As I write this I am sitting in my sweltering office, nursing a grippy tum. On Wednesday I went swimming in two Suffolk rivers. It was lovely, but I think I might have swallowed more than my fair share of bacteria, because ever since I’ve had a grim gut ache. Don’t worry, don’t worry – if it persists of course I’ll go to the doctor. Weil’s disease has an incubation period of four days, anyway, and is characterised by flu-like symptoms, so it doesn’t fit the profile.
Hopefully time’s passage will see off these – admittedly mild – symptoms, because I am due an appearance at Latitude this weekend.
I have been performing at Latitude since the festival started, more or less round the time that I began doing performance poetry in earnest. It’s a great festival – one of my favourites, in fact – with a fascinating range of artists. I really think the Poetry Arena at Latitude is one of the most exciting venues to see spoken word (I flipping hate that term, by the way) anywhere in the UK. Loads of talented poets, going at it in beautiful surroundings, a varied audience, some poetry fans, some complete newbies, sometimes engaged, sometimes challenging. It’s such fun, and a really great place for poets to cut their teeth and hone their craft.
When I started doing the tent, I didn’t have enough material and I was a bit crap. Over years of performing and compering, I’ve got a lot better. I don’t always kill at Latitude – it’s a varied crowd, occasionally hard work – but I usually enjoy the challenge. Fingers crossed I’ll be feeling better by the time I get onstage. If not, I’ll just have to suck it up. That’s the beauty of adrenaline – it kills pain and sharpens the senses, if only briefly. I’m sure I’ll be all right on the night. Now that I don’t get hangovers, I’m normally match fit for gigs.
You should come and see my sets! I’m on at 10:30pm on Friday night, just before Mark Grist and Mixy, and I’m on at 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon, just before Murray Lachlan Young. But don’t just come and see me. If you’re at Latitude, try sticking your head inside the Poetry Arena right across the weekend. Chances are, you’ll stumble across something you’ll thoroughly enjoy. (I daresay you’ll also encounter one or two acts you think are right stinkers, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh brave warrior?)
If you’re not sure who to see, may I suggest the aforementioned Mark Grist and Mixy, Luke Wright, Ross Sutherland, John Osborne, Laura Dockrill, Rob Auton, Katie Bonna, Gerry Potter, Byron Vincent… basically a whole bunch o’ cool, talented peeps. Oh, and I saw James Grady at Norwich Arts Centre this week – he’s on in the New Voices section as an up-and-coming act. Check him out – he’s great!
Next week I’m on holiday, so the tweeting will probably drop to subsistence levels as I step away from the desk, albeit briefly. The blog will still update for the full 5 days, though, so please tune in. Remember, it’s:
Mondays: News and Reviews
Tuesday: Video Games
Wednesday: Poem O’ The Week
Thursday: Death Of 1000 Cuts
Friday: Tim Clare’s Cone O’ Tragedy
Browse old posts using the tag cloud on the right sidebar. Reposts and tweets always appreciated, folks. Thanks for your support. See you on the flipside. Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for my paunch.
If you want free mp3s of my stuff, gimme your email. I’ll hit you up with free sounds, poems, and a monthly email letting you know where I’m gigging.