This is quite a week for us. On Wednesday 8th we’re to become officially Mr & Mrs Dempsey-Monkey and we’re off at the weekend for some Mediterranean sun in Malta. But more than that – on Monday night we had our June Keystone Poetry gig, and our dear friend Chrys Salt and our new (and we hope-to-be-dear friend) Alan Franks came down to perform as guests.
The other special thing about this week is that summer seemed on Monday to have arrived at last and the weather was absolutely perfect and very warm. So it was a rather hot Dónall in a velvet dinner jacket who started off what turned into something of a party night. The tuxedo was in honour of the imminent nuptials, of course. Dónall’s opening set explained all: he resurrected all the poems he had whose last line went ”Kiss Jan” and performed them. I also had poems on the subject`; in particular, a new, bowdlerised version of Dónall’s scandalous “It’s so Hard to Hide an E******n in a Kilt” which will cause no uproar if it’s posted on YouTube.
When she came to the second part of her set, dedicated Dónall and Jan, on LOVE, "On the Beach" and "Firing Her Up” really hit the spot! But we’re still roadworthy and will be adding a few more miles on the clock before we’re done!
Alan Franks had brought his guitar and his tongue-in-cheek humour. Alan is a playwright, musician, journalist, novelist, songwriter and poet. His latest novel, The Adventures of Wendy Howard-Watt, is a great read, combining elements of Bridget Jones with P G Wodehouse and Kingsley Amis.
Alan's friendly, unassuming air masks great talent and he had us begging for more of his songs after his first set. I especially enjoyed his blues song about eradicating all the boring repetition in blues songs! Bankers came in for wry comment, too.
He has recorded excellent CD’s with vocals by Patty Vetta whose voice is like honey: the title track of “The Arms of the Enemy” is a beautiful meditative ballad. Many of Alan’s songs have the quality of folk or country music or rebel ballads with acoustic guitar and accordion. “Bird in Flames”, the title song of another of their CD's, is an elegy for a rebel, for example.
We very much hope Alan will come back and play for us again. More at alanfranks.com
We had such a good time, we might have to get married to each other every year, to keep up the party spirit!
Next month at the Keystone Poetry Open Mic - on Monday 4th July - Paul Cree the poet storyteller is our guest.
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Janice & Dónall Dempsey
We are poets, writers, spoken word performers, editors and organisers of spoken word events, based in the United Kingdom.