On Saturday 6th June We4Poets returned to their spiritual home with another evening of poetry, film, live music and storytelling at its sublime best.
Over a dozen of Manchester’s finest performers were welcomed to the Three Minute Theatre by a full house and a warm and wonderful audience.
Kate Woodward – aka Spug – hosted and headlined a line-up that featured:
Alex Aspden – soon to appear in The Skriker alongside W4P’s very own Gail Meacham – brought music and laughter while Gail sang the blues with a jazz twist … and then jazz with a blues vibe.
Writers & taletellers David Llewellyn and Paul Clarke showcased original short stories and Michael Kyriacou gave a chilling preview of soon-to-be-seen one man show.
Singer songwriter Tez Skachill played two laid back acoustic sets and indie filmmaker Olivia De Winter premiered her latest work.
But it has to be said, the evening belonged to the poets.
W4P stalwarts Kat Kehoe and Trish Ashworth had a happy audience chuckling along before Stanley Ayodeji demonstrated the power of the spoken word with poems of urban unrest. A delighted crowd welcomed Ashton poet Micheal Hulley back from a European tour and making her long overdue We4Poets debut – though not her first night at the 3MT – Joy France proved worth the wait.
John & Gina kept a good thing going adapting the world’s finest little theatre to performers of every size and style.
Friday 24th April saw another milestone for We4Poets with a first public performance at the Three Minute Theatre, Manchester.
The 3MT is a quirky little venue in the heart of Manchester’s indie mecca Afflecks Palace. It is the perfect home for an evening of live poetry, music and performance.
And then came Kate. Kate Woodward – better known in literary circles as the writer Spug – held the audience spellbound with the story of Jack & Vera … only it turned out it wasn’t really Vera after all!
Only hours before the the gig, We4Poets lost 3 poets in a tragic stanza shoot out. Luckily we have Stan Ayodeji, a man big enough to fill any gap with wit, warmth and verse.
Finishing off the first of four sets was Gail Meacham singing Black Coffee. Extraordinary, utterly extraordinary.
After the break came a breakthrough for We4Poets with the debut screening of an original film by independent videopoet Olivia Meacham. Remember the name and remember where you saw it first … unless you know Olivia, in which case you know we are tapping into an enormous talent.
And so the evening continued. Alex returned to the stage for a poetical swipe at
political twat politician Nigel Farage; Paul told his Apple classic; We4Poet frontman David Llewellyn argued the case for the 463 day year; Spug recounted the story of Dan’s Desperate; and Michael Kyriacou performed 20 poems in 4 minutes.
Amid an evening of likes, loves and laughter there were moments of absolute joy. One-man-dance-show Blu Jazz Dance joined us for the very first time with sublime soft-shoe work and a story to match. Also marking her first evening with We4Poets was the … too many superlatives and none of them rich enough … Nikky Norton Shafau. Nikky performed poems old and new and absolutely delighted everyone in the room.
Four more mentions. To anybody who has heard it, Gail’s take on the Beatles’ classic All My Loving is now the definitive version. Stan’s second performance was simply breathtaking, and David gave us a rare guitar performance and a blues version of ‘Daz,’ written by the legendary geordie poet Nod. If Stan Ayodeji is the powerhouse behind We4Poets – and the rest of us are the eye candy – then Tez Skachill is the heartbeat. In two sets Tez played four tracks from his brand new EP – Fragments – and finished the evening with songs from the back catalogue.
And finally … our never-ending thanks to John & Gina at the 3MT. Monuments could never be built high enough. We4Poets will count every moment until we are back with you on Saturday 6th June 2015.
‘Fragments‘ features the single ‘If I Question’ as well as three previously unrecorded original songs.
‘If I Question’ is a melodic gem and has been performed to rapturous applause in venues across the North West. Changing time signatures between verse and chorus may be frowned upon in the mainstream pop culture but here Tez Skachill does it seamlessly, adding musical depth to meaningful lyrics.
Not one to hide from emotion, Tez Skachill wears his heart on his sleeve with the sublime ‘Somewhere Called Nowhere’ and the tunefully melancholic ‘I Left My Heart Out in the Rain’. The final track on the EP is the toe-tapping ‘Remedy’ – another song that invariably goes down well with live audiences on the gig circuit.
‘Fragments’ is Tez Skachill’s second solo offering following on from the album ‘Believe Half of What You See’ recorded back in 2011 when Tez was only 17 year old. Since then he has fronted indie rock band Grim Architect and continues to play a central role in the experimental The Mind at Large, alongside guitarist Alex Tadros and percussionist Amir Rahimzadeh.
‘As a personal project, Fragments gave me the opportunity to express myself while honouring the great songwriters who have influenced me,’ said Tez Skachill. ‘Echoes of Nick Drake and Smokey Robinson can be found in these songs but the list is pretty long.’
Fragments is available to download from itunes, Spotify & Google Play and the CD can be purchased for only £4.99 from the on-line store.
Tez will be playing all songs from ‘Fragments’ live with We4Poets on Friday 24th April and Saturday 6th June 2015 at the 3 Minute Theatre
The Sip Club is a cosy little venue and the lovely Heather – owner/manager – was once again happy for We4Poets to try out new songs, poems and stories to a warm and select audience.
An evening compered by singer/songwriter Tez Skachill saw writers Paul Clarke and Spug tell new tales, while poets Kat Kehoe and Tricia Ashworth delivered perfect words with perfect timing. In utterly different and mesmerising ways, Stan Ayodeji and Michael Kyriacou expertly melded prose with verse before David Llewellyn hit new notes – and a deserved ovation – with a rare musical number. Alex Aspden … was simply astounding.
But if there was a single highlight it would have to be our first ever Open Mic spot when Phoebe Stevenson – one of the North West’s youngest and most accomplished writers – delivered two unforgettable and original poems.
The evening was wrapped up by We4Poets own Tez Skachill playing songs from his eagerly awaited forthcoming EP. Watch this space.