Monday, July 21, 2014

Poet and Artist Grzegorz Wroblewski EXHIBITION IN WARSAW

Poet and Artist Grzegorz Wroblewski has his first exhibition in Poland in 29 years, having lived since then in Copenhagen

PROGRAM MERCURY
Museum of Literature in Warsaw (Rynek Starego Miasta 20).

Opening day is 6th August (18:00) and runs until 28th September

Details of the exhibition can be found here

ARTIST ANNIE BRUNDRIT'S NEW WEBSITE

Artist Annie Brundrit has an excellent new website

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A QUESTION FOR OWEN JONES

Owen Jones is an excellent socialist journalist. I agree with so much he says. Owen admits he's a fourth generation socialist, via the Communist Party and the Militant Tendency.

Owen Jones is one of those young journalists I thirst for because, apart from a couple of opportunistic attacks on the hard left, he defends the working class while attacking the Tories and the US driven neo-liberalism across the world.

Owen wants socialists and campaigners and protesters  (young and not so) to join the Labour Party and change it from the previous Blairite ultra warmongering government into a socialist party.

Given that there are four or five socialist Labour MPs and a withered Left within the Labour Party, is Owen's project at all possible? Is there some kind of working class structure within the Labour Party which may enable this to happen?

Labour club buildings were sold off in the Blair/Brown years. In the whole of East Anglia I think only the Ipswich Labour Club survives as a functional community building. Worse for Owen, on the ground, Labour Party activists amount to the few pushing out the Labour vote.

In Norwich, as an example, Labour Party activists are counted on two or three fingers in any campaign, protest or activity. Local Norwich City Labour Councillors have been absolutely terrible re the Bedroom Tax - and they think they're socialists!!

The trade unions are a route to changing the Labour Party perhaps but here too the heart of activity is not just sceptical about the Labour Party, it's jaundiced, especially as the LP leadership will not support workers in struggle - the workers Owen supports.

Owen, you really, really need to explain not just Why the radical left should join Labour but HOW they can possibly change Labour into a socialist organisation.

You owe us an answer Owen - HOW are we to change Labour?

MASK OF ANARCHY - BEST POEM OF THE LAST 190 YEARS


 Without the socialist journalist Paul Foot, who died ten years ago this year, I wouldn’t have fully understood that Percy Byshe Shelley’s poem ‘Mask of Anarchy’ is the greatest poem of the last 190 years and certainly the most popular among the working class and oppressed worldwide.

The poem concerns the 1819 Peterloo massacre of working people in Manchester. Yet it is a universal and global poem rallying the exploited and oppressed to “rise like lions after slumber” to confront the tyrants of power.

On every continent, in every rising, the poem has been heard as a rallying call. Foot, in his brilliant book ‘Red Shelley’ dismisses those literary Oxbridge souls who designated ‘Mask of Anarchy’ and other easily accessible poems by Shelley as “juvenile” poems. In other words, the scholars-of-state have never wanted poetry to move beyond the page to action. For them – then and now – nuance is all (and then get students to write poems about the nuances).

As business is now the flux of the state on a global scale – whether the state is a dictatorship or democratic in name – the exploited and oppressed today have so much more in common with each other (the billions) versus the very few.

This is presently a period of slumber. However, from Austerity to Egypt,, things can change quickly. That is from Peterloo to Palestine it is time to wake. In our waking, Shelley’s ‘Mask of Anarchy’ will be a touchstone for action not the reflection so many on high desire.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

JULY 6 MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB GIG - THE TORI FREESTONE TRIO




THE DISTINCTIVE SOUND OF TORI FREESTONE AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB THIS SUNDAY

This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 6 July features the distinctive sound of an original musician striking out in an unusual setting – The Tori Freestone Trio.

Tori Freestone is a tenor saxophonist, flautist and composer highly regarded on the UK jazz scene for her free-flowing intelligent style as both a sidewoman and band leader.

She has a robust tenor sound without losing the subtlety of melodic invention and her composing balances the personal, witty, exciting and playful, drawing on a range of musical styles from jazz and beyond.
 
Regulars to concerts at Milestones will know Tori as the co-leader with guitarist Jez Franks of the risk-taking, modern jazz band Compassionate Dictatorship but it is her new trio that has recently been gaining the most attention.
 
A trio of just sax, bass and drums may seem like a dry prospect but with her long-time musical associates, uber-creative drummer Tim Giles and the original, sought-after bassist Dave Mannington, Tori keeps the music fresh and forward looking.
 
Over the years Tori has performed with a variety of musicians from Lee Hazlewood and Andy Sheppard to The National Jazz Youth Orchestra at prestigious venues like The Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie Scotts' Club, The National Theatre and the Glastonbury Festival as well as tours of the UK and Europe.

This concert is the only East Anglian date on a UK tour supported by Jazz Services to promote the release of the trio's debut album, 'In The Chop House'.

The band’s full line-up features Tori Freestone (tenor saxophone / flute), Dave Mannington (double bass) and Tim Giles (drums).
 
All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).

Sunday, June 22, 2014

TOWARDS 10 YEARS OF BLOGGING ON RUPERT'S BLOG

In January 2015 Rupert's Blog will be 10 years in the making. To mark the anniversary Rupert's Blog will step up a few gears from this October with rolling posts on poets, artists and musicians who have influenced me and many others.

There will be over 300 posts here, which will both celebrate the past and create a new stepping stone to the future. Also, it will be a celebration of blogging on the margins and entirely critical of celebrity blogging and the 'dark side' of the net.

2015 promises much. It is very likely my late father (Tom Mallin) will have all five of his novels republished (online and in print) next year. Also, I'm setting up a 'micro' publishing venture - like a micro brewery - not micro size publications just short editions!

Please keep following. If you want a link to your website or blog on my sidebar, contact me. If you want to send me publicity, email rupertmallin@gmail.com

Catch you later.

Friday, June 20, 2014

ART IN BOXES EXHIBITIONS



UNCOVERED COVER UP COVERED a box series by Rupert Mallin

I've been busy. In April curator Helena Golano hosted an exhibition of my 'Out of The Machine' boxes and other art works - together with artworks from across the globe and excellent collages by artist Annie Brundrit.

The 'Out of The Machine' boxes also made an appearance at the new 133 Kings Street Gallery in Great Yarmouth at the end of May - as part of the town's art festival.

GOD'S OPINION




Last week - or perhaps the week before - I happened upon a Christian Festival in the city. Though it is five years since I had a cigarette, one engaging display had me reaching for my Old Holborn tin. On a stall, manned and womanned by four smartly dressed folk, was a large array of lavishly printed leaflets - "What God Thinks of Smoking."

I had no idea God had an opinion on smoking. He must have an opinion on everything! Beard lengths, pot holes, balding, weather forecasts - everything.

I would like to know his opinion on blooms in baskets on bicycles but don't know how to approach him. In whispers before bed or shall I shout out (and up) from a crowded city street?

"Hey God, do you prefer shouting or whispering? Eh?"

NEW POEMS BY MARTIN STANNARD

Poet Martin Stannard has seven poems in the latest edition of Shadowtrain - an excellent poetry magazine.
 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

THE NICK MALCOLM QUARTET AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB, JUNE 1

Photo by Peter Kay


YOUNG TRUMPET VIRTUOSO BRINGS 21ST CENTURY JAZZ TO MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB

This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 1 June features exciting 21st century jazz fully realised by young musicians at the top of their game – The Nick Malcolm Quartet.

The young trumpeter Nick Malcolm has become known on the London jazz scene for his quietly adventurous original compositions that that showcase his rich, warm sound.
 

Featuring four highly individual improvisers, the quartet combines the rhythmic and harmonic complexities of contemporary jazz with the intensity and interaction of free jazz, blurring the line between composition and improvisation.

 
Nick Malcolm's compositions, drawing on the influences of Thelonious Monk, Kenny Wheeler and Steve Coleman, seem to have a life of their own, freewheeling passages unexpectedly resolving as rhythmic cycles, timbral textures and melody are merged and deconstructed in unexpected ways.
 
The band have performed at prestigious venues like Ronnie Scotts and The Vortex, at festivals all over the country and completed their first national tour in 2012 to promote their debut CD, 'Glimmers'.
 
In February BBC Radio 3's flagship jazz programme, 'Jazz on 3', broadcast a specially recorded concert by the quartet.

This concert is the only East Anglian date on a UK tour supported by Jazz Services to promote the new CD, 'Beyond These Voices'.

The band’s full line-up features Nick Malcolm (trumpet), Alexander Hawkins (piano), Olie Brice (double bass) and Ric Yarborough(drums).
 
All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

THE CHRIS INGHAM QUARTET AT THE MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB - MAY 4



THE SONGS OF HOAGY CARMICHAEL BROUGHT TO LIFE AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB

This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 4 May features a tribute to one of the great American songwriters, playing his music and telling the stories behind them – The Chris Ingham Quartet: A Celebration of Hoagy Carmichael.

Hoagy Carmichael is one of the most enduring and endearing songwriters from the 1930's and 40's - the golden age of the Great American Songbook. Wry, wise, sentimental and sophisticated, Hoagy’s songs are beloved for their warmth, humour and jazz-inspired melodic beauty.

From the prescient wit of ‘Old Music Master’ and the exotic misadventures of an opium-eater in ‘Hong Kong Blues’ to the evocation of home in ‘Memphis In June’ and ‘Georgia On My Mind’, these gems of 20th century songcraft continue to have a power to move and delight.

As a respected jazz pianist, a long-standing author, journalist and music teacher Chris Ingham is well-placed to bring Carmichael's music into vivid focus, playing the songs and putting them into context by telling the stories behind them.

The project originated as a one-off concert for a festival, but the rush of good feeling generated by the show has lead to a permanent touring band and an acclaimed CD, 'Hoagy".

"Like all successful songbooks, the composers’ intentions tend to get obscured along the way", says Chris Ingham, "Listening to Hoagy’s own recordings as inspiration helped us get closer to the essence of the song".

All this leads to tunes that have been heard a thousand times taking on a new shine, especially in a setting that Hoagy Carmichael knew himself only too well - that of an improvising jazz band.

Chris Ingham is supported in his band by Paul Higgs, one of the UK's most versatile and expressive jazz trumpeters, for many years an arranger for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and a musical director at the Royal Shakespere Company and the National Theatre.

The band’s full line-up features Chris Ingham (vocals / piano), Paul Higgs (trumpet), Ivars Galenieks (double bass) and George Double (drums).

 All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).


Monday, April 21, 2014

OVERHEARD CONVERSATION IN NORWICH

A frail elderly woman approached an elderly woman in good health.

"I've been in hospital," said the first woman.

"Oh, how are you doing?" asked her acquaintance.

"Not too good. I get up and want to go back to bed - and then I go back to bed only to get up again."

"Oh dear."

"I keep thinking about my grandmother, She was 105 when she died and worked until she was 96! I'm 82 and I'm bloody knackered."

Saturday, April 19, 2014

BRITAIN'S GOT TALENT CON

Have you noticed how those who get through the initial Britain's Got Talent live auditions have their teeth already whitened for Simon Cowell?

What a set up!

Monday, April 14, 2014

5 OF MY FAVOURITE 10 POEMS


 

I hated poetry at my secondary modern school. Hymns seemed like the only poetry until The Mersey Sound (Henri, McGough and Patten) and Bob Dylan found their way to me. Through this teenage interest I soon found my way to the Penguin Modern Poets No 5 paperback – the Beats Ginsberg, Corso and Ferlinghetti.

 

If ‘Coney Island of The Mind’ (City Lights) by Lawrence Ferlinghetti was my favourite book for many years, “Sometime during eternity…” was the first poem that gripped me for a life time. Its fluidity, which others might term simplicity, allows everyone who can read into it. The page layout is the metre (the voice). It is a universal poem, written in the heart of the beast, the USA, addressing religion, rendering that which is the human circumstance as chance – but the chance to be and to do.

 

At seventeen at college I had to read poems aloud as part of the intensive Speech, Drama and Dance course I was studying – for an English Speaking Board exam. I wasn’t a high flyer in that process but I got to read “Sometime during eternity…” I was also introduced to Louis MacNeice’s ‘Snow’ poem but preferred his ‘Prayer Before Birth.’

 

‘Prayer Before Birth’ is also an open, simple poem with the incantation of prayer; and carries the questions of the unborn into a world torn apart by war and exploitation.  

 

However, an interest in poetry carried me in all sorts of directions – back and forwards between the accepted cannon of classical poetry and the flowering small press poets.

 

My third favourite poem is more of an experience than a poem! After the college course I spent time in Liverpool and, by chance, stumbled upon a performance at the Walker Art Gallery by concrete Poet Bob Cobbing. I think the poem is titled ‘tantandinane’ (ABC in Sound?) and was an improvisation in sound using elements of words. Later, the revelation that a text could be an intermediary between performances became important to my own work.

 

Why a concrete/sound poem in my top ten? I was into artists like Kurt Schwitters and Diter Rot and the idea of things being broken (deconstructed) and remade, which is an essence of Modernism, appeals to me still.

 

A year later I was back in Suffolk and began reading Sylvia Plath – every poem. Though carefully structured, her work is ever lively and succinct. ‘Daddy’ became a favourite – opening up a debate in my mind about the sexes – a war between the sexes, Freudianism and the fight for women’s equality. The nursery rhyme like structure undercuts the images of the fascistic father and holds out the horrors of the world as male constructs.

 

If Plath was all about individual and internalised struggles – the world as an influence in the head and soul – Adrian Mitchell’s poetry was about the big struggles in the world, from war and famine, to a war between capitalism and socialism.

 

Adrian Mitchell’s ‘Tell Me Lies About Vietnam’ is a brilliant poem because he inverts the linguistic style of tabloid reportage to create a powerful poem of statements in opposition to the ruling ideology of the tabloids.

 

Twenty years after I first bought Mitchell’s ‘Riding The Nightmare’ I was lucky enough to read with the poet at a gig in aid of Medicine For Iraq in the wake of the US/UK embargo on medical supplies to its people following the first 1991 imperialist war on that Middle East country. If you can’t wipe out people with bombs, wipe them out with disease!

 

While Roger McGough got comfy money by doing the voice for Waitrose ads, Mitchell never gave in to that comfort. Apart from Sylvia Plath perhaps, these poets whose poems have ended up on my top 10 list, wrote or performed for objectives beyond themselves – for the world.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB APRIL 6 GIG - THE PAUL HILL QUARTET






MASTER 7-STRING GUITARIST PAUL HILL RETURNS TO MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB
This month's concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 6 April features the first return visit since 2010 of the master guitarist leading his own funky band - The Paul Hill Quartet.

Paul Hill, one of the region’s finest guitarists, is distinguished by the fact that he plays the specially built BJH 7-string guitar that creates a much bigger sound than the normal 6-string guitar.

Paul began playing classical guitar at about 9 years of age before progressing to the electric guitar and by the age of 13 was regularly playing in rock bands.

Soon he began studying advanced concepts in jazz and is now a very successful teacher, examiner for the London College of Music and the author of the popular book - The Paul Hill Guitar Theory and Technique Book.

His fleet-footed, punchy playing confirms the influence of jazz guitar greats like Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Barney Kessel and Joe Pass.

Here he leads a quartet of the region’s most respected players through an imaginative selection of both American Songbook classics and modern jazz standards by Chick Corea, Mike Stern, Bob Berg, Stevie Wonder and Pat Metheny that showcases Paul's warm tone, inventive lines and advanced sense of harmony.

The band’s full line-up features Paul Hill (7-string guitar), Simon Brown (piano), Andy Doyle (bass) and Cath Evans (drums).
 

 All Milestones gigs are held on the first Sunday of every month and take place at Hotel Hatfield, Esplanade, Lowestoft with the doors opening at 8pm.

Admission - £7 / £6 (concession).

Thursday, March 27, 2014

JUDGEMENT - a poem by Rupert Mallin


Days in chambers

Prosecuting climates:

A robe falls

Light catches lead in the panes

And ink scrawls

A spider concentration camp

 

You look through me

In a stranger’s dream:

Our history in your hair

Each word an old river

Your punctuation antique

 

Days in chambers

Prosecuting friends:

The globe tilts

Night catches ice

And only rubbery entrails

Remain of the erasure of failures

 

You look at me:

Nectar from your nightmare

Solid, pollen fossilized

Wing beats from a millennium ago.

You and I frozen.

DOVER SOLE - a poem by Rupert Mallin


 

We meet

Eye to toe

Head to feet

On a bench

 

We’d been to lunch

Grilled sardine and tomato

In The Accused, a café

At the corner of Dale Street

It’s off the beaten track

And we arrived via tweets.

Strips of blind shuffled like solders

And a sergeant of sunlight

Danced on Marmite

And was gone

 

We meet

Eye to toe

Head to feet

In a trench

 

We had been at lunch

Poached lemon Dover sole

In The Accused, a café

On the corner of Dale Street

And Alan Road

On the way to the crematorium

You said, “all you can eat”

Before we were reassembled by name

In the old livestock auditorium

Friday, March 21, 2014

HENDRIX: THE U.S. NATIONAL ANTHEM, WOODSTOCK 1969


Gary J. Jucha, in his otherwise informative book ‘Jimi Hendrix Faq, disputes that Hendrix’s Woodstock ‘Star Spangled Banner’ instrumental is political, is a rebellious howl against war. He is wrong.

 

In 1969 the HUAC (House of Un-American Activities Committee), established in 1938, still existed, and the shadows of the Hollywood Blacklist and controls against media and cultural criticism of government, persisted. Allegiance to the flag was everything.

 

On the reverse side of this was the Civil Rights Movement, a global rise in national liberation movements, industrial strikes and the War in Vietnam. Hendrix knew the score and lived his short life in the contradiction between the entertainment industry and the persistent fight for equality.

 

Hendrix’s rendition of the anthem is not an overly imaginative interpretation of the lyrics but a collision between their history and the moment – war, riots and a summer of love. “You can hear the bombs dropping in Vietnam” someone recently wrote on the YouTube video of Hendrix’s masterpiece.

 

Hendrix’s ‘Star spangled Banner’ isn’t his usual jam/impro. He almost instantly loses Mitch Mitchell on drums: here is a great musician turning the veneer of US reality over, revealing the napalm, the destruction and the pointlessness of war. With his eye on maintaining his own armour, his fingers paint a masterly satire of the state of the nation. It is revolutionary.

 

I remember seeing Woodstock in 1970 at a special screening in Sudbury, Suffolk, in the cinema the town once had. Way back then I wondered if he’d be arrested for such expression. But Hendrix knew how to dress the anthem up – with a hand to the crowd and a smile – and people saying, “well, how else do you think Hendrix would do that one?”

Saturday, March 08, 2014

JOHN WARD BAND AT THE WAVENEY FOLK CLUB

The John Ward Band

Waveney Folk Club, Crown Street Hall, Lowestoft

Friday 21st March

Doors 7.30pm

 
FEATURING JOHN WARD
together with Stephen Mynott (guitar, mandolin), Les Woodley (double bass, mandolin), Andy Marr(Cajon, Percussion), Lynne Ward (vocals) - who  will be joined by Mario Price (violin).

You don’t need to be a member of the ‘club’ (there is no membership). It’s £6.00 on the door, the door is in Factory Street and they open about 7.30

There will be some floor spots beforehand and we start playing about 8.45. Bear in mind if you are thinking of coming that space is limited to about 90.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

EPICS OF OPTIMISM, a poem by Martin Stannard - Stride Publications

Martin Stannard, who I have regularly featured on this blog over the years - and whose work I've enthused about - has a poem 'Epics of Optimism' published by Stride Publications