We4Poets Live at the 3 Minute Theatre, Manchester, 24 April 2015

by David A Llewellyn

Friday 24th April saw another milestone for We4Poets with a first public performance at the Three Minute Theatre, Manchester.

The 3MT is a quirky little venue in the heart of Manchester’s indie mecca Afflecks Palace. It is the perfect home for an evening of live poetry, music and performance.

14457324227_ef2e9911a2_cHost for the evening Paul Clarke kicked off the night with humorous little tale that had a full house giggling away before the incomparable Alex Aspden had them laughing out loud with comic song.

And then came Kate. Kate Woodward – better known in literary circles as the writer Spug. Spug held the audience spellbound with the story of Jack & Vera … only it turned out it wasn’t really Vera after all!

Only hours before the the gig, We4Poets lost 3 poets in a tragic stanza shoot out. Luckily we have Stan Ayodeji, a man big enough to fill any gap with wit, warmth and verse.

Finishing off the first of four sets was Gail Meacham singing Black Coffee.14643322962_3d5f827e43_cExtraordinary, utterly extraordinary.

After the break came a breakthrough for We4Poets with the debut screening of an original film by independent videopoet Olivia De Havilland. Remember the name and remember where you saw it first … unless you know Olivia, in which case you know we are tapping into an enormous talent.

14457040800_8d8a4148a7_cAnd so the evening continued. Alex returned to the stage for a poetical swipe at Nigel Farage; Paul told his Apple classic; We4Poet frontman David Llewellyn argued the case for the 463 day year; Spug recounted the story of Dan’s Desperate; and Michael Kyriacou performed 20 poems in 4 minutes.

Nikky Norton ShafauAmid an evening of likes, loves and laughter there were moments of absolute joy. One-man-dance-show Blu Jazz Dance joined us for the very first time with sublime soft-shoe work and a story to match. Also marking her first evening with We4Poets was the … too many superlatives and none of them rich enough … Nikky Norton Shafau. Nikky performed poems old and new and absolutely delighted everyone in the room.

14643373192_453b14f797_cFour more mentions. To anybody who has heard it, Gail’s take on the Beatles’ classic All My Loving is now the definitive version. Stan’s second performance was simply breathtaking, and Mr Llewellyn gave us a rare guitar performance and a blues version of ‘Daz,’ written by the legendary geordie poet Nod. If Stan Ayodeji is the powerhouse behind We4Poets – and the rest of us are the eye candy – then Tez Skachill is the pulse. In two sets Tez played four tracks from his brand new EP –Fragments – and finished the evening with songs from the back catalogue.

And finally … our never-ending thanks to John & Gina at the 3MT. Monuments could never be built high enough. We4Poets will count every moment until we are back with you on Saturday 6th June 2015.