The second half of January was pretty exciting too. There were quite a few things to focus on. Lots going on at once! I’ll talk about the couple of gigs I did first. I performed my audience interactive poetic monologues at the Hackney Attic as part of a great night called The Salon, all money raised went to L’Auberge des Migrants. I’d only ever tried this piece once before and it relies heavily on a willing and focussed audience to fill in lots of the gaps. Luckily, I had one! It went really well and I was generally pretty pleased with my performance. There was a fantastic all-female line up on the night and a particular highlight was Sherika Sherard who is fucking boss. Give her a listen.
The next night, I did Tongue Fu at RichMix. Great Night, great venue. Tongue Fu is a long-running and very successful experiment where poets read with a live, improvised soundtrack by the house band and improvised VJ visuals. I was absolutely terrified! The way I like to tackle performance is to be really well rehearsed so that I feel completely in control, any sort of improvisation scares the living daylights out of me. After a scary moment or two in the first poem though, I felt as if I relaxed into it. I was pretty worried about the sections of song: would the band be able to pick up the key I was singing in an adapt their improvisation to the melodies I was singing? To my absolute amazement, they did! They were so talented and responsive to changes in the poetry. I was seriously impressed. I also felt honoured to share the line-up with the amazing Kayo Chingonyi, Debs Newbold and Dan Cockrill. I’d never seen any of them perform before so that was a real treat.
A quick round up of other projects…
The end of the month saw us back in the rehearsal room for Melody. Huge thanks as always to Clapham Omnibus for providing us with the most valuable thing possible- free space! I had forgotten how much fun I have in the rehearsal room with Lucy. We’ve had a great few days and Melody is in it’s best shape yet. Melody’s little tour begins at the Space in the Isle of Dogs tonight (!!) as part of their excellent One Festival. If you live in London, please come and watch (Melody is also on on the 17th and the 20th) – you can buy tickets here.
A book, a book, I’ve written a book! My debut collection of poetry is due to be published this year in July. I’ve got a deadline of the 31st of March so I’ve been pulling lots of my poems together, editing like mad, writing new stuff. It’s hard! But then I suppose writing a book should be hard… I’ve really been enjoying the process and have just sent a first draft off to a few poet pals to cast their sharp eyes over. Watch this space for more news on the book soon!
And extremely excitingly, just before Christmas, I bought a loop pedal. Oh my, oh my it’s the most fun thing to play with in the world. It’s very portable and I’m working on a few new performance poems using it now. You can see a little sneak preview here. The person who inspired my to start experimenting with a loop pedal is Hannah Silva. If you’ve not already heard of her then please check her out, she’s excellent.
That’s all for now.