RITETRAX: Golden Harvest, Sheffield @7th May 2016

Ritetrax is a project that goes from strength to strength, and when we attend their events we see some really great acoustic acts, Heidi Dewhurst and Liam Walsh are two that spring to mind straight way. I always enjoy having a blag with Des, the Video Jockey, and then the evening unfolds with DJs, bands and all sorts of eclectic contributions, graffiti art, artistry of all sorts.

It’s been a privilege  to be on the journey with these guys, and here’s a recording from my last gig at Golden Harvest with them. Hopefully there will be more.

At the end of ‘This Could Be The Last Thing I Ever Write’, I set fire to the poem, the recording obviously can’t capture that.

Richard Bower follows with some excellent material – he’s a talented fella.

Click on the image to hear my set, and Richard’s:




Droplets of Verse: ‘A Broken Tail Light’

Poppa could have fixed that easily enough
He wound down the window. Bang! Then a puff . . .
The inside of the car filled up with smoke
It tickled my nose, then the silence broke

Momma screamed, I thought she would never stop
Boys point toy guns, then they shout ‘pop!’
I’ve seen them in the yard at school
They grow up and become cops

Droplets of Verse: ‘Straight Talkin’ Corbyn’

Welcome everybody to the wild wild west
Straight Talkin’ Corbyn’s here to clear up the mess
He’s no easy meat for the corporate vultures
He’s taming the Blairites, changing political culture

Bankers bonuses are far too generous, it’s just not right
Straight Talkin’ Corbyn’s got them in his sights
The world of British finance plays fast and loose
Straight Talkin’ Corbyn will sort them, he’s got the juice

Greedy big business grabs dollars by the fistful
But Straight Talkin’ Corbyn has no need for a pistol
He’ll make them walk the line, by rule of law
Straight Talkin’ Corbyn’s always quick on the draw


Droplets of Verse: ‘I’m a Meadow’

I’m a Meadow
Where baby lambs frolick
And the soil is rich
Nurturing the roots
Trampled on by kinky boots
I’m a meadow
How those weeds flourish
And day trippers leave rubbish
A light breeze says hello
A worm wriggles down below
I’m a meadow
Bare feet running
A sanctuary for sunning
Ladybirds taking flight
Insects enjoy a light bite
I’m a meadow
A home for dandelions
And massive electric pylons
Blackbirds perch on a wire
Storms pour down on a field of fire
I’m a meadow

Droplets of Verse: ‘Sailing’

A millionaire business man raided his employees’ pension pot
Bought himself a hundred million pound yacht
Stashed away dividends in his wife’s name
Asset stripped his own company, again and again
He’s a knight of the realm, for services to industry
With him at the helm, the business became history
Declared bankrupt by a man with no conscience
He stockpiled riches for himself, drowning in opulence
He steered the ship into the biggest of black holes
Eleven thousand jobs perished, floated away, lost souls
He could buy himself a diamond as big as an iceberg
His moral compass set to grab, he’d like to own the Universe

Droplets of Verse: ‘Flutes of the Finest Fizz’

I’m guessing you’re round about fifty three
Your mortgage is paid off and you think you’re free
Taking foreign breaks whenever you can, Tuscany is lovely
The days are gone when you talked of revolution, of anarchy
You’re comfortable enough you’ve paid your dues
Earned yourself a holiday, life has become a cruise
You don’t pay much attention anymore to what’s in the news
Your old life was a riot, for a while you sang the blues
But then you got a proper job, the rat race came a calling
You made a real killing, interest rates rising and falling
The inequality gap widening, something yawning
Your real interest remained in investments soaring
Once upon a time you protested, fought for just causes
But all that got pushed aside by growing market forces
You watched the protest movement fall into paralysis
Small sorrows drowned out by flutes of the finest fizz


Droplets of Verse: ‘This Is England’

This is England
Winner of two world wars and a football world cup
Saturday night a guaranteed booze up
Still undefeated, world champions at chucking up
Sunday morning hangovers healed by a full English fry up

This is England
An island so civilised, steeped in history and culture
Soap operas on TV, flooding the past, present and future
Celebrities on game shows, making a nation’s hearts flutter
Punk rock renegades from the seventies, advertising butter

This is England
The kingdom of the carrier bag, home to the high street
Where anyone can buy anything, mainly stuff they don’t need
If it’s not made in China it must be a copy, a cheat
American branded tee shirts top of the must-have tick sheet

This is England
Saving for the trip of a lifetime, a fortnight in Disneyland
The Costa Del Sol a home to expats, worshipping sun, sea and sand
England is the spiritual home of reluctant Europeans
Talking revolution over pints of beer, waiting for nothing to happen


Droplets of Verse: ‘A Strange Kind of Heat’

You may as well have attached electrodes to my genitalia
It surged through me daily, that overwhelming sense of failure
The dull shock of even a minute in your company
Was enough to fill my flat battery with a full charge of insanity
I swam through those deep waters daily, hoping to discover an island
But, it was an endless ocean of raw emotion, I must have been blind
The fish in the sea swam around freely, without any obvious effort
Until one day they got tangled in a net, and then they were caught
It was a mixture that created a strange kind of heat
The vapour was sour, when it should have been sweet
There was a reaction, it was an experiment that went wrong
It bubbled away dangerously for years. Far too long

Droplets of Verse: ‘Toxic Tony’

Toxic Tony
He’ll put an arm around your shoulder
And tell you you’re a good soldier
He’s a phoney

Toxic Tony
He claims to have amazing powers of deduction
Says he can detect weapons of mass destruction
It’s all baloney

Toxic Tony
Works in public relations for vicious dictators
Loves to get his photo in all the newspapers
He’s a kiss ass crony

Toxic Tony
Has a special relationship with the US of A
Especially when it involves a big fat payday
Loves dirty money

Toxic Tony
Wrote bad erotica in his autobiography
Shared graphic details of his expert foreplay
Paraded his sexuality

Toxic Tony
Tries to slam the wheels of history into reverse
To save his reputation as one of the world’s worst
He’s looking lonely

Toxic Tony
He’s bracing himself for a report to be published
And he’ll say anything to show the findings are rubbish
He’ll deny it all, solemnly

Toxic Tony
His fortune has grown, he’s amassed many riches
But power is the thing for which he constantly itches
Reckons he’s a visionary

Toxic Tony
He craves attention, loves to hear his own voice
Everyone else ignores his tiresome, grating noise
He’s a nobody

Toxic Tony
It’s common knowledge he’s a war criminal
Rejects his responsibility for manoeuvres political
Should be under lock and key

Droplets of Verse: ‘The Sick Man of Europe’

The sick man of Europe
Can’t hold it together
Borders are bulging
Trade winds and bad weather

The single currency
Is a drunken clog dance
Blocked up arteries
The cafe bar of last chance

Accumulated debt
The virus of empty pockets
Goggles are misted up
Steam from hot, stale croissants

Slicing the sausage
Much too thickly
Bureaucrats sharpen knives
Surgery for the terminally sickly

Some make a profit
Have healthy accounts
Others turn shades of green
Their share prices bounce

The blossoming far right
Display a healthy glow
They feed on apartheid
Show a thirst for stemming the flow