I didn’t think I’d get back into running an Open Mic again, and I hadn’t planned it, but here it is and I’m really enjoying it. We’ve now had our second night at the Paxton Centre and both nights have been very memorable !
The thing is – the combination is right. The timing feels right for Crystal Palace to have a night that is all about the performers – where they can perform away from a noisy pub environment and be truly listened to.
The venue feels right. The Paxton Centre has developed into a real hub where local people can come and be creative. I feel connected to it through the many community connections with Crystal Palace Transition Town, Crystal Palace Freelancers and more. And in terms of the art, one-woman-dynamo Beth Mander runs it like an Open Mic. Local artists are given slots on the wall and the art changes every month. Plus there’s a varied range of one-off and regular workshops, gigs and socials every month.
The audience feels right. Musicians, poets, and people who want to come along and enjoy a selection of new and established voices. My intention is to cultivate a space where the singers, poets, comedians and everyone else get a fair space to be heard. Nervous newbies feel able to have a go, and experienced performers can try out new material or just enjoy being listened to.
But most importantly of all – the mix of performers is more than right ! So far it has been brilliant ! I wonder can we keep this up ? On the first night we had everything from RnB from Taylor, rip-roaring soulful balladry from Longy, slightly close to the knuckle comedy from Adam and a really exciting and eclectic mix of writing and spoken word.
Second time round the singer-songwriters were out in force, plus rap from Kai, a great mix of spoken word and a great duet from Tomek and Simone a.k.a “m” to finish the night. It re-enforces my idea that there is a helluva lot of talent in Crystal Palace and in South London in general.
Fancy booking a slot ? Drop me a line for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Idle Eye bang on about the upcoming Broken Biscuit on 29th October – looking forward to be being a part of it !
“I know I bang on about the respective BB line-ups a fair bit, but bloody hell, look at this one! This will be our third at leafy Crystal Palace’s fabulous Antenna Studios and sixth overall, s…
Source: Broken Biscuits No.6.
Very excited to be kicking off 2016 with a performance at this great venue in Shoreditch. The line-up looks brilliant and I’m looking forward to firing out a high-powered Saturday Night Set mixed with new material and some old favourites. Special thanks to Graham Buchan for inviting me. And did I mention it’s free? And it’s a straight run on the Overground for any Crystal Palace heads brave enough to leave the triangle.
Read on for more info about the great line-up ……!
At the age of 23 Vesna Goldsworthy read her poems at a football stadium to an audience of thirty thousand. Shewas born in Belgrade in 1961 and has lived in London since 1986. She writes in English, her third language. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and the author of four widely translated books: Inventing Ruritania, on the shaping of cultural perceptions of the Balkans; the Crashaw Prize winning poetry collection, The Angel of Salonika, one of theTimes best poetry books of the year; and two international bestsellers, both of which were serialised on BBC Radio 4, Chernobyl Strawberries, a memoir, andGorsky, a novel, Waterstones Book of the Month for September 2015.
“funny, painful and brilliant” The Observer, “extraordinary” The Guardian, “If there has been a more honest, calm and profoundly moving memoir in the last few years, then I’ve missed it.” Times Literary Supplement.
Joe Duggan, originally from Northern Ireland, was a founder member of the “Bunch of Chancers” Poetry Group, touring throughout Ireland and New York State. He moved to London in 2002. Joe’s first collection “Fizzbombs” from Tall Lighthouse in 2008 was highly commended in The Forward Prize. He has featured at Latitude, Cheltenham and Galway Poetry Festivals, to a full house at the South Bank, and runs a regular sell-out night in Crystal Palace. He has written stories for children and also lyrics for Irish band “Different Drums”, text for Echo Echo Dance, and recently produced a CD with ambient-loop geniuses “The Fireflies” on legendary DJ Andrew Weatherall’s new label.
“under-rated, lyrical, haunting and witty.” Saskia Sarginson, The Irish Times, “Stunning debut collection, vibrant and memorable.” Salena Godden, New Camden Journal, “Under the chatty vernacular is a lovely, casual sharpness, like an unexpected hot chilli in something sold as sweet.” Cherry Smith, Brand Magazine.
Patricia Foster is an award-winning writer, Sable Litmag Poet-In-Residence (2014-2015) and an original member of acclaimed writers’ collective ‘Malika’s Poetry Kitchen’. She hails from Lewisham, south east London. She has read poetry in Jamaica, Oslo, New York and toured The UK, The Netherlands, Antwerp and Chicago. She has also performed for Apples and Snakes, read at Goldsmith University and The Barbican, worked in the theatre and written and toured with female poetry collective ‘Thea-Poets’.
Patricia has successfully facilitated writing and personal development workshops for ‘Every Woman Inspired’ international women’s conference in Jamaica in 2013,2014 and 2015. In 2006 she facilitated a ‘Family History’ themed writing workshop for BBC London Radio’s Family History Day.
Patricia’s poignant poetry draws on her Jamaican heritage and close family bonds. She is published inmany anthologies and publications in the UK, Norway and the USA. Her first chapbook is scheduled for release in Spring 2016.
Alan Wolfson is a performance poet and painter. Words and images spill out of the tumble dryer of his imagination like warm damp things that could have done with another ten minutes.
He was born in Cardiff and studied graphics at Cardiff College of Art and West of England College of Art and Design. Suddenly he dropped his paintbrushes and careered off into broadcasting.
In 2000 he began painting again and between canvases took to writing verse, revisiting his radio copy writing skills and liberating them from the inconvenient parameters of a brief and a deadline.
He is a member of the Hammer & Tongue Camden poetry team, and runs two monthly open mic events in London,’ Words and music in the Woods’, and ‘Friggers of Speech’, which he has taken to Edinburgh twice. He has performed at Latitude and Greenman among many other festivals, and two 45-minute one man shows in Cape Town.
You can join the event on facebook here, or just see you there !
Had a bit of fun during August doing a few poems in Macken’s bar, Newcastle, County Down, at their great Wednesday Night sessions, as well as enjoying music from Gail, Dennis, Paddy, Ronan, Jim, Charlie, Karen, Johnny and many more ! Recommend it.
Here’s “Barred” .
It was a bit dark in that corner, but at least no one got barred. Apart from Paddy.
And here’s “Bingo” with a couple of swear words, from both the audience and the poet, or “Bingo Uncut” as it’s sometime known to my many fans.
Thanks to Sean Murphy for the footage.
Most of the Moine Dubh Collective. Photo: John Barrett. Gary Bruce, Droog The Dog, Nina Walsh, Barry Woolenough, Dani Cali, Joe Duggan, Franck Alba, Jessica Cahill. Missing from Photo:Malcolm Stewart, Alain Maclean, Simone Cardinal Sim Clark, Jerome Tcherneyan.
It’s been a tough few months, with the loss of my brother knocking my life out of the water. But some exciting performances and collaborations have helped me keep on keeping on.
One great thing that’s happened is that I have managed to find myself part of Moine Dubh collective. Very exciting to be working with these ridiculously talented musicians, all curated by the legendary DJ Andrew Weatherall. Anyone who knows Andrew’s reputation won’t need my recommendation, but I have been blown away by his subtle, eclectic, instinctual mixes. It’s opened up a whole landscape of music to me. To be actually collaborating with him on a few tracks is an incredible honour, and he actually makes me sound very good ! You’ll be hearing more about this.
We did 2 gigs in June. One in The House of St Barnabas, Soho, and One in Antenna Studios, Crystal Palace. Both sold out very quickly. As well as Weatherall, St Barnabas also features sets curated by people like Jarvis Cocker and Giles Peterson.
Here’s the stream from the House of St Barnabas gig. My set with The Fireflies starts at 24 minutes, but you really need to listen to the whole gig. Folksy alchemy the whole way through. Both gigs were something special. Musicians, singers and poets coming together to create something very memorable. I really hope we get to do it again. Very proud to be part of it.
Here’s the in-house blogger’s review of the event , and his bit about me:
“When Moine Dubh’s poet-in-residence Joe Duggan joins them (The Fireflies) the hypnotic vibes get even more cinematic. His first poem recounts the tragic tale of Jose Matada, an African stowaway from Mozambique who fell to his death from a plane over Mortlake in 2012. His second crepuscular offering summons Leonard Cohen over music as evocative as anything Portishead have created.”
Moine Dubh have launched an exciting new subscription service – you can sign up here
And through all this great collaborating, I have a beautiful cd on sale, with the brilliant Fireflies. You can buy it here !
It contains some regular favourites from my performances such as “Summer in Tuscany”, which I describe as a flash-forward-backwards-Belfast-student-drinking-poem, as well as the two poems that have went down really well in my performances with The Fireflies : “The Mighty Kong”, and “Look Up East Sheen / The Falling Man”. The Mighty Kong finally gives the ape a chance to tell his side of the story.
The Falling Man, about the stowaway Jose Matada who fell from the undercarriage of a plane to his death in the suburb of East Sheen, seems to really lend itself to the industrial claustrophobic drone the Fireflies bring to it, stuck in the undercarriage. It’s relevance suddenly shot up on the week of the Soho gig as two more men fell to their death in the same area after falling from planes coming into Heathrow.
Another poem that is completely changed by the Fireflies is “Moville” a poem from my 2008 book fizzbombs that I have never really performed before, but they somehow manage to take it out to the deep water off the Donegal coast where it’s located.
“Leonard Cohen Knows” was born out of a Broadcast Event in The Betsy Trotwood Pub a few years ago, and hadn’t been performed often. But once this collaboration came along it seemed to fit perfectly and even made it’s way onto the set list for The Moine Dubh gigs, with Franck Alba’s beautiful violin playing taking it somewhere else.
As well as Franck, It was great working with Nina Walsh in the studio on this, and watching her stir that brew. Dani Cali adds his smooth guitar and vocal slide to proceedings – in fact I’m not even sure what they’re doing half the time with those dials, but it definitely works…..
Another bonus of this link up with Andrew Weatherall is discovering his many amazing mixes online and his radio programmes, including his Radio 6 mix of the year and such. His regular programme on NTS is something else and you can listen to archived shows here, many of which now feature Moine Dubh material. Andrew also mixed two more of my poems himself and I am extremely chuffed with them. Watch out for “The Woodleigh Research Facility” featuring Andrew and Nina, with me on a couple of tracks. No definite news of when they will be released, but watch this space….
My poem “In His Own Words” is one I love performing from my 2008 book “Fizzbombs”. It gives King Kong a chance to finally tell his version of the story. For a while I’ve been enjoying collaborating and experimenting with the ridiculously talented “Fireflies” (Nina Walsh, Dani Cali and Franck Alba) who perform sets of ambient, loopy, textured atmospheres and songs. “In His Own Words” became “I Am The Mighty Kong !” – have a listen and see what you think, there’s more to come:
At the Windmill, Brixton. December 2014. Thanks to Marissa for the video.
“I can make the blood run back up my nose, ants rushing into a hole,”
Warsan Shire is a very exciting poet, who I believe deserves a lot more attention. Very pleased to have written this article about her work in the relaunched Honest Ulsterman. Read more, and watch her perform here