Swindon Festival of Poetry Finale

12 Oct

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Claire Trevien. A beautifully spoken poet in holey tights. Professionalism stripped when asked to speak in French on stage. She’s been in a Best British Poetry 2013 book, so, class act. I liked Introduction to Love, which was what would happen if the rules of writing a thesis were applied to a romantic relationship. You can probably guess.

(I missed Kim Moore. Soz. Apparently she was rather good.)

Elvis McGonagall. Richly deserved one-time World Slam champion. Hilarious lefty comedic political rantings. Harpooned the Queen, Prince Charles as ‘Prince of Biscuits’, Iain Duncan Antoinette ‘Drowning in debt? Then give us a wave / Sell yourself in Poundland. Try to save / Dance as you dig your own pauper’s grave / On 53 quid a week’, and Margaret Thatcher in A bed at the Ritz. Really doesn’t like Tony Blair either.

Aidan Sheehan. Sounded like Jarvis Cocker marinaded in Richard Hawley in an episode of Twin Peaks. Looked like his mum, organiser Hilda Sheehan. From ‘indi-pop sensations’ Nudybronque. Great name though was neither tanned or naked.

The Very Grimm Brothers. Verse by Adrian Mealing set to clever guitar strumming by John Denton. Self-described as only ‘about 60 per cent grimm’. They live in a Swindon castle that backs onto Lidl. Unashamedly Radio 4. Poetrying about first world problems and thuggish policemen.

If Elvis McGonagall was a headlight, The Very Grimm Brothers would be the rabbit.

Dog. A Staffie. Staffordshire Pottery that is. The event finished with a film of the Swindon Festival of Poetry (18th century) ceramic mascot on a road trip, to the music of late Swindonian, Diana Dors (see below). A suitably surreal ending. Long may she not be accidentally knocked over onto a tiled floor!

This was the Swindon Festival of Poetry Finale (6 October 2013). It whispered its way into Swindon, saw its old friends, had a funny turn before pootling off through the emergency exit by the bins.

What I’d like from the festival next year: make an entrance on a red carpet in a carriage pulled by giant lizards, dispensing chocolate marshmallows to the legions of fans who – OMG! – couldn’t get a ticket, before wafting on stage smelling like a newborn babe.

Now organisers – get some much needed sleep. You’ll need your energies for lizard booking (I’ve heard they’re fond of limericks).

That is all.

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