Mon 21 September 2020
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Tongues & Grooves
Portsmouth, not traditionally thought of as a cultural city, can boast a new poet laureate and many up and coming artistic events on the horizon writes Lynda Berry

LiTTLe MACHiNe an alternative and lyrical band from London, were a new discovery for the gathering. Well known and famous poetry was rearranged into laconic but emotive modern songs. Their clear voices rang out the verses of great poems by Yeats, Carol Ann Duffy, and Byron. 

A great variety of voices had the courage to take part on the open mic. Joanne Blandfold, a twenty-eight year old with intellectual disabilities, read from her collection, ’The Best You Can Be’, for the first time in  public. Her brave and heartfelt performance enriched the evening. She really was the best she could be and the audience were grateful. 

Another up and coming new voice on the open mic was Paul Macklin, a twenty-four year old studying creative writing at Portsmouth University. Reading a poem he had recently written called So what can I do? His was a stirring voice in the gloom of economic recession. His second poem was entitled 'Just for this moment' from his new collection Letters of Neon. He read expressively and well with much encouragement from the audience.  

Audi Maserati, legendary performance poet, made a lively contribution to the open mic. Once again he drew laughter from the audience and even singing. 

At the end of the night, LiTTle Machines were encored by souls moved to the new beat of poetry and rhyme.  Their encore, a punk version of ‘This Be The Verse’, resonated with many members of the audience. Tongues and Grooves returns soon with Mike Barlow, National Poetry Competition Winner, and four piece folk/roots group The Sweet Believers. 

Lynda Berry is a young writer and blogger for the Hub.