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Friday, 30 July 2010

Musical Variety Night

That was a lovely evening at The Perseverance organised by Acton Bell as a Feminism in London.

First up, Kath Tait and Rosa Conrad went on stage as (joke name) The Complicated Hormones, as Kath is getting hot flushes and Rosa is eight months pregnant. Rosa sang with Kath on each other's songs. I loved her first song about having a new life inside you, called 'Bubbles', one of the prettiest, most direct songs about being preggers that I have ever heard. I imagined the little tyke moving around in the amniotic fluid, relaxing to the plucked sweet tones of Rosa's ukulele.

Next up, Portia Winters did a most excellent experimental electronic and vocal set. My friend and I were seated right in front of her, almost 'in her grills' and got to really enjoy the process of her music making as well as the results. I loved her strange song about naive and often self-destructive enthusiasm to get married - 'maybe I'll get marry arry arry arry ed' - powerful and funny. She sometimes sang into a more ordinary mic and sometimes into a contact mic attached to an mbira. It was all so great I had to ask her to help me with my own rough efforts at using pedals and effects to create music. She suggested we attend a 'gathering', and Acton, Portia and myself made a pact to do this next Wednesday.

I went on next before the break, and sung a song I hadn't performed in public since I sang it at the folk club in Eltham just after I wrote it. It occupies a melancholic Elizabethan space, and is called 'William Kean'. I was not quite warmed up when I began and hence had a very trembly vulnerable vocal. I hope that worked. It is supposed to have a very fragile beauty. I also sang my suicide blues 'Grim Reaper' so it was a very downbeat but sensual set, played to a listening audience.

After the break, Acton Bell took to the stage in her purple veiled hats and sung her Mersey beat songs - 'Little Children', 'Ferry Cross the Mersey' etc. Her versions sound better than the originals.

I was very happy to see my poetry friend Sophia Blackwell there, who looked stunning. Sadly I had to miss her set as I had to nip off to get my train back - the curse of living a bit out of town.

Look forward to more of Acton's Musical Variety Nights in the future. This one was a great success.

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