Monday, June 13, 2011
This was my first go at organising an experimental mixed media event. I'd been going to Liz Lovatt's (Heather Lovatt (Varney)) Folk and Poetry nights at the Umbrella and had just mastered enough guitar to accompany myself with poems and few songs. These were my first gigs. The Umbrella got me started on so much!
I was surprised to find the Umbrella had put my name of the posters. The Umbrella advertised it as a 'Trev Teasdel Folk Night'. This was the first time my name went out on on any posters! I had therefore to make it a bit special, a bit different!.
I couldn't say that it would happen everytime but it certainly was a 'Humpoesic Happening'. The term Humpoesic was invented by me for a competition in Record Mirror in 1969. The Scaffold wanted a word that described what they did -ie Music, poetry and humour. I made the word up from those words. You could extend the word into Humpoesictry! I never sent it in but later used for this event and another I did when I moved to Teesside in 1980.
For the second one we had some singer songwriter friends. Musicians from the Birmingham Streetpress / Streetpoems tried to come through but were thwarted by transport problems. Several musicians I shared a cottage with out at Shilton joined in - Dave Lewis, Steve Brimstone (Derek's son), and Nigel Clark of Cardinal. I'd met Nigel at the Butts tech - we were both apprentice electricians. He put music to and sang some of my earlier lyrics.
Although the Streetpress guys never made it,they did set up some Streetpress gigs in Moseley and Digbeth which I used to do open mic spots at.
Here is one of the poem I did to music - it was the counter part to one of Lyndie B's both written in Birmingham in a communal house.
Dance candle dance for me,
Let me see you pirouette
and jump high in the air.
Graceful turns and flickers
in time to the sounds of Cohen.
Burn your way into frozen hearts
and melt the hate within.
Dance candle, dance for me
before the light is gone forever.
Before we lose our sight
to live forever in the darkness
of our blackened hearts.
When at last you die exhausted.
We live on in memory of your love
and dance for you in life.
Dance Candle, dance for me
and give a little light to the world.
TACE IS LATIN FOR CANDLE
Lo...the flame flees and flickers like a bee
Catapults its message - 'Mute'
Casts shadow harlequins in a scene for silhouettes.
Commands the voice of grievance to perpetual sleep
For a word would blemish the skin of serenity
and silence slays battalions of hate.
Lo, TACE IS LATIN FOR A CANDLE
Upon the straying steeds of days sable deeds
Rides with spurs of peace
Aphrodite's flaming police.
Yes we have fenced with words, fed the eagles not the birds
While love hides behind
the shield of hate's battlefield
and the tempest of our wroth writhes
with the pangs of peace
Proud victory smirks the flames
Lo - TACE IS LATIN FOR A CANDLE
Trev Teasdel (Birmingham 1971) - (Poem performed with guitar
SOME OF THE PREVIOUS POETRY AND FOLK SESSIONS
Heather Lovett (AKA Liz Lovett / Varney) organised regular Poetry And folk (or unplugged sessions - before the term was coined) from 1971. The first of these were in the Umbrella Theatre and then upstairs.
These were my my first experience of performing - I'd just about learned to play guitar by the autumn of 71 and did a few T Rex covers - Cosmic Dancer and Cat's Steven's Sad Lisa and had begun accompanying my poems on guitar. Singing my own songs began around that time.
An earlier session was organised by Geoff Pegg and Norman Wheatley. (Geoff Pegg was chairman of the programme committee). Tuesday Evenings.
Some of the blurbs read -
"Poetry and Folk - A session for poets and folk singers, where new ideas may be read or sang, and discussion is encouraged. Not for performers only - you can listen if you do not wish to take part."
"A folk based session featuring a guest folk group from Coventry called Toadstool, whose members include John Brown, who is no stranger tot he Umbrella club. there will other singers, musicians and poets present at what should be a very enjoyable evening of poetry and folk. Look out next month for an event featuring a well-known poet.(Could it be Roger McGough?). (April 71 - Umbrella Programme).
In November 1971 BRUCE NORRIS (who became a poetry editor for Hobo for a short while in 1973) organised FOLK AND POETRY CONCERT on Sat 6th November.
"A folk music and poetry concert will be held in the lounge of the club on Saturday 6th November starting at 8pm promptly. Performers should be present at 7.30pm to make final arrangements. The following club members and friends will be singing or playing; Norman Wheatley (guitarist, singer and poet) Alison Lovett - Folk Singer, Jim Burland - Guitarist, Bruce Norris - Poet. There Will a charge of 10p for attendance at this concert.." (Umbrella Programme.).
MAGIC LANTERN featuring Taffy Thomas, Peter Coe, Sheila Thomas, Christine Coe. at St. Mary's Hall - near the Golden Cross.
UMBRELLA FOLK CLUB
C 1969 - 70 Saturday night was the always popular traditional style Folk Club night.