Word on the (shingle) street

The Alderton Swan is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, half-way down the west coast of the Hollesley peninsula, a place Defoe travelled past in 1702and not much has changed since then, the way it is in a lot of rural Suffolk. Head towards Woodbridge then find Melton railway station to the east of it. Go over the railway tracks going towards Orford but go straight over at the roundabout, down the coast, following the signs to RAF Woodbridge and keep on going. It’s about three miles, I think.

Spoken word hijack

I got behind the mic again at the Wenhaston Star on Sunday, pretty much by accident. There wasn’t a huge crowd but we got the place buzzing by the end of the evening and again that weird thing happened; some shaved-headed bloke will keep making aggressive eye-contact half-way through my set, such as it is and then come over after I’ve stepped away from the mic. I’ve had taps on the shoulder but this time it was a full palm on the chest, the real ‘nah, you’re not going anywhere till I’m done, mate.’ I mean, come on. It’s only words, isn’t it? Just words. They can’t hurt anyone can they? Everyone knows that.

Then he shoved his face up close. This wasn’t getting better, I thought. Then he spoke:

“That was mega. Thank-you. Are you going to come here again?”

That’s the third time it’s happened out of what, my 8 or so gigs. I don’t know what it is. These don’t look like the kind of people I ever thought of discussing poetry and the subtlety of rhyme with and whether Betjeman was really any good (he said he wasn’t, over and again) and whether we really need the ends of lines to rhyme at all or whether we go down that Miltonian thumping clunking thing about shouts that ring through Heaven and old night that scares cats. or the way I read it does, anyway. That said, I wish I’d thought of that phrase.

Anyway. So I think it might be mildly amusing to go and listen to the acoustic stuff there tonight. And maybe, just very maybe, do some classic passive-aggressive raw and hypnotic songs without music there as well. I’ve got a new show stopper, These Are The Last Things, after all. After all wouldn’t be a bad title in itself, come to think of it. It certainly closed the show on Sunday. I can tell when my stuff’s working because the whole place goes silent. It happened then and it happened on Friday at the Golden Key. It’s very odd hearing a whole pub quiet, waiting for the next thing you say. Flattering. Humbling.

So if it’s a real open mic at Alderton I’ll do it. I haven’t been there. If it’s all folkies and We Shall Overcome on an out-of tune six string sung flat and accompanied by the clack of false teeth I won’t bother. It’s just me.

Let’s pack the place out. We can overcome. No, honestly we can.

I’m doing it again, aren’t I? I can feel it.

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Start Date: 2014-02-25
End Date: 2014-02-25

The Swan at Alderton, B1083 south of Melton, east of Woodbridge, north of Bawdsey. You'll find it if you want to. 01394 411366 if you get lost.

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