chronicle: August 2008

The Perseverance is a good name for Freedom Of Expression’s third base up in Marylebone. Through thick and thin, Tim Eveleigh is presenting a great variety of acts on a creaky stage in a nice old pub, and broadcasting live video over the internet. As usual, Eddie’s Brother delivered the polished goods, and Roshi Nasehi brought poignant Iranian ballads to North London. Rai Studley unexpectedly brought us a husband-and-wife singsong. New poems, called foundlings, were offered by trombone poetry, along with a couple of spontaneous pieces: The Persistence of Perseverance and The Perseverance of Persistence.

The Cross Kings, a shockingly expensive pub near Kings Cross, is the venue for Jazz Rumours, where trombone poetry shared the evening with the OneKingPoets: Paul Shearsmith on pocket trumpet and trombone, Mike Walter on tenor sax & keyboards, Morris English on guitar, Jerry Bird on bass guitar, and Dave Fowler on drums. The intricate, cycling, fragmentary patterns of Bird’s bass were a prolonged marvel, and the mix of grooves and free improvising was a pleasure to participate in for their second set. In between the sets, trombone poetry tested more foundlings.

Voices of Experience, at The Railway Kitchen & Bar next to Tulse Hill station, was a mix of another kidney. Co-hosted by HeartsSong and Jazzman John Clarke, the entertainments included a would-be a cappella singer trying to ignore the random twitching of maracas and shakers from unhousetrained fellow artists in the audience. He then tried to sing along to a backing CD but was unable to play it, as if some ingenious humanitarian in the audience had smuggled in his own remote control, constantly pressing STOP. Tavakoli brought bright new lyric poems. Once again, Dan Maitland reinstated music after the interval. Saddam & The Lookalikes wore tape moustaches.

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