Tag Archives: Mouth and Music

Performing & Writing


After taking a three week break over Christmas I am determined to get back into my stride with writing and performing, the heavier proportion needs to be weighted to writing this year as I have a few projects underway.

I have succeeded (partly due to organising an Action Plan) – I can Life Coach myself after all! Another personal qualification of mine. I have this week managed to perform, write new poetry (the first since early December), I thought I’d lost the power! I have even managed a submission too and plan on spending this, my first full writing day of 2016 writing more poetry for submission.

Break your goal into smaller steps, make sure they are achievable.

Spoken Word at The Ort 8th

Last Friday I journeyed over to Birmingham to unite with other poets who were still in shock over the news of Sammy Joe, to welcome in the New Year with Debbie Aldous at her event and to share poetry on the open mic.

It was PACKED! To the point where I began to feel claustrophobic. It was a good night though with lots of poetry/ spoken word. It was mainly good to connect with others and see people that I needed to hug.

Writing West Midlands

I also spent part of the week finalising my plans for the first of the 2016 sessions for WWM working with young writers. We had some new joiners, I am doing my best to increase the numbers for our group this year. I planned a whole session on New Beginnings and it went down well. It was good to be back.

I missed several events this week, Stirchley Speaks, Permission to Speak and Poet’s with Passion.

Headline Bookings

Last year, I was fortunate to appear in lots of headline slots. This week I was asked to Headline next month at Stirchley Speaks alongside; Alisha Kadir and Mark Kilburn. I can’t wait!

Patience Agbabi

I discovered Patience Agbabi was coming to a local university and has a ticketed performance at The Hive on 29th January. I booked a ticket.

As I didn’t get a place on the Arvon City Retreat, I have filled that weekend (29th-31st) with POETRY. The Sunday will be filled with 52 – more on this later.

Mouth & Music 12th

I am dedicating a post to this separately as it was the last one for a while. I will add a link back here.

Thank you for the Music (and Mouth)

SpeakEasy 14th

SpeakEasy was last night, I have not managed to get to one of these for a long time and enjoyed reconnecting. There was a healthy number of audience to performers and some of my favourite poets were performing. It was a lovely evening (if not a tad cold, we have had snow) hosted by Maggie Doyle, who eloquently announced each spot with an blush worthy introduction.

I finally (after a block of a month or so) managed to write three new poems this week and I performed them all last night.

Lindsay Stanberry Flynn was the Headline and she read from her latest novel – ‘The Broken Road’.


Lindsay Stanberry flynn the broken road



A Writing Day

Today is my first official writing day of the month, sacred time. I have my list in front of me and I am busy working through it. I managed to write – edit and submit some work on Wednesday evening – in between going out for a belated New Year’s Meal with Mr G’s family. I was fairly proud of what I managed to accomplish in two hours, let’s hope the editors are too.

Loving the possibilities of the next four days, after a run of (hard) work, I get to tie myself to the desk and get on. I have a manuscript to finalise as well as new writing and of course the inevitable admin tasks (much further down on the list).

This is the good side of the apple.

Eat around the Bruise

I know people who are fussy (or perhaps normal) about food and would bin fruit as a punishment for being bruised. I know that there is still goodness in the remaining unbruised part and will carefully eat around the bruise.

2016 feels a little like this at the moment. I’d let go of negativity dragged from 2015 into this new year and was all ready and primed for a fresh start. Then things beyond my control happened – as they do, otherwise known as life.

When this happens there is no way to protect from bruising. Allow that time and then, get stuck in! Eat around that bruise.

Give what you have to give.

ww me


Mouth & Music 28 – Collaboration with Tim Scarborough


Mouth and Music 28 – Tuesday 13th May


m&m may


Tim Scarborough and I collaborated for the first time at Mouth and Music in April, since then we have worked together again for a Photogiraffe Exhibition Event – this was our 3rd collaboration and it came to be as we were all talking at the exhibition and Tim mentioned he was struggling with the theme. Heather told us to work together and we didn’t need much more convincing.


It is great fun collaborating, I would encourage any artists to do it. It depends on who you pick, Tim and I are lucky, there seems to be lots of creative synchronicity and we don’t disagree in an overly dramatic, diva-ish way! Another reason the sets work well in performance is we REHEARSE – something I am guilty of not putting the time into my own act. Having said this the 4 hour rehearsal time we had before Tuesday was to co-write and edit our poems for the set. We created two new pieces and polished up a couple of individual poems with each other’s input, we had just 1 poem which used percussion and we blocked out where that would happen.

moustache mm

So when we took to the stage that the very 1st time we had performed these poems together. We managed to overcome a slightly shaky start and silence and a groan* are still a reaction! *The endline of Tim’s poem was humorous but in a lavatorial way, to make the audience feel better, I announced that we would take their silence and groan and raise them. This worked – and the set/material got stronger.

We finished with two funny poems which we thoroughly enjoyed performing. The Hair That Wouldn’t Stop and Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs (written with Jonny Fluffypunk in mind) who sports some great face hair stylizer of his own.

We took a medley of our sets on the road to Birmingham last Friday and included these two hairy poems in our set list. They were even better the 2nd time, but that’s another post!


© 2014 brightlearning.com


I have since read messages from Jonny Fluffypunk (who is an amazing stand up performance poet) requesting space in Bristol to help him spend the day rehearsing! If you are in Bristol, let me know if you have space to accommodate a very lively and lovely poet rehearse during the school day! I definitely need to free up time to practise sets with more than a quick read through with a stopwatch!

Mouth and Music is always a great night, entertaining, relaxed and oozing with talent. It was good to see Paul Francis made it across from Much Wenlock (it isn’t just me who heads miles away for gigs), it was good to have time to talk to him and other artists. There were lots of new to this event open mic-ers too, which is always good to see/hear.

I really enjoyed the headline acts – Four Tart Harmony, managed with just 3 voices and were incredible, I had experienced a bit of a dippy down day and they really raised my spirits. I have their business cards and wouldn’t hesitate to book them for any parties in the future – should I be planning any.

Jonny, of course was extremely funny, I didn’t mean to heckle him, it just came out – hadn’t realised he wasn’t asking a question, he hadn’t even finished his sentence. I got to chat to him afterwards, he remembered me from the Worcester SpeakEasy gig (flattered) and he didn’t believe we had written the moustache poem as homage to him, his turn to be flattered.

mm jfp   All in all a great night! So good Tim nearly forgot to take his drum home (which may have confused people as we didn’t use it) – he had gone prepared to work alongside another open mic musician, Mr Scarborough, much in demand.


Next month’s theme is adjectives…. pretty much anything then, I will still write something specifically for it, currently working on a poem/tribute for a friend who is leaving the country next week.



Moustaches in May Heather Wastie’s official review on the M&M Blog.

Mouth and Music – 3rd Event of the Month


BgDa2K3IcAAw6a5 On Tuesday I had another great night at Mouth & Music… over the past 6 months I have heard a lot about the Decadent Diva’s (having met/ made friends with 2 of them in 2013) it was lovely to meet and watch the  talent of the other two.

It was a Valentine spectacular and really got me in the mood for tomorrow. The tables were dressed with foil covered chocolate hearts and red cocktail glasses filled with heart sweeties, there were helium heart balloons on stage and lots of red fairy lights.

I had a great time and performed my first 52 poem. (52 is Jo Bell’s challenge for 2014 – writing a poem a week and just keep going – using weekly prompts) check it out here!

I can’t wait for the next one next month. gingham heart freestock

Mouth & Music 23 – An Outstanding Night!


Such a great night I had to think of a suitable synonym for the title of this post! I cannot work out how to enhance OUTSTANDING – imagine the word surrounded by Christmas Fairy Lights with Fireworks going off in the background! fs fireworks

I am excited even now writing about it and it has been nearly 24 hours since the event – in which time I have managed to de-mask my face of all its Aladdin make-up, sleep, work a full day and get 18 3 year old Angels ready for their Nativity Play!

The Journey
There is always a yarn here – my life won’t be nearly as exciting once I have a SATNAV! But I guess my petrol bill will be smaller, a lot smaller!
It is a difficult town of Ring Roads and roundabouts and not one I am used to driving around, plus it’s dark, plus (and this was my real reason for becoming lost… oh, what a surprise I couldn’t find my way!) there were NO ROAD NAMES, the ones that did exist were hidden behind shrubbery!

curved-road The venue is only 20 minutes from my house – it then took another half an hour to find it! What makes this story so funny (to me at least) is I was lost on a ring road (you can fill the rest of that in.) … In the end I decided the best course of action was to drive as if heading home, turn around and approach it again – and that was when I realised I was lost on ring road zone 1 as opposed to zone 3! I HAD gone left down the right way, I HAD gone down the right hill… the only mistake I had made was to follow the road as opposed to turning left and finding the pub a few doors down!

The joy of getting lost was;
I find the Carpet Museum where Heather Wastie is a Resident Poet and I had the comical adventure of abandoning my car in a taxi rank and in full Aladdin costume getting out and asking for directions.

Long story short (after you have already read the long one!) I got there and JUST in time! And there were still sign up Open Mic spots available!!

The Theme
mm sarah tamar Was Pantomime (each month has a different theme) and there was a Fancy Dress and some great costumes, it was so Christmassy – despite the Pirates of the Caribbean themed room – which suited Mogs well. He won the fancy dress as a Pirate, he had a talking parrot toy, a billion props and made a peg leg joke that truly was genius! A deserved winner!
Sarah (MC/Host) was Mrs Claus, Heather was a Fairy Godmother, Mike was a Lion, Mogs was a pirate mm Aladdin and I was Aladdin.

There were Christmas Crackers on the tables (I won some Christmas stickers. I love stickers!) and a really vibrant atmosphere!

There were a few of us first timers – which is always better if you are not the only one – Michelle Crosby sang and read a great set at SpeakEasy last month and here again at Mouth and Music with new/different material it was a joy to hear her and watch her on stage again! Mike Alma bravely (well he was dressed as a lion!) went 1st so that I didn’t have to!
My set was strange – this I think is my 8th time behind the mic again and I don’t usually write rhyming poetry. I was aware that most of the room had never heard my poetry before and I felt a little awkward or silly reading it – It was designed to be silly poetry – pantomime theme inspired – but I felt uncomfortable. I don’t think that came across though – thank goodness.
It took just under an hour and a half to construct these Panto Poems and I know naturally I write narrative poetry a lot quicker. Next month’s theme is a subject I reflect on often and have already found 6 poems in my collection. 5 minute open mic slots allow 3-4 poems depending on length so I know I will need to choose but I look forward to decisions like that! As I am not having to write any new material I am going to start learning lines and attempt to perform the poems properly!

I enjoyed the night immensely and was glad of a place in the first half so I could sit back (not literally as I was on a stool!) and relax for the rest.

Other performers all thoroughly enjoyed by me were; Daub & Wattle, Tom Wyre (Poet Laureate, Stafford), Andrew Owens, Mogs (John Morris), Elena Thomas, Sarah Tamar & Heather Wastie. It was great to see some new faces and hear some new material from faces I am getting to know.

Humdrum Express (Ian Passey) who had me tapping my feet along to his guitar and Tim Cranmore (current Worcester Poet laureate) who is famous for carving musical instruments from vegetables and playing them! I have known about Tim since Maggie Doyle hung up her Laureateship in the summer, I have seen Tim at a few events but I had never had the pleasure of SEEING him perform! My face ached from smiling and laughing, the last time my face hurt that badly was a Royal Academy of Dancing exam – you used to have to fix a smile onto your face for the ENTIRE hour of dancing, made possible by the amount of gel holding your hair up in a bun, it worked like a face lift for teenagers! mm tim cranmore

I had a superbly great evening and enjoyed myself so much, it feels like I have had Christmas already!

PHOTO CREDITS ©2013 Elena Thomas