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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Little Bengal Kitten

I'm really pleased to announce the arrival at ours of a little Bengal kitten`.She's called Cooper!

Thursday, 20 December 2012

BBC SO - Wind in the Willows

Very much enjoyed my first trip to Maida Vale BBC studios to see Neil Brand's new orchestral version of Wind in the Willows with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Clare Skinner made an enthusiastic mole, and Stephen Mangan a boastful and sonorous toad. Hurrah for the cast. I learnt some tricks and possibilities for my proposed World News Vision oratorio too.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Steve Layton and I make a new album

Steve wrote

On Nov 9th 2012, Jude Cowan Montague wrote to ask if I might consider a bit of collaboration. Jude often sings, but had a bad cold and was wanting to just make some instrumental/sound tracks with her MicroKorg. I said sure, just send along tracks as she made them, and I would process, mix and match them, add some of my own performances in Reason, and we'd see where it took us. By Nov 14th these five tracks were the result of that process.


released 15 November 2012 
Jude Cowan Montague: MicroKorg / Steve Layton: Reason (6.5), mixing.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Scratch Sunday at the Last Refuge

More pictures of Paul Wady as 'The Gardener'
Poem 'The Gardener' by Jude Cowan Montague.
Jude Cowan Montague on the Microkorg.
We had a wonderful performance slot offered to us by the very popular young theatre-comedy company 'Lebensmude' - a special thanks to Ed, Freya and Celeste.
We had a wonderful time - and enjoyed the rest of the bill too. Recommended.

at the Last Refuge, 'The Gardener' Scratch Sunday

Paul Wady and I improvise a piece of Scratch Theatre in beautiful Peckham Rye at the invitation of fabulous new comedy / theatre company Lebensmude.

This is 'The Gardener'.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Rainy London from the car

Found this pictures of sunny-rainy London
from brighter, more summery days, earlier this year.
Inspired to put these up by Jacqueline Saphra's lovely pictures of the sunset in Limehouse.

Red legs

Jo McCormick - poem

A short poem ARROW by my friend the artist Joanna McCormick. Jo has started to write recently and is experimenting with style and mood - I think it it is a natural thing for her to do in association with her visual and performance art.


I felt I'd been struck

By a thousand years' arrow

I felt that our field

Was my home

Your silver Matador horns

Gored me

A brush

A sliver

A trickle

Of wet black

Oil rinsing past my slick





I felt that our field

Was my home

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Patrick Dreux - poet

Patrick Dreux

Alors la belle, comment va la bête ?
Elle dort.
Et comment va l’enfant ?
Il dort tout contre la bête, elle ne lui fait pas de mal, il est sans crainte.
Et toi comment vas-tu ?
J’ai peur de la bête, j’ai peur pour l’enfant. L’enfant s’amuse tellement avec la bête, et la bête est si imprévisible, un coup de langue, mais cela pourrait être un coup de dent.
Est-ce que tu nourris correctement la bête ?...
Je ne sais pas ce que veut dire « correctement ».
Est-ce que tu nourris correctement l’enfant ?
Je lui donne le meilleur, je lui prépare ses repas, légumes, fruits, viande, laitage, céréales.
Et la beauté ?
Quoi la beauté ?
Tu ne les nourris pas l’un et l’autre de beauté ? De la beauté en large part, à déchiqueter, à réduire en morceaux, à dévorer tout cru, à faire voler les miettes, les miettes de beauté partout autour de l’assiette.
Mais ne faut-il pas la contempler, comme ce qu’il y a de plus sacré ?
Non, la beauté se prend, à bras le corps, à coups de dents, elle se partage comme un trésor qu’on jette au vent. C’est bon pour les idolâtres, la contemplation !
Qui es-tu ? Bête ? Ou enfant ?
Je suis la Beauté qui s’ennuie dans son cadre doré, derrière les vitrines, dans les enluminures et les reliures pleine peau, dans les salons feutrés des collectionneurs…
Pourquoi alors m’appeler « la belle » ?
Pour mieux te manger mon enfant, ma bête, mon adorée !

A first for this blog a beautiful poem in French, courtesy of my very dear friend Patrick. I shall be posting an English version shortly. 

Ceri James and Deptford

Thanks to Mr Ceri James, my singer-songwriter friend, I am having a little track outro included on a compilation of music about Deptford. Thanks also to Colin Bodiam, a new musical chum of mine, who is compiling it, and had the clever idea of putting te fragment as an old fashioned bonus outro - makes sense as most of the rest I imagine is more traditional complete songs. I thought it was a very good way to include it.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cathy Flower

My lovelissimo friend Cathy Flower, who so kindly took the very valued pix of Beechings Axe at the Rhythm Factory has sent me a poem, at my request, for this blog. If you get a chance to see Ms Flower in action at a spoken word event, take it, for goodness sake, take it!

She's a very charismatic and confident and unique performer. Yes.

Speak Your Mind

Speak your mind and forever hold your peace

But no! I have something to say!

The grass is always greener if you love it

Am I going to die today?

They hold back secrets

A bleak moment escapade

Another marriage on the rocks

And river don’t stop running

Speak your mind my dear, tea will be served shortly.

But the Banksy should be on that wall

Don’t you see?!

I saw you counting notes

Will it be a symphony?

© Cathy Flower 2010

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Beeching's Axe at Vis the Spoon's Wednesday band evening, Let Them Eat Gak

So I am playing my Microkorg and reciting train timetables from defunct lines in the North East. Mark Braby and Kev Younger are playing guitars and effects. Kevin has some beats of steam train recordings taken in the 1950s playing on his phone. Of course, someone tried to ring him at the beginning of the set.

The dress is courtesy of Karen Haines.
The photos are taken by Cathy Flower.

I am certainly not going to be summoned by a magazine to model clothes, like my friend and fellow poet Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick.

Pirenes Fountain

Aha! A poem in a jolly respected American lit mag for me, in their 'Beverage' Anthology. So here I am online, writing a poem about a silent film actually, echoing Tim Smart's practice in the post below, making art drawing on aspects of the early movies.

Unlike Tim's friendly pictures, this is a darker picture and to answer what my friend Alan Savage asked on facebook, yes the last line is supposed to be resentful. We then started thinking about Shakespeare and his depiction of the powder keg of the family. The other side to friendly union encompassing difference.

The poem is called 'Goose Woman and Good Son'

Tim Smart - Illustrator

I have great admiration and fondness for Tim's work. Not only is it very good but it uses silent film narrative as inspiration. These two pictures also show group music making. the pleasure and the community ... the difference and the unity.
A fellow lover of music making and music making, and especially folk music, I relate very strongly to Tim's pictures of these women playing banjo in a group and his more mixed band below. Brass instruments can be hard to depict in pencil, so fair play to him. I love the clarinets - and the faces are so different and beautiful in their expression. Look at their moustaches, their chins, their eyesockets, their cheekbones. These parts of the face are so important for musicians who have resonance, technique, expression to consider. Music making takes over the face.

My granddad was a cello player in the Halle and I grew up with the mystique of photos of him playing in the orchestra, and earlier as a dance band and as part of a quartet. He was 'Uncle Sydney' in a BBC string quartet. So these pictures stir up deep personal feelings inside me. And they make me think, thank goodness I'm lucky enough to be a music maker too and to play with other musicians.

Thank you to Tim and also to all the musicians I have been lucky enough to play with over the years. And especially to those I work with now, I'm thinking of Matt Armstrong, Mark Braby, Paul Wady, Joanna McCormick, Richard Sanderson and to all the singers in the Collegium Musicum of London.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Flash fiction in the Pygmy Giant

this is resurrected from earlier writings - a bit like vegetables from the ground in the spring

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Noisery - on Monkeybicycle

Oh look! I had a one sentence story published, in a lovely online magazine:-

It's inspired by Anna Homler!

Scaledown 83

Thanks again to everyone for a brilliant fun evening at Scaledown.

The audience performed this time - especially as part of the premiere of Matthew Lee Knowles's score for my debut collection 'For the Messengers'! That was so much fun. I particularly enjoyed John Bisset's contribution.

Alison Blunt's Krillit were particularly marvellous.

I had a great time. And thanks to all the enthusiastic hosts, performers and audience members, Shaun Hendry, Mark Braby, Roshi Nasehi, Miss Roberts, Nigel Burch and Dylan Bates.

Sorry about my 'rotten tango'. That was bad and ill advised.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Alessandra Genualdo - illustration

My friend Alessandra makes beautiful images with style. Her colours are great, and there's a feeling that comes through the work of people and places that is very touching and that I recognise as true yet it is also in her unique imaginary world. She builds an alternative universe that makes sense to me. I am a great admirer of her picture making.

Find out more about her work on her own blogs ...

Monday, 22 October 2012

Blackwaterside at the Cockpit

Photo by Xuan Tran! I do my Scratch earlier this year of my folk music play Blackwaterside.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Bear Wife by Daniel Lehan

These beautiful, narrative watercolours were sent to me by the artist and poet Daniel Lehan.
It's an intriguing and evocative sequence, a silent, mute narrative in picture form that expresses something of the great white wastes of my imaginary Canada which is where Daniel is living and practising his art at this time.
He has kindly allowed me to share this sample of his work on my blog. Thank you Daniel.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Flux Soup

On Friday 5th October the Cinema Museum (SE1) hosted a brilliant evening organised by FLUX SOUP of experimental and improvised music, much to film.

I was delighted to play alongside the wonderful Steve Moyes to a selection of animations by Agnes Hay.

Highlights for me were Dave Fowler's drumming, Foulkestone colleague Richard Sanderson's melodeon and effects solo and the Living Score with dancers. I really enjoyed Triptyc with Adam Bowman and Sue Lynch among other players.

I hope there will be more Flux Soup events at the Cinema Museum. Very enjoyable - and the acoustics were great.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Scaledown 82

Thanks to everyone for a lovely Scaledown, to Stuart Turner and the Flat Earth Society, to Roshi Nasehi and Graham Dowdall and Strawb and Cream and gosh, to hosts Shaun and Mark and to everyone who came. So packed wasn't it. I hope lots of people got Joey's album. X

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Blackwaterside on Resonance FM 104.4 8pm tonight

Tonight Resonance 104.4fm at 8pm-9pm I am doing my play BLACKWATERSIDE about folk music of the 1960s and 1970s LIVE with Hutch Demouilpied improvising a soundtrack. Tune in Friends xxxx

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Blackwaterside, my spoken word and folk music play at the Dylan Thomas Boathouse

Very, very quiet sound, taken from the back of the audience, which is a shame, but lovely to have the record.

Thank you to Jon Treganna for organising this. It was a great experience.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Jude Cowan Montague's news world vision performance with Paul Wady

This is WORLD NEWS VISION at Spoonful of Poison run by Vis the Spoon.
This lovely event took place on Monday 3rd September at the Star of Kings pub in Kings Cross.
Many thanks indeed to Paul Wady for joining me so wonderfully and to Jimbo for filming the evening.
Many hurrahs all round and special thankingness to Vis the man :) or the spoon as he is called.
I had a good time. If you were there, do say hello.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Higham 1 Cardboard Pastoral with Daniel earlier this year :)

with Daniel Lehan out in the wilds of Kent Spring 2012
very lucky we were with the weather

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Will Hames at Spoonful of Poison

My new friend Will who I met at Spoonful of Poison has sent me a poem for my blog. What an honour! Thank you Will. It's delightful. In fact, it's two poems.

Nice, silly poems Will - are you a fan of Spike Milligan by any chance?



Although you are entitled to your special point of view

I think you're a hermaphrodite. You know what YOU can do!


I could eat an elephant on toast, for just a snack

I could climb an oak tree with both hands behind my back

I could whistle "Dixie" while I drink a glass of milk

I could comb a coconut until it's smooth as silk

I could spell "chrysanthemum" without a calculator

I could build a house from two short planks and a potater

I could do most anything, and I could show you how

I could tell the truth, but I cannot be arsed right now.

Spoonful of Poison

Thank you Paul Wady, for this photograph. You are a very kind man.

Running against Female Foeticide!

As part of our World News Vision performance at the Stag's Head at Vis the Spoon's Spoonful of Poison, this is Joanna McCormick and me, photographed by Paul Wady. The wonderful Frog Morris was also there and performed and I was delighted to meet Will Hames, who read a very nice poem before I so rudely left in the middle ...

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Yesternight went to The Nursery to see Imprology, especially because it featured my wonderful friend Julie Mullen, who improvised remarkably with the rest of the team.

The Nursery is in a railway arch near to London Bridge and if you can find it (not easy) it's a great venue, although the trains thunder overhead like a storm, interrupting the songs and speeches.

My friend Kevin was there and played guitar and some musical accompaniment to the sound songs and improvised pieces. He also joined in to be one half of a brother and sister on a bus, who had forgotten to buy any dinner. The audience provided the situations. I particularly enjoyed the piece the group created for 'The Lost Goose', my suggestion for a fairytale.

'Sunday Lunch' or 'The Possessed Chicken' was also an interesting one, as was 'The End of the World' as a Russian musical. I liked the fact that the director of Imprology, Remy, got stuck in with the group rather than standing on the side. He helped link the pieces for the audience and had fun treating the audience a bit 'badly' which I think helped morale and confidence among the players.
Julie did a remarkable job as a pig in love in a theatrical story of her life. She's so funny! I would be happy to go to see another Imprology night some time. Remy's work is quite challenging and he stirs his group to really interesting performances, usually very surreal.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Town Tower - mono print

Town Tower, monoprint, about 1000cm x 500cm

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Joydens Wood

What a lovely summer sunny evening! Walking in Joyden's Wood with Matt, Blanaid and Solly.

I saw some wild orchids. Imagine. I've always wanted to see wild orchids and never had until this very Tuesday. Beautiful flowers.

Bird and Peach - experimental monoprint etching

Blackwaterside - my new play about folk women musicians of the 60s and 70s

Posing with a bodhran in the garden!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Alpine Phantoms

Available for pre-order on Dark Windows Press. I have little piece in here, and I'm eager to see the full book.

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Pulco on Folkwit Records

Truly he is the man of lists.

What Ash does is very interesting. He takes pieces of sounds and songs and treats them in his own lo fi way, making something that's unique. I've never heard anyone work quite like him in the way he makes other's music his own. And so lo fi in the way he treats it. I'm not very good at writing about music but I know what I like.

Monday, 4 June 2012


More pictures by Xuan Tran of my show which was at the Cockpit Theatre last night as a scratch performance.

Thanks to all my dear friends who came, Paul Wady, Denise Heinrich-Lane, Sarah Clarke, Xuan, Daniel Lehan, Sean Bruno, Nancy and her friend Jeremy and to Paul for videoing the performance.

Many thanks to Natalie as well for hosting. And to the technical guy - Chris? - for doing some beautiful lighting.

The evening is called Theatre in the Pound and it is an evening of scratch performances by various artists - only costs a pound and you get feedback on your production.


Premiering my new one woman show about folk music at the Cockpit Theatre on 4th June
Photos by my wonderful friend Xuan Tran

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Jude and Daniel at Spoonful of Poison

photo by Maria Slovakova
I adore Maria
I adore her artwork
I love this picture
Hello Daniel I look down from on high
My legs look like tree trunks
He looks up
As if he is reading from a huge book
We are children
playing on stage
The lights above like glow-worms
We are fairies in a cave
I sing about caterpillars
And I can no longer touch the ground
Then the bell
Our fifteen minutes are over

Jude and John Sage of Blackdoghat at Folkwit gig