Spoken Worlds, Old Cottage Tavern, Burton Upon Trent

2012 has now well and truly dusted its boots off and made itself at home, and as January comes to a close so the first round of regular poetry events are completed. Establishing, and maintaining success, as a spoken word event is no easy task, but here there is a device which works particularly well, three Acts with two intervals. This enables performers to perform work with wildly varying moods and dynamics on the same evening in separate chunks.

Andy Biddulph “The Burton Poet” combines the persona’s of an enfant terrible and eminence grise all in one enthusiastic package as he stalks the streets of Staffordshire and south Derbyshire with his distinctive brand of politically inspired poetry. From the soft targets and soft underbelly of Bankers, to the more oblique, but just as interesting question of control of the waterways, Andy has a (Left) view, and a welcome one it is too. His kindle book “An Interesting Life by Mistake” is available on Amazon.

Nudging the evening along, Gary Carr did his usual seamless job, although I always feel that I would like to hear more from him as he tends to throw in little gems like Starlings, before introducing the next act, leaving the audience thinking, “Hang on!” A rewarding aspect of being a long serving part of the local poetry scene is watching individuals explore their poetic selves. Ian Ward writes from a wide variety of places, taking in Fantasy , contemporary music, grotesque, and love poetry. Tonight he surprised me with some Sea Shanty inspired pieces inspired by his time in the South West which were delivered with a conviction which transformed the Old Cottage Tavern into The Smugglers Cove”somewhere in Cornwall.

Local poet Pete told “Burton Tales”, the most worrying of which was that “Pizza Hut” has deserted its town centre pitch (was it too upmarket?). Tom Wyre read extensively, his piece on Whale hunting being the piece i enjoyed most. His bustling off stage personality an intriguing contrast to the reflective tone and mellifluous ambience he brings to his work. Margaret Torr did what she does best, double volley of conceived and executed poems, before retiring, leaving us wanting more.

Ray and Terri Jolland always have some comic light entertainment written, and this time was no exception, although Mal Dewhirst amused too with his recollections of the Branston Water Park Arts Festival where both the audience , and even the geese, were resistant to verse and rhyme. His Aspiration Boulevard sequence was particularly strong, however I can never hear him introduce it by name without thinking of Heartbreak Avenue by the Maisonettes !

Spoken Worlds next meets on Friday 24th February at 7.30pm

Gary Longden 27/1/12

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