News 30/05 – new HoV blog and other bits

Hi! How are you? Are you well? Comment and tell me if you’re well. That’d be nice. Then I’d know if you were well, and have some comment stats.

So! Stuff! My new blog for House of Verse is up. It’s a sort of basic overview about leftist politics and self-representation in art, which I hope will leave you feeling hopeful and wanting to come along to some stuff. If it does, please do both of those things! Hope, and come to stuff. It’s a good combination.

Some things you can come to would be June, September and October’s Find the Right Words, the latter of which will feature me taking on the challenge of the Speed Poet slot. It’s a brilliant gimmick where a poet is given three or four topic prompts by the audience at the start of the evening, then has the first half to write a poem featuring all of them, which they then perform to kick off the second half. Normally, they really struggle to get someone to agree to it, so I’d been building up my gumption for months before volunteering… only for relative spoken word newcomer Dan Wallbank to completely shame me by stepping up for June, which will be only his 3rd outing at FTRW. I asked if I could do July, before being reminded that Upstairs at the Western is closed over summer and that September was also already taken. Thus, I’ll have to hold my nerve all the way to October. Come along in June, where I’ll be giving Dan difficult prompts about obscure Japanese wrestling championships or something.

Moving away from poetry but not from Dan, he and I are in the midst of utterly, finally decimating his resolution to not take on any long-term projects in 2017. I won’t drop too many details til we’ve got things together a little more, but you can already get involved! So if you can think of a person from history, recent or distant, who suffered especially cruel and horrible luck, please email me with some details, and if I’m allowed by then, I’ll let you know a bit about what you’ve just contributed to (and make sure you get a credit on the final thing, natch).

Moving away from Dan very firmly by talking about sport, I’m delighted to confirm I’ll be part of ByTheMinute‘s team covering the British & Irish Lions tour! Although sadly not live from New Zealand unless I develop superhuman powers of persuasion very quickly. Anyway, it’ll be fun! If you’re not out there/near a TV when the games are on, or just want some tasty word seasoning to your Lions experience, myself, Rob Sutton and others will be happy to oblige.

That’s it! Please be nice to each other until I have more stuff to talk about. See you around at stuff.

News!

Okay, we’re up and running here – after a bit of a hiccup involving Leicester-based houses with Virgin Media internet, charleswheeler.co.uk should be accessible from every single computer not firewalled by an oppressive regime (and some that are!).

So, to celebrate, a bit of news! I’ve just been confirmed for House of Verse‘s show on 15th July at 2funky Music Café. HoV is always a lovely gig, with lineups so diverse I always come away with like three new favourite things every time. Come hang out!

I’m also gonna be at my regular haunt Find the Right Words on Wednesday, but as a humble open-mic-er (if I can get a slot – they go fast!). It’s highly recommended – I’m not familiar with either headliner, but that’s almost always the case and they’re always great. I first saw and met Buddy Wakefield and Paula Varjack at FTRW having never heard of them before, and now they’re among the most influential artists in my life. The open mic slots are always full of undiscovered gold too.

Planning for our BadArt protest showcase continues quietly – it’s taken a back seat due to me and the other organisers being busy with General Election campaigning, but we’re hoping to have a date confirmed soon (I’m reasonably confident saying it’ll be a Sunday in mid-September). We’re fleshing out the lineup too, and holy heck is this gonna be a good show. We’ve got some incredible talent on board with some really exciting plans. It’s gonna be brave, loud and radical. Get your solidarity fists warmed up over the summer, you’re gonna need them!

Speaking of the election, our Socialist Party branch is organising a bunch of stuff to build and spread the case for a better world before 8th June. We’ve got a public meeting on 27th May at Secular Hall to discuss Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of winning on a socialist, anti-austerity platform, featuring the National Shop Stewards Network‘s Rob Williams as speaker, but open to the contributions of everyone. Whatever party you’re part of, whether you’re a Corbynista or still yet to be convinced, please come along and we’ll talk it through together. That, after all, is how democracy works.

Right. That’s more things than I meant to talk about. Turns out loads of good stuff happens. Cool! See you at some of these things, I hope!

Charles