10/9/06 Big Word/ Ferrystock 2

Saturday night and our show at the Arts Festival. Tommy MacKay played a blinder, including his tribute to Tommy Sheridan, and the Innocents (on this occasion, Lynsey, Karen and Peter Michael Rowan) did pretty well but the evening belonged to the poets from Big Word, Robin Cairns, Richard Medrington, Elspeth Murray and Jenny Lindsay. Uncannily unexpected choices of subject matter, a deep love of language, a sense of fun and an enviable grasp of how to communicate with an audience – I expected they’d be good, but not that good. I’d highly recommend any of them if you get a chance to see them. Jenny was just back from Bristol where she’d taken part in a national poetry slam and won, both as an individual and a team. On this performance I’m not surprised.

Sunday morning I went to two galleries for which I’d bought tickets in advance the other week, realising that if I didn’t use them this morning I never would. They were, to say the least, contrasted: Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos, all perfectly still, classical and  monochrome, and Van Gogh’s paintings, swirling and writhing in colour. Both wonderful, although Mapplethorpe had the edge for me because it was unfamiliar.  There were quite a few in the Van Gogh show, however, where I was able to make myself available to the colours and what they were conveying, and that was powerful when it happened.

Then to Ferrystock 2, for an enjoyable day in the sun with Tommy, Jill Hepburn, Ewan Riley and Impossible Songs, augmented by friends playing keyboard, fretless bass and drum synth – this filled out their sound, allowing John to play quite subtle and skilful guitar as he no longer had to be the rhythm section.

In the evening, watched Blackbeard and recorded some vocal tracks for I’ll Be Back. Don’t know if this is going to be good enough for release, but it’s a start.

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