Saturday, 14 July 2012

NEWS - Natural Rhythms and Verbal Remedies

Last Saturday I performed as part of the poetry tent at the first Natural Rhythms Festival. It was a really cool event and everyone seemed to be having a great time, despite the mud and lack of sunshine.

Natural Rhythms was held in a farmers field in the middle of the Fens in East Cambridgeshire and the event itself was pretty small, with only 1,500 tickets available for the weekend. That being said, there were four good-sized music tents, a poetry café and even a secret open air stage, hidden in its own woodland clearing. The limited number of people gave the whole thing a really intimate vibe and the rain meant that there were plenty of filthy-footed festival-goers crowding into the tents. They came to shelter from the rain, they stayed for the live music and performances.

There were around ten poets and spoken word acts performing in the Naked Ape Café on the Saturday evening, and every performance was excellent. Even though the event was billed as a music festival, there were plenty of people keen to sample other entertainments, and we were grateful for a small but appreciative audience of around twenty people. My particular favourite acts were local poets Hollie McNish, Jessie Durrant and Nikki Marrone as well as Hull-based punk-poet Jim Higo and Norwich wordsmith Russell J Turner.

My own set went pretty well and I even had a few people come up to me afterwards to ask for more info, which is always nice.

But I was left in the same awkward position - again - scribbling my details on a scrap of paper while other performers had nice shiny cards with their contact details on them.

I've thought about business cards before, but something's always held me back. I suppose I feel like only 'real' poets should have business cards, and I always feel like I'm just doing this for fun. Still, when you have to write your website address on the seventeenth beermat, you know its time to do something. So this week, I got my own cards:

Gunmetal on Eggshell

I'm actually really pleased with how they've turned out! Hopefully people will still ask for them, now that I have some to give out!

In other news, the Peterborough Arts Festival, which was due to happen last Sunday, was cancelled at the last minute due to the wet weather. It was a real shame, as I'd spent a lot of time writing a entire new set for this event, but at least I now have twelve new poems - some of which might even be good enough to perform!

And luckily, the nice people at the Peterborough Arts Festival didn't want me or the other commission winner to miss out, so they have organised for us to perform at the next Verbal Remedies event, at Beckett's Chapel in Peterborough on Sunday 9th September.

Verbal Remedies is being hosted by the We Love Words Festival for the benefit of arts and engagement programmes at the John Clare Trust. The gig features myself and Alex Tyler as well as poet and playwright Luke Kennard. It promises to be a cracking show, so if you're in the Peterborough area on the 9th September, please do come down and say hello.

It's actually less than two months away - I'd better start writing some material!

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