Upcoming gigs

Upcoming Gigs

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Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

The Hovel Session, York: 25th May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Depresstival Presents..., London: 3rd June

Off Yours!, Leeds: 6th June

Good Shout, Peterborough: 13th June

Supporting Jollyboat, Knaresborough: 22nd June

Brig-Aid Fundraiser, Fruit, Hull: 23rd June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Verse Matters, Sheffield, 5th July

Say Owt @ Deer Shed Festival, 21st July

Say Owt @ Great Yorkshire Fringe, York: 25th July

Working Title, Lancaster, 26th July

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

20.15 Blog #9: Edinburgh : The Story of Edinburgh 2015

Edinburgh :  The Story of Edinburgh

The first time I went to EdFringe was 2009.  Remember those dying days of Brown, when selfie sounded like a cute way of saying LONELY and the world waited with bated breath whether Harry Potter would survive the next, and last, two films?

He did.

I then went and worked teching with C Venues in 2010, and again with Pleasance Venues 2011.  Both times I had a great time, the work was hard and the rewards far from monetary but it was a great experience for anyone just out of University looking for a fun summer.  But I was a techie, and I was bursting to be recognised as an artist.

In 2012 I took my solo show, Letter To The Man (from the boy) with support from Pilot Theatre.  If setting up a venue, teching 10 shows a day and then stripping it all down sounds hard, then it’s nothing compared to the emotional rollercoaster of making a show, putting on a show and then dismantling the show.  And yourself!

The next few years I visited the Fringe to do scratches or see friends or catch the odd show, with the additional open mic or slam slot.  Then, this year, I kinda got the taste to return.  To take something and once more try and prove a worthy artist in the arena or performance.

I made my show, Up The Nerd Punks, from a collection of pre-existing poems and wrote some new ones around them.  It felt good and artistic, but it didn’t get in the way of my other projects for The Laurence Batley Theatre, Hull Truck or York Theatre Royal.

EdFringe was very fun.  I did x2 hours of flyering a day, which made me feel good when hardly anyone showed up, because frankly I went with the old punk adage:  At Least I Tried.

 At least I f**king tried. That’s the only eulogy I need - Frank Turner, Eulogy

Last night, me and some chums watched Anvil:  The Story of Anvil.  It’s about some old metalhead rockers from the 80s trying one last time, having one last attempt, putting all their hope and faith into a dream of making a glorious metal album.  And all the way through, lead singer Lips has a driving hope that you just gotta believe, after 10, 20, 30 years, ya just gotta keep going and at the end of the day, if you don’t make it, then at least you can look yourself in the mirror. 

 Metal on metal, it's the only way, to hell with tomorrow, let's live for today  - Anvil, Metal On Metal

Anvil’s problem is they come from a school of music which measures success by proportions.  Their idols were Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, their peers were Motorhead and Bon Jovi, their successors were Metallica and Anthrax.  Stadiums, festivals and grand gestures.  They are almost punks, they have a DIY gusty attitude but still search for a manager and a major label to accept them.

I think that the ‘majors’ of EdFringe are pretty obvious, not only do they rules the advertising and the reviews, but geographically they control space.  I found my place on the Fringe of the Fringe, in a small venue called the Stafford Centre the ‘other side’ of town.  The staff were lovely, the venue was just right and the audiences that came were there because they wanted to see a scrawny punk make jokes about Star Wars for 50 minutes.

I could not have gone to the Fringe if not for the DIYness of the PBH Free Fringe.  I don’t think I would have wanted to.  I don’t really want to play stadium gigs.  I’m not of the metal school that says louder the better, bigger the better, badder the better.

I’m a punk, admittedly a nerd punk.  For me, scale doesn’t matter, but attitude & intention does.

I do want to look myself in the mirror.  Sometimes that’s hard.  But the lovely audiences, lovely guests I had, lovely staff at the Stafford Centre, the folks who hang at Forest Café, lovely PBH poets, lovely bar staff at the Banshee Lab and lovely random folks on the Mile also flyering who stopped for a natter were a huge amount of reinforcement.

Love you all x

(oh and if you’re the person who snapped a photo of the human pyramid at my last show, please please please send it along henrythepoet@btinternet.com)

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