chronicle: January 2008

The Klinker got us off to a grand start on New Year’s Day with an evening at Maggie’s Bar in Stoke Newington. Squeeze Box Juke Box extruded some chestnuts, and Fowl Drape enthralled on drums and guitar. Sue Ferrar scintillated a violin, and all kinds of marvels emerged from Skip: Hugh Metcalfe on violin accompanied a selection of his films, some featuring Russian sheds, ably abetted by Veryan Weston on piano.

Freedom of Expression III was abuzz with live internut video streaming malarkey, and mutterings of podcasts, TV slots and function gigs for trombone poetry, whose set included Exciting Line-Up and Benighted Night Out. Adrian Taylor played a fine set, with guitar support from Simon Metheringham. Jeremy Ayre strummed up enthusiasms. Simon Metheringham played a fine set, with guitar support from Adrian Taylor.

Finchley. Oh dear. We don’t want to get too psychogeographical here, do we, but Finchley, if you look at a map of London, is a north-west reflection of Deptford, and we know what keeps happening in Deptford. Some kind of bitter poem will emerge in due course and it’ll all be fine.

Tulse Hill was a jollier affair, as might be expected. A Poet managed to get himself ejected for heckling before the event had even started. Once Voices of Experience got underway, there was a twangle of guitars, some totally unconsidered poetry, and someone playing what might best be called a randolin. A bloke singing, as Bilko would say, a capulco, carved his way though some show-tunes, and Dan Maitland restored our faith in music. Much later, the night was capped by an audience-participation song about the Holocaust.

Herne Hill was a hoot. At the venerable Half Moon is a Tuesday open mic night called Needle and Thread, which must be Cockney rhyming slang for something or other (none of that Up North). A very hospitable event it is too, genially hosted by Len . Notable among the songsters was Jeanette Murphy, who was unfazed by random bursts of blues harp from the bar. The culprit later hit the stage himself, blurting odd-length blues off-cuts and mystifying his skilled but doomed guitarist.

Remember the perverb: It takes all sorts to tango.

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