Upcoming gigs

Upcoming Gigs

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VANDAL RAPTOR? UK tour

TESTT (Durham): April 12th

The New Adelphi (Hull): April 15th

Workshop Theatre (Leeds): April 17th

Hydra Bookshop (Bristol): April 18th

Derby Theatre: April 20th

Harrogate Theatre: April 24-25th

Ovalhouse (London): April 26-28th

NERD PUNK BOOK TOUR

London Book Launch at Ovalhouse, April 26th

York Book Launch at All Saints Church, April 29th

Small Fry DIY, Warrington, 2nd May

Spoken Weird, Halifax: 3rd May

Born Lippy, Newcastle 9th May

Shaken In Sheep Town, Skipton: 10th May

Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

Queenie’s Coffee Nights, Huddersfield: 21st May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Verse Matters, Sheffield: 7th June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Once A Year


Once A Year – Henry Raby

Only the elderly moaned to themselves, as the elderly are wont to do

About the fact donkeys, now rare, were chained and locked away in zoos

And beaches were populated by reindeer, much more sturdy and trustworthy

Who gave rides to small children wearing goggles for health and safety purposes.

When the sun was shining, middle-class Dads would invite round neighbours

And proudly BBQ turkeys on their fancy 4 grill-setting charcoal-packed fires.

Snotty teens played music loudly on buses, but were never asked to listen quietly

For they played (through tinny phone speakers) Wizzard, Slade and Maria Carey.

When men were made redundant and unable to put crackers on the table

They’d take their frustration out on their wives without anyone to save them.

And those without trees, whether real or plastic, in their houses

Were inevitably hounded down by cold cults and hung noiselessly

And the wanted man known only to the public as ‘The Christmas Strangler’

Never had it so good.

Friday, 7 December 2012

This week in The Spoken Word Scene


This past week I have had the pleasure, nay, the privilege to catch five of the finest spoken word artists in the UK.

Scroobius Pip is zig-zagging across the country as we speak.  He brought to York the wordsmith PolarBear and speaking siren Kate Tempest.  I’ve seen PolarBear a few times, but he performed a collection of new work which genuinely overshadowed his older material.  His older stuff is generally story-based, but his new stuff had this charm of being about stories.  I’ve seen Kate doing a scratch of Brand New Ancients, so it was a treat to see her poems and Sound of Rum raps in a gig context.  Then of course, the man himself, Mr Pip, doing his gloomy-yet-honed spoken word.  Then last night I was invited to compere Sticks & Stones.  The weather dented the crowd somewhat but everyone there was up for a good night.  Sally Jenkinson, a poet I’ve not heard before, have a lovely intimate style.  But, for me personally, all four of these names are eclipsed by Inua Ellams.  Not necessarily because of any specific poem or writing style or deliver, but Inua has trailblazed this fusion of spoken word, poetry and theatre with his shows The 14th Tale, Untitled and Knightwatch.  I haven’t been able to see any of them sadly, but his craftsmanship is undeniable in whatever genre he works within.

So 2013 is coming close.  I fully intend to Raise My Game.  To take on all quarters.  To get more gigs, do more events and perform at more festivals.  So…book me please?