Hey Readers Wednesday night saw me take my weekly journey to the Blue Chair Cafe for a night of cabaret and chaos. As is always the case there were great performances from the regulars and some highly promising debuts at an event which seems to be getting more popular by the week.
As I arrived a wee bit late it is fair to say I missed the early performances but those I saw more than made up for my late arrival.
The first act I saw was Darren a gifted singer/songwriter who played four songs two of which Monolith and References were absolutely brilliant. This is a man of genuine talent and a performer I want to see and hear a lot more of.
Next up was one of my favourite members of the Blue Chair family. Anna Crow. Anna for those who don’t know is a committed political activist and is standing for The Green Party as a list candidate in Glasgow. In this particular set, Anna who identifies as non binary gender performed Queer Is, Ask Me If I’m Ok a thought provoking poem on the topic of mental health , and she finished off with a breathtaking political polemic entitled If Your Not Angry Your Not Paying Attention. As I’m sure regular readers are aware I am a great admirer of Anna’s , her poetry is not only very well crafted she always seems to come up with such wonderful titles for her work and some of her lines are right out of the top drawer. In the last poem of her set Anna encapsulated all that is wrong with UK and indeed global society with this damming line on how the rich and powerful treat the rest of us ‘ Those in power ignore their pain , crack open another bottle of champaign. These words to me sum up the couldn’t give a damn attitude of the Cameron, and Osborne Conservative government towards those in society who are left on the scrap heap by their toxic brand of politics.
After Anna it was the turn of Andy to entertain us with some laid back acoustic tunes and make the mood somewhat more melodic. This however was only temporary and when Gabriel Featherstone took the stage the result was highly creative comedy from the Alice Cooper of stand up whose topics included jokes on Orwell, and time machines and is the only man in history to sing his own introduction.
Following Gabriel is never easy at the best of times but when you are heckled by a drunk singing Tiny Bubbles the old Sydney Divine classic of 1970’s west of Scotland new year parties who insists he’s not drunk and is only slightly intoxicated your job becomes so much harder and such was the case for Adam V Cheshire on this wet and windy Wednesday. However far from giving up as some people would I am sure have been tempted to do, Adam simply got on with his set and performed No Man Is An Island, giving and I hope he will forgive the pun a storming performance.
As things calmed down a bit it was the job of my very favourite member of the Blue Chair family, Kirsty Nicolson to make it stayed that way by reading one of her own poems Is There A Word? and followed it with a story by a nine year old member of a children’s drama group she teaches. Kirsty then made the draw for the Blue Chair slam which will take place on the day that this is posted
Kirsty was followed to the stage by a young musician making his Blue Chair debut and I have to say that Kieron was a welcome addition to the night. I really liked this guy and his songs especially his first number entitled Looks S Bit Like Ronaldinho, which despite the title Kieron assures us as a song on unrequited love. After Kieron it was the turn of Davy who performed a couple of covers and I loved his version of Lilac Wine
At the end of Davy’s set the focus returned to poetry and Mark performed five of his poems Ghost, More, This Is The Illness, An Unknown, and Truth In The Lies. What I liked in this set was the variety of topics covered, and his easy listening style makes him a poet with a voice worth listening to.
Mark was followed by James who treated us to a couple of songs All Gone, and Workman It was during this set that our resident compere Kieron asked if I wanted to be next to the stage and ever one for a challenge I accepted the slightly earlier than usual slot
performing three poems two of which were receiving their first public airing. I did however start my set with an old and trusted favourite in Karaoke Queen. This was to give my phone time to load up, when it did I read Acceptance which is about being a trans teen in the stifling cultural climate of the Scotland of the 1970’s. I finished my set with my tribute to David Bowie A Vote Of Thanks To A Martian Transvestite. Yes you did read that title correctly as once recall my mother calling Bowie a martian transvestite.
Anyway as I was to find out later, my set and especially the new poems were very well received with acceptance in particular getting very positive feedback from a number of those in attendance.
I was followed to the stage by Jack who sang two songs the second of which, Pretend, was his debut Blue Chair debut of his first original song and believe me when I say it went down a treat with the regulars.
After Jack it was the turn of the man that our compere Kieron described as the most patient rapper in the world and when Paul took the mic he didn’t disappoint. Well let’s be honest , he never does. Believe me this is a man of genuine quality. Paul started his set with the wonderfully titled Survival Of The Privileged and his line about the IMF being as gangster as it gets is both topical and brilliant. Our rapped then delivered his second rap of the night and Hourglass was sharp, current, and on point as a rapid fire rhymer with rhythm grabbed the attention of an audience who were only too willing to listen to his words and enjoy them.
As we neared the end of another entertaining evening it was Blue Chair favourite Grace who was next up to the stage. Grace performed only one number on this occasion and it was a song with a very misleading title The Same Old Thing as this description though a good title for a lovely song comes nowhere near to describing her talent.
As Grace departed the stage after an all too brief appearance it was time to welcome our penultimate act as Russell Wilson performed two of his favourite songs Hoochie Coochie Man and Foxy Lady before Pete who was also making his debut the performances to a close with his rendition of the Johnny Cash classic Fulsome Prison Blues.
At the end of Peter’s song there was only one thing left to do and that was to as a company sing the Closing Time song before leaving our cultural homes to get back to the safety of our real homes
As I made my journey east I thought on the night I had enjoyed in the company of friends and. of strangers whom I hope will become friends in days yet to come and reflected that if you’re really angry at the survival of the privileged you’ll receive a Wednesday welcome at a place of acceptance, for all.
Love And Best Wishes