chronicle: September 2012

The area is familiar ground for trombone poetry – the much-missed Foundry was just across the street – but the gig at Floripa was a move into new territory. The credit, or blame, is due to James Byron, who proposed not just sharing an event with his band but embedding trombone poetry in the band’s performance. After years of collaborating but dodging accompaniment, apart from early efforts with The Blowpipes, and being too slow to reconsider it, persuasion won out, and a new aspect of trombone poetry will now be developed.

Guitarist James Byron’s A Little Night Music featured Cyrus Gabrysch on keys and bilingual vocals, drummer Harbans Srih, bassist Nick Haward and Katy Jungmann on sax, in numbers by Tom Waits, Ray Charles, Jacques Brel plus The Blowpipes’ old blues, Big Leg, as a backing for trombone poetry. Unexpectedly, a recent podcast includes this performance, though only after about 45 minutes of other items.

The ART Pack‘s invasion of Broadstairs must be counted a roaring success, given the successful roaring involved. Positioned under a quaint gazebo/gantry cobbled together out of old branches and the odd fairy light, The ART Pack delivered a range of goods, starting with APE. The restless resonances of Graham MacKeachan’s double bass jostled the drone of Paul Shearsmith’s didgeridoo, while Mike Walter beset his tiny drum kit, fired up his synth, or shivered the timbers with his soprano sax, all this interlaced with Keisuke Matsui’s noise guitar flourishes. The overture ushered in a solo trombone, kaleidoscoping tones and turns from this outset.

A poem from the album, SpeechYou Hum It – concerning oblivious punters, was followed by Highball and a foundling called, ominously, The Inevitable.

Paul Shearsmith then grabbed his pBone trombone for a gentle joust of Lancashire/Yorkshire free-form banter. These trombones stood aside for Mike Walter’s squeezebox folk medley, underpinned here and there by trombone, as ruM‘s contribution to ART.

APE then swung from the gantry again, this time with Grassy Noel’s apocalyptic racing commentary, finally yielding the floor to the tumbling rumbles of MacKeachan’s bass and the clang and counterclang of Matsui’s guitar and xylophone, plus a brace of circular saws.

Even before this set shimmered to a finish, the invitation to play another was being withdrawn by the venue’s guv’nor, a decision that mirrored the band’s reluctance to get in another round of the pub’s putrid bitters. It’s not easy, though, looking after beers properly and being an amateur music critic, and something had to give.

Moving onwards, outwards and certainly upwards, the ensemble and some listeners who had crossed Thanet for the event, were rewarded by the fine fare of the Wrotham Arms and, finally, by a visit to somewhere that seemed a mirage: The Chapel, a second-hand bookshop serving stupendous real ale straight from the cask.

To round off this glorious day, a book of Peter Ustinov’s short stories: Add a Dash of Pity.


Thursday 4 October    19:30

trombone poetry + bringers of poems


To celebrate National Poetry Day, local arts group NEON is putting on a special Elephantine poetry reading. People are invited to write poems during their journeys towards Elephant & Castle and bring them to the event for readings, friendly discussion and networking.

To galvanize passing poets into action, various poetical methods are suggested, some of them newly devised for the occasion. The evening will be hosted by Paul Taylor, who will also offer a performance of trombone poetry, including music specially created for this event.

Poetic recipes

Feel free to bring other poems too, or to just come and enjoy the readings, upstairs at:

The Ship
68 Borough Road

free admission

tubes: Borough / Elephant & Castle
buses: 35, 40, 133, 343, C10

Monday 8 October 20:00

trombone poetry + open mic


The Stag’s Head
55 Orsman Road
N1 5RA

free admission

Tuesday 16 October    20:00

ruM + Tom Janssen


The Green Dragon
58-60 High Street

free admission

Tuesday 23 October    20:00

trombone poetry + Terry Edwards’ Near Jazz Experience


133 Whitechapel Road
London E1 1DT

free admission

020 7247 4926

Tuesday 30 October    17:00

trombone poetry + Tim Eveleigh


Tuesday 30 October    20:00

trombone poetry + Gavani


The Green Dragon
58-60 High Street

free admission

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