Thursday, 30 December 2010

latest news - week commencing 27th December 2010

Of course with it been Christmas week, there is no events on of
Any kind to go and explore.

No Poetry events to really go out and scream out to the world
This is me, this is want to say.

This week for me was a week where I spent some time with
My family, and then my girlfriend and ate too much and
Drank more than I usually do.

It was nice, I must admit but during the relaxing I didn’t get
Any writing done unlike what I wanted to do aside from
A savage editing of an old poem called ‘The Snowman came
Alive’ (which I cut down from 4 typed pages to 2 pages) but
Of course, now it is back to normal… I’ll crack on with a
Few pieces which has been pending for a while. One of which
Is called ‘Waterford to Cork’ and is about a road trip I suffered
During Ireland in 2009, and then also another called ‘Billy
The Kid’ which is about a very dangerous young man.

I’m also been sorting out new projects for the New Year which
I can’t really reveal too much about yet, but this will hopefully
Include a Charity Night in Droylsden / Ashton way and maybe
Another in Hulme too.

The next thing I can definitely confirm however, the
Latest Guitar and Verse, the night that my friend Jeffarama runs
(which I assist with) at Butterflies is on next on Thursday
6th January 2010 which will be headlined by John Kerring I
believe who is a excellent singer songwriter who I saw at
Salford Crescent last year who saw a fistful of beautiful acoustic
songs about Salford.

After that, my new-ish band ‘A Means to an end’ will be
Performing at Paradox in Withington on 8th January 2010
And after that, it should be back to normal service – well
As normal as service can go with me sometimes – lol…

And maybe I’ll have a new piece or two ready by then. 

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas folks

So say Santa and the girls..

And me of course... (even us writers
have to take a break every now and then
- lol)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Week Commencing 20/12/2010 (including review The Orch.)

This week is of course time for chilling over Christmas so I won’t
be doing anything really of note creative wise this week although
I will be in band rehearsals this week on Wednesday for the last
time this year.

Otherwise, following on from my previous note I went to
Go and see the Orch. Play at Whitworth Art Gallery on Friday.

Like with my own gig at the Station Hotel in Ashton two days later,
The gig was a tough one for any act to play (name of the name was
meatyard arts) as the audience really weren’t listening to the bands
but were perfectly quiet during the art side of it, which was
very, very annoying and it made life very hard listening to the
first band who was led by John Donaldson called ‘jd meatyard’
who I used to know as the singer for Calvin Party, who were
a big cult band in Manchester once upon a time and who
only got the audience to listen to them during their finale song
which I think was about Beirut. (A big shame as the material
sounded pretty good to me).

The Orch. Who came on next no two ways about it had a tough
time following that, and were missing their guitarist for the night
but whose guitars were programmed into the Keyboardist’s
equipment, but managed to shut the crowd somewhat
with their moody spoken word with Keyboards material
during their four songs.

It wouldn’t be fair to single out favourites as I adored all
four tracks (‘Without a trace’, ‘Ingland Strip’, ‘Livin in Sin’
and ‘Kenny and the Snake’) as I know and love all four
tracks on offer, and even thou in some cases they were quite
different from the album versions, it was top notch stuff.

My own gig which followed on Sunday at the Station Hotel
which was a hard, hard gig to do as it was busy and noisy
with kids running all round the place (one of which really hurt
my girlfriend Cathy who is disabled and got a stern word
off me).

I had previously played here in October as part of their
Seven stages of awareness gig which was a really nice
Beautiful, chilled gig. This time however it was mental
as it was mixed in with a lot of bands, and I came on
much later on when thankfully quite a few of the people
who weren’t listening had gone.

I kept the set quite short on purpose which I think worked in
My favour to a degree, doing just under 15 minutes doing
5 pieces in the process ‘My Mum makes Christmas Pudding
Pasties’, ‘Bad Poet’, ‘Percy’, ‘The road from Sheepshead’s
Lighthouse’ and ‘Christmas present thank you letter’.

I must admit I was happy with my set, and the audience
Was fairly quiet during the set which meant a lot to me
And I drew a really nice round of applause during the ‘Percy’
Piece which was nice as it is about my late Uncle, Percy
Who was killed during the Second World War.

 I do have video footage of this which I will upload

In the meantime, happy Christmas all!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Station Pub

Dear all

I'm at the station pub in ashton tommorrow afternoon from 3pm doing a FREE poetry 
gig - it's on 2 Warrington Street, Ashton under lyne, OL6 6XB.

If you are in the area - why not pop along and say hello.... x

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

What I am up to week commencing - 13/12/2010

With Christmas time now sneaking nearer and nearer, usually it starts to quieten off a lot a lot of the creative events I go to, and this is the last proper active week I expect to go to for the rest of this year.

Monday last night I attended Write Out Loud at Stockport Art Gallery. For me this is an important night for me to try to go to every month if I have new material ready as I’ll use it as a sounding board for new pieces to see how a low key audience takes to them.

On this night, I debuted two brand new poems which have come alive over the past few days namely ‘Percy’ which is about one of my father’s older half brothers who was killed in action in the Second World War who I never met.

This poem came about after attending ‘Pass on a Poem’ last week where a lady called Jeannette Slavinski announced she was after poems for a forthcoming charity poetry book about Heroes. I’d always wanted to write a poem about Percy and after some research with my father, the piece came together quite quickly, and will be submitted later on this week.

Second piece was a piece that needed somewhat more research as somebody suggested to me recently to write a poem about Hulme because of it’s very different looking area nowadays. Now although I had been travelling through the area of Hulme (which is on the outskirts of the centre of Manchester) for well over 20 years, I didn’t know tons about it, and the poem I wrote used people’s memories with my own experiences.

Both pieces thankfully went down really well and I am hoping the Hulme piece will lead to a possible reading in the New Year.

Otherwise, this week, besides work – pretty well creative wise (No band rehearsals as guitarist is ill) all I will be doing is  getting ready for a reading in Ashton on Sunday which will be my last reading this year for a event called 7  stages of Well Being. Cathy got me a reading here in September for their first event and I enjoyed it that much, I have agreed to go back again and this time it will be a full set (possibly) of
Winter / Christmas poems.

Need to double-check the time it is all starting, but I think it’s a 5pm start at the Station Pub in Ashton and it’s free to get in. 

Highlight of the week however will have to be going one of my idols a mysteries Manchester based trio ‘The Orch.’ play a very, very  rare concert indeed on Friday 17th December 2010. 

I first became of this spoken word led musical trio around 1993 I seem to recall when they cheekily released a demo tape called ‘ Greatest Hits’ which contained 8 tracks of harsh realism spoken over the top of guitars and keyboards which simply was unlike
anything else I had ever heard. The band themselves did a 7 inch single called ‘Flat Life’ the year after, and appeared on the first Factory Records 2 sampler in 1995 (and were by far the best thing on it) before splitting the year after with a heartbreaking single called ‘Little Rockets’.

All three members were involved in other projects over the years, but it was still a surprise when they specially reformed to do a short set for a Hovis Presley (who was a comedy Manchester Poet who died I think back in 1995) memorial night in 1996
At the Green Room in the centre of Manchester which was a  mad, mad night, (where not quite everything went to plan but still was great fun) and then followed it up with another gig in Darwin (just outside Bolton) nearly two years after that which was top fun (despite the fact I was really ill) and I didn’t really like the area shall we say.

This one is on at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester which I am hoping will be a top notch night and should be finished around about a good time for me to leave the work’s Christmas do which will be around 8pm.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Spleen Magazine

Dear all;

A new political book / magazine 'Spleen' has published one of my new poems 'Protest'.

Although it can be bought - it can also be read online at:

Friday, 10 December 2010

Poems wanted for Dragonheart Press

Just had accepted off Dragon heart Press last night that their latest Living Poets
Collection on the theme of Winter has accepted three of my poems for their next
Publication on the theme of Winter – the pieces in question ‘Early January Snow
Blues’ (which has appeared in my debut book ‘Return to Kemptown’) and
Two newer pieces (which should be appearing in my second book ‘Detective
Novel’) ‘Yesterdays Winters’ and ‘The Other Side’.

They are after more submissions – go to for more information.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Latest Waltzes and news (Week commencing 06/12/2010)

After the waltz of last week (See above picture - lol at Christmas Works Do), this week is pretty well back to the grind of normal stuff creative stuff wise.

I think Monday wise (tonight) I will be chilling and working a little bit on a piece for Friday night at a gig my band are doing, but not much else I think (aside from watching the third programme of Misfits which I forgot about last week on E4). Tuesday should have been band rehearsals, but that’s off on that night as Jeff is having problems with his car, so it’ll be re-scheduled to Friday.

As it stands, I should be at Cathy’s on Wednesday night and from which I will there head over to work on Thursday.

Thursday itself I am down for appearing at Pass on a Poem at Manchester City Library. More details on them be can be read here - but this is a interesting night where they want people to read out published poems they like and not their own. In my case, I will be reading  the chilling (not cold) poem by the Jewish Second World War poet Paul Cealan called ‘Winter’, and after that I will then pop down to Freed Up Poets at the Greenroom where I will be reading out my poem ‘The Other Side’ which I wrote for Freed Up which is on the theme of ‘Power’ and possibly another poem called ‘The Space between us’.

Friday night should have involved a gig at the Britain's Protection pub in Manchester for a night called Folk-Lore but that has been pulled from my band (owning to lack of space on stage), which was a concern as I know from my old experimental / noise band watching days, it can be a very tight space in there sometimes, so I am going to stop in and carry on working on my next poem which will be about Hulme....

Saturday will then be out for a few friends’ birthdays, so will involve a few beers
Providing I don’t freeze to death in the process – lol.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Missing Week (Week commencing 27th November 2010)

Dear all;

Last week - Week commencing 27th November 2010 was one of those weeks
were I didn't stand still ill health or not.

The plan orginally was to write this actually on the 26th November 2010 as
I knew I was going to be busy all week for blogging etc, but sadly on Saturday
25th November 2010 I took down ill with a really, really bad stomach bug
which I originally thought was food poisoning, but in hindsight I think it
was a stomach bug (as I know of people who got something similar
just before and my father currently is very, very ill with something similar)
which knocked me out both Saturday and Sunday.

Monday I somehow let me my friend, Tony drive me down to
a open mike in Morton at a pub called the Moreton Arms. The open mike
itself was only average I felt, but there was a free buffet which more than
made than up for it and I won a prize in a prize draw which may appear
in somebody's Christmas Present stocking - lol.

The two pieces I read out was 'The Other Side' which is my newest
blogged or published poem if you like (See for more details) which I can honestly admit I have
no idea where it came from, and a old favourite '12 days of Christmas'.

The performances can be seen live at: (The Other Side) (12 days after Christmas)

Tuesday, unrecorded on purpose in case it went wrong (and it didn't)
my new band 'A Means to an end' played their first real gig at
a open jam night in Chorlton at the Iguana Bar (
which went really well and the audience really liked our three
tracks 'Secret Adventure', 'Tunnel 3' and 'Moonlight'.

I was pleased with the performance, although we were a little nervous
in one or two little bits, it came out quite well and has got us a future
pubs in Manchester which has a new night starting here called Folk-Lore 
which should be really good fun. 

I was at my works's do for Christmas on Thursday for a meal at the Hilton Hotel
which was very posh but the food was pretty naff but free and had a free bar
so didn't really do much beside that from stopping at Cathy's for two nights
(and went for a meal at a friend's birthday for a 30th) so kept it quiet.

I'll add more about this week coming tommorrow... 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Writing and other forms of madness – Week commencing 22nd November 2010

Dear all;

I tend to normally hate this point in the year.

Of course, it’s not because I am a humbug and hate Christmas and stuff,
which I don’t as I have a lovely nephew, Jack who is nearly 3 and will
look forward to seeing his face when he opens up all of his presents
etc, I just hate the fact how busy all of the shops start getting on week-ends
when everybody start panic buying Christmas presents.

I ain’t going to say I am any better as I ain’t, but certainly when you get
to this kind of year, all of your creative juices certainly start slowing down
as you get tangled up with lists of presents.

Of course, this then starts leading into meals with work, meals with friends
and meals with family which then again slows down what you write
as a poet like me.

In my case at the moment, I recently posted on my website a list of
the gigs I have coming up for the rest of this year and certainly looking at it,
their isn’t much of a drop happening in the run-up to Christmas which is
perhaps a little bit of a surprise but my own time is limited somewhat.

This week, last night I was at the Write Out Loud night, a spoken word
open-mike at the Howcroft Inn in Bolton. I had been to the Bolton one’s
a few times over the years, and can remember their nights from the end
of 2008 into the beginning of 2009 a really busy, thriving atmosphere
at the Gypsy’s tent (an old pub now shut) and another pub near Bolton
train station (Millstones?), but oddly enough I have never been to Howcroft
and although it was a nice quiet atmosphere that did feel welcoming which
I would recommend, my concerns on the night is simply the pub is
simply too old fashioned to attract the younger generation in, which
this night certainly needs as without a fresh injection, I don’t know what
sort of future the night has.

I was hearing of a talk at one point about a re-location to Butterflies just outside
of the city centre which would be a clever move as that is top notch café / bar
with a build in P.A. system which I think would support the night more and
build on it more etc, but alas this is only my thoughts.

This Week otherwise (typing this on Monday) is on the whole going to
be a quiet week although I will be up to things after work.

Monday (today) I will be looking at my next poem which will be called ‘Snow Family’ which is a nice borderline children’s poem about a wonderful snow family, which is progressing nicely but there is a magazine or two I need to sort out submissions for.

Tuesday is my band’s latest rehearsal ‘A means to an end’. We didn’t meet last
week as Jeff (my guitarist) was away, but I certainly think the band is starting to get somewhere as Jeff is proving easy to work with.
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – as it stands I’ll be in working on a
computerised advert for a few websites advertising what A Means to an
end are looking for additional personal wise for our gang and then starting to think about Half Evil promotions. Half Evil Promotions are a promotional company for gigs involvingmusic and poetry among other things in the Bolton side of things. My friend, Jeffarama is involved in that and his friend Bob. Bob’s now had to take a little
bit more of a back seat to it, and henceforth I am going to help out with a bit more
now, and get involved in it. Previously I was involved with Poets and… in Bolton,
therefore have a bit of experience how those things run.  

I am also deep in thought (or as deep goes with me sometimes) on a competition on the theme of ‘Space’ for the latest monthly Write Out Loud Competition.

Free to enter if you are a member (membership is free)

I maybe doing a little gig on Saturday but this is not confirmed yet and what was listed down for Friday at Butterflies as their acoustic night on my website has
been called off, so I won’t be there. If the Saturday one doesn’t happen – next thing for me will be Pass on a Poem on Thursday 8th December, so we’ll see but as always with my life outside work, life is a development and plans sadly do change.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Poetry and general news - Week commencing - 15/11/2010

This week has been a little quieter certainly than perhaps
it would have normally partly down to the fact band rehearsals
was off this Tuesday as my guitarist Jeff was over in Germany
away on holiday, and I couldn’t go down to the writing discussion
group ‘Poetica’ that I sometimes go to.

So instead, Monday and Tuesday were spent at home writing complaints
to (my ex mobile phone people) over a bill which I was
charged for which I was not convinced they claimed I owned (long story
which is not really a writing related story), so instead I did a
little bit of writing (Have a few new poems on the go which may
touch on the theme of Space and have a few political poems
ready for sending off to a new political magazine).

I also did some research and came across a new night
Waterstones in Manchester,Deansgate (UK) are running monthly
I believe called ‘Unannounced’ which looks like a jam / open mike
night which could be fun checking out the first one on Saturday
27th November at 6pm. After speaking to my other half, Cathy –
it’s likely we are going to head down there but will keep you informed.

Another night I am going to research is Folk threads, which is a
night been held at the Briton’s Protection pub in Manchester on
Friday 10th December. I know the Brits from tons of wild, experimental
gigs over the years and I have heard of a story telling night there
(whether this is the same one however I don’t know) but here is what
they have to say for themselves

WINTER THEMED NIGHT. I wonder if you may be able to help.
This is just to let you know about a night called FOLK THREADS-
A themed folk music and spoken word night. December's theme is WINTER.
It will start at 8pm on Friday 10th December, upstairs at
the Briton's Protection pub in Manchester. All performers are
welcome, but it might be worth emailing me with your song
ideas: If you have written an
original song or spoken word piece around the theme of Winter
feel free to turn up and perform it here. All ages and abilities
welcome, or just come and listen’

I have also signed up for performing at Pass on a Poem at
Manchester City Library on Deansgate on 8th December 2010.

Pass on a Poem is a short show where people are encouraged
to read other people’s poetry that are published. I have noticed
from previous one’s where people have turned up and read out
other people’s poetry that are their friends to P.R.
their book which is a little annoying I think, but the one I was
at that didn’t happen.

Current plan for me with this one is to read Paul Cealan’s
poem from the 1940’s ‘Winter’ which is an incredibly harrowing piece.

Have also been discussing posting some adverts for
my newish band ‘An means to a end’ around as although things
are developing nicely – my guitarist Jeffarama I think would
like some extra support on keyboards and / or maybe guitar.
Anybody interested of course – please let me know through
my email address but I’ll post on here the links to any ads when they are up.

Wednesday, I did a gig at the Buffet Bar which is a pub called Stalybridge
train Station. At date of typing this on the Thursday, I have got to be honest
and it was a bitterly cold night, possibly too cold for trudging all the way down
there but the night was fine and I enjoyed doing it.

The night was ran by a lady called Ornella, who is of Italian descent and while
it did come across as a middle aged mother’s group; I did get to read out 7 poems
there (somewhere around 15 minutes) of the following pieces:

1) Buxton to Manchester
2) Perfect Place
3) 12 days after Christmas
4) Modern Day Cleopatra
5) Love
6) Send in the clowns
7) Anymnous Valentine Card

Thursday and Friday now will be nights where I will try to crack on with my writing
and discuss some other projects which are under discussion (including several more
gigs in the new year for my band An means to a end and some more solo projects)
which will be revealed in due course before I see Cathy again at the week-end.

All in all, a quieter week but with these colder nights coming in thick
and fast – perhaps a good job.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

two new videos recently performed

Here are two new videos featuring me from a recent show..

(Performing a poem called Moonlight)

(With my new band ‘A Means to a end’ performing - Tunnel 3) 

latest news - week commencing 7th November 2010

Dear all;

Thankfully after last week, this week is a lot quieter.

Monday just gone – I was over at a Write Out Loud event at Stockport 
Art Gallery.

I like this night as it is a very quiet night which is ideal for test running
new material and reading old material which you may have
not read for a while.

In this case, I read out two old poems about Christmas and
then a very old and somewhat cheesy Valentines Poem, all
of which were very well received and gave me some
ideas for two future pieces. 

Tuesday was the latest rehearsal for my new band
‘A Means to a end’, which is starting to take shape
slowly but surely. A second vocalist from my previous
band Wordmusic which is now on hold, Lucy is going to
come and join us (I think) for this which should be fun
as the songs I think are starting to come together
nicely, and I am hoping shortly to be able to start road
testing this shortly with gigs.

Interestingly enough as Wordmusic grinded to a hold,
I started writing a lot different material to the
Wordmusic – pieces such as ‘Eternal Prayer’
which is about Ian Curtis from Joy Division and
‘Tunnel 3’ which is about the ghost like underground
former government bunker that is the Drakelow
tunnels, which are not really suitable for Wordmusic 
pieces, so it’s a natural evolution I guess (although I hope 
Wordmusic may re-surface next year). 

Wednesday should have been the T.A.A. gig as mentioned
previously, but that got cancelled so I stayed in and worked 
on a new piece as well as doing the audio transcribing 
from the rehearsal on Tuesday, and then watched 
the Manchester City  vs Manchester United Derby. 

You may know I am  a Manchester City by nature 
although not as crazy as some, but let’s just say this was 
a rubbish match which did neither team any real favors.

Tonight (Thursday) I am going to crack on a bit with 
my writing, but I do have some telly watching to caught 
up on from the previous night and there is a new poetry 
magazine I want to submit to also.

Week-end aside from seeing my lovely other half is 
going to be that dreaded beast, starting properly for 
Christmas shopping. This year I have decided already, 
I am going to do most of it over Amazon or ebay as it 
is too much stress running around the shops for me – lol. 

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Metropolis and what i am up to this week

Busy week this week, so certainly won’t be much chance for writing much, as am really, really busy.

On Monday – I went to watch Metropolis at my local arthouse Cinema in Manchester called the Cornerhouse. I have been A big fan of that place for years and years now, certainly for a good 15 years or so now and prefer going there than to one of the major cinemas for it’s independence.
Metropolis according to a certain well known film site is a 1927 German expressionist film in the science-fiction genre directed by Fritz Lang. Produced in Germany during a stable period of the Weimar Republic, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia and makes use of this context to explore the social crisis between workers and owners in capitalism. The film was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by Universum Film A.G. (UFA). The most expensive silent film ever made, it cost approximately 5 million Reichsmark.[2]
Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere, and much footage was lost over the passage of successive decades. There have been several efforts to restore it, as well as discoveries of previously lost footage. A 2001 reconstruction of Metropolis, shown at the Berlin Film Festival, was inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in that same year.[3] In 2008, a copy of the film 30 minutes longer than any other known surviving copy was located in Argentina. After a long period of restoration in Germany, the restored film was shown publicly for the first time simultaneously at Berlin and Frankfurt on February 12, 2010.[4] The event of the Friedrichstadtpalast was shown live on a screen at the Brandenburg Gate as well as on TV on ARTE. This version was also shown in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater in the last two weeks of October 2010. [5]

I myself first saw it a good few years back in both a black and white release which was by no means a long version (I then saw the 1980’s coloured version which had
Some terrible rock music backing it) and was amazed by the vision of the film which
Had to be influentical on films such as Star Wars and the Star Trek films. This new version I saw was the version which has been worked on with the additional 30 minutes of footage which although now still hasn’t made the film complete, it’s
certainly the closest version to completion until now.

Sadly the newly discovered footage is of a poorer quality than the remastered main film (which I have got to say is impressive by any stretch of thought), and it shows in the film if you sit through this version and some of the missing footage as well perhaps isn’t really needed (I reckoned it could have been trimmed vy 15 minutes or so), but it was still at worth interesting and at 145 minutes makes for a full evening’s worth of entaintiment.

Tuesday  yesterday was band rehearsals. Some of you may or may not know about my previous band Words and Music which later became Wordmusic. Sadly the band went onto hold at the end of Summer owning to the health of several members, and so instead of waiting for people to get better, I have formed a brand new band which currently doesn’t have a name which currently looks like it will have a core axis of myself, my buddy Jeff on guitar and Rachel on fiddle. Vocals will be interspread
Through the trio and we are going to keep our eyes open for additional members as I would like a keyboard player and / or a good bass player too. The plan like with my previous band Words and Music and Wordmusic will be to focus on spoken word with some music over the top, but this will be somewhat darker music than Words and Music and Wordmusic as songs so far have covered topics such as Suicide, A Serial Killer, Domestic Voilence, Mass murder in war and Joy Divison. Yep, the cheerful stuff – lol but it’s looking good.

Wednesday tonight will involve chairing a poetry discussion in Manchester City Library called Poetica ( I myself have been going to this discussion group off and on since mid 2007 I guess now and have certainly found it helpful to some of the pieces I have wrote since.

I think it is due to start at 6.15pm and will finish off maybe 7.45pm or so.

City Library can be found at Elliot House, Deansgate, Manchester (0161 234 1900).

Thursday will involve helping my guitarist Jeffarama out with his open mike night ‘Guitars and Verse’ at Butterflies Bar in Bolton. Jeff’s been running this night since September monthly, and the night is doing pretty well with a nice mixture of poetry, music and anything goes really with a headline act ‘Bob Kettle’ in this case who I don’t know a great deal about but I have been told is a really good singer songwriter.

I think from my side, I will probably be doing just the two pieces one with Jeff, one solo as a poem I think. No idea what yet.

Friday will probably be quieter (will probably chill at home in bed) and I’ll be seeing Cathy my other half on Saturday for a curry to celebrate my friend Ray’s birthday and then on Sunday we are both off to a bonfire display, so all go as normal.

Manic week all in all, but progressing nicely.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Poetry bits and pieces in October 2010

As a writer of poetry for a number of years now in the Manchester area (See my website –, it always pleases me to see lots of different poetry events all over the Manchester and surrounding areas which I can get to without too much trouble.

In contrast to last year where it seemed I would go to almost every one going, over the past few months it’s got to the stage when I have cut down for health reasons among other things.

This month and next month as a mad burst for the rest of this year, I have and will be going to a few more things than usual.

Diary wise, I’ve been to this month…

1) Saturday 2nd October 2010 – Ended up going down to Leeds with my other half, Cathy and a pal Big Mac Dave for the finale of my punk poet buddy Jeffarama’s ‘Jamming with Jeffarama’ night. Jeff had been doing this tour at a nice pace through-out the summer in various parts of England (Salford, Wigan, Bolton, Birmingham, Hepden Bridge) and for a finale did Leeds.

I’d been to Leeds on a number of occasions over the years, and had always had a good buzz down there (even though I felt nowadays like Manchester it was changing somewhat) and for a finale, this night at a pub called the Grove in Leeds had a great turn out and I had the chance to read out four of my shorter poems, two from my book and one from my forthcoming second book, and one from my forthcoming possible third book and also contained a number of other poets I knew and a number I didn’t know.

It was also headlined by a couple of singer songwriters who were brilliant and the very naughty Cayn White who had both Dave and Cathy giggling partly in shock with some of his naughtier pieces involving graveyards but was a very successful and popular night.

2) Thursday 7th October 2010 – I went down to Jeffarama’s ‘Guitars and Verse’ night at Butterflies, Bolton. I know Jeffarama on the live Poetry circuit and admire the guy hugely for his energy and his dedication to his work. ‘Guitars and Verse’ is a new-ish night he has set up trying to bring in a mixture of new and old, singers, entertainers and poets etc with a headline slot. This time it was a german act called the Alma Street Boys and a girl singer songwriter I know called Lina Paul, two totally different acts and I got to experiment on stage with Lina on a impro on one of my tracks which was great fun called ‘Wish’ and also gave the debut to my new band (name to be revealed shortly).

What I liked about the night was besides the fact it was very, very well run and organised with acts flowing nicely who on the whole kept to time which ensured the night didn’t run on too late (Note to all people setting up nights), it was varied enough to stop the night from becoming meandering with poets and musicians and other acts following each other in a nice balance.

3) Monday 11th October 2010 – Write Out Loud, Stockport Art Gallery..

Not everybody’s cup of tea this night certainly owning to the location I know (as I know a number of people who moan a little bit about this night) but I like it as it gives me chance to try out some of my really, really, really new pieces which nobody else sees.

In this case, I tried out a really, really brand new piece called Dear David mixed with a new piece on the Drakelow tunnels called ‘Tunnel 1’ which surprised people a little as the pieces were totally different in attitude and story from a history lesson to a bitter political slagging off and as the night finished early, it also gave me chance to read out a older poem called ‘Buxton to Manchester’ and something I wrote in a writing workshop earlier on that day.

The night was a little sparsely attended certainly (the weather wouldn’t have helped matters then) but it definitely felt like a night to me that felt supportive of the work I produced, even if it was a little quiet.

4) Cathy Bryant’s book launch, 21st October 2010

I know Cathy through the Manchester poetry circuit which I too infrequently attend nowadays (preferring to do a bit more travelling really) but decided to attend her book launch ‘scenes’ etc out of respect
To her as I always found her nice when I met her several years before.

The book launch in the new temporary library in Manchester, City Library had a nice attendance although I certainly wouldn’t have called
It wall to wall (I believe there was a number of other nights on – something like 5 or so) and considering if that is the case, it did pretty well then and Cathy delivered a nice balanced set which I think probably was summed up right at the back of her book ‘a mixture of Carol Ann Duffy and Spike Milligan’, which for me was at it’s best when she did
more serious based material.

5) I had to leave that a little early so missed most of the support acts (aside from Rod Tame doing a wonderful poem about Hallioween) and I ran over to Freed Up Poets at the Greenroom, 21st October 2010.

Freed Up is a poetry open mike night that used to be run by two guys Dominic Berry and Steve O’Connor and I would go as far as saying the pair of them have done incrediablly well to keep it going as long as they have for almost 5 years now. While it wasn’t my first poetry performance (I have been doing some since 2006 in one form or the other), this night has always held a soft spot in my heart certainly in 2008 for really getting me writing performance based poetry and I have a lot of memories of it in it’s old days in the little back room where the atmosphere frequently was excellent.

Nowadays, almost two years later, it’s in the bar area nowadays and while it’s nice, the atmosphere is definitely different and quieter and Steve O’Connor has moved on leaving Dominic Berry with a variety of guest hosts each month, this month a gent I know called Arthur Chappell.

When I first started going there in 2008, the night used to be electric in it’s atmosphere. Nowadays when it moved to the bar area in 2009, it can still get very, very full but the atmosphere was a lot quieter, but thankfully respectful which is always the vital thing in any kind of open mike night.

November of course is a different ball game and currently my diary for performance in November is:

1)     Guitars and Verse 4th November at Butterflies Bar, Bolton where I’ll be testing out a piece or two with my new band.

2)     Temporary Arts Association, 10th November – Location Unknown as of yet. I am going to appear at their poetry night (Am currently looking for people who may want to perform there).

3)     Stockport Write Out Loud – 15th November at Stockport Art Gallery

4)     New night at Stalybridge Wednesday 17th November 2010
(More details to follow)

     5)  Write Out Loud, Bolton, Howcroft Inn, 21st November 2010

In November also, I intend also cracking on with my new band (More details to follow) and may pop to Freed Up again to watch before the madness of Christmas starts and kills off most / all of these nights for me

In December. (I don’t expect time to get time to do much in December and will be too skint in January).