Joolz writes: As much as we love reading at The Poetry Cafe, it’s been a real delight to discover new venues while the cafe is being renovated.
Fourth Friday has relocated to Bar 48 in Brixton during the Poetry Cafe’s hiatus, and promoter Hylda Sims was worried that FF’s loyal fans wouldn’t be tempted out to this new venue. Her worries were unfounded – a warm and eager crowd turned up, and the hustle of the bar and relaxed atmosphere (comfy chairs!) added a ‘proper gig’ vibe to the evening. Lively. That’s how we like our poetry readings.
Seeing as it was our second feature at Fourth Friday together, we decided to mix things up a bit by reading our solo stuff as well as London Undercurrents poems. I read first and unleashed a new set of poems about the sea onto a guinea pig audience. This included a bawdy sea shanty, which I greatly enjoyed reading. Then Hilaire read a batch of beautifully crafted and lyrical poems about gardening and gardens. Lastly we both read north and south London Undercurrents poems that have been published most recently (Lunar Poetry and Brittle Star).
The other featured artists were fabulous – folk singer Leon Rosselson‘s satirical songs were deceptively cheery while delivering relevant and timely social and political comment. Poet Abe Gibson delivered deeply moving poems with a delicate musicality that was spellbinding. To top the evening off, the food was amazing. It’s well worth putting this monthly event in your diary, every fourth Friday.
We’re delighted to have been invited back to read at Fourth Friday again, this coming Friday 23rd September from 8pm. As the Poetry Café is closed for refurbishment, Fourth Friday is taking place at a new venue – Bar 48, a wine bar and Eritrean tapas restaurant, at 48 Brixton Road SW9 6BT. Nearest tube is Oval.
With the change of venue, we thought we’d mix things up a bit too. We’re planning to each read some of our own non-LU poems, and finish with a few London Undercurrents poems. Poetry tapas, in other words! It should be a tasty evening, with more poetry from Abe Gibson and music from Leon Rosselson, plus voices from the floor. Entry is £6 or £5 concession. Hope to see you there!
And lo, the 27th of March arrived, and people gathered in the basement of the Poetry Café, and there was music and there was poetry and it was Fourth Friday.
And, after a mostly mellow set of songs based on First World War poetry from LiTTLe MaCHiNe, we took to the floor and unleashed the voices of more than a dozen London women, alternating north and south, and jumping back and forth in history. Joolz, championing north London, performed poems featuring, amongst others, a fearsome punk snarling on her way to see The Pistols at the Hope and Anchor, a lady’s maid tiptoeing adventurously out onto the frozen Thames, and a determined suffragette enduring force feeding in Holloway prison. Carrying the banner for south London, Hilaire read poems that included a lady cyclist daringly zooming round Battersea Park in the summer of 1895, the young Catherine Boucher willingly taking on William Blake as they married in St Mary’s Church, and a group of rowdy Battersea women on their annual trip to the seaside in 1947. It was great to share these London Undercurrents poems with such an appreciative audience.
In the second half of the evening, Jill Abram gave an assured and engaging reading, with poems about family, memory, tea and – maybe – herself. And LiTTleMaCHiNe rounded off with a rousing set including a fantastic prog-rock version of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. All in all, a storming evening. Our thanks to Hylda Sims and Dix Schofield for making it happen!
… the woman who grew asparagus in Battersea, the prostitutes of Islington, the gas mantle girls of Wandsworth and the cinema goers of Holloway, plus many more voices of the feisty women who’ve lived and worked in north and south London over the centuries.
We’ll be reading at Fourth Friday this Friday 27March from 8pm at the Poetry Cafe, Betterton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9BX. Entry is £8/£6
Jill Abram and LiTTLe MaCHiNe will also be performing so it should be an excellent evening. Hope you can come along!
LiTTLe MaCHiNe are 3 wonderful musicians and a true ‘poetry band‘ interpreting poems old and new, well-known and unknown, in great foot-tapping style. We are delighted to have them playing again at Fourth Friday www.little-machine.com
Jill Abram is Director of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen – a collective of writers who focus on craft, community and development – and a member of Tideway Poets. She is a prize-winning poet, writes as well for page and mind as she does for ear and audience. She writes a lot about her own life, friends and family …but it isn’t all true…
Hilaire and Joolz Sparkes are working together on an ongoing poetry project – London Undercurrents – to unearth the voices of strong, feisty women who have lived and worked in the capital city over many centuries. Each poet focuses on her different patch of London – Joolz north of…