53 Love Poems

I am doing a solo gig at Soup Kitchen in Manchester on Saturday November 29th 2014
I’m calling the night “53 Love Poems” but don’t ask for your money back if i don’t do 53 love poems
i seem to see the number 53 everywhere i look It’s My Favourite Number
I love the shape of both numbers
that confident&robust number five
and that inclusive&sharing number three

the two numbers sit together so well
they look beautiful individually………………………………….but so much more beautiful together
somethings compliment each other when they are together
Some couples
some friends
Some training shoes
Some aartists
So, i want you to do me a favour – next time you see the Number 53, I want you to tweet or Faceboast or email me a picture of it and i’ll make a collage of all the pics you send me and use it as my backdrop on the night. So basically, you will be making the backdrop to the evening.
It’s interactive
It’s Engaging
So If you send me a picture and you come to my gig at Soup Kitchen in Manchester on Saturday November 29th 2014 you will get a gift from me
it’ll only be a small gift like a
post card or a book mark or a badge
but you’ll get a gift from me

I get so many emails and tweets from people asking me when I’m performing in manchester next
But i’m so busy with touring with Johnny Clarke and other gigs outside my home town
I like to do one solo gig a year in my wn town & in Gods Own Country and it’s lovely to see people who i tweet and chat to online and meet once a year at my gig
and i like Soup Kitchen – the people are good, kind and the soup is hot&wholesome

I usually do 3×30 minute sets and get a good DJ to play tunes in-between wordsmikegarryfordays&nights
The basement venue at Soup Kitchen is great as well – all barebrickwallandberlin

one of my sets will involve music – i’m not sure how yet but music will be featured – i might even share with you some of the stuff i’ve been doing with Philip Glass – but hey, who knows…………..that’s the beauty of the evening………..even i don’t know what i’m going to be doing
(what’s New)

Tickets are available from Skiddle here


or you can call in to Soup Kitchen, have a lovely bowl of soup, then buy your ticket from them but remember this

Soup Kitchen only holds 200 people so if you want a ticket, remember what Fred Pontin said

nice one BBC Radio 5 live

so 5 live asked me to write a poem for them about the demise of the paper tax disc
so i did and blogged a copy of the poem on my last blog
but those smart techie sorts at the Beeb have now got a new feature on their website. It’s called in short.
So no longer do you have to go on the inlayer and listen to the whole programme cos they’ve captured the best bits and put them in a “In short” section
So, Here’s the “In Short” section with a live reading of my poem


An Ode to the Tax Disk

I’m in America, Cambria to be precise and my phone rang at 3 o’clock this afternoon. It was BBC RADIO 5 LIVE asking me to write a poem about the demise of the Tax Disc, so i did and here it is -Enjoy – I’m off to sleep, it’s 11.10 and i’m off to Santa Cruz tomorrow along the Pacific Coast Road

An Ode to the Tax Disc

It’s been a pain since 1921
Now from today it has gone
Never again will it be seen
In the bottom corner of you window screen
No more stressed out men and women across the nation
Searching for their Insurance Documentation
Never again will we see
A house turned upside down in search of an MOT
And how many times have you had to look
For that for the useless ubiquitous car log book
It’s gone forever and it won’t be missed
Goodbye to the Cars Tax Disc
And it’s a great thing I must say
Saving millions for the poor DVLA
Now those over worked Swansea souls
Can redirect what’s saved to fill the potholes
And saving forests of trees and lots of stress
For the car tax is now paperless
Cos how many times on the first day of the month
Have you had to catch an over priced bus
Stood in the queue waiting in line
Because you failed to do your tax on time
And now are far too frightened to take the risk
Of driving without a current tax disc
Because now we are in the precarious position
Where the police have number plate recognition
Unlike my dad who used a beer mat
Gone are the days you’d get away with that
Like most things now you can do it on line
It’ll save you the hassle and it’ll save you the time
Of standing in an endless post office queue
Because most of them have been closed down too
And I’ve torn it in half so many times
Trying to detached it along the perforated lines

So good bye and good riddance you will not be missed
I’m happily waving goodbye to the old car tax disc

Genius – Probably the biggest gig of my Life

I’m in Carmel by the Sea, California for one of the biggest gigs of my life. I’m working with a team of musicians who could grace any stage in the world.

Head of the team is the internationally renowned modern classical composer Philip Glass. He is a genius and i don’t use that word lightly. I met Philip in New York in March when I was working with New Order at Carnegie Hall as part of the Tibet house benefit Concert. The day after the concert he invited me round to his house on the lower east side of manhattan, he sat me down on his piano stool and told me he would like to work with me on a number of projects in Europe and the US. I nearly fell off the Piano stool.

I’m also working with Jaron Lanier, nominated in the TIME 100 list of most influential people. He is credited with inventing the term virtual reality and is an amazing classical musician and plays a number of unique instruments in the band. Google him and it still won’t quite capture his genius.

Tim Fain is an amazing violinist. He composed and performed in the Award winning Black Swan movie that stared natalie portman. Again, he is a top of the tree when it comes to his music and to see what he does with a violin in incredible.

Matt Haimovitz was described by acclaimed Cellist Leonard Rose Rose as “probably the greatest talent I have ever taught”, praising his “ravishingly beautiful tone” and “unusual sense of style and musical sensitivity”.[citation needed]
His contribution to the team is strikingly beautiful and his versatility is mind-blowing.

Jonathan Rose is first and foremost a beautiful man. He builds interesting social housing throughout the US currently working on a number of projects in Harlem. He also plays base guitar in the ensemble. He has been friends with philip since the 1970s when he attempted to sign philip to his record label. Interestingly, He once had a meeting with Tony Wilson about signing The Durutti Column to his new york based label but it never came off.

David Harding also plays violin and viola has an extensive solo and chamber music career, having performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Central America, in such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. His performances have been broadcast on BBC, NPR and Deutschland Radio. David is frequently featured on CBC Radio in Canada. He regularly performs at chamber music festivals throughout North America including amongst others the Seattle Chamber Music Society, Strings in the Mountains, CO, Sitka Chamber Music Festival, AK, Festival of the Sound, ON, and the Cactus Pear Chamber Music Festival, TX.

Jerry Quickly is a New York poet who move to California in 1994. His work is amazing rich and varied. He has worked a plethora of international artists including Radiohead and the beastie boys and has been part of the us hip hop scene for 30 years.

Jerry has written an amazing Libretto called WhistleBlower about Edward Snowden. He and I have collaborated on this piece where i play the part of Snowden. We have rehearsed this piece and Phillip has created a piece of music to accompany it.

Every single person listed above has contributed to this piece in their own way – the process has been eye opening and i pray that i can glean one millionth of their genius to contribute to my work.

I’ve spoke about the genius of these people but i have not mentioned their kindness, warmth and fellowship. They have welcomed me into the group, supported, guided and directed me when needed and made me feel so special. This is their true genius and I find that this is the case with all the people philip introduces me to. They all have beautiful souls The fact that they are amazing at what they do is almost secondary. It’s not just about being brilliant at what you do, it’s more about the fact that they are willing to share it. I’ve learned a lot from them.

The gig is at 8 tonight California time and i shall be performing two pieces that Myself and Joe Dudell (Another Genius) have worked on – St Anthony and Live Forever. I shall also be performing a piece called My American Life (blogged earlier this month on here and performed with joe and the Festival Number 6 Ensemble in the town hall at Portmerion) while philip plays Metamorhosis number 2.

I’ve got to rush – i’ve got the biggest gig of my life in a few hours

In Vegas – A Poem

I’m in the United States, on a bit of a road trip and doing a few gigs as i go along.

Tonight I’m a guest at “Da Poetry Lounge” in Los Angeles, one of the nations largest and longest running poetry nights – and here’s a link to their home page. They do a live stream of the night so if you’re interested in watching me perform to an american audience – tune in here… The Show starts at 9 Pacific Daylight time which I think is 6 Greenwich Mean time


I’ve arrived in LA three days ago after a few days in Las Vegas. While i was there, i wrote a few things but i’m going to share this with you as i’m going to read it tonight at Da Poetry Lounge – if you are in the LA area come down if not tune into the live streaming

In Vegas

The sun is always shining
By the pool reclining
The hard thing is declining
When visiting Las Vegas

Hotels in the sky
Everybody lies
Poor people in disguise
Walk the strip in Vegas

Everything’s an Ad
The Businessmen are glad
I’d love to have seen my Dad
Hanging in Las Vegas

Hotels in the sky
Buffets run for miles
Sadness in the eyes
Of people In Las Vegas

You can have it all
With one spin and a ball
I’ve seen the mighty fall
Gambling in Las Vegas

All the girls are Britney spears
No one shows any fears
This will all end in tears
But it won’t dampen Las Vegas

Everyone is famous
Nothing is outrageous
Glitz is always dangerous
Only In Las Vegas

Children aren’t invited
They just won’t get excited
Ma & Pa delighted
Only In Las Vegas

Girls come to your room
As children they were groomed
It’s claimed that they can choose
To work this way in Vegas

The boys are big and Hench
From hours on the bench
Their biceps always tense
When walking round Las Vegas

The entertainments on the streets
Kitsch cannot be beat
God in heaven weeps
The tears don’t fall on Vegas

Workers work real hard
Most punters should be barred
Never play the cards
Under the flashing lights of Vegas

No one’s on the fence
Everything intense
A lack of common sense
Prevails when in Vegas

It makes me ask deep questions
There is no reflection
It gives me indigestion
The politics of Vegas

A shit smell in the air
People with bad hair
The word Trump everywhere
Lingering in Vegas

Nothing here is cool
Most of it is cruel
Or am I just too old school
Should I stay away from Vegas?

Demontage on BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC

we are in California
just spent an amazing few days in San FRANCISCO then went to Sequoia national park where we saw the biggest tree in the world – the general sherman and we saw 5 (count them) 5 bears – incredible
off to vegas now

thank you so much for all the kind comments on twitter Facebook and here about my poem Demontage if you didn’t hear it live, i’m posting a link to the brilliant show that edith bowman did on 6 music have a listen to the whole show cos there’s some ace tunes from Pulp, the national (who i played with in carnegie hall in march) and a great interview with Anton Corbin photographer and film maker (he made “control” the movie about Joy Division)

also check out the show edith did on the saturday for more interview with anton but also for an ace piece by one of my fave poets, the award winning Kate tempest – I love that womans writings

so the link is below and thanks again edith – we all love you in our house


vegas here we come


Edith Bowman asked me to write a poem to sum up the end of the festival season and i came up with this

Demontage (cos french titles to poems sound so much cooler than english ones)

Modern life if crazed
Full of madness and rage
So much man and woman needs to escape
This daily chaos and be free from it all
At one of this nations great Festivals
& learn to unwind
let go
Get grounded
Sleep under the stars or light a fire perhaps
Become one with the planet and your fellow man
And for that there’s nawt better than a festival
But now in mid September it’s back to the grindstone
Pack up the tent; it’s time to go
To leave these green fields and to head for home
By bus by bike by car and by train
Summer is over and here comes the rain
And the hail the sleet and the sadness of snow
Pack up the tent
It’s time to go home
Lets leave these fields and this tented town
Where songs were sung and spirits were high
And children learned to float and fly
And softly slowly leave the ground
Whipped up by the magical musical sounds
So lets leave this field this nylon town
From where clowns and captains cooks and thieves
Drank lager whilst bouncing on trampolines
And danced with mermaids maidens and goffs
Pack up your tent it’s time to get off
To head for the real world
The mad world
The sad world
The bad world
The blag world
Where cars will crash and children will fall
And adverts will tell you can’t have it all
So far from this field and this town of stalls
Of burgers and baps vegetarian wraps
On plastic plates and pints and mates
And the midnight debates of who was great
And who was ace
Then chat about the bands the theatre the art
Then pack up the tent cos it’s time to depart
And patiently smiling join the queue
Where the four by four will start bullying you
Soon gone the smiles of friendship and warmth
Cos it’s man against man when sat your car
And remind yourself how to clenching a tight fist
Cos the div in the porsche is taking the pmick
Slowly slithering and sliding in front of you
So lets pack up the tents and learn how to queue
And forget the true words of the troubadours
Who peddle their words to heal all their sore?
The sadness and sorrow life’s daily grind
So lets pack up the tents and get your minds realign
To the madness the chaos of our crazy lives
Lets pack up the tents cos we need to survive
Another cold winter of slow discontent
So lets pack all our bags and take down the tent.


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