It was billed as a Surrealist ball so I rocked up in a pointy hat and a hastily drawn on mustache: a vague reference to Fu Manchu. It seems I was the only one to get the memo. Thankfully Becky behind the bar took pity on me and proceeded to serve my Frothinghams Best, from beneath a black lace veil.
The third night in the Awayke series was an eclectic joy start to finish. Opening with Friday night poetry from the wonderful wordsmith Matthew Hedley Stoppard. He mentions ‘arses gored by umbrella tip’ in an innocent poem about ducks. There’s one inspired by Wim Delvoye about the act of tattooing unconscious pigs and talk of mermaids in goggle and snorkel from a maritime verse. Matthew is a family man now with a wife and kids so a couple of his poems reflect that change in status. A Family Behind Glass was Guardian Readers’ books of the year 2013. The poem of the same name is filled with the poignancy he feels when leaving his family at home… and then there’s Ilfracombe a delightful tale about his two year old son having a holiday romance with the South West. ‘Somewhere in Devon his heart is trapped in a lobster pot.’ reads the final line. Much to his surprise and to the delight of the Adelphi crowd Matthew received an encore and came back with a sorry tale of debauch and regret on the early morning streets. MHS occasionally puts stuff out on Hull label Adult Teeth and has a number of books and collections available, so do look him up on Valley Press
The Dyr Sister has an album. No really it’s true after many long years and any number of DIY demos the debut album is done. She, Salbo, creates music that originates from an imaginary or even spiritual world. There’s something incredibly otherworldly about the hypnotic beats and ethereal vocal that drifts in an out of focus as she builds layers to loop live on stage. A unique vocal style and approach to songwriting. Known mostly for being a violist plucking or bowing, tonight she switched it up with some more upbeat folky numbers on mandolin. During her set you could have heard a pin drop, Sal would surely have incorporated the sound to accompany the tupperware percussion and the one that sounds like a little frog croaking. Having spent a number of months travelling and performing in Mexico Salbo is like a musical sponge picking up inspiration, instruments and finding new stories to tell wherever she goes. There’s a trip to China soon, you can be sure she will immerse herself in more than just the green tea and noodles. New album available through her website http://www.thedyrsister.co.uk
Freak out, acid glam rock psychedelia call it what you like, nobody in Adelphi was prepared for the hour long set played by the Cesarians tonight. I’m assuming the name is some reference to giving birth to something new but in a violent way. I’m not sure. By the third song they were dancing down the front, it didn’t take me long to join them. Having lost my pen I was channeling my notes through my pointy hat. I recall a song about a white dove that was called something pigeon and something else about living on a riverboat; sounds terribly boho. Looking like a young Captain Zip the frontman delivers punchy songs with showmanship and panache. The Cesarians are a seven piece London band including horns strings and keys. Him sporting a ripped gold thread top the rest of the band smartly attired in black and utterly beguiling. Sublime harmonies with melodic flourishes switch to high tempo craziness with jazz and funk time signatures. Just the complete package incredible stage presence, individually stylish and more musicianship on one stage, than I’ve seen for a long time. Easily a solid entry for top ten gig of the year list. The Cesarians have a sense of theatre building up the energy and excitement sending the Adelphi crowd into a frenzy, then bringing them down with a dark languid section, that oozes and pours off the stage. They played for an hour, almost two halves really and it’s fair to say that they still left the crowd wanting more. Utterly astonishing. Note to other venue owners there’s a market for the older kind of group, it’s not just about getting the latest young thing and lining up the hipsters. The final finale was Bowiesque drenched with melancholic charisma: pure poetry. Check out the Cesarians online. http://www.thecesarians.com/
Quick word for Martin Lewsley of Atomluft the brains behind Awayke and responsible for the triumph tonight.