June 25, 2008

Hunstanton Festival June 24th

A full house for this double act of poetry and jazz bringing a bit of real class to town - wine bottles and candles on tables etc - as well as warm hospitality, interval eats, a proper warm sunny June evening and a final hour of r&b and dancing from Eddie's groovers. The audience was lovely, really appreciative, receptive and ready to enjoy themselves.

My favourite bit was rapping my 'Life Is A Bitch But the Songs Are Great' with Eddie's band providing the brass, strings and drums behind me. But then it would be. It's great to feel a band that knows what it's doing driving you on - normally of course I'm carrying everything sotto voce. In the best traditions of jazz, we did not over-rehearse. In fact, we did not even meet until the night and did not rehearse it with the music until we actually did it. Nice...

I enjoyed the two sets I put together, all from Exile In His Own Country plus one short extract from River Deep. (Set list below) It built into a sort of exploration of the British Dream - and naturally included my monologue from the Exile show, 'Beatle' (the embodiment of that Dream as available to everyone including the national football teamcirca 1966- 1968). It was good to do a new concept, using but not repeating the Exile In His Own Country touring show or the Edinburgh Tales Out Of School fringe show, both of which have had their day. I particularly enjoyed the musical connections of many of the poems - Crowded House, Sinatra - and the luxury of time to introduce the pieces, not being tied into a staged performance, plus being able to talk and interact around the poems with the audience. A Norwich City supporter and a teacher both freely announced these afflictions to the world, an indication of how relaxed and accepting the atmosphere of the evening was...
Part One: Toucan resistance (first memory); Cooking up a revolution; 1970; England win the world cup (1966/2003); Beatle, From The Welsh.
Part Two: The voice (tribute to Sinatra); Boudicca, Britain's Dreaming; Bard of Bristol; Mocks; Afternoon break extract from Rver Deep Mountain High; Life is a bitch but the songs are great (rap).

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