Tuesday, September 30, 2014

OCTOBER 5 MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB GIG


TOP GUITARIST AND FUNKY ORGAN TRIO RETURNS TO MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB

The next concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 5 October features the return of a band that captures the energetic spirit and gritty Hammond organ format of the 1960’s Blue Note style - The Nigel Price Organ Trio.


When jazz guitarist Nigel Price performed with his band at Milestones Jazz Club in 2009 they recorded tthe majority of their acclaimed album, appropriately titled, ‘Live!’.

At this concert Nigel once again leads his funky and hard-swinging band in the spirit of Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Jimmy Smith and Jack McDuff through fiery originals and well-chosen standards.

Musical petrol is thrown on the fire by the band’s other members - the brisk, quick-fire playing of Hammond organist Ross Stanley and drummer Matt Home, leading London musicians in their own right.

Nigel’s fluid and confident voice skilfully fuses flowing bebop lines, the earthy wail of the blues and a will to swing and has made him instantly accessible and popular with jazz audiences.

Since the late Humphrey Lyttelton called Nigel ‘a really class performer’ it is not surprising that he has fast become one of the UK’s leading jazz musicians, often performing at Ronnie Scott’s Club and working with the likes of Pee Wee Ellis, Bobby Wellins, Alan Barnes, Peter King and the legendary David Axelrod at the Royal Festival Hall.

As guitarist with the standard bearers for the UK jazz-funk and acid jazz movements, The James Taylor Quartet, Nigel spent a number of years recording and touring Europe making him equally at home with modern jazz, funk and blues.

"We’re really looking forward to playing in Lowestoft again as concerts at Milestones are always some of the best of the tour," says Nigel, "The recordings from 2009 were so good that we could easily have released a ‘Live at Milestones’ CD".

The band’s full line-up features Nigel Price (guitar), Ross Stanley (Hammond organ) and Matt Home (drums).

Listen to Nigel Price’s music and watch You Tube footage by visiting
the club website at http://www.milestonesjazzclub.co.uk

This concert is part of a national tour supported by Jazz Services.

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, September 21, 2014

THE "VOWS" AND SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE - FAR FROM OVER


If you remember. Alex Salmond leader of the SNP, proposed that the Scottish Referendum should carry three options: Yes for independence, No for the present UK status quo or a Devo-max option (maximum devolution short of independence). David Cameron rejected this.

However, with only a couple of days to the Scottish referendum on September 18, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband vowed that a No vote would enable Devo-max (maximum devolution for Scotland without independence).

So, as the Scottish arrived at the polling stations the choice of Yes or No to Independence had totally changed to a vote for independence (Yes) or a vote for Devo-Max (No). That is, while 55 per cent voted No, they actually voted for maximum devolution for Scotland. That is, one hundred per cent of Scottish people are against Cameron’s original framing of the question – a straight Yes or No. Any backtracking or betrayal of these “vows” therefore is against all Scotland.

Despite the British State and global leaders throwing all efforts into securing a No vote – including the bias and propaganda of the BBC and 37 newspapers -  Alex Salmond’s Option B of the original draft for the ballot paper has been achieved!

This “vow” must provide far greater democratic rights and powers to reside with the Scottish parliament of Holyrood.

These “vows” from David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are, just three days later, tormenting each leader.

Cameron’s Tory back benchers are calling for an English Parliament if such concessions are given to Scotland. This would enable only English MPs to vote on English only legislation, because Holyrood would have more powers and, perhaps, limited tax raising powers. However, English nationalism isn’t Scottish nationalism.

English nationalism is British nationalism as the raising of Union Jacks in St. George’s Square, Glasgow, on Friday after the referendum aptly illustrates.

Also, if Cameron is able to deliver the “vows,” then what of maximum devolution for Wales and Northern Ireland? And if Northern Ireland has more powers then Irish reunification will rise as a question again.

Least effective of any politician, Clegg looks set to lead the Lib-Dems to oblivion. Increasingly, his coalition with the Tories seems like the ullage (the gap of air between top and shoulder of a good bottle of claret enjoyed at the Bullingdon Club). That is, “a waste of space.”

Clegg has no spine and clings to the rocks of Cameron for survival and hopes Ed will be his raft next year.

Ed Miliband’s position is entirely more interesting as before September 18th he could rely on working class Labour voters in Scotland – like Tories rely on their votes in Surrey. The Yes vote last Thursday was 45 per cent – the greatest number among the working class of the cities. The more rural areas of Scotland, where the SNP have been strong, largely voted No and suggests quite a number of previous SNP voters switched to the Devo-Max option.

So, apart from the huge vote from those who had not previously voted, the greatest swing in votes was from Labour’s ‘Better together’ to the Scottish independence Yes Vote. There are possibly 500,000 Yes voters, once traditionally loyal to Labour, who will be loyal to Labour no more. This is the most historic  effect of the Scottish referendum returning a No vote.

To See Miliband, Brown and Darling snuggling up in bed with Cameron will turn many who voted Yes away from despair, to anger with Labour.

The historic duty of the Left in Scotland – the radicals, campaigners and socialists – is to quickly create a party that unites around key demands, supports workers’ campaigns and strikes, and builds unity to stand in the May 2015 General Election. This “45” project must also respond quickly to the engulfing crisis in Westminster. Such a party must include Tommy Sheridan who has been a tireless campaigner against Trident, the bedroom tax and always fights for social justice in Scotland.

Ideologically and, perhaps politically, the game is up for the status quo, for the limitations of democracy placed on the peoples of these islands by the elite. Half of Scottish people no longer believe the BBC or the UK newspapers. Scottish people have long loathed the Tories and now Labour are on the edge. There are swathes of great Labour supporters on the No side who will be watching if the “vows” happen – or is this another betrayal Labour is part of?

In England far, far greater democracy needs to be handed on to every city – not through mayors and the like – but to give powers back to Local Authorities to run our schools and services and to protect them from privatisation.

What begins in the heart of Scotland can quick become the heart on fire in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SCOTLAND REFERENDUM: WHY I'LL NOT READ THE GUARDIAN ANYMORE

You would hope that The Guardian of all newspapers in Britain would have at least sat on the fence during the Scottish Independence Referendum. No. It has joined with The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail in supporting the Ruling Class of the posh boys from private schools who run Britain - the media, the judiciary, the markets, Westminster, the police and the armed forces.

Indeed, over recent months it is The Guardian that has travelled further right than any other newspaper. The turn of the Scottish working class to vote for independence found The Guardian - once a proud paper of independent investigative journalism and international reportage, second to none - reflecting the views of the ruling elite. .

In the latter stages of the Scottish Referendum Campaign its editor has entirely capitulated to its financial interests and left any sense of critical judgement behind.

The Guardian has squeezed out the best of columnists to enable Darling and Brown to vindicate the 2008 economic crisis they helped to create by painting these Lab-Tories saviours of a union that is only in the interests of neo-liberal capitalism.

The Guardian now ignores the working class - there's no profit in them! And certainly, it has over recent years nurtured an increasingly middle class readership. The trajectory The Guardian is on will leave even these behind as it competes for Telegraph and Times readers.

Guardian columnists and journalists shouldn't fall for its editor's pull to the right. I just hope the working class of Scotland give The Guardian a bit of a metaphorical kicking tonight!

Sunday, September 07, 2014

SCOTTISH YES VOTE! A VOTE FOR DEMOCRACY

Oh, Scotland! Just days ago the NO vote of 'Better Together' - the Westminster Establishment of Conservatives, Labour and the Lib-Dems looked secure. The London led status quo seemed to be made of concrete. Not now. We're on the edge of an earthquake as YES to Scottish independence seems entirely possible - according to the latest polls. I am not a nationalist but I am a socialist and I am absolutely with the YES campaign and vote. Why?

Democracy. If the YES vote wins it will be entirely down to those who feel disenfranchised previously now finding their voice, particularly across the council estates in Glasgow, Edinburgh and elsewhere.

The Labour Party believed those who bothered voting would vote Labour. So, in Miliband Oxbridge 'speak,' if Darling and Co called for a NO vote from the Scottish working class they would follow Labour loyally. Why should they? For over 100 years the Labour Party leaders (nationally and locally) have betrayed the working class of Scotland (and England).

Things began to change in 1989 when the Tories imposed the Poll Tax on Scotland before it was cast across the UK in 1990. Tommy Sheridan and socialists independent of Labour fought back across Glasgow, Edinburgh and other Scottish cities. The Scottish working class rose against the Poll Tax and this fuelled the rebellion in England and Wales which culminated in the Anti-Poll Tax Demo in Trafalgar Square in 1990 which ended the tax and Thatcher.

Real democracy is about debate - debate in meeting rooms and halls - and pubs and coffee bars - among neighbours, in families. Real democracy is not social media. Westminster doesn't want 'living' debate. They want Democracy to be a paint-by-numbers exercise that TV and the internet can provide.

A YES vote in Scotland would also expose UKIP - the racist, homophobic, sexist right. They could no longer call themselves "United Kingdom" and with Scotland "independent" what "independence" but more Tory Rule would UKIP offer?

A YES vote in Scotland could bring David Cameron's PM role to a swift end and will leave Ed Miliband a fish out of water. The Scottish (British) Labour Party will find it difficult to retain its prominence north of the border. A YES vote will enable the majority in Scotland to struggle for the best of their NHS without privatisation, the best of Welfare and enable Scotland to be free of Nuclear Trident. It will enable Democracy writ large to determine the future.

In England and Wales a YES vote in Scotland will undermine all that is Westminster, the Stock Exchange, the BBC and ruling ideology that profit is master over people. It will also call into question independence for contested regions in Europe.

Even if there's a narrow NO vote in Scotland, the centre can no longer hold. 

The Left can be proud that they've won this position - not the SNP alone. YES or NO, Scotland shows the rest of us that Socialists tirelessly campaigning among the majority, bringing ordinary working people to democracy, have the power for social change. The Radical Independence YES campaign is a source of inspiration for all of us.












 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

TWO NORFOLK & SUFFOLK UP COMING JAZZ EVENTS

BECCLES JAZZ WEEKEND
 

As part of this year's Beccles Festival there is a weekend of jazz, September 19-21, that includes the great singer Tina May.


Friday 19 - Sunday 21 September
Waveney House Hotel
Beccles
NR34 9PL

 
AN EVENING OF JAZZ AND CABARET

 
Sunday 14 September, 7pm
Norwich Playhouse
St Georges Street
Norwich
NR3 1AB

Friday, August 29, 2014

GRZEGORZ WROBLEWSKI INTERVIEWED IN JACKET 2 MAGAZINE

Piotr Gwiazda interviews Grzegorz Wroblewski in Jacket 2 Magazne     

SEPTEMBER 7th GIG AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB - FEATURING SIMON SPILLETT




SAX VIRTUOSO SIMON SPILLETT BRINGS THE LIFE AND MUSIC OF TUBBY HAYES TO MILESTONES JAZZ CLUBThis month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 7 September features a return visit by one of the most the UK's top saxophonists playing a tribute to one of this countries all time jazz greats – Simon Spillett and The Chris Ingham Trio : The Life and Music of Tubby Hayes.

Virtuoso tenor saxophonist Simon Spillett is a player of jaw-dropping ferocity, who has risen in the past few years to become one of the most dynamic and distinctive tenor saxophonists on the UK jazz scene.

At this special Milestones concert Simon will be telling the story in words and music of Tubby Hayes, one of the most respected and loved musicians in the history of British jazz.

 
A formidable musician and composer playing and writing in an uncompromising hard bop style, Simon always delivers a high-energy performance and shares with Tubby Hayes a love of dare devil tempos, all-out, no-holds-barred, intensity and heart breaking ballads.

His driving, energised style and passionate commitment to unabashed, straight ahead jazz has attracted much attention and garnered prizes that include the BBC Jazz Awards 2007 ‘Rising Star’ and the 2009 Record of the Year from the prestigious Jazz Journal.

Since becoming a professional musician aged 21, Simon has worked his way through a very practical jazz apprenticeship, playing at clubs and festivals across the UK including top venues such as Ronnie Scott's, The 100 Club, The 606 and The Jazz Café.

Alongside Tubby Hayes, Simon's main saxophone influences include John Coltrane, Ronnie Scott, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

Simon is also a regular member of The Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra performing with all of the UK’s leading jazz musicians and has accompanied stars including veteran jazz singer Jon Hendricks, pop icons Will Young, Mick Hucknall, Andrea Corr and Sharleen Spiteri.

At this concert Simon will be given the all-important muscular support needed from some of East Anglia’s finest players - the trio of pianist Chris Ingham includes the solid double bass of Ivars Galenieks and fiery drumming of George Double.

The band’s full line-up features Simon Spillett (tenor sax), Chris Ingham (piano), Ivars Galenieks (double bass) and George Double (drums).

Listen to the music and watch You Tube footage of Simon Spillett by visiting the club website at
www.milestonesjazzclub.co.uk

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).

NB Milestones Jazz Club takes place in a basement room that requires the use of stairs. If you have a disability please contact
milestonesjazz@hotmail.co.uk or (01502) 568684 for more info and help in entering the building.

If you need to reply to this message or any others from 'Milestones' then please contact
milestonesjazz@hotmail.co.uk

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

NORWICH - BALLY SHOE FACTORY BECOMES ANOTHER BLOODY ASDA STORE

Norwich City Council initially posed many conditions on ASDA building a supermarket on the historic Bally Shoe Factory site, Hall Road, Norwich. All those conditions were swept away last week by our Labour-blue council.

I can't get a cigarette paper between Labour and Tories in Norwich. In the same week as ASDA is given permission to build an out of town supermarket very few want, the City Council is  promoting the city centre's historic market because it is under threat of closure. This is the best market in the region but more and more stalls are empty. Labour City Council laments BUT they're the problem!

A. Why on earth the ASDA supermarket when the city centre is being run down?
B. Support the Market by lowering stall rents.
C. Promote the city NOT supermarkets for neo-conservative profits.

We oh so need a Left Alternative to our fossilized Labour councillors!

 

WORKSHOP: IMAGE & WORD & BOXES


 

In a short break from work, I ran a workshop with Quill Writing Group, Great Yarmouth, today.

Armed with boxes, found objects and paper the group of 15 created some great images with texts.

I thoroughly enjoyed the activity!



LEFT HANDERS DAY!

August Thirteenth is Left Handers Day. I am left handed. My mother in the 1930s and 40s had her left handedness drummed out of her. Muriel Mallin became a successful landscape painter with her right hand. Or, for most of the time (most of us thought) she painted right handed. Perhaps she cheated?

The notion of 90 per cent right handers as some kind of genetic makeup of humankind is purely a reflection of our terrible history of division. Back in the times we lived as primitive communists, flint tools don't show the 10 to 1 bias of right handed napping. We were far more 50-50.

It wasn't until class society began, via warfare, that protection of the heart (considered slightly more Left than now) would find the right hand covering it - with or without shield or weapon.

Christianity, as it developed, took biblical texts literally: via the right hand is Heaven, via the left hand is Hell.

During the heights of British Imperialism left handedness was literally beaten out of children. Though we no longer discriminate against children who are left handed, the bitter legacy of this history continues.

Recently, I have taught in many high schools and from my anecdotal evidence I can say that youngsters in lower 'sets' are more likely to be left handed.

If you're right handed imagine this: at five years old you are taught to play the recorder. Everything is set out for the right handed child. Indeed, in nearly every activity of learning, the left handed child has to learn twice: a) to learn the activity and b) to interpret the activity for their left hand.

That is, given some left handed understanding - and action - I reckon the Lefties in the lower sets are probably brighter than the Righties in the top sets!



 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

AUGUST 3RD GIG AT THE MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB - TRUMPETER DAN FRIEND



DEBUT APPEARANCE AT MILESTONES JAZZ CLUB FOR TRUMPETER DAN FRIEND

This month’s concert at Milestones Jazz Club on Sunday 3 August features the debut club for a thoughtful, swinging musician more than capable of also turning up the heat  – The Dan Friend Quartet.

Dan Friend is a trumpeter, composer and teacher, based in East Anglia, highly regarded by audiences and fellow musicians for his warm tone and considered style.

Dan studied at The Royal Academy of Music and the London music colleges of Trinity and Goldsmiths and in turn has spent a lot of his career as a teacher, specialising in teaching children with autism.

Although his primary jazz influences are Miles Davis and Keith Jarrett, Dan's inspirations can be found in everyone from composer Igor Stravinsky to reggae legend Bob Marley and are reflected in the diverse territory covered by his other musical projects that touch on 'techno swing', funk and hip hop.

 
Dan's warm and precise instrumental style reflects a musical philosophy summed up by a quote attributed to to Duke Ellington: "There are only two types of music in the world - good and bad".
 
"I believe that anybody can be musical," says Dan, "Through composing, playing and teaching my aim is to encourage this universal language. Through thoughtful work and encouraging enjoyment, music enriches all aspects of our lives".
 
Dan has toured Europe, recently performing in the city of Bethlehem in Palestine and has composed music for the stage including Limbik Theatre’s 2011 production of ‘Ghost Town' and the Framlingham College production of 'Hamlet' in 2013.
 
At this concert Dan will be leading his own band through a choice selection of lesser known standards and a few originals.
 
The band’s full line-up features Dan Friend (trumpet), Matt Hodges (piano), Ivars Galenieks (double bass) and Jesse Barrett (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, 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.