Monday, 30 January 2017

New Year and that

Yo. Happy New Year. Hope it was and is happy. I was out of the country for the first time in my life. (I've been abroad before, not a lot mind but just not over Christmas and New Year). It was pretty nuts. I was in Goa, India. I'd never left Europe, was there for a wedding, watching how they get down over. Had a pretty banging time to be fair, put on a bit of weight round the belly, even got a very mild sun tan on my forearms, imagine that. Anyway, this aint some travel blog, mainly because I don't really travel, unless you include up and down the northern line. However, me and man like Gary From Leeds would this year like to travel a bit round the UK (and anywhere else) if poss and perform our respective Edinburgh shows, Garibaldi and The C/D Borderline, get in touch if you're in any way interested, we've made a little tour package and everything, cann fill you in.

So, it's a new year. Got a few irons in the fire, gonna be doing some Beats and Elements work this year, two new projects, another audio and theatre project I've collaborated on called Robinson, with a writer called Christina Lei and plus all the usual gigs and stuff. Last year was a good year for me, let's hope that continues.

Here's  a little vid from a Sofar Sounds gig I did back in October (I think) which came out towards the end of last year, I dropped this at a gig on Saturday called Dear Diary by a great comidan called Helen Black, at the very nice Canvass Cafe in Brickane. It was the first gig of the year and was really good fun. people read exerts from their teenage diaries so it was quite entertaining.



Wednesday, 2 November 2016

So the Prince of Penge himself, Peter Hayhoe and his Muddy Feet film crew dropped a new video yesterday of me doing the Lost Days Lost poem. It was filmed back last December for the BoxedIn Christmas special, it was a mental night. I got very drunk, I was on stage quite early on but most likley well on my way to Lager oblivion by that point. Probably why I look so mash-up in the You Tube thumbnail, fitting, being that the subject of the story is about getting cained with my mates back in the day. Don't normally get that smashed but it was Christmas so I was getting into the spirit of things. Well, the spirit being an excuse to just get smashed, smashed under the banner of Christmas Spirit, sounds like something from the Soviet-era eh. Anyway, enjoy. If you lke, be sure to check the Muddy Feet page, they've been banging out all the these poetry videos every tuesday and there's some real crackers on there. Also check out BoxedIn, they run a regualr free open mike at the Boxpark in Shorditch and have another Christmas special  where the hosts themselvs are gonna step up for feature slots and they're very good.Get involved mate.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Appearence on Croydon Radio 23.10.16

Last Sunday I was back on the airwaves with those nice people at Poets Anonymous for their Croydon Radio Show, in the new surroundings of Airport House on the Purley Way, London's original airport. I always have a good laugh when I'm on there, big up Ted and Peter. Guesting on the show with me was Polish Poet Gregory Spis. Have a listen and download the full show HERE;
 

Gregory Spis and me in the Croydon Radio studio

Gregory Spis reading his poems on the air



Monday, 17 October 2016

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Roll The Bass: A Walking audio tour

Back in October last year, an app company called Voice Map approached me about creating a walking audio tour in London. I said yes. They make walking audio tours in cities all around the world. It's very smart, all you need do is download the app, then pick your story,downlaod the audio then plug in your headphones and go and take the tour.

Almost 1 year later, here it is: Roll The Bass a part story / part walking tour around central London which tells about the time I first visited the legendary End nightclub, off Totenham Court Rd, whilst taking in some of the old venues and other places of significance. It features tracks produced by my brother Will.Scott Cree

One of the reasons I wrote it was, well, one I was asked to, but two, it bothers me that in London, the home of Jungle and Drum and Bass, there is next to nothing to mark this. This music has spread globally and there are scenes all over the world, yet, walk around Lonodn and you would never know. Guess it's not the Shakespere or lawn tennis. It's a shame, as it seems to be coupled with the loss of so many venues and record shops, most recently of course, being Fabric. The End was a banging club, special to me and many others. I don't get out to many clubs these days but doing this again has got me back enjoying all that again, have even MCed a couple of times since,

It was a big challenge writing this tour, as I had to plan out the walk, calculate the route and the steps, walk it several times and for each chapter I had word limits based on steps which I had to stick to and it wasn't easy, also having to direct people and making sure those directions were clear. There was a lot of going back and forth, and then re-writing and re-recording but at long last, here it is. It's £4.99, get involved, have a listen to a story and you may even learn a thing or two. Nice one

 

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Count Up To Edinburgh #9 Mission Complete

During the Edinburgh festival, if someone were to circulate a false rumour that so and so big bollox TV executive / stage producer was holding open auditions a mile out into the shark and sewage infested sea, beyond Leith docks, a hyper-enthusiastic undulating throng of merry actors, comedians, poets, magicians, clowns, knife-throwers and jugglers would saunter en-masse (armed with flyers), down to the murky waters only to perish to certain death; disappearing in floating pools of blood and sludge and flyers with review quotes stapled to them. For years after, passers by along Leith Port would hear distant murmurs of 'free comedy' and '4 star review' haunting the docks. Let's have it right, I'd probably be one of them mugs, though I'm sure I would have got half way there, seen all the people heading in the same direction, cussed them off for being more organised than  me and then abandoned all hope and sulked off to one of them late night takeaways that sell chips in curry sauce; either that or I'd turn up on the wrong day or something. In short. Edinburgh is like an extreme form of Monopoly, only difference is, it can seem, depending on what kind of day you've had, that everyone starts off with more dough and know-how than you.

Mate. Edinburgh was nuts. I knew it would be nuts. Knowing it would be nuts didn't make it any less nuts, it was still nuts. But all in all, a good nuts. To do it, and to want to do it, then want to go back and do it again, you do have to be at least slightly nuts. It just helps (a lot) if you've got the sort of dough behind you that would see you drinking in the sort of pubs that sell 10 different varieties of flavoured nuts (which come in jam jars) as a poncy alternative to crisps (which in itself is nuts because crisps are banging, all crisps, even Space Invaders.)

I pretty much had 3 objectives going up there, well, 4 actually.

1: To book, organise and get a show up there then put it on every day. (This stuff does not come easy to me)

2: Get my face in front of some new people, outside of London and from hopefully as many different places as possible (though half of the people at the Fringe are probably from London)

3: Get a couple of reviews.

4: Have a laugh (though this one was more of a given)

I'm happy to say that I achieved all of those objectives. The outcomes could have been better but also could have been a lot of worse. Could of improved in all of those above areas, particularly in my preparation; prior to this I'd never sent out a press release before let alone written one. Probably could have used my time up there more efficiently as well, flyering other events etc but all in all, I was pleased.


Me at the Pilgrim. That curtain behind me was at times the only thing between me and a bar full of noisy boozers. My audience was in front of me, presumably all looking at my Millwall tie thinking 'I swear that was from the 96-97 season range, great year for the club shop that was."


This was taken form the last show which to my surprise was packed. Dominic Berry took this, one of the many people who I met up there who I really enjoyed spending time with. There was a lady just out of shot, who just before the show started whacked my arse while I was bending over setting up. I told her it wasn't that sort of show.

The first week was very up and down and despite having a good audience for my first 2 shows it really dropped off and I was struggling a bit. Walking around the city, already sodden and cold, seeing all the massive hoardings and billboards advertising really banal looking shows, most of which had some quirky face on, with each one seemingly telling me, 'you can't afford this, go home, you small time mug.' Sounds a bit melodramatic but at times that's how I felt. Some of these people that take shows up there, must be able to write off £10K or some other ludicrous amount and it not be a problem. For many people though,  it must break the bank. Everything up there costs and it's very difficult if you don't have a lot of money. High venue costs. High accommodation costs. Massive billboard posters. PR Companies. It's a lot. Thank God then for The Free Fringe and the ethos with which is stands for, which meant I didn't pay for hiring the venue I performed in, which is a massive cost. Simple really. We don't pay to hire the venue, audience don't pay to come in, venue takes the bar. It can work. The Pilgrim, where I was based, did really well, smashing all their targets. All in all I spent about £1500 squid, not even a fraction of what some of these shows must have cost. It also helped that all the other guys in my venue we're really helpful and pitched in with flyering, and regular pick-me-up support etc. Made The Pilgrim a decent place to work at. Large up Soundman Davey Jones, Gecko (best flyer-er in the game mate!) Jake Wildhall, Joel Autterson and all the Boomerang Club crew, Harry Baker and Chris, Robert Garnham, Dave and Byron and of course all of the Pilgrim staff who were all really supportive.

The Pilgrim Boys: L-R Joel, Harry, Gecko, Jake. At back, Harry and me outside The Pilgrim Bar, Edinburgh
Second week picked up and I got a lot better at flyering and generally pulling people in etc. All the additional gigs helped too, Boomerang, Stand Up and Slam, Raise The Bar, Prepare To Fail, all of which helped. Felt like I got a into a good swing with it and the audiences were good to, generally really responsive. My mate Gary From Leeds said to me before we went up that things would start slow then pick up, and he was right. He was right about most things up there, though I did manage to persuade him that chips in curry sauce was better than chips in gravy, eventually he came round. Had a reviewer come in from Broadway Baby who gave me a decent 4 star review which I was chuffed about. Have a butchers here

Also somewhere in the second week I had a nice chat about it all with Paul McMenemy from Lunar Poetry. As always, I talked to much. I'd just done a show so my voice was a bit raspy. It was fun though. Have a listen HERE

The last week was wicked. Audicnes were good and I felt like I knew what I was doing by this point. There was bit of a dip on one or two days but from what I'd heard this was felt throughout the festival. Couple of people said to me that in general numbers were down on previous years, something to do with The Olympics or Great British Bake Off or some other nonsense. I really enjoyed the chats I got to have most days, out and about on the streets, with other performers, punters etc. Big up Bob Walshy Walsh, who I had a good chinwag with most days about all things football and South London. When out flyering, it's a bit like a melty version of The Wire, on the street, all hand signals and that, comminicating to the other flyerers, working out the punters movements and who's likley to want to take a flyer. It was thoughts like that which kept me amused on the slow days. But yea, in the end it all went well. The last show was by far the biggest and most generous audience I'd had and it was great to go out on a banger. Had another decent review from a young reviewer too by the name of Ben Huxley, have a butcher's here (though both Dominic Berry and I had a bit of giggle about the unlikely comparison.) Though I got to perform to many people, I was chuffed that on most days there was someone I knew in the audaince, a lot who took me by surprise. I had a lot of freinds and family who came all the way up. Conrad, Fez and Junior came twice! Mum, Dad and Nat flew up just for the day. Met some really great people to, some who also came twice, like this really nice family from Cambridge, two of which were teachers. Had a lot of teachers. Big up Riko and family too. Thankyou, all of you, even the one or two rude ones who did'nt pay any attention and were talking or playing on their phones thoughout. Don't undertsand why you do that when you can just get up leave, it's Free Fringe innit, but still, you interest and annoy me in equal measure.

Special mention must go to all the residents of Poetry House. My flatmates for the duration of the festival. Had a great time staying with these guys, all the nonsense chats in the kitchen and the many pick-me-ups along the way. Fay Roberts (got to do the best / worst / weirdest gig with Fay), Dominic Berry,(ahhhhhhhhhhh football-style audaince support) Alexander Rhodes, Hannah Chutzpah all the various poets and mates of mates who came up and stayed, and of course my roomate, Gary From Leeds. Legend mate. Helped me all the way back from last year, to get my arse up there and pull it off. In that tiny cabin room that stank of damp towles, we had a good laugh, through the good times and the bad. Highlight of the Fringe for me was when Gary rescused a component from my beard trimmer from off of the roof, using gaffter tape, a brolly, a broom and sheer MacGyver like skills.

So yea, all in all, I had a wonderful time, high and lows, old friends, euphoira and sadness, new friends and a lot of laughs. Would I do it all again? Probably. Yes. Dunno...ask me in 6 months mate.