Sunday, 19 January 2014

latests news - 18 January 2014

Sorry for the delay with updates, folks. Sadly after an excellent Christmas with my folks, I got a bad chest infection and a few weeks later I still haven’t shifted the thing, which has proved very annoying. Here are some notes anyhow (even though some of these are more plans than anything else)

Writers of the third kind – the workshop is scheduled for 29/01/2014 @ the sweet green tavern in Bolton from 7pm. All welcome as always. A Means to an End – nothing scheduled in gig wise for the moment but I can confirm we are scheduled for Cadence Festival in June, and the Inspire Festival in Glossop in August. Have our fingers in about five other pies for gigs / festivals at the moment so am hopeful for some more too and once I am feeling better (See above – chest infection) we will start rehearsing again proper which I am looking forward to as there are several new pieces pending at the moment.

Poetry – Although I am still writing at the moment, I don’t have any plans for performance (Had to cancel two offers in January because of ill health), I have been still writing and passed around another draft of my next book ‘the end of summer’ to a few friends just before Christmas. Without giving too much away, I am pretty excited by the contents of the book and feel it is heading ahead in the direction the book should have been heading, and is pretty nearly done now (About to submit it to a publisher). Before that, in springtime, I have nearly finished off a collection of anti war poetry, which will be called Euro with the writer Nick Armbister that I have been writing over the past 6 months or so. I have completed around 20 or 21 poems for this, and is totally different from my last two proper collections and leads nicely into the end of summer, which again is totally different, and after discussion with Nick we will start work on a possible follow up at the end of 2014.

I also have some poetry due to get published over the next month or three in a few websites / journals. Will keep you informed as I know more here.

Twisted Promise - Work has also just picked up again on a possible poetic play with a writer called P.R. McDowell. We wrote a well-received poetic monologue called ‘twisted promise’ at the end of last year. Work started at the end of last year on a follow up / prequel called Twisted Promise II, which is maybe half done and will be complete maybe over the next month or so, then once we have part 3 and 4 completed we will then look at staging the piece or perhaps even releasing it as a short book (If Part 3 and 4 follow the length of Part 2 – that is very possible).

Work with Amanda Silbernagel – After some discussion with Amanda, this project has now been put on hold until Amanda’s schedule improves and we will complete an album perhaps in 2015 / 2016. Watch this space.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Jeffarama! - loud n proud book review

The energy of punk music I have looked at as an essential time in music, where in the case of one of my favourite all time acts of all time, Joy Division came by a sudden need to express themselves which went in a totally different direction to what they expected which followed in my own writing and performances. Although I started writing when I was 10 and even went to university (which nearly then put me off), as soon as I hit the stage properly in 2008, a rush overcame me which 5 years later still hasn’t left my heart (even though I am more into page poetry temporary) where you go onto stage and sometimes leave people in fits of applause or tears, the energy of confronting people and say ‘this is me’ is something that all performing poets go through.

Although driven by different demons, Jeffarama author of ‘Loud and Proud’ wouldn’t mind me saying when he started around the same time as me back in 2008, his first performance in Bolton was only likely to be a one off after he had scribbled down some words which became ‘Punk’s not dead’ and kinda took and led him eventually to gathering headline shows all over the North West.

‘Loud and Proud’ his debut full length collection (excluding a split book with myself at the end of 2011), contains 40 or so of his pieces which have become standards up and down his shows from ‘Appointment with Fear’ (about a dodgy dentist appointment) and Manchester Ritz (about the legendary night club) and Don’t which is about his very comedic and funny adventures on the dating scene, these are poems about real life which, although carry across the stage perfectly also jump out of the book perfectly too in a energy that Jeff’s idol John Cooper Clarke would defo be proud off.

Surprisingly also, maybe showing a subtle which I was aware off but not perhaps not as well known is a number of his softer pieces such as Nat of the Wanderers (a tribute to Nat Lofthouse, an legendary Bolton Wanderers player_ and Cotton town, a tribute to his late mother which add a different level to this book.

I believe Jeff is going to be recording a CD this year to go with the book which will feature some new stuff (wrote since the book was completed) which will add a nice footnote to the book, but to quote Tony Walsh, one of Manchester best Poet’s ‘it’s 45 Rpms all the way with this guy’, certainly not 33rpms on this stirring, yearning book which is well worth £5 of your time.

More details including ordering - please go to or email him direct on

Friday, 3 January 2014

dropped phone call (from new love poetry e book - love songs for cathy v)

I ring you in the usual way
During a early lunch
But you drop the phone
When you hear my voice
Leaving me with nothing
But the droning ambience
Of a lost call.

Perhaps you are still in bed
In the middle of a deep sleep
After a late


Late night


I had forgotten you mentioning
With a few bottles of wine
At your friend Jane’s
And couldn’t be bothered
Staggering out of bed
To answer the phone,

Or maybe your Cat
Has instead of missing
The dressing table
After jumping from your bed
Has leaped over the suite
Onto the window
And knocked the phone flying
Cutting me off into oblivion.

 Perhaps it was a BT error
Or you are on the phone
To your mate, Steve
For one of your epic
Three or four hour calls
Which frequently has me thinking
What the hell
You could talk about
For so long
And is meant to feel minor
When Steve says he sometimes
Talk to one of your ex’s
All night long

Or maybe you are rushing off
To the shop
Across the road
To pay your lottery ticket
Before rushing off
To your doctors
Then asda up the road
Before it closes
And really
Could not be bothered
Answering my call
At least then.

Whatever reason
It still hasn’t clouded
Over my love
For you.

(NB. A Short Poem from a ebook of poems I wrote for my partner Cathy called ''Love Songs for Cathy V', of which a hard copy can be bought here - I will welcomely send over a PDF of the book to anybody if interested free of charge. Email me or PM etc.)