Halo blog 22 Sept 2008
Woe unto ye who were not present on the evening of the 22nd September in the year of Our Ford one hundred and five at Halo in the port town of Brightstowe (now commuted to Bristol by the local tongue), said place of public comfort to be found on the road that runs toward the town of Gloucester; I say woe, for ye missed a feast of the human soul out-speaking its inmost thoughts in an atmosphere of conviviality and warmth for a mere tossing of two Maggies into a flagon you tight bastards.
Sarah Glass played a stringed instrument called a guitar, and sang in a sweet good voice “Baby I’ll know you”, a touch of Joni, a song of burgeoning love, “When you sing me the words that your heart hides away”.
Somebody whose name I didn't catch, a Halo virgin, was next. First he apologised for being a virgin, then apologised for apologising, the beginning of an infinite regress.
“I’ve travelled far and wide – living – waiting in a dream-wish I could fly away – tell me where the door is in the sky”.
Jack, another virgin, was exploring the no-man’s-land between defensagressive (neologism © rlawson 2008) rap-rhetoric and poetry. “You might not like what I have to say – no need for poems to shout – can’t hear if you dissect – generation question without a direction – instead of kisses and hugs we are given drugs.”
I like his word “B’dunk”.
Enter David’s guitar. Wow! and Wow again, even unto a third wow. First thing I heard was a touch of Lonnie Johnson, but then off and away in a rhythmic melodic sub-creation of such virtuosity that I had to check with him afterwards that it was all done on a guitar or if he had a backing speaker with drums on it. No worries. All guitar, a guitar that doubled as a 100-piece orchestra, a guitar with husky-dusky sexy sound, blue smoky jazz with finger-dancing bibbly bits, no self consciousness, just flight, right through that door in the sky. He followed it with “Summertime” to make up for the crap summer we have all just been through (courtesy of GWBush and his CO2 emitting paymasters). David Brandon (?sp.) has a club on Sundays at Plantation Lakes near Kingston Seymour. (That’s near Yatton which is on the A370 going south, for ye who know not the Summer-set wherein ye dwell and from whence comes your food.)
Grace Palmer in a Damien Hirsh skirt covered a lifetime from the Bunsen-burner at school to the Buns-are-burned-now demon-infested kitchen of the child-burdened mother. “he’s been gone two years…failure to get things right…it’s those slams.” Yeah, that’s right, blame the poets. We can take it. Or was it the slamming of doors?
Andy’s guitar started with a plaint, then overtones of JSBach, then a strong exploration of the 6 strings that led to Julian Bream flowing into Van Morrison (peace be upon him) his Brown eyed girl, and we all sang “Sha-la-la”. Yeah.
Mary Crawdor announced October 18-19 Clifton Wood Art Trail, her own art at 2 Goldney Avenue, and also Lansdown Poets’ new book. She read one of Charles Thompson’s sweet depictions of feather-flicking flight, and then her own, an image of the beach that she had noticed in a post card seen upside down “sea scattered wisps/walking through days gone by”.
Martin (what’s this? Does nobody have a surname any more?), his ukulele made a slow start, infested by a tinnitic feedback that owed more to the sound-person (Andi – was that you?) than Hendrix. Very much the drowsy dancing flea, (the best sort because you can catch ‘em). Sad going on maudlin. His second, by George Formby, put us to rights again because it was about swimmin with the wimmin.
John Terry issued a solemn poetic warming about the effects aforementioned GWBush and cronies are having on our home. Words, ancient species of words like the word for woolly mammoth, frozen for millennia, were thawing out from their protective ancient polar ice, were stretching their limbs, ready to eat again. Throwbacks, in ice crystals, the monstrous bear, all shadowing our nightmares, eternal ice melting, released from tight lock agents of unease we thought were dead”.
That’s what I picked up anyway. Need to read it again. And again. I Googled “John Terry” to try to find the original. All I found was this:
There was a lady called Kerry
Who loved a man called Gladberry
She gave him a kiss
He gave it a miss
So she went out with John Terry
But that was probably another John Terry.
Richard Lawson read a section of his epic “Ogrin and the boy”. Ogrin is the hermit who acted to reconcile Tristan and Yseult with king Mark, back in 7th century Cornwall. It was the bit when Tristan and Yseult visit him. Mary Crawdor in her notes thought Ogrin loved Yseult. (I never thought of that – maybe he did – RL) You can read it all here.
Sutura, harpist and singer with nice voice. “This moment – my intention – beautiful in every way – a living déjà vu – prayer tattooed on my heart”. Precision of fingers, a celebration of Love. Next, an air - “ travelling too long, this time we won’t get it wrong. Love is like a hurricane, I’ll be falling forever into your arms”.
Then a song of reconciliation and peace between warring neighbours; “Take a drop of coffee with me and your pain will dissolve like sugar”. (Amen to that).
Then a song of forgiving. (Amen again. This is what the world needs. These were songs in the key of peace) Then a strong song to an autistic boy, calling to him.
Ali Wade “Hey it’s a brand new day”. Straight from the heart.
Hazel revealed her inmost soul, her feelings for her nonagenarian mother, the role reversals that age brings. “I will miss you”.
Luke Withers “Single, double, losing it, I’m lonely without you”. Nice tight guitar. Luke has been writing songs since the age of seven. Told us how he comes down to the kitchen in that flush of relief we all get when we have just given birth to a song or poem, but in spades because he is seven, remember. “Mum, I’ve written a song!” “That’s lovely dear, I’m frying”. They ought to write that on their rejection slips instead of the vacuous crap they write about “ we are receiving 700 Manuscripts a day, but keep trying”. “That’s lovely dear, I’m frying” on the rejection slips would say so much more.
[RL went home at this point, over to Ian]