Poetry, Music, Magic and a bit of Politics

For Monday’s Until the Light Goes Out we deviated a little from our usual Poetry and Music formula, and had a magician as our first feature act. Joe Raine not only did such brilliant magic tricks I was itching to pin him against the wall and torture the secrets for his tricks out of him, but he was also a performer with great stage charisma and an element of comedy. The night was headlined by the gorgeous Dan McKean, whose beautiful acoustics and poetic lyrics were a perfect way to finish a fantastic summer evening.

Dan McKean.

(I’ll pretend for now that the blurriness in my recent photography is intentional and for an artsy effect, but the truth is I need a new camera.)

In between we had a bunch of open mic performers – fewer than usual since the performing scene always goes quiet in August, but quality made up for quantity – and Mike and I had a great chance to showcase our own work. Mike played his new song which went down really well. I did a dry-run of about half my set for Gypsy in the Field, and was happily surprised that I made the audience laugh out loud several times.

Yesterday I saw Niall O’Sullivan’s (Poetry Unplugged host and a recent Until the Light Goes Out feature) one-man show Now is Not the Time for Politics at the Camden Fringe.

Despite the title, there is a message within the show that it is, in fact, a time for politics and Niall does make the case that the political should not be completely detached from the personal. In the midst of the beautiful and heartfelt story of his wife’s pregnancy and the birth of his daughter there are observant and often hilarious commentaries on the political events that were taking place in the background of the main story. In addition, most of the show is written in terza rima, so there’s a bit of an ear candy for those of us mildly obsessed with formal poetry. Tonight’s the last chance to see this show! Last night was fully booked so best to book in advance.

            I’ve got a busy week ahead now! Tomorrow night I have a gig at Apartment 58; it’s a 15-minute slot and I’ll do a few poems of my Gypsy in the Field set as well as a new poem I wrote yesterday. On Wednesday Mike and I will be going to Spoken Word London, a sister event for Spoken Word Paris where we’ll be heading on our world tour, I mean France tour for now, in October. Friday night’s a Celebration of French Poetry in Translation, and I just remembered I really need to get a move on with my Baudelaire translations. And right after that we’re off to Edinburgh! Until the Light Goes Out Edinburgh Special takes place on Saturday the 17th, and we’ll try and perform at some other event on the Sunday. Monday the 19th I’ll head back to London and straight to hosting Poetry Massive at the Torriano Bar. Lots of excitement, great times ahead and hopefully writing inspiration, too!


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