Poetry and improvised music Saturday 29 November

The Long and Winding Road

This event has sadly been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.

Poets Chris Fogg and Chris Waters and musicians Clive Ashley (sax) and Chas Dickie (cello) bring you an evening of poetry and bluesy jazzy fusion improvised music on the theme of journeys and homecomings, leavings and arrivals… a blend of humour and thoughtfulness that invites audiences to take a fresh look at the familiar.

Tickets £15/£30 with supper please phone 01308 459511 to book.

Saturday 29th November Dinner from 6.30pm. Performance from 8pm

Four outstanding performers, all old friends, come together to make music and poetry in a warm atmosphere of daring improvisation, humour and skill. Please see bottom of this page for poems and a recording of Chas Dickie’s string quartet.

Chris Waters was born and grew up in London. He has worked as a teacher of English and drama at the Sir John Colfox School in the seventies and eighties, working closely with Bruce Critchinson, Rex Trevett and Pat and Norman Saunders-White: ‘We were lucky – they were very creative times’ he says, as well as working as a musician, story-teller and furniture-maker. He is well known on the Bridport scene for his drumming with Custers and the Colfox Big Band, and is now based in Totnes where he is a freelance writing tutor/poet/storyteller who has worked extensively across the south-west with young and adult groups and audiences. His poetry has won prizes in the Bridport and Plough annual competitions and has appeared in anthologies, including The Moor Poets (book and CD), Acumen and Poetry Scotland. He was Poet in Residence at the 2011 Appledore Book Festival. He has published two collections with Mudlark Press: Arisaig (2010) inspired by themes of memory, spirit of place and family memoir and Through a Glass Lately (2014).

Chris has twice been awarded first prize in the prestigious Bridport Prize. ‘I’ll always be grateful for the encouragement conferred by that prize,’ he says. He went on to study with Seamus Heaney at an Arvon Foundation Course.

Chris Fogg has worked as a theatre writer and director, with many successful credits, including as creative producer for South East Dance in Brighton as well as being an independent creative producer supporting other choreographers working in contemporary dance. He has also written and directed plays for companies such as Farnham Maltings, New Perspectives and Flax 303. His first collection of poems and stories, Special Relationships, was published by Mudlark Press in 2011.

“Stirring, brain-whirring and playful – chock full of delights…” Quentin Cooper, presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The Material World

Poets Chris Fogg and Chris Waters web

Clive Ashley (jazz sax and bass player) and Chas Dickie (cello) will play their own fusion sounds, as well as improvising in response to the poetry, creating a live dialogue between words and music.

Chas Dickie studied cello with Margaret Moncrieff and Rhuna Martin whilst at the Colchester Institute. While at school he took cello lessons with Delia Fuchs and played in the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. He also plays piano and double bass. He has played on soundtrack of “ Secrets and Lies” by Mike Leigh [Palme D’or award at Cannes] and with P.J.Harvey (Plants and Rags), Jacqui Dankworth (Field of Blue), Startled Insects (Curse of the Pheromones), Frank Perry (Planetary Peace), Robbie McKintosh (Unsung), Gordon Haskell (A Little Help from You, Freeway to her Dreams) and Sandi Thom (The Last Picturehouse).

In his youth he toured France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, and Switzerland with Van der Graaf in 1977/8, playing cello and keyboards. He has also played in the Seedbed Orchestra and Ovary Lodge with Keith Tippett and Frank Perry and in Maintenance with Lou Glandfield and Clive Bell. Lou Glandfield and Chas Dickie won an Arts Council bursary to tour Mongolia in 2004, as part of the Roaring Hooves Festival, performing in the Gobi Desert and in Ulaanbaatar. Chas is now part of the Pool of Sound String Quartet. 5 Big Life Library albums, and “9 Stones” the album by his own band Polygenes. His educational string compositions were published by Faber in the series “Fingerprints”. He has been giving workshops in improvisation for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra since 1990, for E.S.T.A on various occasions, the Cello Club of Great Britain 2003-07 and in Medellin and Bogota, Colombia in 2004 and 2008.

Clive Ashley has a music degree from the Dartington College of Arts. He is and has been a very well known and constant presence in the jazz and blues scene of the West Country and nationally (playing with Ben Waters Boogie Band, Ronnie Wood and numerous jazz ensembles) – known for his lyrical, energetic style and his ability to improvise with imagination and panache. He and Chas Dickie played in the 23-piece Barrelhouse Blues Orchestra.

As well as reading from their own work, and from some of their heroes and heroines, Chris & Chris invite requests of works by other poets on the same theme of journeys – requests will need to be sent in advance to gallery@sladersyard.co.uk – and may be incorporated into the programme.

Sladers Yard Licensed Café is renowned for its wonderful home cooking. It was winner of The Taste of the West Gold Award 2014. The café specialises in fresh, locally grown ingredients cooked to delicious Moorish recipes.

To book your tickets at £15 or £30 with supper for Saturday 29th November please phone 01308 459511.

Chas Dickie’s String Quartet Pool of Sound:

Google Earth by Chris Fogg

In Copenhagen on a Sunday afternoon
a Japanese student soulfully plays
an Italian folk song on a Hungarian violin –
it’s an offer that’s hard to refuse –

leaning against a synagogue wall
beneath a giant billboard poster
of a soccer player from Portugal
in the red shirt of a team from Manchester

opposite a Turkish café, where I order a Danish
(except that here it’s called an American)
and take a seat in the last available booth, which
is guarded by a smiling store front mannequin,

who is so eerily life-like that at first
I mistake him for real and ask him if
the seat is taken, but he doesn’t reply –
he waits while the Hop-on/Hop-off

land train slowly trundles by:
“Experience Purity with a Twist”,
its carriages lumberingly proclaim –
the strong, silent type, I think, until

I realise – who looks more at home,
I wonder?  It’s a moot point – while
atop a civic building at the river’s bend
a huge Macdonald’s clown beams down

bestriding, arms akimbo, confident,
as if he’s always been there,
a colossus, a Mount Rushmore president:
“I’m Loving It!” he declares,

the words enshrined in a cartoon bubble
as far below, a cardboard Viking,
who tips to his lips a Carlsberg bottle,
whimpers: “Possibly the best lager in town”,

which I, a British visitor, later will  recall
in some stateless airport terminal,
set down, then e-mail to my friend
to read in a Massachusetts living

room from where, if she looks me up on Google
Earth, she might see me trudging through the rain
with my cappuccino in one hand and bagel
in the other, scouring these streets in vain,

the song the Japanese student played
still running through my brain while I
look for the Hans Anderson Mermaid
which I’m told’s been shipped off to Shanghai.


Chris Waters:

My Father’s Tools

Which I did not inherit, must be floating
debris in some Universe of Lost Things.

Such weights in a boy’s hands – the great grappling
Stillsons, and his ponderous mallets,

cones and  balls in turned wood forced down into
lead pipes, making  python-like extrusions.

The gleam and sweat of copper! And the arcane
heart of it all, his blow-lamp, brass-crafted,

roaring into cobalt spears of melding
flame, scorching as he tallowed the flux

around the burnished joint, the pad smoking.
Lost things will persist in being lost,

yet as I write to meld and torque these lines,
it’s strange, this late, to feel his hands in mine.

– Chris Waters


One Response to Poetry and improvised music Saturday 29 November

  1. Pingback: Poetry and Improvised Bluesy Fusion Music Saturday 29 November | Sladers Yard

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