This was the last full day [30-1-20] before the UK left the EU. It was also our last appearance at the Bloc which is closing so there was a sort of melancholia in the air. Or was it just me?
Not the end of WonderZoo I hasten to add.
We have Peter Davey Gabi Marcellus-Temple HIP-P and Chi Bennett to thank for their Herculean efforts to arrange, promote and sustain this wonderful rolling event. Come along to the next one for a night full of unpredictable clam-bake [without the clams: ed]
Rielle Madrid made a stellar entrance to music & lights. She dazzled us with her radiant presence while she delivered four disconcerting scenarios full of distress and heartache whether discussing relationships or the contrast between appearances and reality. A truly magnificent performance.
Spell-binding. Kevin Kelland shared his extraordinary life story with us from his audacious adventures in the Lockyer Tavern to his appalling diagnosis of being infected with HIV as well as eulogizing about his former partner Ivor Marsh. A colossal loss.
Margaret Corvid recited six exceptionally well crafted poems ranging over topics as diverse as suicidal thoughts to Brexit, from 'losing her rag' to environmental extinction, from red London to bare bones. Clever, funny, imaginative and sparky MARGARET CORVID is the real deal.
PETE DAVEY read out only one poem this evening about waiting six hours in A&E in Derriford Hospital. PETE writes in a conversational style often about the everyday aggravations which represent the frustration and anger of the belittling of the human spirit or so it seems. PETE works this into an exhortation & thence into vitriolic prose-poetry. Pete's style is influenced by the band Crass, beatniks and the attitude of do-it-yourself culture and punk.
Jason Vegas Butler recited, read and extrapolated seven entertaining pieces ranging from his Mum's fear of spider crabs to the stupidity of dogs, from the inequalities within society to running around Ottery St. Mary with a burning bale of hay attached to one's back. Truly an engaging writer of scope, reach and imagination.
Samantha Carr announced she encompassed both the political and the personal. She began by addressing the political issue of WASPI women as well as the hot topic of climate change but concluded on a more personal note by addressing her dear daughter SOPHIE. What a delight.
Jason D Brownlee caused quite a stir with his three extended poems concerning the hope and heartache of being a young child, on seeing things a 'child should not see.' Such bare-faced autobiographical honesty is disarming, to say the least. He concluded with exploration of London subcultures affecting a Jamaican Patois accent which was also unsettling in another way.
Kat Savage is like no other. She is unashamedly outrageous and celebratory about her loves and likes. Listen to the forthcoming podcast! She concluded her all-too-short set with Sometimes It Takes A Heart and KAT is all heart. Not sometimes but all the time. Kat performed her exuberant poem about the Clitoris, and made us all laugh out loud. No other venue has allowed her to share her daring poem, which includes acting out orgasms on stage. She brilliantly got the whole audience involved with reading out little messages of positivity enclosed in origami hearts. She's a great feminist writer and performer.
Not to be missed.Through subdued lighting the magnificent Blessed Pangolin appeared, to a sinister backing-track, wearing a halo of lights, wearing gloves with elongated nails and a pale smock on which images were projected while she spoke, sang and mouthed the lyrics to her own compositions. Five compositions and an encore. My favourite was entitled Car Jesus about a truck stop in the Nevada. She also read one about saying inappropriate things when too drunk at family gatherings, which was hilarious. The whole audience was clapping and singing along with her original masterpieces. She is definitely one of the best solo artists in the South West, with one album available for purchase called 'Pangosapien', and another one in the pipeline. We look forward to seeing what she does next.
If you get a chance, listen to her set on our podcast, as lovingly recreated by HIP-P as it is eerie, irksome and gripping but [like RIELLE MADRID, our glorious opening act this evening] this was a visual experience as well as an audio one. The moral of the story is that until WonderZoo can produce a visual record of these fantastic events, you have to be here. On this occasion there were upward of 100 in our audience, the last at the Bloc Bistro - our next event will be at a new venue, A'Taskinha, Union Street, so don't miss it!