We were invited to join Tongue Fu at The Ancient Futures stage in the Tipi Field tonight. Fronted and formed into gloriously chaotic improvisational poetry goodness by Chris Redmond, a band makes magic out of already magnificent poetry. It’s never sounded like this, and it will never be the same again.First up of our poets: Paula Varjack, with typically cabaret-vibe élan, two pieces about the dangers of dating artists, and the perilous duality of bisexual, femme identity.Next up: our illustrator Scott Tyrrell with a cautionary tale about intimacy in the context of family life (the piece that, incidentally, got him into the final round of the BBC EdFringe Slam final (which he the won, obviously). Brace yourselves.Then, after an anecdote-song by the host about cannibalistic children (don’t ask), I got up to do my bilingual poem Stroke, but I have no evidence, so you’ll have to take my word for it.Next up the pugilistic compassion of our Poet-in-Residence Vanessa Kisuule, giving us her Malleable Manifesto – a way to live, or not, recognising your own divinity.The band expands, shimmying from Vanessa’s instruction to emulate James Brown looking out of the window into an extended riff as as a trumpet joins the line-up, beckoning our current slam champion Jackie Juno to the stage with a poem about how the universe birthed the world with a word – fitting the particular décor of the yurt and elevating it into magic.Chris then summons long-time co-creative-conspirator Liv Torc to deliver that extraordinary piece about three generations and the impact of truth and hope (as if accompanied by the band on the Titanic).Chris exhorts the crowd to our feet so we can join in the chorus to his song about us all rowing the same boat, along a similar theme of environmental responsibility, dedicated to Liv, then keeping us there for one more song, decrying the spying capabilities of social media (we all chant “Who’s telling me what?!”). A banging evening, a chance to get to know – and watch live finally – some of the other poets, and a great warm-up for the rest of the weekend!
A direct quote from the gorgeous Paula Varjack, compere of the poetry and words stage. If those words aren’t enough to tempt you away from your small, wet tent then read on cos these poets are where all your unanswered questions about why the ‘f’ we plonk ourselves in fields and roam the caged land, and what we should do with this no time we have brought/sold our performance for
Festival tips from their lips*
*And through my ears and down my pen
What a gent, delivered a most generous welcome to Glastonbury 2014, to the signers that translate our poetry with their bodies, gave a few festival tips you shouldn’t do:
– Speed before breakfast*
– Keep your eggs with your bacon and your poo in your eye
– Shop in mountain warehouse for trousers
– Get naked to take the bin out
And one that you, DEFINITELY SHOULD do:
– Let the pig out = dancing like your body is telling the intricate story of each sound.
See Chris again on Saturday 13.50
* Poem called Speed brilliantly kept up with by Catherine, the sign language interpreter.
Took the reins from Chris and steered us in to an honest account of her school staff room. Seeing the system we put young people through from the other way here are some tips on how to not be a dick to young people, people in general.
– If someone is clearly engrossed in a book, let them live in that world for a bit
– If you are desperate for a revolution you probably should lay off the dugs so that you can not only imagine, but action that desire.
– Know the words you wish to say and save enough breath for them
and one specific and quite useful hustle to keep in mind for all festival glory:
– If you have run out of money and need a chai tea fast… Charge people 50p to look at your tattoos*
*if you don’t have tattoos fear not, a smiley face and friendly tone will get you many gifts, if not of chai then definitely of happiness
See Jess again on Sunday 12.50
Tim whoever you are you are a great man. Thanks for helping Andy, he has transferred that energy into these superb ideas*
*He may have had them before but you gave them a great context.
3 ideas to have fun with this festival
1. Philosophise until you feel how good it feels to be good
– Label every picture a song
– Picture frog eyes on your wellies and stare into both of the eyes at once
2. Find the power in the context
– See what you are in, how you treat it
– Stay and face the world even if you are bricking it
3. Emotion is contagious
– Send emotions like tweets
– Use each other as our mirrors
Fourth overall/general rule/tip/suggestion/exploration:
Find your joyganaut
Watch Andy flaunt his Joyganaut on Saturday 14.15
However big you think you are don’t sell out the stars in your belly
Eating is to keep yourself going to have a nice life; not a reward or punishment
Forgive for yourself – your mates lose you you lose the who cares forgive choose to be happy, dance until you wobble arm in arm across drunken campsites
Come along shout Sally’s name, she will appear and you can take her home in a book (buy buy buy)
Stand stock still in the middle of a busy junction and wonder why normal equals perfection.
Collaborate spontaneously and with your heart.
Discover how to speak with your body, how sound is touch.
Watch this man on Sunday 15.20
This guy is brilliant, here is are several slithers of his wisdom, stitched together:
– Wave to people who wave to you too
– Check out the skies ammunition
– Dance like volcanoes as if your sleeping bag has insomnia
– Drink a dirt of strongbow and grow an arrow in your stomach
– Shake the piss off your penis
and even an exit strategy:
– When relocating from tent to home pray for a black hole then find one, a real one.. A bin
– Say goodbye to your ground, remember how your body moulded with the earth and say Thank You.
Come come come see him on Sunday at 12.00.
Reminded us to return sentiments, if someone helps you out here in these fields then pass that good deed on
If you find that suddenly you can see the whole would dancing but can’t hear the music, don’t believe the person that tells you there is no more music left, here is where there can be no mirrors, no eyes, just hearts. Stomping (wading).
And if all else fails know the love, food and water won’t.
Come here more from this gifted poet’s mouth Saturday 17.15
Benita Johnson –
Will be the first performer on the Poetry and Words stage and so I had to put her as my first performer to announce. Listening to her on youtube I have absolutely fallen for her voice tone, melody and lyrics, ‘Beam of Light’ happens to be my favourite. She will be the gentle rocking voice, bringing you back into the world of poetry each morning at 11.45.
Official Biog –
Singer-Songwriter Benita Johnson has supported the likes of Hugh Cornwell (The Stranglers), Boo Hewerdine and Patrick Duff (Strangelove). Her songs are dynamic and accessible. An experienced performer, she regularly brings her wide-ranging repertoire to venues large and small across the south-west. She will be opening the stage at Poetry&Words each day of the festival with songs both mellow and uproarious. “It’s not folk and it’s not rock or pop, it’s Benita Johnson doing her thing and it’s beautiful. . . simply breathtaking. . .” Malcolm Carter, Penny Black Music Reviews.
Raymond Antrobus –
A great friend and colleague of mine (Chill Pill UK and Keats House Poets) and a fine performer, his poems are crafted to sit in the place with all lines of poetry meet – Spoken word, page, narrative and emotional. He is absolutely awesome and you can see him live on Friday at 13.15 and Sunday at 15.20 and i-net stalk him here https://www.youtube.com/user/chillpillshorts
OFFICIAL BIOG –
Raymond Antrobus is a spoken word poet, photographer and educator, born and bred in Hackney. He is co-curator of popular London poetry events Chill Pill (Soho Theatre and The Albany) and Keats House Poets. Raymond’s work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, The Big Issue and recently at TedxEastEnd and in The Guardian.
His second collection, Shapes & Disfigurements Of Raymond Antrobus, is published by Burning Eye Books. He writes a blog dedicated to poetry-films, social commentary, interviews and spoken word: www.raymondantrobus.com.
“His monologues are stunning studies of voice and substance, and his lyric poems are graceful and finely crafted” (Kwame Dawes)
Currently Raymond is completing the Writer/Teacher MA in Spoken Word Education at Goldsmith’s University. He is Hackney’s first spoken word educator and teaches at Cardinal Pole Secondary School.
Chris Redmond –
Tongue FuChoo Choo Chris is going to be gracing the stage, oh yeah. This guy is cool and suave and his poems are pretty super. Though the band will be left behind this guy should be watched with both ears, great wit and humour. Watch him in absolute brilliance live on Friday at 12.00 and Saturday at 13.50 and online here
OFFICIAL BIOG –
Chris Redmond is a writer, performer and musician whose work often focuses on cross-media collaboration. A regular at UK music and literature festivals, he has performed on BBC Radio One, BBC Radio Four (Bespoken Word and Pick of The Week), Sky Arts, BBC Scotland’s Culture Show and recently on Scroobius Pip’s XFM show The Beatdown.
Chris is the creator and host of Tongue Fu, one of the UK’s leading spoken word and music shows, where poets, comedians and storytellers perform with improvised music and films. Guests have included Kate Tempest, Akala, Robin Ince, Omar, Salena Godden, Ty and Howard Marks, with gigs at London Wonderground, The Udderbelly, The Barbican, Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room, Edinburgh Festival and many UK music festivals. “Poetry, but not as you know it…amazing.” The Guardian
The Lost Menagerie, Chris’s first poetry/music/theatre show was commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre. Other commissions include contributions to The Nine O’Clock Slot – Ice and Fire’s new show, and the Spoken Word All-Stars UK tour. He is currently writing a spoken word musical comedy with award winning author and poet Anna Freeman and the Tongue Fu band supported by Bristol Old Vic. The show premieres in London in September ‘14 at London Wonderground, followed by a UK tour.
“A wordsmith wizard, whose sublime art of storytelling in verse is impossible to ignore.” The Poetry Book Society
Sally Jenkinson –
Oh yes! This post may just be my favourite to write!!! I LOVE this woman, I love her face her hugs her chatter her laugh and most importantly her words. Subtle and gentle, she lifts you through her poems of complicated feeling as if you are silk in a late summer breeze, and as if that wasn’t enough she has the most endearing stage chatter. Get your hugs ready! See her on stage onFriday at 13.40 and Saturday at 12.25
OFFICIAL BIOG –
Sally Jenkinson is a poet, writer and performer who lives and works in Bristol, but she is from Doncaster, where they say poem like this ‘poym’. She has just returned from a tour of Australia where she took her debut show Folly (written with musician Nuala Honan) to the Adelaide Fringe Festival, with support from the ACE and British Council.
Her debut collection of poems, Sweat-borne Secrets, was released in 2012 through Burning Eye Books; poet Kate Fox described it as “sensuous, surreal, bold and beautiful, Sally Jenkinson’s image-filled poems spill gloriously across the page. Often, a line will leap out and squeeze you by the throat. Poetry that sings from a poet whose song I’d like to hear more of.”
In 2013, she was awarded the Poet of the Year award from Bristol Poetry Festival. She works as a poetry programmer for the Wandering Word Collective, and runs poetry and creative writing workshops for schools and community groups around the country, including for Apples and Snakes’ Shake the Dust project and Take Art’s Word/Play project.
‘This world oscillates between the certainty of an emotion and the uncertainty of its longevity, between the beautiful and the tedious. There is genius at work here, lines that stick with you through the mundane… Sally’s ear for life, the rhythm of a personal moment made wonderfully recognisable, is a skill to be marvelled at. Some lines slip smoothly down the throat like “the sanctity / of Heinz Tomato soup”, only to throttle you all of a sudden with the jarring turbulence of life’s upsets. Whilst the image-saturated poems could become suffocating, Sally’s command for cadence turns the mundane into lyrical magic. This is where a relationship is no more consequential than “a puddle in a car park”, and yet somehow one lone puddle can reflect an entire world.’ – Emily Kate Groves (Poejazzi)
Rob Auton –
Official Poet in Glastonbury Residence, Find this mans palace in his performance of off beat wit, literal meanings suddenly take on new form and laughter is carried away. I think you will love him as much as the yellow tinged face of the sky does on its happiest of days when Rob is out to play! A member of the Bang Said the Gun gang, bring your voices for laughing and celebrating this wonderful poignant northerner. Catch him on stage onSunday at 14.50
OFFICIAL BIOG –
This year’s Glastonbury Festival official website poet in residence Rob Auton has ideas, writes them down and says some of them out loud to audiences at poetry nights, comedy nights, cabaret nights and more recently in theatres at theatre nights. He has had his poetry played on the radio and on the television and was recently described by the Independent as both “lanky” and “a talent to watch.” He was in the news for a day in 2014 for winning an award with a joke he wrote about Chinese Wispas. He has performed two critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe shows, 2012’s The Yellow Show and 2013’s The Sky Show and is currently working on his third solo show The Face Show. Last year Rob had his first full collection of poems, stories and illustrations, In Heaven The Onions Make You Laugh, published by Burning Eye Books. Rob also continues to co-run the hugely popular London poetry extravaganza Bang Said The Gun. This will be Rob’s seventh time at Glastonbury but his first time with any responsibilities. He once had his photograph taken with Michael Eavis but the flash didn’t work. Expect words coming from the mouth of a man who knows what a pigeon looks like.
“Few artists have ever managed to consistently provide me with such joy and pleasure as Rob Auton. I always leave in awe of how good he is.” (Scroobius Pip)
“That’s just sad.” (Vanessa Feltz)