Last Saturday I was lucky enough to take part in a wonderful evening of spoken word poetry and music in the beautiful Unitarian Church in Cambridge. It was a great evening and with one brief rehearsal a couple of hours before the events it was magical to see it all come together and see my favourite local poets words transformed with the music. However if you didn’t see it then you missed a great evening and you’ll have to experience it second hand with these recordings because in this post I will not be reviewing the night step by step but bigging up everyone involved and showing how many people make a night like this.
Who are Allographic and Shindig?
Fay Roberts and Wesley Freeman-Smith were the masterminds behind the night and together I’m convinced they can take over the world (or at least Cambridge) and I want to see more nights like this one, it was a definite success with the church full on a Saturday for poetry!
Fay Roberts was not only a co-organiser but host and poet. Her poetry and singing is beautiful and you can find her work here. She is the host of Hammer & Tongue slam Cambridge and creator of Allographic press which publishes stories, photographs, poetry and artwork; Allographic nights are a wonderful platform for poets, musicians and storytellers to show their stuff and present the “other voices” which don’t often get a chance to say their piece. You can find the website here and make sure to like here.
Wesley Freeman-Smith is an artist and promoter who runs a night called Shindig that showcases alternative music, art, film, poetry, cabaret, beautiful imagery and anything else you could imagine. He provides a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in beautiful locations that perfectly compliments the varied line up. Find him hereand like here.
You can also find a lovely interview with the two of them here
I cannot praise Wooden Arms enough, this lovely band from Norwich have such a beautiful harmonious sound that this had to be the only performance where I wasn’t a bundle of nerves. They had the hard job of tailoring music to poetry and they did a wonderful job, thank you wooden arms and well done! You can listen to them here and praise/keep up with them here. They currently have an EP that you can and should buy plus watch out for my personal favourite song of theirs December coming soon I believe.
I got to spend the night performing with my favourite local poets and it’s always a pleasure to see them and watch them perform! First up was Leanne Moden whose poems always make a crowd laugh and giggle covering topics from bad kissers and those real sex moments not seen in the movie; her page poems are beautifully written and her poem Brixton 2013 really captured the heart of the moment and made me smile (listen and you’ll understand) you can find her blog and own review here. Patrick Widdess always amazes me with his unique and dream like poems but combined with wooden arms his poems spider and the problem with living underwater and dawdling really came alive, you can find his website here. You’ve probably heard of Hollie Mcnish and it’s no surprise her poems really make me think and are always wonderful, her poems speak for themselves so find her website here and watch her here. Russell J Turner is another talent from Norwich whose poems always make me think of rock n roll, whisky and smoky bars in the best of ways; he performed extracts from his new show and it took me away, have a listen here. This was the first time I had seen Daisy T-G perform and I’m glad I got to meet her and listen to her wonderful extract from a play she wrote, defently one to watch so check her out here.
I too performed so you can find my portfolio here or watch and listen to my poems hereand here
I call them the ninjas because they are often unseen but they are just as kickass as everyone else involved, in fact without them the night wouldn’t run so smooth. So big thanks to Matt Cooke for sound (because the sound tech people are the ones.) Laura McGarrigle for all the front of house help and wonderful soup (she also happens to be a musician) and to Theresa Elfien from slatethedisco.
The photographs on this blog are courtesy of artist and photographer Katy Figg whose page can be found here at Sensibly Insane (Loving the name!) whose photos are beautiful and capture a unique angle of the everyday life and Matt Widgery whose page can be found here at Matt Widgery- Street photography whose lovely black and white photos catch people in their natural habitat.
think I’ve mentioned everyone but if I have forgotten anyone I do apologise! So many people play their part and so much goes into one night of magical music and wonderful poems and as a performer or member of the audience alot of it goes unnoticed or can be easily forgotten, so thank you to all involved and thank you for the opportunity. Make sure you look everyone up, like, share and support your local art scenes!