Spoken Word Introducing – Thomas Wolfe

This winter we’ve been looking to add a new poet to our collective, and we did this through an open submissions process. A load of fantastic poets applied and that made choosing just one really difficult. That is, until we found Thomas. Many readers will know that we are headed on tour this summer, and we will be releasing a new volume of ‘Words w/ Friends’, which will of course, feature our latest addition to the team. If you want to know more about the tour and the album then click here – Words w/ Friends volume 3 – What to Expect, but if you want to know more about Thomas then keep your eyes reading right here, Introducing –

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas is a Brighton based spoken word poet who started out his relationship with words as an MC. He clearly has an impeccable grasp of the English language, and the meter to which his poems conform seems like a hangover from his past profession. Thomas told us that he is extremely excited to delve into working with music again, and sonically we think he fits the project perfectly. Below you can listen to his piece ‘House Party’ which was long listed for Outspoken Poetry In Fill prize 2018, and will really give you an insight into what Thomas is all about.

 

When he isn’t performing, Thomas takes to the page, His first collection of poetry, entitled ‘Thoughts of a Dying Youth’ was printed by Knightmare Print and released in 2017. It deals with themes of love, hate, and mental instability as well as social issues. It is a collection created from over a decades worth of material and is presented in a “harsh street style” which assists the reader in absorbing the hard-hitting nature of the work. If you wanna buy the book, look for it at Waterstones, or get it direct from Thomas here – Thoughts of a Dying Youth. Readers can expect to see another book from Wolfe in 2018 and this will hit the shelves in June, complimenting the release of ‘Words w/ Friends Vol 3’  perfectly, because this is also scheduled for this summer.

Thomas Wolfe whole heartedly believes that Shrek 2 is the best in the series, and we wanna know what you think about that? If you disagree send us a strongly worded email and we can pass the message on. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for more of Thomas in the coming months and maybe, you’ll see him in the flesh in a city near you come July. If you still haven’t has chance to listen to ‘Words w/ Friends Vol 2’ get on it here – Words w/ Friends Vol 2

Stay safe out there,

BP-THK

white_background_with_words+texture-01

Words w/ Friends volume 3 – What to Expect

To give you a well needed rest from the words of Billy Pilgrim, we have enlisted the help of Words w/ Friends poet Tamar Moshkovitz to tell you all about what we’ve got coming up. So here she is –

It was only a few months ago that Words w/ Friends vol. 2 wrapped up with a beautiful release gig in the Owl Sanctuary, but Billy Pilgrim and the Heartsease Kid are already raring to go on volume 3 – and I can guarantee this one will be even more diverse, challenging and wide-reaching than the last, because Words w/ Friends is going on tour!

The project will sweep its way across the country, opening with Glasgow on the 10th of July and stopping off at Leeds, Bristol and Brighton among other places before wrapping up with a homecoming gig in Norwich on the 22nd of July. Tour dates will be released soon so keep an eye out and don’t miss your nearest gig.

If BPTHK’s latest releases – Synthetic Strawberry featuring Minty Taylor, and I Love You Dennis Bergkamp – are anything to go by, this volume will bring us some more of the seamless fusion between their mellow, flawless lo-fi beats and rhythmic, dynamic lyricism. And there’s some old friends joining them back for this one. Minty Taylor is coming back for the third time with more of his achingly gritty poetry and evocative performance style; Imogen Stirling will be bringing the irresistible combination of a beautiful Scottish lilt and an unapologetic lyrical honesty; and Zoka will throw in some more of his unique and utterly sweeping rapping skills.

Also coming back are Piers Harrison-Reid and his effortless, fluid sincerity; the bewildering but wise Sven Stears and his poignant, melodic storytelling; Rob Carnie, man of mystery and alluringly vibrant poetic imagery; and me, Tamar Moshkovitz, hoping to push my own limits this time and to let my voice come through loud and clear on stage.

Thanks to some amazing submissions, we’re also going to have some new poets on this volume who will be announced soon – you don’t want to miss their names so keep a keen eye out.

I reckon Words w/ Friends volume 3 is shaping up to be unmissable – bigger, better, and more collaborative than ever – so save the date: the 12th of June, which is when Volume 3 will be released to Youtube, Soundcloud and Bandcamp. No release gig this time, but plenty of gigs to catch over the summer! If you still haven’t heard Vol 2 check it here – Words w/ Friends Vol 2

Make sure to stay updated, see you soon and stay excellent.

TM

white_background_with_words+texture-01

Words w/ Friends, what to expect – according to Minty Taylor

Words w/ Friends is one of the most interesting, original and fun projects that I have been involved in so far in my performance career. Having grown up playing in angsty punk bands, shouting obscenities at small crowds of sad teenagers and bleeding on my guitar, it’s fair to say that a spoken word poetry meets lo-fi hip-hop mixtape is not the kind of thing I’m used to. Regardless of that, however, this has been one of the coolest projects I’ve known, both for the poetry and the music.

When I went to record my poem for the first Ww/F we were in Southampton. I slept on an airbed in what was then the living room of The Heartsease Kid. It was the first time I’d met THK and things got off to a rough start when we were playing Monopoly and I not only lost pretty badly but completely fucked him over as well, leading Billy Pilgrim to a smug victory. To this day I don’t believe I have been fully forgiven. Below you can listen to Vol I.

And Vol II is even cooler.

The first project was mostly recorded at Southampton Uni and was just a sort of ‘who do we know who writes poems?’ kind of thing. ‘I do,’ I squeaked from somewhere off screen.

This time, however, the boys wanted to do something special. Vol I did not have a call for submissions, nor was there a release gig. It was cool but it was very much a trial run. Vol II is going to be a big one. To the call for submissions came thousands (probably) of replies, all of which were listened to and analysed and reflected upon with such a depth that even the greatest diver in the world would take one look and say ‘nah mate’, until finally it was narrowed down to the best of the best (have I mentioned I’m on it?) to record their poetry at Drill Hall Studios.

Recording this time was an awesome experience. Most of us went to record in a huge one day session, which was a lot of fun in particular because we got to check out each other’s stuff. Everyone sounded so awesome and we even got to mess around with some fun little extra parts (listen out for Tamar Moshkovitz on Zoka’s track). Furthermore, the beats are sick. THK has really done some cool stuff on this one.

Now that everything’s been recorded, we just have one thing left to do: the release gig. On the night of this very Sunday (26th Nov ’17) we’re throwing a party at the Owl Sanctuary in Norwich. There will be a poetry open mic (so if you’re getting all excited and you wanna join in then come on you little tike, pick up the microphone) and then we’re doing a live performance of the mixtape in it’s entirety and you’ll even be able to buy a CD. You lucky kids. You can find more details about the gig here- Words w/ Friends Vol II release event

Check out the BP-THK page. Oh and maybe give my page a little look-see over here – Minty Taylor Facebook

See ya Sunday buddy!

– Minty Taylor

img_2178.jpg

 

Spoken Word Introducing: Imogen Stirling

Well I bet y’all thought we only had spoken word poets from Norwich, WRONG. (obnoxious voice) Thats right, “Words w/ Friends Vol II” has spread its wings. During the submission process we received applications from spoken word poets in loads of different places, and it just so happens the next poet isn’t from Norwich or even somewhere really close by like lowestoft, but, she is instead from a different whole country to ours. A strange place, with place names that are difficult to pronounce, food you’ve never tasted and it’s very own flag. She’s from Scotland alright. (reading this back, this whole paragraph should be read in an obnoxious voice.)

Anyway, we are proud to be introducing the spoken word poet and all round badass…

Imogen Stirling

Imogen Stirling is a spoken word poet, theatre maker, musician, and general noise-maker from Glasgow.

As a Theatre and English Literature graduate, performance poetry was a natural fusion for Imogen. Her work has been described as a pairing of unrelenting honesty with lyrical dexterity, and explores ideas surrounding the intricacies of modern relationships, the treatment of mental wellbeing in an increasingly desensitised society, and the ever-evolving understanding of how gender exists today. Her writing draws on personal experience, and often reflects on the people of Glasgow.

Her poem below ‘Judgement Is A Drag’ is a commentary on the futility of categorising and analysing gender, which Stirling considers a shallow definition of who an individual truly is.

Coming from a musical theatre background and performing long-term as one half of duo, Wonderful Exile, Imogen writes with an inherent musicality. She has performed in a 5 star production of ‘Les Miserables’ at the Edinburgh Fringe; is director and playwright for political music theatre piece, ‘BodiesUponTheGears’ for which she was awarded the Alasdair Cameron Scholarship; and has worked alongside Sir Tim Rice.

A self-confessed nomad, Imogen has spent the past two years on a European tour of poetry gigs and music shows, performing in venues ranging from The Brittania Panoptican Music Hall to Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

Her work has been featured in Tell-Tale Magazine, Fused Magazine, easyJet Traveller Magazine, and The Skinny.

And if that isn’t enough to woo you, In her spare time, Imogen works as a translator and editor for French films. She is currently writing her debut piece of spoken word theatre for the Edinburgh Fringe 2018.

We are delighted to have Imogen working with us on the project, and of course, you can see her in the flesh, when she performs with us at the Words w/ Friends Vol II release event. The evening itself will showcase the album in its entirety and also feature an open mic, its a chance show what rising talent the Spoken word scene has to offer. If your gasping for more of Imogen right now then head over to Imogen Stirling Poetry Facebook or if you want videos, check out Imogen Stirling Poetry’s YouTube channel.

More profiles coming soon, and Words w/ Friends Vol II will be released live in Norwich on the 26th of November 2017, with copies of the album being sold at the event, and then it will be made available for digital download on the 27th of November. You’re gonna wanna get your hands on a copy, because I know you haven’t seen spoken word poetry like this before.

Stay safe out there,

Billy P

cropped-cropped-cropped-white_background_with_writing-01.png

Poem of the Month (Not spoken word)

September 2017 – God

cropped-cropped-cropped-white_background_with_writing-01.png

Every month we are going to publish one of Billy Pilgrim’s poems that is a little different from his spoken word, because, we think written poetry is still badass. This month, we’ve got a free verse/flash fiction poem called God.

Is God real? and if so what is God like? Find out what Billy thinks below.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

God.

We sit around, strangers to one another, sharing stories that we have all told a thousand times to a hundred people but with the energy as if it was the first. Our ever so modern and contemporary guise is a bib around our necks that catches all of our bullshit before it can drip through the gaps in the bench. Sometimes it drips through and mixes a cocktail so sweet that it rots the enamel on our teeth.

Impressive impressions are digested blissfully between us and fizz is flattened in our glasses from lack of attention, the whole of the world is held in suspension, because of our conversation. The illusion of apocalypse rings in our ears, and carries an overused hope through the radio waves to faraway places where they don’t give a shit, because they’re all starving and its killing their kids.

I look at my watch but don’t check the time, you distract me with chatter about the existence of god. The circle is broken and the world comes back in to view, and we have to acknowledge its existence because we are interrupted by an outsider. It seems the zombies of reality have learned basic motor skills and speech and now they want to throw a conversational party at our newly vanished picnic bench.

The zombie tells us that he has met god, and she is a woman, and she is a boring woman. You two are angry, not because she is a woman, you swallowed that pill in a practiced manner, but boring you cannot abide. How is it possible for the author of existence to be boring? This writer of everything has such an imagination that they must be a wonder to encounter.

The zombie groans and says something that means nothing but attempts to convince us that the God is boring and just sits at home poking a fire with a plastic stick, smelling the fumes, and sticking the end to things for a moment. The zombie says that everybody is just poking a fire with a plastic stick really, even the best people like David Beckham do nothing more than smell plastic fumes.

We all imagine David Beckham for a moment and then we see that the zombie is right, and that nothing and nobody is special, even God means nothing and isn’t anything but another person, in another room, and maybe her creating everything was special and we are grateful because it benefits our bullshit bibs and facilitates our fizzless drinks and we are grateful.

But really, we realise that even the most creative soul that ever existed and created existence and me and you and the other guy with us and you reading this or hearing this, you too aren’t special all of the time. Sometimes you just sit at home like everybody else poking the fire with a plastic stick and washing your underpants and eating crisps from a bag that you’ve opened upside down.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

So what do you think about God? let us know in the comments. You should check out our other work in the videos/music tabs, and take a look at our events page for all of our spoken word performances in Norwich and elsewhere.

Stay safe out there,

cropped-cropped-cropped-white_background_with_writing-01.pngBP-THK