A Poem & A Pint

It isn’t just the big cities like lancaster that have great arts events, out in the country they do it even better. A Poem & A Pint has been running its regular evenings in assorted venues around Ulverston for a few years now. I’ve been to a couple and thoroughly enjoyed them. This time the setting was a well-restored village hall in Greenodd and the main guests, Wordsworth Trust poet-in-Residence Adam O’Riordan and Morecambe’s finest singer-songwriter du jour, Moll Baxter.

As usual things start with an open mic session. These things can vary widely, either in quality of material or in performance. Tonight three of the four were uniformly excellent (the fourth was me, so lowered the standard slightly). Deadpan humour, poignancy and masterful technique were all on display. Unfortunately i neglected to take names.

Of course not all poetry is best heard, but some gains in performance. Adam O’Riordan’s first half was one of reading rather than performing, but his clear voice drew his words out well. There appeared to be an assortment of approaches and themes, but death (as always) and the universe seemed to recur.

Then after the interval Moll Baxter plugged in. Not exactly like Dylan at Newport but I suspect one or two might have preferred an acoustic Moll. Her lovely, impassioned singing and clever guitar work went down well with most though.

Back to Adam O’Riordan who read his lates pamphlet ‘Home’ a series of 11 thematically linked sonnets inspired by Dove Cottage. On paper these are interesting, visually and subjectively intriguing but read in sequence O’Riordan seemed to run out of steam and lost the vivacity of the first half. Perhaps the structure of these poems was less conducive to reading.

Nevertheless an enjoyable night out in Greenodd and Poem & A Pint is proof that there’s plenty on outside the cities.


One Response

  1. (First posted as a comment on Moll Baxter’s MySpace page…

    There were riots in Ulverston last night after singer-songwriter Moll Baxter performed an electric set in front of a passionate acoustic audience. After throwing chairs and bottles at the performer, the violence spilled out into the streets. Car radios were smashed and people with iPods were assaulted by enraged folkies wielding acoustic guitars. Baxter fled to the Ulverston lighthouse, which was surrounded by a mob carrying pitchforks and burning brands. “It’s against nature!” the mob chanted, and as the flames rose higher, Baxter flung one arm across her forehead and exclaimed melodramatically “What have I done? I’ve created a monster!” Then, in a scene reminiscent of the climax of both Boris Karloff’s Frankenstein and The Wicker Man, Baxter fell with a despairing cry into the engulfing flames, while the folkies danced around singing “Summer is Ycumen In”.

    As the locals sauntered home from the ashes of the lighthouse in the dawn’s early light, one was heard to say to another, “Bloody good night, that were.

    “Aye,” said the other. “Don’t get entertainment like *that* in the big city.

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