Tuesday, 21 July 2009


So it's Tuesday after Latitude festival and all across Stoke Newington shopkeepers are smiling again as the demand for Skinny-Soya-Lattes and organic ethnically sourced bean curd is reinstated after the virtual credit crunch that was last weekend.

I went on a guest ticket kindly provided by Maradona enthusiast PolarBear and was hanging out with Charlie Dark(thanks for the photo) and Kate Tempest. Charlie and the Bear had to leave midway through Saturday evening and Kate plus band slipped away Sunday lunchtime but I stayed for the long hall and lasted out till Monday afternoon.

I saw a lot of poetry this weekend but I didn't really see anyone new who blew me away. Now don't get me wrong there were some really good people on the bill but not anyone who I didn't already know from previous years/events.

Incidentally someone New I saw at Glastonbury this year was Hollie McNish check her out cos she smacked it.

I'll talk more about the various festivals I'm doing at some point but I just want to take the time to tell you about one thing this weekend.

Right Sunday night I was sat with 3 friends in the poetry bit at the end of the night and decided that I'd try and join in on the one poem pass the mic that was going on on stage. I went around the back and asked if that would be possible and was arranged into the running order behind Chris Hicks.

So I'm standing at the side of the stage as Chris finishes his poem and announces my name. Unbeknown to Chris at this exact moment poetic Baby-face and full time James Corden lookylike Luke Wright is tapping me on the shoulder and bumping me down the running order because "Keith is ready to go on now."

Apparently he must have thought I wasn't quite ready to go on.
Keith by the way was Keith Allen.

Now I know what you're thinking, cos I thought it too, "Does he do poetry then?"

Turns out what Kieth "does" seems to be loads of cocaine and what ever the fuck he likes.
I wouldn't necessarily call what he did poetry.
But then who I am to talk.

After about 5 mins of him wandering about the stage screaming nonsense into a booze soaked microphone MC Angel came out on stage to freestyle battle him.
I've seen a fair few Rap battles over the last 10 years and this one made me cringe worse than anything I've ever had to sit through in the past.
Here's a video of the start when Keith was almost holding it down. But by the end it had literally degenerated into screaming insults at each other in a variety of strange accents. You felt the atmosphere gradually sliding towards boredom and empathic embarrassment as the audience went from laughing with to laughing at to feeling sorry for.
Even some of the folks in the wings who had been sycophantically laughing in the first 8 mins of the whole shambolic event stared to lose their smirks as we reached the 21st minute.
Luke managed to get Kieth off stage after several minutes of jostling and he hung about in the back surrounded by people telling him that he was amazing.

Anyway after that I got to come out and do an actually poem.
Pointless really.


Luke Wright said...

aww, john you do me a great service. corden is way skinnier than me.

sorry for bumping you down the pecking order.


Berko said...

i thought you and he shared a similar gate.
There's a thing you both do where you wobble your head.