Richard and I hardly ever go out in the evening but this week we managed to go out twice! At the end of October each year the Halesworth Arts Festival takes place in The Cut, an old maltings that has been converted into an entertainment venue. The Cut takes its name from the lane it is in – New Cut – which refers to new cuts made to the river when a lock was built in the 18th century and the River Blyth was made navigable from Southwold on the coast to Halesworth.
Last Sunday night we went to listen to a poetry reading by Brian Patten who made his name in the 60’s with the publication of the ‘Mersey Sound‘ anthology. (The other two poets featured in this anthology were Adrian Henri and Roger McGough). We enjoyed the evening very much. Patten not only read many of his favourite poems but spoke about why and when he wrote them. When I was in my very early 20’s and living in Liverpool I went to hear Roger McGough at a ‘Pubs and Pints’ event. A nice re-connection, I thought.
We discovered Brian Patten had known and read with many other famous poets apart from Henri and McGough; Robert Graves, Philip Larkin, Stevie Smith, Pablo Neruda, Allen Ginsberg, Laurie Lee and Robert Lowell. He had shared a house with Brian Eno and had been friends with among many others, Keith Moon and Neil Innes. Neil Innes was in the audience and joined him in a few reminiscenses.
Neil Innes? He is the minstrel in this clip.
He is the singer here
My father who was a cabinet maker, once did some work for Neil Innes in the 70’s when Innes was living in Lewisham. My father had no idea who Innes was and felt sorry for him and so undercharged for the work. ‘His jeans were split at the knees and he was obviously short of money’ said Dad. I think we were the ones who were short of money – always. My mother explained who Dad had worked for.
The other performance Richard and I attended was a concert by the ‘Aquarelle Guitar Quartet’. I don’t think I could describe them better than the blurb in the programme so please click on the link to read it and see the programme of music they played. There is also a recording of them playing.
The programme included classical – old and modern, jazz, folk and film music. I loved ‘Opals’ by Philip Houghton who is Australian and uses the Australian landscape as inspiration. ‘Folia’ by the American composer Ian Krouse was amazing.
The four young men, who had met when they were at the Royal Northern College of Music, were charming, amusing and very talented and I would urge you to see them in concert if they play anywhere near where you live.
Thanks for visiting!