Tag Archives: performance poetry

Andra Simons

14 Oct
Andra Simons

Andra Simons

Andra Simons blew me away.

The last poet to read at Poetry Swindon Festival – poetry was actually banned after him – and it felt a fitting send off.

“I heard him and thought he was special and wanted to share him,” said director, Hilda. This is the job of an artistic director as far as I’m concerned – to have impeccable taste.

Andra is from Bermuda; he yelled, he repeated words into a rhythm, he smeared facepaint all over his poetry film, he mentions LGBT issues, and showed his love for his mom.

Andra’s work could have been a tirade of bitterness. He’s the son of an illegitimate child who was called ‘the bastard’ at school – by the teachers – and it was assumed that neither Andra’s father or his offspring would amount to anything. Continue reading

Duvet Biscuits and No Romance (In General) at the Open Mic, in The Social.

18 Jul

It’s very chilled in ‘The Social‘ at Larmer Tree 15 and there’s an Open Mic on.

First to go on stage is Sara, who reads a poem, a long poem of duvets, dads, sex and biscuits. I never mix sex and dads, it’s just wrong. “He told me there was no romance in general and I tell him my dad was magic – the biscuit turns into some sort of cramy shared thing, split in two kind of metaphor and some folding happened, and bruises – a mix of metaphors. This was performance poetry!

Next up gentle yoga lady, playing handmade glock, and we all feel a bit more chilled, even sleepy, and social in the Social. Lovely.

A young girl plays as singer song writer with a belting Ed Sheeran voice into Sam Smith . She’s very good. I’m impressed with this open mic and the atmosphere it maintains in the tent, in the social at Larmer Tree and it’s sunny outside and cool in here. It has something to do with the generous Justin MC (of Bella Figura), I am sure. Lovely. Yes Lovely again.

Nathan sings an original song with a very little guitar. He on the other hand is very tall and once had a romance with a woman in Cornwall who he never met. The original song is about ending it with the woman from Cornwall. “221 miles just to see you again.” The Social is confused, we thought he’d never met her … Oh – pen – mic – mo – ments. Next song, Nathan requests backing vocals and audience participation: some are seen to shuffle to the beds at the back ( yes beds: Larmer has it all). “Somebody, somebody, somebody, somebody find me … Somebody to love.” In a non-Freddy voice. He had somebody, somebody he never met and ended it all with.

Paul Ecentric reads us a story and it’s pretty good. He has a book for sale 😉 about Fleur and her man, and some flowerpots they call a garden. she gets abducted by aliens and it’s still chilled in the social until …

The Anti- Poet is mixed with Jake Bird and Paul Ecentric is playing a washing board. They all knew the same song so their open mic slot was combined because, The Social was all out of time.

Everyone was in the Social today because it’s nice in there, Larmery lush, a bar, soft floor, beds and even some peacocks.

Chickens win the 16th Swindon Slam!

13 May

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today I witnessed a poetry slam for the first time. I’ve been aware of them for about 13 years, so it was about time I got my finger out and went to one.

But what a great performance! Seasoned hosts Sarah-Jane Arbury and Marcus Moore have been doing this a long time – Swindon’s is the second longest running in the UK – but both are as fresh as a daisy, warming up the audience with an introductory clap along to Donna Summer’s Hot Stuff. Continue reading