Friday 20th July saw our first visit to this monthly spoken word open mic event, ably hosted by Gary Carr in the upstairs room of The Old Cottage Tavern, Burton-on-Trent.
The formula: an evening in three halves (Gary’s words); relaxed, congenial atmosphere; diversity of spoken word styles; live music; quality sound system; breaks for chat and drinks from the bar.
Being able to sign up for three slots gives performers the opportunity to showcase a range of styles/themes/moods at the open mic. Added to the mix were penned songs with guitar accompaniment, fiddle and melodeon tunes. ( I love how each event has its own character and recipe for success).
Some of the highlights from my notebook:
Terri Jolland’s Paint it Black: a piece about her son’s penchant for the colour (title taken from the Rolling Stones’ song).
Margaret Tor’s Magnificat, in praise of a friend’s forgiveness (after ‘pouring her heart into an envelope’).
Tom Wyre’s Autumn’s Funeral under a ‘tangerine and satsuma-sprayed sky.’
Gary Carr’s Clay Mills Pumping Station, a hymn to Staffordshire: superbly crafted.
There were moments of hilarity, too, including Rob Stevens’ sung rant about cyclists in the Peak District, in danger of ‘finding his carbon footprint on their seats.’
Cherries on the cake of my evening were two poems by Chesterfield poet, Tony Keeton:
– ink still wet, The Rules: of games children play, learning the ways of the adult world, revolutions, history revolving: sparsity of language used to striking effect.
– Donner Und Blitzen: hilarious kebab poem by a veggie: read it here.
For a detailed account of the evening, read Gary Longden’s excellent review here.
Next Spoken Worlds night: Friday 24th August
PS: Terri Jolland is guesting at The Fizz, next Tuesday at Polesworth Abbey.