Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Music Fusion

The Canadians are coming! Because I am tired and a little lazy I have decided to simply insert my press release about this. This is the first press release I have ever set free. At the same time I find this all frightening and very amusing. Not to mention excited. If you're reading this and live anywhere near Oxford I strongly encourage you to come to this, this will be a great night out.

Hammer and Tongue Presents

The Music Fusion

A Trans-Atlantic extravaganza of award winning slam poets fused with music explodes on the Zodiac stage.

Event: The Music Fusion

Time: Tuesday 5th July 2005

Venue: The Zodiac 192 Cowley Road, Oxford

A fusion of Canada’s ‘The Fugitives’, one of the finest slam poetry teams in the world, and Oxford’s own Inflatable Buddha, comes together at Oxford’s Zodiac for a one off gig. The Fugitives were the Canadian team at February’s celebrated and sold-out Four Nations Slam in Oxford, and Inflatable Buddha have been described as Oxford’s finest “worldfolkpunkskiffle / acid-cabaret” band.

The Vancouver-based Fugitives have been wowing huge audiences in North America for some time. They are made up of Barbara Adler, Brendan McLeod the reigning Canadian National Champion, Mark Berube and the mind-bogglingly talented human beatbox CR Avery. CR Avery can, among other things, play harmonica while beatboxing at the same time.

The legendary Tom Waits says of Avery: “Search this man out, CR Avery is terrific”.

The Fugitives deliver a unique hybrid of spoken word and music. They run the gamut from comedic to hard-hitting, insightful spoken word, and combine it with adventurous strong structures performed on piano, accordion, guitar, harmonica, beatbox, and voice.

Inflatable Buddha are fronted by the current Spoken Word Olympic International Champion Steve Larkin, one of the best slam poets the world has to offer. They are as entertaining, talented and unusual band as you are ever likely to see combining instrumentation as diverse as hurdy gurdy, accordion, double bass and tabla with the unmistakable vocal and lyrical talents of Larkin. Accordionist Rupert Allison (aka poet The Naked Mystic) said “This promises to be a memorable gig. We were blown away by The Fugitives when we got our first taste of them in February. I can’t wait to jam with their incredible beat box guy and compare our champion poet to theirs.”

The event is being promoted by Oxford based poetry organisation Hammer And Tongue, who have successfully plotted the meteoric rise of the phenomena known as slam in the UK. Promoter Richard Body said “I think I’ve hit gold here, after witnessing so much live performance in my native New Zealand and here in The UK I’ve finally found what I consider to be the perfect combination in the Canadian slam team and this crazy talented band with it’s poet singer. I’m proud to promoting them on the same bill."


Note to editors

1. The Music Fusion will take place on Tuesday 5th July at The Zodiac, 192 Cowley Road, Oxford. Doors open 7pm, £6/£4. Box office 01865 420042

2. Details and photo’s can be found at: or

3. For details of inflatable Buddha and Steve Larkin check and

4. Recent feature of Hammer And Tongue in Isis Magazine can be found at

5. For more information call Hammer and Tongue 01865 200550, or Richard Body on 07734558477 email,

6. Hammer And Tongue takes place on the first Tuesday of every month at The Zodiac where anyone can take the mic 3 minutes.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I should have added that...'s a return flight. I'm sorry to dash those hopes in both countries.

I swear I could listen to The Go! Team all day...

U2 and The Killers and Starsailor minus 12 days...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

In My Head and My Hands

In my head I have some momentus information concerning a friend of mine. Can't give specifics, suffice to say it makes me very happy.

In my hands I am holding tickets for a flight to NZ in mid August. I'm going home, babies!!

Today is a fine day.

Except for the shitty weather.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Half Full

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree" - Martin Luther

Our Town

Last Friday I went to the Pegasus Theatre in Oxford to see the Oxford School of Drama's production of Our Town by Thornton Wilder. It's a simple little play set in a small town in the northeast of the United States between 1903 and 1913. The cast is comprised of the host of characters that you might expect to find - a doctor and his wife, the policeman the milkman, the reverend, and the paper boy. Over three acts we see the progression in their lives, from 'Daily Life' to Love and Marriage and, inevitably, 'Life and Death'. These three acts are all narrated by a stage manger.

As an observer I quickly gained an empathy for many of the characters, despite, or maybe because of, their simplicity. In the second act we see the doctor's son George and the neighbour's daughter Emily get married. The wedding itself is a small part of the play for, as the narrator observes that he wants to show us "how this all began this wedding, this plan to spend a lifetime together ... I'm awfully interested in how big things like that begin." Which, to me, is an interesting approach. Kind of like how a series of trickles create the Mississippi. I guess it is like the outcome is not so important, whereas the process is.

The third act has one of the main characters dead, and it is their funeral that the cast attend as the dead look on in from the graveyard. In this act it is the dead that provide the commentary and the living are mere bystanders. It is the dead who understand: "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense .... We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names ... that something has to do with human beings."

The curious thing about the play was that despite it's simplicity (or again, maybe because of - oh dear, repeating myself, now that's not good writing skills...) it lingered in my mind throughout the weekend. It became one of those plays that you felt that you had not so much observed so much as been a part of.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Not Isolated 3 (love and Justice)

Justice and Anita got engaged on Friday. He popped the question on a beach that he was sharing with a nuclear reactor.

C'est Magnifique!!

Is it a bad omen that when Anita told Kate the news Kate was in Tesco looking at a sign advertising their 'bag for life'?

J'ai adore Jutice et Anita.

A lot.

Not Isolated 2 (The Oddity that is Communion)

Went to hOME last Thursday, but due to the need to practice cricket I only caught the last fifteen minutes. Naomi was leading a talk on Jesus, which inevitably led to on to communion. It struck me that communion is an incredibly odd thing. Why would Jesus say "do this in rememberance of me"? I couldn't (and can't) get my head around it; it is just so abnormal.

I feel like it's one of those things I ought to know, having been church going all my life. But, to quote Gandalf, "I have no memory of this place". I probably knew it once, but I've forgotten it all.

This feels odd, and somewhat of a loss, but it also feels like a wonderful opportunity to discover this stuff all again as an adult.

Because I had not eaten, I picked up a kebab on the way. As I (noisily) sat down to eat it at the back, we started breaking the bread. I'm not sure that Jesus said "this is my kebab, broken for you", although I was eating a donner kebab and Jesus did call himself the Lamb of God. Oooo, metaphysical!

Ahhh.... Christian humour.

Not Isolated 1 (contentedness)

(I didn't want to treat this as an isolated entry)

At the moment I am feeling quietly content with not being defined by anything. Or Much. I have a tendancy to define myself by what I do, or my singleness or by my Christianity (not as much as I should). Right now I feel like I am comprised of a balanced agglommeration of a lot of things and this is good.

The best answer I have heard to the question "what do you do" was by Wendy when she answered a question directed at Craig with "he skims stones on frozen lakes and makes lovely noises".

Justice doesn't like that question either. Speaking of Justice, see Not Isolated 3 (love and Justice).

I still wouldn't turn down a snog, but...

Isolated Entries (NOT how I want to blog)

More random notes to myself, I'm afraid. It's been a while, and so before I forget I have decided to Get Shit Down.

Discovered the Icelandic band Sigur Ros. Don't know how to pronounce their name but love their work. My goodness gracious me, so fine.

Discovered Dorset. Don't know if you've heard of Dorset, but it's worth a visit. This was also my first trip to the South Coast for bank holiday weekend (and was incidentially also the first time since I've been the UK that I have done something specifically for a bank holiday weekend). Specifically I discovered Dartmouth with Jane, Monica, Rhys, Megan and Grace.

Dartmouth is the birdshit capital of the world.

I don't know what this website is about.

Patrick has a lovely random conversation about napping and underground systems.

I cannot bat to save my life. It has been over a month since I scored a run and almost didn't get out in the process. In addition WCC has not been doing so well. We haven't won in three weeks. Grrrrrrr. And the league took all our points for one of our wins. I'm not a happy engineering bunny.

My under 15s keep winning. This is good. Tonight Shrivenham got put to the sword. They had the noisiest player I've ever heard. He chirped on constantly for an hour and a half with such witticisms as "he swings like a rusty gate with no hinges", and "I've seen better swings in a child's playground", and "that aint a bat he's holding, it's a fishing rod", and "decorate those stumps like my mum decorates the Christmas Tree, all nice and red". And repeat and rinse. And repeat. I needed a vodka and an aspirin to get him out of my head. The little punk couldn't
half bowl though. He impressed me. Needs to shut up, but.

Punted on Sunday with Evelyn, Steph and Gareth. Did most of the work, which was satisfying 'cos I only ran aground a couple of times, although in a similar vein to when I 'ice-skate' I did feel on the verge of falling in all the time. But it was one of those times when I remembered why I love living in this city so much. That was a relief because Simon, Malcolm, Muzz, Greg, Gedge and Gareth were all in Rotorua watching the Lions play Bay of Plenty. As Simon said, I am in the wrong country, man. That may be true, but I fear I love two mistresses, and the one whose love is most engaging at the moment is Oxford. God, I love her. I'm sorry, Simon but I can't come home, cos, damnit, Oxford is home.

Good to have Evelyn back in Oxford after her trip to France.

Big gig at Hammer and Tongue and the Zodiac tomorrow night.

Inflatable Buddha on Wednesday night at the Bully. They are opening (I hope) for my Canadians so I am Doing Research.

Have started noticed women speeding.