Thursday, 30 December 2010

latest news - week commencing 27th December 2010

Of course with it been Christmas week, there is no events on of
Any kind to go and explore.

No Poetry events to really go out and scream out to the world
This is me, this is want to say.

This week for me was a week where I spent some time with
My family, and then my girlfriend and ate too much and
Drank more than I usually do.

It was nice, I must admit but during the relaxing I didn’t get
Any writing done unlike what I wanted to do aside from
A savage editing of an old poem called ‘The Snowman came
Alive’ (which I cut down from 4 typed pages to 2 pages) but
Of course, now it is back to normal… I’ll crack on with a
Few pieces which has been pending for a while. One of which
Is called ‘Waterford to Cork’ and is about a road trip I suffered
During Ireland in 2009, and then also another called ‘Billy
The Kid’ which is about a very dangerous young man.

I’m also been sorting out new projects for the New Year which
I can’t really reveal too much about yet, but this will hopefully
Include a Charity Night in Droylsden / Ashton way and maybe
Another in Hulme too.

The next thing I can definitely confirm however, the
Latest Guitar and Verse, the night that my friend Jeffarama runs
(which I assist with) at Butterflies is on next on Thursday
6th January 2010 which will be headlined by John Kerring I
believe who is a excellent singer songwriter who I saw at
Salford Crescent last year who saw a fistful of beautiful acoustic
songs about Salford.

After that, my new-ish band ‘A Means to an end’ will be
Performing at Paradox in Withington on 8th January 2010
And after that, it should be back to normal service – well
As normal as service can go with me sometimes – lol…

And maybe I’ll have a new piece or two ready by then. 

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas folks

So say Santa and the girls..

And me of course... (even us writers
have to take a break every now and then
- lol)

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Week Commencing 20/12/2010 (including review The Orch.)

This week is of course time for chilling over Christmas so I won’t
be doing anything really of note creative wise this week although
I will be in band rehearsals this week on Wednesday for the last
time this year.

Otherwise, following on from my previous note I went to
Go and see the Orch. Play at Whitworth Art Gallery on Friday.

Like with my own gig at the Station Hotel in Ashton two days later,
The gig was a tough one for any act to play (name of the name was
meatyard arts) as the audience really weren’t listening to the bands
but were perfectly quiet during the art side of it, which was
very, very annoying and it made life very hard listening to the
first band who was led by John Donaldson called ‘jd meatyard’
who I used to know as the singer for Calvin Party, who were
a big cult band in Manchester once upon a time and who
only got the audience to listen to them during their finale song
which I think was about Beirut. (A big shame as the material
sounded pretty good to me).

The Orch. Who came on next no two ways about it had a tough
time following that, and were missing their guitarist for the night
but whose guitars were programmed into the Keyboardist’s
equipment, but managed to shut the crowd somewhat
with their moody spoken word with Keyboards material
during their four songs.

It wouldn’t be fair to single out favourites as I adored all
four tracks (‘Without a trace’, ‘Ingland Strip’, ‘Livin in Sin’
and ‘Kenny and the Snake’) as I know and love all four
tracks on offer, and even thou in some cases they were quite
different from the album versions, it was top notch stuff.

My own gig which followed on Sunday at the Station Hotel
which was a hard, hard gig to do as it was busy and noisy
with kids running all round the place (one of which really hurt
my girlfriend Cathy who is disabled and got a stern word
off me).

I had previously played here in October as part of their
Seven stages of awareness gig which was a really nice
Beautiful, chilled gig. This time however it was mental
as it was mixed in with a lot of bands, and I came on
much later on when thankfully quite a few of the people
who weren’t listening had gone.

I kept the set quite short on purpose which I think worked in
My favour to a degree, doing just under 15 minutes doing
5 pieces in the process ‘My Mum makes Christmas Pudding
Pasties’, ‘Bad Poet’, ‘Percy’, ‘The road from Sheepshead’s
Lighthouse’ and ‘Christmas present thank you letter’.

I must admit I was happy with my set, and the audience
Was fairly quiet during the set which meant a lot to me
And I drew a really nice round of applause during the ‘Percy’
Piece which was nice as it is about my late Uncle, Percy
Who was killed during the Second World War.

 I do have video footage of this which I will upload

In the meantime, happy Christmas all!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

The Station Pub

Dear all

I'm at the station pub in ashton tommorrow afternoon from 3pm doing a FREE poetry 
gig - it's on 2 Warrington Street, Ashton under lyne, OL6 6XB.

If you are in the area - why not pop along and say hello.... x

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

What I am up to week commencing - 13/12/2010

With Christmas time now sneaking nearer and nearer, usually it starts to quieten off a lot a lot of the creative events I go to, and this is the last proper active week I expect to go to for the rest of this year.

Monday last night I attended Write Out Loud at Stockport Art Gallery. For me this is an important night for me to try to go to every month if I have new material ready as I’ll use it as a sounding board for new pieces to see how a low key audience takes to them.

On this night, I debuted two brand new poems which have come alive over the past few days namely ‘Percy’ which is about one of my father’s older half brothers who was killed in action in the Second World War who I never met.

This poem came about after attending ‘Pass on a Poem’ last week where a lady called Jeannette Slavinski announced she was after poems for a forthcoming charity poetry book about Heroes. I’d always wanted to write a poem about Percy and after some research with my father, the piece came together quite quickly, and will be submitted later on this week.

Second piece was a piece that needed somewhat more research as somebody suggested to me recently to write a poem about Hulme because of it’s very different looking area nowadays. Now although I had been travelling through the area of Hulme (which is on the outskirts of the centre of Manchester) for well over 20 years, I didn’t know tons about it, and the poem I wrote used people’s memories with my own experiences.

Both pieces thankfully went down really well and I am hoping the Hulme piece will lead to a possible reading in the New Year.

Otherwise, this week, besides work – pretty well creative wise (No band rehearsals as guitarist is ill) all I will be doing is  getting ready for a reading in Ashton on Sunday which will be my last reading this year for a event called 7  stages of Well Being. Cathy got me a reading here in September for their first event and I enjoyed it that much, I have agreed to go back again and this time it will be a full set (possibly) of
Winter / Christmas poems.

Need to double-check the time it is all starting, but I think it’s a 5pm start at the Station Pub in Ashton and it’s free to get in. 

Highlight of the week however will have to be going one of my idols a mysteries Manchester based trio ‘The Orch.’ play a very, very  rare concert indeed on Friday 17th December 2010. 

I first became of this spoken word led musical trio around 1993 I seem to recall when they cheekily released a demo tape called ‘ Greatest Hits’ which contained 8 tracks of harsh realism spoken over the top of guitars and keyboards which simply was unlike
anything else I had ever heard. The band themselves did a 7 inch single called ‘Flat Life’ the year after, and appeared on the first Factory Records 2 sampler in 1995 (and were by far the best thing on it) before splitting the year after with a heartbreaking single called ‘Little Rockets’.

All three members were involved in other projects over the years, but it was still a surprise when they specially reformed to do a short set for a Hovis Presley (who was a comedy Manchester Poet who died I think back in 1995) memorial night in 1996
At the Green Room in the centre of Manchester which was a  mad, mad night, (where not quite everything went to plan but still was great fun) and then followed it up with another gig in Darwin (just outside Bolton) nearly two years after that which was top fun (despite the fact I was really ill) and I didn’t really like the area shall we say.

This one is on at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester which I am hoping will be a top notch night and should be finished around about a good time for me to leave the work’s Christmas do which will be around 8pm.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Spleen Magazine

Dear all;

A new political book / magazine 'Spleen' has published one of my new poems 'Protest'.

Although it can be bought - it can also be read online at:

Friday, 10 December 2010

Poems wanted for Dragonheart Press

Just had accepted off Dragon heart Press last night that their latest Living Poets
Collection on the theme of Winter has accepted three of my poems for their next
Publication on the theme of Winter – the pieces in question ‘Early January Snow
Blues’ (which has appeared in my debut book ‘Return to Kemptown’) and
Two newer pieces (which should be appearing in my second book ‘Detective
Novel’) ‘Yesterdays Winters’ and ‘The Other Side’.

They are after more submissions – go to for more information.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Latest Waltzes and news (Week commencing 06/12/2010)

After the waltz of last week (See above picture - lol at Christmas Works Do), this week is pretty well back to the grind of normal stuff creative stuff wise.

I think Monday wise (tonight) I will be chilling and working a little bit on a piece for Friday night at a gig my band are doing, but not much else I think (aside from watching the third programme of Misfits which I forgot about last week on E4). Tuesday should have been band rehearsals, but that’s off on that night as Jeff is having problems with his car, so it’ll be re-scheduled to Friday.

As it stands, I should be at Cathy’s on Wednesday night and from which I will there head over to work on Thursday.

Thursday itself I am down for appearing at Pass on a Poem at Manchester City Library. More details on them be can be read here - but this is a interesting night where they want people to read out published poems they like and not their own. In my case, I will be reading  the chilling (not cold) poem by the Jewish Second World War poet Paul Cealan called ‘Winter’, and after that I will then pop down to Freed Up Poets at the Greenroom where I will be reading out my poem ‘The Other Side’ which I wrote for Freed Up which is on the theme of ‘Power’ and possibly another poem called ‘The Space between us’.

Friday night should have involved a gig at the Britain's Protection pub in Manchester for a night called Folk-Lore but that has been pulled from my band (owning to lack of space on stage), which was a concern as I know from my old experimental / noise band watching days, it can be a very tight space in there sometimes, so I am going to stop in and carry on working on my next poem which will be about Hulme....

Saturday will then be out for a few friends’ birthdays, so will involve a few beers
Providing I don’t freeze to death in the process – lol.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Missing Week (Week commencing 27th November 2010)

Dear all;

Last week - Week commencing 27th November 2010 was one of those weeks
were I didn't stand still ill health or not.

The plan orginally was to write this actually on the 26th November 2010 as
I knew I was going to be busy all week for blogging etc, but sadly on Saturday
25th November 2010 I took down ill with a really, really bad stomach bug
which I originally thought was food poisoning, but in hindsight I think it
was a stomach bug (as I know of people who got something similar
just before and my father currently is very, very ill with something similar)
which knocked me out both Saturday and Sunday.

Monday I somehow let me my friend, Tony drive me down to
a open mike in Morton at a pub called the Moreton Arms. The open mike
itself was only average I felt, but there was a free buffet which more than
made than up for it and I won a prize in a prize draw which may appear
in somebody's Christmas Present stocking - lol.

The two pieces I read out was 'The Other Side' which is my newest
blogged or published poem if you like (See for more details) which I can honestly admit I have
no idea where it came from, and a old favourite '12 days of Christmas'.

The performances can be seen live at: (The Other Side) (12 days after Christmas)

Tuesday, unrecorded on purpose in case it went wrong (and it didn't)
my new band 'A Means to an end' played their first real gig at
a open jam night in Chorlton at the Iguana Bar (
which went really well and the audience really liked our three
tracks 'Secret Adventure', 'Tunnel 3' and 'Moonlight'.

I was pleased with the performance, although we were a little nervous
in one or two little bits, it came out quite well and has got us a future
pubs in Manchester which has a new night starting here called Folk-Lore 
which should be really good fun. 

I was at my works's do for Christmas on Thursday for a meal at the Hilton Hotel
which was very posh but the food was pretty naff but free and had a free bar
so didn't really do much beside that from stopping at Cathy's for two nights
(and went for a meal at a friend's birthday for a 30th) so kept it quiet.

I'll add more about this week coming tommorrow...