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 three.co.uk (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: folkthreads@hotmail.co.uk 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 (www.myspace.com/poeticamanchester). 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.