Old readings

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TimT
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Old readings

Post by TimT » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:41 pm

Sometimes the best poetry readings are the ones that don't run anymore. Not for reasons of unpopularity, either. Even in my time a few have come and gone, including the Fern Tree Gully reading at the art gallery there (the name escapes me - what was it again?) There were lots of older people there and after you read there'd be a huge feast with lots of jam and scones! I'm not sure if it was a local CWA branch that was also interested in poetry, but it sure was fun. :)

Others -
- Babble, used to be run at Bar Open in Fitzroy. I never made it to this and it had almost finished by the time I started reading poetry regularly. I think there was a kind of comp for readers to compete but it wasn't straight up slam.
- Ninja Slam (AKA babble slam in one of earlier versions). I cut my teeth on this. Crazy Elf ran it, it was invigilated by a Ninja, and the poems were often outrageously offensive. Numbers were hugely all over the place; they'd dwindle and then one month there'd be a huge number of attendees. The first one I went to Ben Pobjie was doing guest MCing and he did almost the entire MCing in German - and got big laughs out of the audience! It was pretty awesome. Used to be at Bar Open, then moved to another bar in Fitzroy (the Alchemist) which I didn't really like.
- House of Bricks (naturally). Always awesome.
- Blue Velvet poetry - it was a kind of slam. I only went to one that was a bit under-attended - it was just Initially No and myself and Justin as MC, so we all performed our poetry at one another and voted on one another. (Well actually, no, Initially No refused to vote for herself!) Justin put us all through to the final (which was much better attended).
I'd love to hear about the readings at the Arthouse, the Rochester, the Perseverance, or some of the other older Melbourne poetry gigs that are now spoken of in legends - I'd *especially* love to hear about pre-70s readings. Anyone got any stories?

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benjaminsolah
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Re: Old readings

Post by benjaminsolah » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:00 pm

Great thread!

The one I miss the most is Spinning Room. After cutting my teeth on the open mic at Passionate Tongues, years ago it had a real random punter element that you had to learn to shut up, and so the next gig I got invited to was the Spinning Room in Prahan, think Santo was featuring that night or maybe Amy Bodossian or both. I met Anthony O'Sullivan there. I was just amazing by the packed room, it wasn't that big, but we fit a good number in, and when you read, it was pin-dropping silence as everyone paid absolute attention to everyone and listened. It was pretty sad to see it go.
"...no-holds-barred, passionate..." - Ali Alizadeh | "Here is truly a writer to be reckoned with" - Maxine Beneba Clarke

Benjamin Solah is a spoken word artist, poet, writer and political activist, raised in the western suburbs of Sydney, now based in Melbourne. His performance style ranges from passionate denunciations of the system we live in to absurdist stream-of-consciousness on topics from politicians, to video games and football. His work has appeared on stages, pages, screens, through megaphones, in wrestling rings, including many regular poetry events such as Passionate Tongues and The Dan O'Connell, Cordite Poetry, Overland, the NGV and White Night Melbourne. He is the author of broken bodies, a poetic chapbook on the theme of asylum seekers, and two spoken EPs, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense.

benjaminsolah.com | Official Facebook Page | Twitter: @benjaminsolah

Mick Potter
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Re: Old readings

Post by Mick Potter » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:27 pm

http://pamspoetrypitchblog.blogspot.com.au/ Pamela did a great job of collecting/collating/promoting poetry and spoken word. Unfortunately I didn't make it to most of these gigs, but I did make it to the Dan and Passionate Tongues (obviously still running) and I went to Babble a few times (great gigs there) and to the Barleycorn. Even though I couldn't make it to many gigs in the 90s and early 2000s, I tried not to miss alicia and Steve program on RRR's Aural Text. Pamela's contribution seems to be ... awesome. Perhaps her name could be remembered in some fashion by Melbourne poets?

Mick Potter
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Re: Old readings

Post by Mick Potter » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:33 pm

TimT wrote:
- Babble, used to be run at Bar Open in Fitzroy. I never made it to this and it had almost finished by the time I started reading poetry regularly. I think there was a kind of comp for readers to compete but it wasn't straight up slam.
Babble was always over-subscribed with would-be open-micers. So names were put in a hat and the MC (Dan Disney on occasions?) would draw a name and solemnly announce... ''Timothy Train ... you have been chosen!' and the poet would make their way to the mic to the applause of the multitudes! It was a great vibe!

CallurselfApoetEla!
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Re: Old readings

Post by CallurselfApoetEla! » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:04 pm

Babble was INCREDIBLE. One of the first spoken word gigs I ever attended many moons ago and where I first performed and had my first feature and heard my first Sean M Whelan piece (which I actually have a recorded copy of(!!) from said night (thanks Sean!) Fond Babble memories.
Loved the Lentil Bash at St. Kilda's Lentil as Anything.
And not a gig but a festival: OVERLOAD!! Just bring it back! Surely we can! That was wild and just so so so good. All the collabs, all the words. *sigh*
Also not a gig but a radio show: Aural Text - Alicia Sometimes is my poetess and broadcaster heroine. What a champ for producing 2 hrs of spoken word radio for Triple R every week for 14 years!
Recent favourite old gigs: HoB (House of Bricks). Miss it so much!

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benjaminsolah
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Re: Old readings

Post by benjaminsolah » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:26 pm

CallurselfApoetEla! wrote:And not a gig but a festival: OVERLOAD!! Just bring it back! Surely we can! That was wild and just so so so good. All the collabs, all the words. *sigh*
OMG I only came onto the scene long enough to see two Overloads and then it kind of died out. I so want it or a festival back. We keep talking about it. It'll happen. MSW as a force will make something like this happen with all the old Overload heads. Me and Lish have chatted about it.
"...no-holds-barred, passionate..." - Ali Alizadeh | "Here is truly a writer to be reckoned with" - Maxine Beneba Clarke

Benjamin Solah is a spoken word artist, poet, writer and political activist, raised in the western suburbs of Sydney, now based in Melbourne. His performance style ranges from passionate denunciations of the system we live in to absurdist stream-of-consciousness on topics from politicians, to video games and football. His work has appeared on stages, pages, screens, through megaphones, in wrestling rings, including many regular poetry events such as Passionate Tongues and The Dan O'Connell, Cordite Poetry, Overland, the NGV and White Night Melbourne. He is the author of broken bodies, a poetic chapbook on the theme of asylum seekers, and two spoken EPs, Duel Power with Santo Cazzati and The World Doesn't Make Sense.

benjaminsolah.com | Official Facebook Page | Twitter: @benjaminsolah

TimT
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Re: Old readings

Post by TimT » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:33 am

Apparently there was an Overload pub crawl. Poets go round and annoy the patrons in not one but multiple pubs. That should definitely be revived, pub poetry is kinda my thang so I'd try to be in on that!

I only ever got to one Spinning Room, wish I'd been to more. It was southside so always difficult for me to get to.

Yes, I first went to the Dan when Pam was putting out her newsletter regularly. Went to her funeral last year and then (suitably) a meet up at the Dan afterwards. The goodly proprietors seemed modestly surprised to see me there (it wasn't Saturday). I really like the idea of an event with her name on it. Maybe it could be the name of a comp.

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