We went to a poetry gig this afternoon at the Sip Coffee bar in Richmond. Top of the bill was a local poet (and Sip regular) Rantin’ Richie. Home-grown culture with a bit of an edge to it is not an everyday occurrence round here. This afternoon was quite treat (and, as usual, the coffee was good, too!).
Local musician Tim Crawshaw came along as a support act, singing several songs he wrote a few years ago, revived in an act of ” musical archaeology”, although they sounded new, fresh and relevant. Three of us stepped up from the floor – I read three of my poems, Barbara Hughes sang a poignant feminist song she’s written (sadly, although it was a real highlight, it doesn’t seem to have found it’s way onto the internet, so no link!) and Psy Harrison (singer with the Ceiling Demons) borrowed Tim’s guitar and sang the first song, The Roses, from the band’s album, Nil.
The rest of the afternoon was given over to Richie’s poetry, most of it taken from his new book, From Wandsworth to Wordsworth. The foreword to the book was written by Attila the Stockbroker, which gives readers unfamiliar with Rantin’ Richie some idea of what to expect but Richie’s voice is his own and his range is greater than the recommendation might suggest. He name-checks Bob Cobbing and Gabby Tyrrell. While he was reading one poem (I think it might have been The Child of the Forest) I was reminded of Lawrence Ferlinghetti – and an interview I heard on the radio with him a few years ago in which he said how the world still needed Beat poets. It was good to see they’re still around.
Rantin’ Richie on Facebook
Sweeping up the leaves
as if I can make order
out of the chaos.
Copyright (c) Sackerson, 2018
Actually sitting down here with a bottle of beer. It’s not something I do very often, sit doing nothing. Hang on.. . I’m blogging. The beer, incidentally, is non-alcoholic. There’s quite a lot of half decent alcohol-free beer and wine around these days, which is good for me. I’ve never been a great drinker. I do like the taste of wine and beer but perhaps fortunately for me, I like it more than the alcohol in the stuff likes me. It doesn’t make me merry, it just makes me feel ill.
I’m sure I’m not the only one: I’d go so far as to say that the alcohol-free option is so good now I can see it catching on and becoming the norm. People might turn to it from the hard stuff the way smokers have turned to vaping. An interesting future: smokeless cigarettes, driverless cars, alcohol free booze.. ..
Anyone who knows me offline will have heard me go on about Marc Ribot. I’ve been listening to a lot of his music recently. No-one I mention his name to seems to have heard of him. He does have British fans – it just seems to be the case that I don’t know any of them. I assume, too, that he’s better known in the States. Perhaps part of the problem is that he gets involved in such diverse projects – jazz, post-punk, Latin American, free improv- that you never know quite what to expect next. He’s both a professional and an enthusiast: it’s one of the things I really like about him. Is this the same guitarist I embedded two posts back, playing jazz at the Village Vanguard?
I would describe myself most of the time as reasonably computer savvy. I’ve even been known to delve into the registries of old PCs, tinkering with lines of digital gobbledygook to keep the old things going. However, what catches me out again and again is when technology takes a step forward and I’m left behind thinking I have to do something which actually does itself. Bluetooth is a case in point. I’ve had very little to do with it even though it’s been around for a long while. I hate to admit that I spent a few minutes looking round my car in the dark for a jack socket last night so I could plug the audio from my tablet into the sound system. After a few minutes, the penny dropped. Bluetooth, you fool! I turned on the ignition, woke up the tablet and hey presto, sound!
And it was all because I wanted to listen to Polar Bear. I went to one of their gigs at the Sage with my daughter (her idea) a few years ago and I’ve been listening to them quite a lot recently. Life-affirming, cheerfully witty and serious all at the same time.