Tag Archives: Tim Scarborough

Thank you for the Music (and Mouth)

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Mouth & Music

My most local venue for a night of spoken word and music, always fun and entertaining, has come to a temporary close.

On the 12th January we all went to the BHG to celebrate 4 years of Mouth & Music with hosts Heather Wastie and Sarah Tamar, it was also a goodbye to the current landlords. Mouth & Music itself is taking a six month break and then Sarah Tamar is hoping to start up again.

Heather Wastie (Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate) hosted the evening which was headlined by Humdrum Express (Ian Passey) and Sarah Tamar.

It was a lively evening of music and poetry celebrating the Boars Head and Mouth & Music.

Here are some photos taken by Peter Williams

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Heather Wastie

MM Mogs Mogs

MM Mike Mike Alma

Maggie Doyle MM Maggie

MM Kathy Kathy Gee

Nina Lewis & an absent Tim Scarborough MM Me2

MM Bert.JPG

Bert Flitcroft – Current Staffordshire Poet Laureate

Headliners ~ Ian Passey  MMIan Passey &

MM Sarah Sarah Tamar

© Peter Williams 2016

As a tribute to the years of Mouth & Music (my first visit came at the end of 2014) I have gathered together my favourite bits. From Collaboration to Clog Dancing – thank you for the poetry, song & music!

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2013

  • Dressing up as Aladdin for the Pantomime themed night and my first Mouth & Music.

mm Aladdin Humdrum Express headlined alongside Tim Cranmore (who was then Worcestershire’s Poet Laureate 2013)

Read all about it here MM 23

 

Sarah Tamar as Mrs Claus                              Christmas Laureates Present and Future

2014

  • Mouth & Music March 2014 in which I discovered the wonderfully talented Adrian Mealing, Headlining as half of The Very Grimm Brothersthe very grimm bros

Mouth & Music: Current Affairs

  • In April my first collaboration was born thanks to the Dualogue theme, Tim Scarborough and I worked together to enhance my poem Rainwatch – using a mood drum and wrote Social SatNav together. A turning point for me. A collaboration I would love to explore again sometime.

Mouth & Music – What a Great Night!

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We collaborated on new material in May for a Gallery exhibit by Najma Hush, at this point we were potentially taking bookings.AE7

 

  • MUSICAL COLLABORATION M&M (May 2014)

Nina Lewis & Tim Scarborough

The amazing ‘Body Hair’ themed Mouth and Music and the Moustache poem was born,  moustache mm alongside a Hairy Toe poem.

Tim & I took the act on the road as far as Birmingham. Z Andrea Smith Tim

After this Tim and I don’t perform together until 2015 and although we are both open to collaboration, haven’t managed anything since. One day…

  • Captivating Clog Dancing accompanying Sirkel.
  • In the month I celebrated one year of Poetry – One Year A Poet M&M brought us Ben Norris.MMBenNorris MM Sept Ben MM me

This was around the time I got my first feature slot in Birmingham and was working on a commission for Birmingham Literature Festival 2014. 1 nl2NAKED_LUNGS_200x200px

  • October 2014 and Saffron Toms came and shot amazing photos. mouth-music-poster-oct14 This was also the month my Birmingham Poets came to support Jasmine and I saw my two geographical poetry worlds combine.
oct jas 2 © Saffron Toms 2014

2015

  • January Spark Off saw me captain a team and perform with Tim again. Which was all superb despite no rehearsals and was great fun even after I lost a laureate from my team (two, is too many) and generally lost to the other side, having not bribed the MC/Judge (who will remain nameless, ahem! Mr Passey) with pints of virtual alcohol.
What’s that? Bitter? Me? It was OVER a year ago! Tusch. (HA HA)
m&MMM3 tim and me  Minus our props
  • Mouth & Music KAF Special – Slightly Circus August 2015 – a definite highlight!

    Maggie Doyle, Nina Lewis, Heather Wastie & Dave Reeves

I think I have only missed about 3 or 4 M&M events over the years, there are more posts about Mouth & Music than those linked here, go and have a click about to find them.

RELATED LINKS:

A Great Night at Mouth & Music – 5th Event of the Month 

Mouth and Music – 3rd Event of the Month

Mouth & Music Tuesday 10th: New Material – Great Night!

M & M July

Fergus McGonigal & Humdrum Express

Spoken Word at The Ort – Friday 16th May

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Last week I was trying to limit the open mic events I attended – besides being exhausted after my 10 gigs in 11 days mini run, I have also had a chest infection and a hacking cough for a few weeks – I had practically lost my voice by Monday. On Friday is was a husky luscious sort of voice and worked well with ‘Hairy little secrets’ in our Moustache poem.

I missed Hit the Ode for the first time since February and also another Spoken word night in Birmingham. I would have really struggled to stay awake at any events before Friday night.

Friday I had a (now very rare) day off work – needed to get to the solicitors and sign paperwork for my flat. Hoping to exchange this Friday. After running a few errands I had the afternoon to compose myself (mentally) and rehearse the set poems. I was excited to have enough material for Tim and I to perform a medley of our work.

do415com open mic

Collaboration #4 – with Tim Scarborough

We arrived early enough to get a comfortable seat and enjoyed the acts unwinding on the stage, we had no idea of the set list – I think Tim liked not knowing, he sure knows how to pump adrenaline. Debbie told me we were opening the 2nd half – a great position to be in, especially as one of my friends had to leave early, I convinced her to stay for our set.

Our performance was good and I enjoyed it, we had fun and some great feedback.

We performed Rainwatch *the original poem that got us together, the first time I heard Tim perform on his mood drum, this was the poem I had in my mind, it was already written and I thought it would be the perfect accompaniment for the words. We performed our 2 co-written pub poems, Pull the Other One andSocial SATNAV along with the best of our Body Hair Set – The Hair that Wouldn’t Stop and Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs, which resulted in David Rees Jones (MC for the 2nd half), heckling most of the men with facial hair stylizers afterward.

Feedback – people liked Rainwatch with the Mood Drum, Social SATNAV and Moustache Poem with Fact Bombs the best, people were entertained and said we should have done a longer set (I think my voice just about managed to hold out)!

We then sat back to enjoy the rest of the acts.

It was a great night, thank you and well done Debbie Aldous, who organises and MC’s the Spoken Word event.

Z Andrea Smith Tim

© 2014 Andrea Smith

zuzana Klementova Miss Superlicious T © 2014 Zuzana Klementova  – Supercilious Ms T

 

Zuzana Klementova Ort Swing © 2014 Zuzana Klementova

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There were many more acts and photographs than I have posted here,  just a little flavour of the event.

WLF&F logo concepts

Tim and I were prepared to work on a new set, with percussion for next month’s open mic but sadly it clashes with the opening of The Worcs LitFest – which is also the announcing of Poet Laureate, friends of mine are in the running and I had already chosen to support them. I also miss another festival evening due to a friend’s birthday party – but it’s Woodstock themed so it’s going to be great! We will still collaborate again, we just don’t know when.

Mouth & Music 28 – Collaboration with Tim Scarborough

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Mouth and Music 28 – Tuesday 13th May

 

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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.

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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!

moustaches

© 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.

 

RELATED LINKS:

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

Mouth & Music – What a Great Night!

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1441315_10151891604167737_769844637_n This month’s theme was all about encouraging collaboration, working in pairs, approaching someone you have never worked with before… the initial thought -after it was announced by Heather in March, was DREAD!

Finding the time was an issue…. would anyone agree to partner me…… all my insecurities came out to play and I buried my head in the sand for a few days…. then when I decided to grab the opportunity, I gave it a few more ‘be cool’ days, in case anyone emailed me – or so as not to pounce and appear too eager. In my mind I imagined everyone sending out frantic emails and pairing up and it would be like picking a team in PE*!

* Except this never happened to me as I played hockey, County Netball and was a top 8 long distance runner back in the day (when I was fit and danced) – I was usually picked around the middle of the team creations and so never felt too bad….

Thing was with Mouth & Music, when it was announced I knew exactly who I wanted to work with.

Tim Scarborough is a very talented Percussionist amongst other things – including a poet! A few months ago he treated us all to some music on his mood drum … it was beautiful he transported the whole room into a place of quiet, meditative thought and I for one wanted the sound to NEVER end! As soon as I heard it – I knew of the perfect poem and thought about asking him and then never gave it another thought – until in March this collaboration was mentioned.

Also as an aside for no reason other than force of habit the people I know all sit on the right and the others sit on the left – I wanted to bridge that gap!

I sent Tim an email, fully expecting him to not agree – to my surprise and delight he agreed.

Turns out not many people rose to the challenge of a duet. And we really did – organising 3 rehearsal/writing mornings. (1 of which I had to cancel to work)… 2 rehearsals and 2 hours typing is more prep than I have ever put in – and I got really nervous about performing again – as I didn’t want to let Tim down (which nearly happened when my phone screen blanked out on a cue line)!

Our rehearsals were great, I have not collaborated with other artists since my time involved in the performance circuit and theatre, back in the 90’s. It is something I miss…. especially with the solitude of writing – something I’ve had to get used to.

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Rehearsal 1: we tried the mood drum and my Rain Watch poem – played around with it, recorded, re-read and rehearsed. It was instantly fine and right and Tim commented tonight that he wished he’d come to it cold, having never heard the poem and improvised (maybe next time Tim)!

Tim also talked about his Social SATNAV idea and we both worked on and shared poems from our gender perspective.

The 2nd rehearsal was a fortnight later – I had managed to work and rewrite my poem a few times and needed some help with the 2nd voice, we worked on this re-reading and getting it right. Then we turned to Tim’s notebook and came up with the idea of the inner monologue – and the inner, inner monologue – the socially unacceptable bit that we switch off for his original SatNav poem.

It was great fun writing the voice and using words I wouldn’t normally feature, including some swearing. This collaboration gave me the opportunity to write pieces in a new voice.

We also practised Rain Watch. So by the end of our collaboration – we had 2 new dual speaking performance poems and a re-emergence of one of my poems.

People loved our set, rehearsing paid off. It was lovely to hear people had enjoyed it and I cannot begin to express how brilliant it felt to share the stage.

The other performers brave enough to collaborate and work on material were of course our delectable hosts – Sarah Tamar & Heather Wastie, they even introduced props and entertained us as always.

Andrew Owens (host of Drummonds 42) and Michelle Crosbie (headliner at Lichfield Poetry Alight) treated us to a dualogue, Cathy & Alex – a story Andrew wrote, told in 2 voices. They were very brave (they both sang) and were first up. It was great.

Despite Heather inviting people to perform solo, the theme had put many regulars off and we were all a little worried about being thin on the ground (it would have definitely been warmer with more bodies) – we needn’t have worried -Mike Alma and Mogs shared poetry in touching and funny solo performances and we were treated to some music and audience participation with the sandwich love song.  It was a great night with electrifying atmosphere and everyone enjoyed it!

MM April

I was looking forward to the Headline poets, I have had the pleasure of hearing both David Calcutt (at Poetry Bites) and Nadia Kingsley (Shrewsbury Coffee House) before, never together. It was very enjoyable and they had books to sell ‘Road Kill’ was the one used for the performance, I shall look forward to an Easter Holiday read fest! AND this set inspired a seed of an idea between myself and fellow poet Claire Walker.

And as for Bleeding Hearts – what words can be used (I had better find some) richly political, rock meets folk at high speed and meshes as one and once again a chance for audience participation!

To top the whole night off … Mr Mike Alma, who has been entertained by Marie-Celeste epic journey tales since before the New Year gave me a SATNAV! Wow! Dreams came true. I may be able to find gigs in the future – no longer do I have to use AA Route finder (other route searches are available) – which I am sorry to say, lies a lot and leaves much of the important bits of the journey out – and gives journey durations 50% less than they are generally – causing me (if I find the gig at all) to be late! open road

Now I will have to come up with ever-more creative excuses like the battery went flat, I ignored the SATNAV or the dog ate my homework…. for being late or lost.

BIG THANKS Mike 🙂 thank-you-typewriter

 

And just to finish this post – here is a lovely review from Mouth and Music;

It has not been customary to mention individual open mic performers in post-gig write-ups, but here’s the exception: Huge thanks to Andrew Owens and Michelle Crosbie for collaborating on a story by Andrew and, even huger thanks to Nina Lewis and Tim Scarborough who not only collaborated but also wrote some great new material. Thanks also to the regular open mic-ers who came along to listen and/or perform solo.

Featured spoken word artists, David Calcutt and Nadia Kingsley showed how page poetry should be performed. Quality work delivered with clarity and humour. Featured musicians, Bleeding Hearts were big, bold, entertaining and political. We sang along and stamped our feet, which also helped us get warm! It was brass (as they say up north where it’s even colder) but regulars are getting used to coming prepared for any temperature. It’s got to be warmer in May! See you then, when we’ll be rebranding, thanks to Gel Newey (Bleeding Hearts bass player) as Gob and Racket 🙂

I am still buzzing nearly 24 hours later! 😉