Church Street
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Blake Morrison with The Hosepipe Band

THE BALLAD OF SHINGLE STREET and other East Anglian poems

This is a performance of poetry with music featuring poet and novelist Blake Morrison reading from his collection Shingle Street and other more recent poems about East Anglia. Blake’s readings are accompanied by original music composed and played by the multi-instrumentalist members of The Hosepipe Band.

BLAKE MORRISON is an English poet, novelist and journalist who has published in a wide range of fiction and non-fiction genres. He began his literary career as a poet, with the collections Dark Glasses and The Ballad of the Yorkshire Ripper. As a journalist, he covered the James Bulger murder case and subsequently wrote As If, a moving, insightful study of the crime, the perpetrators and the court proceedings. He is probably best known for his memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? and Things My Mother Never Told and his novels, including The Last Weekend and The Executor.

His 2015 collection of poems Shingle Street was the inspiration for his collaboration with The Hosepipe Band. Many of the poems in the collection observe the crumbling East Anglian coast together with its environmental, historical and human associations. Here is an extract from The Ballad of Shingle Street:

“From Shingle Street/ To Orford Ness/ The waves maraud,/ The winds oppress,/ The earth can’t help/ But acquiesce/ For this is east/ And east means loss,/ A lessening shore, receding ground, /Three feet gone last year, four feet this/ Where land runs out and nothing’s sound./ Nothing lasts long on Shingle Street”

THE HOSEPIPE BAND is an established folk band which has performed at clubs, arts centres and festivals around East Anglia and beyond. They play traditional and composed music on a unusual array of instruments, including: saxophone, dulcimer, bagpipes, bandoneon, footbass, concertina, upright bass and keyboards.

The band began and still perform as a ceilidh / barn dance band but also play for concerts. In recent years they have composed and played original music to accompany poetry readings, firstly with the Essex poet and musician Martin Newell and latterly with poet and novelist Blake Morrison. Because members of the band come from such different backgrounds, the music they play to accompany poetry cannot be pigeonholed as belonging to any specific genre.

Tickets £10 / £9 concessions.
Doors open 7.30pm, show starts 8pm.

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