of BBC6music.

Murray has performed commissioned work everywhere from: Shakespeare’s globe theatre to the main stage at Glastonbury to Ronnie Scots to Test match special and even the Cheltenham gold cup.

Over the last five years he has branched out to become a successful screen-writer and broadcaster. Co adapting the new movie version of the Dylan Thomas Classic: Under Milkwood – Directed by Kevin Allen and Starring Rhys Ifans.

He is currently co writing Waterfall – a new Kevin Allen movie set to shoot in the Autumn 2015 and working on an anthology with Unbound books.

Residencies include:

Sony Gold winner and resident poet with BBC6 music
Sony Gold winner and resident poet with BBC Saturday live
The Union Club: Soho.

Current work

Co writer Film: The waterfall Feature produced Fatti films shooting Autumn 015
Writer The Incomers: Dir Rhys Ifans Fattie Films (Development) 015
Co format and presenter BBC Radio 4 series The Flexigon. 015
New play: Running stag. (Development) Windswept productions 015
Taste: Dance play for C scape dance co 2015
Rehab. Musical Directed by Craig Revel-Horewood. Book: Derren Litten
MLY Grant Black. Libretto G Black and MLY.
Murray Lachlan Young verse Anthology due for release and tour Autumn
2015 Unbound books.

Recent work :

Co Adaptation – Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas for Fatti films. Dir
Kevin Allen. Allen 1st voice Rhys Ifans. release June 015
Film: God’s work. Feature produced Fatti films. Acclaimed BBC Radio 4
series The Alien balladeer (Jan)
Writer and participant Laphroig writers challenge 015
BBC Test match special for the Ashes 2013
Poem for 2013 Magners cider commercial The instigator.

The Incomers. Directed by Paul Jepson. National tour: From April 2013.
Windswept productions.

BBC radio Scotland. Child of the union. Half hour documentary tx 2014

Murray has written many poems on hugely diverse subject matter.

Mick Jagger recently presented Keith Richards with a CD copy of an MLY
poem to mark the anniversary of Keith Richards falling out of a
coconut tree.

 

Porky the Poet (aka Phill Jupitus)

Porky the Poet by Matt Gillett

I had the gargantuantly unfortunate task of following this man at Glastonbury last year. He brought the house down and I’ll never forgive him for that 😉 The tent is highly likely to be packed when he’s on so come early for a good spot.

Porky The Poet emerged as part of the ranting poetry scene in 1983. Inspired by performers like John Cooper-Clarke and Linton Kwesi Johnson, he followed their example and started gigging with bands. It was here he met Billy Bragg, who took him on tour as a support act in 1985. This led to a fruitful period opening for The Housemartins, The Style Council, The Pogues, Gil Scott-Heron and many others. On the poetry scene, Porky became a London circuit regular for Apples & Snakes and Cast New Variety. Around about this time he lost all his poems in Newcastle, decided to quit, changed his name back to Phill Jupitus and did other stuff. In 2007, Phill was cajoled by fellow ranting luminary Tim Wells to start writing again and return to the performance poetry scene. In 2012 at The Edinburgh Fringe he did his first full-length show Twenty Seven Years On, followed that up with Zeitgeist Limbo, Juplicity and this year debuts the all-new Apologist Now as part of the PBH Free Fringe.

“Surprisingly beautiful…” N.M.E.
“Punchy, chippy, funny…” The Guardian
“Hugely entertaining…” The Scotsman

 

 Rachel Rose Reid

Rachel Rose Reid
A captivating storyteller. Come into the tent, grab some mat and get lost in her world.

Rachel Rose Reid was raised on a hybrid of immigrant tradition, English folk clubs and concrete jungle, and all three of these worlds combine in her mesmerising stories and poetry.  She has been Artist in Residence for Dickens Museum, the Saison Poetry Library, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and has written and performed commissions for Billy Bragg, BBC Radio 3, and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

RRR loves collaborations and has created work with a diverse range of artistic partners including the Roundhouse Experimental Choir, Dizraeli & the Small Gods and the London Symphony Orchestra. She has performed her work at the Barbican (UK), Nuyorican Poets Café (USA), the Soho Theatre (UK); ACT Theatre (Australia); Latitude Festival; Camp Bestival; Pleasance, Edinburgh; Words Festival (Denmark), Contos  de Liberdade (Portugal); Storytelling Time (Italy), Alden Biesen (Belgium); and the British Council (Malta.)  RRR is the founder of the Willesden Green Wassail, a community festival that unites a diverse urban community through the re-appropriation of ancient English tradition.

“Immense skill and breathless conviction. There’s no faulting Reid’s command of her craft”.  The Times
“Polished and compelling. A consummate performer…Definitely one to watch”. The Independent

www.rachelrosereid.com

Winston Plowes – Spoke-n-Word Walkabout Show

Winston Plowes

The legendary walkabout poet. Winston is a Glastonbury treasure.

Based near Hebden Bridge in Calderdale Winston Plowes lives aboard his floating home with his cat ‘Fatty’. In the past year he has collaborated with The Arvon Foundation, the BBC, Glastonbury Festival, UCLAN and Manchester Museum and has recently tutored on courses and workshops for The Square Chapel, The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts and West Yorkshire Playhouse. As Poet in Residence for the Rochdale Canal Festival in 2012 and The Hebden Bridge Arts Festival for the past three years he has being lucky enough to share his community orientated poetry with a wider audience. As Judge for the Found Poetry Review and author of experimental work published in over 50 journals worldwide he gets the chance to play with our precious language and by providing workshops for schools hopes to continue to inspire through mutual creativity for many years to come. The jointly self-published Misery Begins at Home, 2010 and Micro Chap-book Extras, Origami Press, 2014 will soon be followed by his first collection of ghazals First of all I Wrote Your Name, Stairwell Books. Winston is also inventor of the worlds first (and possibly last) Random Poetry Generating Bicycle, the ‘Spoke-n-Word’.
www.winstonplowes.co.uk

Annabel Other – The Bristol Art Library

Annabel Other

Our other Walkabout poet this year.

The Bristol Art Library is a fully functioning public library housed in a wooden cabinet the size of a small suitcase.   Annabel Other, the artist, created the library in 1998 and is the Head Librarian. The library’s volumes cover a wide range of subjects, from palaeontology to astronomy, with 250 books (all 5 in x 4 in)  made by artists and practitioners from all areas of the arts and sciences.

Membership of Bristol Art Library is free, and once you have joined and received your manilla reader’s ticket you may  visit the library and peruse its volumes anywhere in the world. The library now has 9000 members, a gift shop and a friends’ organisation FOTBAL (Friends of The Bristol Art Library).

So that’s our full line up and it is an absolute cracker. Full times and dates of all our performances will be going up soon.

Scott 🙂