OXJAM CARDIFF TAKEOVER FESTIVAL NOV 29th 2015 featuring 50 bands over 5 stages and spoken word/poetry with MEGAVERSE

WHAT IS MEGAVERSE

Click that link in a moment, first of all look at THIS…

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From 3pm to Midnight, Sunday November 29th, OXJAM is taking over the Womanby Street area of Cardiff to bring you a staggering array of sounds and words sung and spoken and even some tastefully tasty burlesque dancing !!! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE

All for only £7, or the reduced price of a FIVER if you have a flyer, or print out this picture of it and bring it with you…

oxflyer

PRINT THIS OUT, GET IN FOR A FIVER!!!!!

I am organising and hosting the latest MEGAVERSE spoken word and poetry showcase as part of OXJAM TAKEOVER and will be throwing some of my verse and various oddities at you, along with over TWENTY other wordy folk, all with their own unique style of delivery and way with words…serious, silly, moving, engaging, challenging, energetically delivered, laid back, shouted, rapped, you’ll hear all kinds of words at URBAN TAP HOUSE from 3pm…Pics of performers and further details below the list of names…

AFTERNOON (3pm-5pm ish)
Neil Davies
Clive Oseman
Johnny Giles
John Eliot
Mario Umberto Fiorillo
Bel Blue
Fritz O’Skennick
Bernard Pearson
Terri Hoskings
Paula Hughes
Christina Thatcher
Mark Montinaro
Des Mannay
Gemma June Howell

EVENING 7pm-9pm ish)
Julie Pritchard
Patrick Widdess
Fran Smith
Farah Alibhai
Steven Kenward
Ceri Sian
Mark Curtis
Dave Daggers
Eric Ngalle Charles
Bridget Leggy Tanner
Lisa Megraw
Laz Lazarus

PLEASE NOTE THE  ABOVE RUNNING ORDER IS INTENDED AS A GUIDE ONLY.

NOW, KEEP READING…

DON’T PANIC, THERE ARE PICTURES!!!

 

Your Host…Will Ford

ACEOF SPADES

Will is a writer and spoken word performer…see www.willdeanford.com for details of his e-books and and other exploits, including winning the first Made In Roath Poetry Slam amd a video of his performance in the final of Last Mic Standing. Will created MEGAVERSE after being asked to organise a perfomance poetry showcase for Cardiff HUB Festival 2014. More events  from MEGAVERSE have followed. For OXJAM TAKEOVER 2015 he is organising and hosting MEGAVERSE NO.6.

Unlike the main character from The Prisoner, you are free to come and go as you please, but the aim is to make you never want to leave!

Expect to hear a variety of pieces from Will’s very large and very mixed box of verbal tricks throughout the afternoon and evening sessions when he will be introducing, in no particular order a vast array of different  voices borne of very individual ways of seeing the world, commenting on it, making up nonsense, exposing the very soil, keeping it real, making it weird, exposing heartbreak, asserting hope for a better world, lighting up with spirituality, naughtiness and more From the good people pictured below…

Gemma June Howell

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Gemma recently (and very successfully) launched her booklet of poems Rock Life. Colourfully depicting the Valleys lives of characters living in ‘The Rock’ the language is strong in the literary and the the literal senses, all in the service of bringing life as observed to life on the the page, and in your ears which, if you are the sensitive sort, will be totally fucked by Gemma’s truthful words. Find them on Amazon

Laz Lazarus

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If Cardiff has a ‘Prince of Darkness’ of poetry, it is Laz, negotiating via his words the hard pavements of life, looking for the light and love that slips between the cracks of our existence. Edgy, humorous, unpredictable and endearing, surprising, in sweet, and not so sweet ways

Lisa Megraw

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Delightfully literary, Lisa writes and performs her own brand of poetry as well as running the recently launched Little Lantern Press which has a small but growing slate of publications featuring poets and storytellers from various parts of the globe!

Bridget Leggy Tanner

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BLT (as friends sometimes call her) wants to make you smile, maybe even giggle, but can also bring a harder tone to her lines. There will be fun, but thoughtfulness too…

 Christina Thatcher

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Christina’s key drive when it comes to words is to explore how they can be used to find the light that leads the way out of the darkness, for herself, her students, her friends and peers, and anybody else. Her work with other writers and people who have never considered picking up a pen before is truly inspirational and her modesty when she reads her words to you will make you hurt your hands with applause when she is done. And as committed as she is to her own expression, she professes to loving helping others put their experiences and ideas into words even more!

Dave Daggers

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No single word can sum up Dave Daggers. He is a poet, musician,  git, photographer, artist, and more. Has unbridled enthusiasm for life and all it has to offer and an enthusiastic champion of the work of others. He may recite silliness at you, or sing French Love Songs, you’ll just have to see

Mark Curtis

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A prolific writer of poetry for many years, Mark has seized every opportunity available to work on and hone his performance skills this year. When you are hearing him explore the harder and the softer shades of life, you will be hearing from a man who has lived and loved hard and come up smiling. It will also be his birthday when you see him, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARK!!

Eric Ngalle Charles

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Originally from Cameroon, Eric will be bringing soulful, sometimes mournful words of humanity and reality without borders. Engaging and genrous of spirit, and another birthday boy at this Megaverse! MANY HAPPY RETURNS, ERIC!!!

Ceri Sian

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Laid back, almost sighed delivery of her words creates something of a contrast between Ceri’s manner and the aching soulfulness underpinning her words that often come from the cold hard perspective borne of asking questions of the self, the world and the people she has encountered and not necessarily finding nice answers

Johnny Giles

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Johnny’s debut collection Chalk Outlines was published in 2014 and was at that time something of a culmination of a combination of hard times and an intense devotion to poetry, that by as many writers as he could read and his own feverishly broad palette of the surreal and the intensely personal and experiments with form that feed into a love of words, whether poetic or journalistic. Get ready, get set, go, Johnny go, go, go!

Farah Alibhai

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Relatively new  to the notion of expressing and exposing the self behind the microphone, Farah stormed it at the most recent previous  MEGAVERSE (during Cardiff HUB Festival 2015) and now she is back for more. In the pic above she is mid-performance at a Cardiff Scratch Platform, where many have taken their artistic efforts for public display, and where Farah combined film making with a silent performance that interacted with her film. What is Scratch Platform? Google is your friend 😉

Fran Smith

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Self styled Philosophical Body Poet Fran Smith is on a mission to create positivity wherever she can, through her work as a physical therapist and poet. The mind and body connection and how it either makes or breaks us is at the heart of her work, her words and her whole being. Find some of her words in Healing Poems For Positive Love HERE

Patrick Widdess

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In this pic, Poet and Podcast Producer and Presenter Patrick is reading from his collection Feeding The Spacemen Surreal, quirky, commandingly strange at times in performance, for your enjoyment…and if you’re in a poetry and music podcast mood,  check out his HEADSTAND RADIO series interviews with other poets and performers, some of whom are featured in this blog…

Julie Pritchard

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Known as ‘The Walking Poet’ Julie feels a keen sense of connection between herself and the world about her as she hikes picturesque paths away from the maddening bustle of modern living. Assertively anti-war and pro nature, her poems arise out of her soul before your very eyes! Find some of her words in Butterfly Kisses and a Bee Sting Mind HERE and in a newly published Anthology from her Open Mic regular event at the Capel Hotel HERE

Des Mannay

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Hooligan Poet Des Mannay is unashamedly left leaning and often loudly political in his shaking of a fist at the injustices of the world faced by the poor and the vulnerable. VIA THIS LINK you can download for free the Disability Arts Cymru Poetry Competition Book where two pieces by Des reside

Steven Kenward…mysterious and softly spoken man of fine words and few photographs…

Mark Montinaro

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Travelling all the way from Laugharne for MEGAVERSE at OXFAM TAKEOVER 2015, Mark Montinaro brings with him a long history of performing for audiences enraptured by his sheer force of personality and theatricality allied with sense of Dylanesque History inescapable in the place he lives, and celebrated often by Mark in in performance.

Paula Hughes
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With a smile never far from her lips and camera never far from her hands, Paula loves to document performers doing their thing and will also be gracing the event with her own voice. Whatever else she brings to proceedings, hopefully she will do the delightful poem she wrote as a very young Gary Numan fan!

Terri Hoskings

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With a style that is intense, unflinching, yet with a disarming air of vulnerability, Terri’s words into the darker mirrors of life without blinking. That said, there is a devilishly playful wink in her approach to her life, and her word and photographic art, supported by a desire to explore the extremes. Mistake a slight tremble in her exploration of vulnerability at your own risk.

Bernard Pearson

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With a commanding presence as a performance poet, Bernard Pearson  is also a published poet and prize winning short story writer.  Since November 2013 he has made many appearances at Ye  Olde Murenger House, Newport to raise funds for the development of the old Stow Hill Library building for use by the community. The Murenger events are ongoing, since the continuation of the library requires continuation of the support of people like like Bernard and anyone else willing to help out, including people willing and able to take part in, or at least attend the Murenger open mic evenings. Steaming Light, a biography written by Bernard with the subject of the book, Commander John C Pearson OBE, can be found HERE

Fritz O’Skennick

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With wide ranging creative impulses, Fritz is a powerhouse of the written word and spoken and iPad filmmaking. Delightfully (and delightedly outrageous at times, he often uses a comically exaggerated Welsh accent to complete the character of his sillier verse. That said, his output is often far from silly and much of it is in book form, HERE

Bel Blue

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When Bel Blue is delivering her her soul searchingly spiritual spoken words, she will literally taking a break from the slow burn process of recording an e.p of songs exploring a sense of place in various Welsh locations. Recording at home on the day of Oxjam Takeover, the reading will be a breath of fresh air for her, and for you! Find out more about Bel and hear some of her songs HERE

Mario Umberto Fiorillo

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With words as deep as his smile is wide, Mario will please and maybe sometimes perplex with his unique poetic perspective. Along with many other poets from all over the world, Mario had a poem, Port of Entry featured in Kaleidoscope

John Eliot

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Also featured in Kaleidoscope, John Eliot is the author of ‘Ssh and this is a quote from one satifsied buyer’s review: ‘”John Eliot’s ‘Ssh resembles an exquisite box of rich, elegant and dainty chocolates. The box of poems canvas a rich assortment of styles and themes that one can dip into at will and leisure, yet not abuse. The assortment also covers many themes, love, lost love, nostalgia, religion, death interspersed now and then with interesting sketches that lends a wispy, ethereal mystery to Eliot’s art.”

Hope you like the sound of that!

Clive Oseman

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You have come a long way if you are still honouring this blog with your attention but you won’t have come as far as Swindon resident Clive, who has, from slightly nervous beginnings, been sharpening up his spoken word act at open mics, slams, etc as far and as wide as he can possibly travel. Why? For YOU. For YOUR ears, for YOUR appreciation, which will no doubt be forthcoming! Oh, come on, be good, he lives in Swindon…he has to go back there!

Disclaimer, this blog has no particular opinion of Swindon and any pejorative implications about Swindon in the above are based entirely on comments from people who live there 😉

Last, but absolutely, definitively, not least, please meet…

Neil Davies

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Quick of wit, and even quicker of voice, Neil Davies would be the very first to say something like while he lives with Parkinson’s Disease, he does his very best to shake it off…He will write you a poem on any subject to you care to name, and he has a veritable mountain of comical verse to deliver to you at MEGAVERSE for OXJAM TAKEOVER 2015.

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MY WEBSITE

 

MY SONG FOR SPECTRE…Into a Living Nightmare…plus thoughts on the film

willdeanford's Blog

spectre1

When the title of Spectre was announced I thought ‘I pity the fool that has to try and get the word spectre into a song lyric’. A few days later, without intending to, I had written the lyrics and made up the tune to something I ended up doing at open mic nights (unaccompanied by the orchestra referred to in the stuff below). Pretentious artistic justifications for the lyrics can be found below the stuff below.

Blogging this cos the film is out and people who blog are shameless in trying to appear ‘current’.  Mwah ha ha ha (ie evil laugh)

Had no idea of the film content at the time of writing the song. Excuse me while I stroke my pussycat, etc…

A Theme For Spectre (Into a Living Nightmare)

Expectantly…You slip into…The sleep that is…The respite from the fight…That is your life…From day to day…You’re seeking something…You may…

View original post 845 more words

A NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS? NO, IT’S NOVEMBER R.A.R.A. WITH GUEST HOSTS CERI SIAN AND MARK CURTIS. plus REVENGE!

OpenMic

Second Monday, every month…RARA! 

 

For me, the November RARA was partly about a sweet, yet mild and playful, serving of…REVENGE!!!

More on that later, here is the now regular monthly report from Rhyme and Real Ale, Cardiff’s monthly spoken word and poetry open mic night, words by me, pics by Paula Hughes…

Meet your hosts…

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Mark Curtis and Ceri Sian, regular faces and voices at RARA and now the latest in a series of Guest Hosts…

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Dave Daggers (co-host with me last month (and main organiser of RARA) introduces Mark and Ceri to the audience and here comes Mark to kick things off…

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…With a piece called Almost Late, and highly appropriate, given Mark was himself almost late to the event…Next Mark called up…

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Christian Searle, who read a piece he wrote around thoughts about the open mic nights at RARA, which, he explained got more vulgar the more he wrote. Thank you for the sweetly delivered filth in the lines of 147 Candy Floss Trollops, Christian, eye twinkle of yours present and correct as always! Next Mark welcomed a new face to Rara…

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Liz read a poem formed from a conversation between her and her daughter, a fraught debate over the sincerity of the daughter’s apology in the context of behaviour related to addiction issues. She followed with a wry confessional piece about her own ‘seven deadly sins’ according to the rules of the slimming program she was rebelling against  🙂 Then Mark invited up…

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David Foster-Morgan, who read from his book Masculine Happiness, recently published by Seren. He has a way he checks out the poetry books of other new writers, he reads the title poem, and the first and last pieces. He applied that to giving us a taste of his own book…as ever, David brought wry intelligence and the calm authority of his reading style to RARA…

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Then  Eric Ngalle Charles from Cameroon sent out vibes of humanity, partially viewed through sadness at the inhumanity mankind is capable of, a welcome new voice at RARA!

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David Hanlon dleivered a delightful piece about domestic trauma caused by the presence of a mouse that moved from revulsion to growing admiration of ‘George’ seeing the furry one develop inthe narrator’s mind from domestic plunderer to a mouse among the greats, such as Danger Mouse, Jerry and Mickey!

Before announcing the first break Mark Curtis read a poem asking us to never let go of our dreams, no matter how long it takes to make them real.

After minutes of toilet breaks, drink purchases and chats…

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Ceri Sian assumed host duties and welcomed to the mic…

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John Eliot, author of Ssh! This time John read from his work included in Kaleidoscope before momentarily usurping host duties to introduce fellow contributor…

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Mario Uberto Fiorillo whose piece Port of Entry evoked the plight of immigrants seeking saftey, some only finding mud and rocks and shipwrecks…After Mario, Ceri called up…

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Poet, singer (and photographer for these blogs about RARA) Paula Hughes, who sang two songs, one about her pre-Aspergers diagnosis experience of feeling a sort of loneliness in a world where other people seemed far more organised about their lives than her. Then, in strong soulful and bluesy voice, she sang a song harking back to the childhood of John Coffey (the tragic prisoner on death row portrayed in The Green Mile). In Paula’s song John was a gentle giant of a child to his mother.

Next, Ceri introduced…

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Bridget Leggy Tanner who did to contrasting pieces conveying fear. The first from the point of view of a little girl being kidnapped in to slavery, the second more humorously, from the perspective of a narrator suddenly surrounded by cows and a bull!

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Dave Daggers, humorist, poet, musician, artist, photographer and world class git unaware of my impending REVENGE for his prank on me during our co-hosting last month… in fun pun mode, Dave lamented his time spent living on Writer’s Block 🙂

Then Ceri welcomed…
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Melinda, who read a poem called Phoenix about a sad time in her life when renewal and regeneration were badly needed. Then she explained how she believes in being  good neighbour to all…except a badly behaved neighbour who inspired Crossing Bondaries, a true tale of obnoxiousness and transgressions regarding foliage dividing properties…

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Ceri stepped up, readdy to give us  us some of her own words…and this would have been the end of the second section had the need to get public transport made a RARA regular have to ask if he could do his thing before leaving…

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Patrick Widdess, poet and podcaster gave us three mini masterpieces, including Legend of Rain, creating a wry and pithy series of literary pictures of a thirsty landscape where little girls are not automatically believed if they say they have seen a raindrop. Then the presenter and producer of Headstand disappeared into the night…

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And Ceri closed the second section of the evening  with her considered words, partially reacting to life’s hardships and losses delivered with a sense of sighed resignation that makes the turmoil often within the lines take on a sense of unassuming beauty….

Returning for November RARA  part three, Ceri read again, intensity never far from the surface of her deceptively gentle style, and Mark delivered a lovely poem, The Dawn of Peace, before introducing…

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Me! I did one of the pieces I wrote for Fran Smith’s event for Anti-Slavery Day (Customer Care Line For Slave Owners), Then came…REVENGE!!!

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Well, to be honest REVENGE is putting it too strongly, I might have been mortified at first by Dave Daggers playfully mocking my Booty Song (and my Ace of Spades shirt) last month but REVENGE isn’t really my style, I opted to do one of Dave’s pieces but as genuinely in spirit as I could, and he had a grin on  his face the whole time at the laughter caused by words he had written 🙂 And some extra gags I added 😉

Partial recording of mild, playful REVENGE as I do my own version of French Love Songs by Dave Daggers

Thanks Bridget Leggy Tanner for filming the REVENGE!!!

After my silliness, the rest of the evening finished strongly with…

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Fran Murphy, who has sung very sweetly previously at RARA but this time semi rapped her way through Beautiful Thief, dramatically depicting the grace of the bird and the voracity of the thievery…then a sensually delivered piece that kept it’s secret to the end, that the adventures explored, were those of an everyman character (more precisely and everybook character, testifying to the possibilities for the imagination unlocked by reading).  Then…

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Ben Meadon read a piece borne of a prompt at the ever popular ever popular Roath Writers group, the prompt being I Am. Ben’s piece was a personal one, telling of his experience of his own body conspiring against him to make his life difficult…

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Bryan Marshall stormed out the words of an anti-war sonnet,  called Please Stop, before dropping into an accent in order to proclaim and celebrate and demand respect for the fine nature of his own Booty!0004

Fran Smith jokingly offered a slightly belated Halloween themed piece, before impressing us all immensely with her percussive use of the letter P in a high speed sonnet with a strong anti war message

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Finally, came the last performer of the night, Laz Lazarus, the Prince of Darkness of Cardiif poetry rapped for us and his often vulnerable appearing stage persona revealed to those who hadn’t seen it before a new facet to his normally semi-dreamy, semi bemused by the harshness of loneliness style!

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Ceri and Mark then sent us on our way, with thans for being a good audience and we in turn thanked them for being such lovely and warm hosts 🙂 Nice one both, nice one everyone!!!

More RARA, coming like, and just in time for, CHRISTMAS!!

Bring yourself, and your words, Christmas themed or not, Come all ye Faithfull, Come all ye Faithless, Come to read, Come to listen, Come to RARA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL at the Mackintosh Sports Club, Monday December 14th, 7.30pm

JUKE…New Cardiff Spoken Word Launch…Special Guest Performers and Open Mic

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J U K E

NOVEMBER 17th 2015 from 7.30pm

IF YOU AREN’T COMING

TO

LITTLE MAN CAFE

FOR THIS

YOU BETTER BE

DOING SOMETHING

TRULY AMAZING

BECAUSE THIS

WILL BE

AMAZING

FOR SURE.

CREATED AND HOSTED BY RENN

A GENUINE LIVE WIRE

POWERING

JUKE

OPEN MIC PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS 

MAB JONES, ROSEY BROWN

FRANK THOMAS AND WILL FORD (yikes, me!)

My own performance will feature A Very Morrissey Christmas (after all, it is mid November and the Christmas lights are shining), A Gentle Whisper (to the despondent), Customer Service for Slave Owners, T.O.B.E.V.O.L, Batman and more.

Booty Booty Bum

Booty Bum Bum Booty

The night will be fun

And moving

And fruity

my website34 Continue reading

For Remembrance Day….

My ‘Letter to An Unknown Soldier’

Dear sir,

I was not alive in your time, so I can only view the world from my modern perspective. I can only hope there is some grain of truth in what seems to me be a simplistic picture of the Tommy type soldier of the First World War. We are told you had clarity about what you were fighting for and that the notion of King and Country sustained you on dark cold nights living in a world of mud. We don’t necessarily believe what we are told but it is easier for some of us to believe that men like you did not spend your waking hours waiting to be sent to inevitable death and your nights in torment, assailed by the sights and sounds of the dead and the dying.

The statue of you standing reading a letter is, like the tomb of the unknown soldier, meant to be a symbol of thanks, an acknowledgment of sacrifice, a universal symbol for the soldiers who die, in all wars. We are not supposed to think you ever questioned your orders, or your superiors. We are not supposed to think you ever thought of the soldiers you were supposed to kill as your brothers in blindly following orders so that your own respective sides did not kill you anyway for what they call cowardice. We, even those of us who are not soldiers, are not supposed to think that those we are told to hate by the powers that be are human beings, with parents, with children, with hopes, dreams, desires or even voices. We are supposed to think that what is now Queen and Country has our best interests at heart and would never lie to us.

For my father, whose own father fought in the trenches, I wrote a poem about a man writing his story during the last night of his life, desperately trying to understand what crime he had committed. He found no peace and concluded that there could not be a God, for no God would allow the suffering he had witnessed and which his soul had made him flee from. He concluded that he and his brothers in arms were mere cannon fodder whose only role was to be attacked and killed until the enemy ran out of resolve or of shells. And by the end he was challenging those who had decided he should die to not wait for dawn, to get on with executing him, and he intended to haunt their dreams forever.

I hope that you feel that you died for something worth dying for, that there was some big idea that your death helped to sustain. However, in the years since your death, more and more people have come to believe that soldiers like you are the first hideous pawns to be shown into hell, sacrificed for the needs of the the ruling classes, which have become ever more the wealthy classes. Notions of nation have become convenient clarion calls to convince soldiers to maintain and further the interests of those who control the oil of the world and make the weapons of the wars.

We are not supposed to think that you gave your life anything but absolutely willingly. We are supposed to look at your statue with wistful nostalgia for a picture of a simpler time we have been presented with, without question. Questions are regarded are treachery. Ours is still not to reason why. But increasingly we do. And maybe one day we will actually have the freedom we are continuously told you died for. If on any level you believed that freedom is what you were fighting for, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, because that notion of freedom is one I hold dear and that notion is why I ask questions of my supposed ‘betters’. But if you felt coerced, if you felt naught but fear, if your soul was torn, torn, and torn again by the witnessing of indescribable horrors, and if finally you died in agony, in shreds, in terror, I weep for you, and I feel a great anger towards those who describe your life, and your death as honourable and noble. You didn’t die in vain. But a mere statue of you reading a letter is a drop in a million oceans of tears that should be shed by those of your age and those of my age, who send you and your brothers to bleed and die so that they can achieve their goals, which are usually to maintain their wealth and position and seats of power.

If they had to be the ones to lead any battle in any war, from the front, there would be no wars. Life is precious. Blood is best kept in the body. But too much is still being spilled for opposing ideas. We are still expected to take sides, and decide the blood of those we side with is worth more than that of the side we oppose. If sacrifice means anything surely it should highlight that in the end we are still human beings. That is what your sacrifice means to me.

William Dean Ford

MY WEBSITE

MY SONG FOR SPECTRE…Into a Living Nightmare…plus thoughts on the film

spectre1

When the title of Spectre was announced I thought ‘I pity the fool that has to try and get the word spectre into a song lyric’. A few days later, without intending to, I had written the lyrics and made up the tune to something I ended up doing at open mic nights (unaccompanied by the orchestra referred to in the stuff below). Pretentious artistic justifications for the lyrics can be found below the stuff below.

Blogging this cos the film is out and people who blog are shameless in trying to appear ‘current’.  Mwah ha ha ha (ie evil laugh)

Had no idea of the film content at the time of writing the song. Excuse me while I stroke my pussycat, etc…

A Theme For Spectre (Into a Living Nightmare)

Expectantly…You slip into…The sleep that is…The respite from the fight…That is your life…From day to day…You’re seeking something…You may never find…The peace within…Waiting for you…Kept hidden somewhere secret, somewhere safe…Maybe the dream can be enough, can be enough, can be enough…

I beg to differ…

CHORUS A spectre in the night…To wake you from your dreams…Into a living nightmare…Takes you by surprise, you wont believe your eyes…Do you dare? Leave me me here to burn? You know I will return the favour…A spectre in the night…To wake you from your dreams…Into a living nightmare…

(Instrumental)

Incessantly…You peer into…The tunnel dark…To see that fleck of light…That draws you in… One roulette spin…The stake may be your mind, your soul, your life…The dealer deals, the healer heals, the killer kills and you call every play…Maybe the game can be enough, can be enough, can be enough…

I beg to differ…

CHORUS A spectre in the night…To wake you from your dreams…Into a living nightmare…Takes you by surprise, you wont believe your eyes…Do you dare? Leave me me here to burn? You know I will return the favour…A spectre in the night…To wake you from your dreams…Into a living nightmare…

(Dramatic Instrumental/full orchestra finally having it’s moment then music almost gone for a sad reprise of the opening lyrics)

Expectantly…You slip into…The sleep that is the respite from the fight…That is your life…

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Didn’t plan the lyrics, they came largely unbidden, and then in a massive feat of egotistical post rationalisation I considered that the lyrics could be doing three things, perspective-wise…They could be an angry abandoned lover addressing Bond, they could be the villain of the piece threatening Bond from the shadows and they could be a critique of the state of mind of a character doing the things Bond does.

All that aside, I spectre enjoy the film more on further viewing, given the unattainable expectations obviously stoked up by massive hyperbole surrounding the build up to Spectre after the juggernaut of success Skyfall turned out to be. A first viewing of Spectre seems to throw out at you references to former Bond films (already done in Skyfall), a villain who is a ‘mirror image’ of Bond (done before, including Skyfall, with Silva doing exactly what Bond does normally, ie being an unstoppable force of nature with luck, bravado and resources on his side penetrating a secret lair that ends up in flames).

Only in retrospect did the things more unique to Spectre penetrate my consciousness…The cutting between Bond and Baddie emphasising the ‘mirror of each other motif’ quite classily near the end. The panning past characters motionless in shadow adding a sinister chill. The opening caption (The Dead are Alive) reflected in the cinematography that had a funereal air at times which quite subtly implied that the people Bond has loved and lost, betrayed and caused the death of, directly or indirectly  are forever exhibits in the dusty museum of Bond’s mind. Such commentary has featured verbally in Bond movies before, and maybe Mendes has managed to sneak a little artiness on this matter into the Franchise.

I expected a scarier, more drainingly psychological film (or at least imagined one when I took my stab at a song based on the one word title). It was the kind of story I expected, but perhaps the attempt to retro fit the three previous Craig films (which already formed a complete trilogy linked by his relationship with a surrogate mother M) into a single story with a puppet master behind everything all the whole time was a little too much to find believable, but now that is ‘canon’ it sort of works, and will be strengthened if Craig does at least one more film, with a scarred baddie surviving to strike out for the ‘Revenge’ aspect of the acronym S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

And my suggested tone is to have Craig bemused and amused by what is being visited upon him, and us too, until the strands come together and the Craig Era goes out as brutally as it began. Then it will have come full circle, with nowhere left to go. But healthily set for a big box office bonanza beginning to a post Craig era that ends by ‘saving’ Spectre slightly the way Skyfall helped ‘refresh’ Quantum of Solace, the action of which truly kicks off with Bond’s reaction to his M(other)  being shot.

A pitch…WRAITH. The spectre returns. Nobody can believe he can have survived. Clues lead only to dead ends (in more ways than one). Bond is chasing empty shadows until one is not empty and Bond falls headling into the trap.  Both Bond and his adversary display the WRATH promised as the formation of the title shows those letters first before the I fades up to complete the word. Which of the opposite ends of the ego spectrum will survive a final dark night of the soul conflict? Whose need for payback for what the other has done will prevail? Will either of them? Pushed to the brink, with no delineation between the global and the personal, can either survive to see the light of day…

To finish, here is a picture of me as a  spooky spectre from Halloween…Behold, Can Of Fear…

GHOSTY!!!

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HEADSTAND RADIO POETRY PODCAST: CHRISTINA THATCHER ON CREATIVITY, CATHARSIS AND CARDIFF

Patrick Widdess, poet, performer and podcaster, in his usual warm and welcoming way, interviews Christina Thatcher, the latest guest on Headstand to freely talk of how and why they write and the value of the creative process…listen here 
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Creativity as a light in the darkness for processing troubling personal experiences is a prominent driving force for American-born Christina, both in her own writing and in the many inspiring poetry workshops she leads and groups she facilitates. In self exploration, strength can be found. The very heart of her work can be expressed in three simple words: write to empower.

However, all kinds of creativity with words, from the sublime to the ridiculous, stories, monologues, experiments of the most surreal kind and more are experienced by Christina with the delighted smile of someone truly thankful for her own creativity and desire to draw the very best out everyone who wishes to pick up a pen (and also those who have never even considered doing so yet).

Whether as a writer, event organiser, performer, tutor, workshop facilitator or simply as a reader or listener, Christina Thatcher seeks to engage with people and creativity on all levels and her sheer enthusiasm for embracing all aspects of light and dark in creativity makes others feel brave enough to believe they could follow her example!

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Tune in, and enjoy! And then why not take a look at the rest of what you will find in the series of blogs produced and presented for Headstand by Patrick Widdess?

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