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Thu 30th Mar 2017


Guitarist/singer, songwriter Greg Harper's fourth visit to Write Angle was yet another success, with his soft gentle touch, evocative melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. And in several songs, he accompanied himself on the harmonica, adding a lilting and haunting quality!

The audience joined in on many songs and, when leaving, told us what a great evening it was. Greg's building a fan club and several of our people said they already planned to attend his next gig.

His songs are written and performed with great passion and an earthy honesty. 'Cool Clear Water', warned of the dangers offracking, while 'The River' (Lavant), spoke of the many jobs - 'dredging out the litter, filth and scum', measuring the nitrogen being washed out to sea…' After The Rain', a lovely song questioning why people moan about rain when 'everything is so sweet after…'

Greg sang 'Gossomer Wings', about the 'Plight of the Bumble Bee' and 'The Broomsway' (inspired by 'The Old Ways' byRobert MacFarlane), 6 miles of what is hailed as the 'most dangerous of bridleways in the UK', running off the Essex coast from Wakering Stairs, out across the sands. He calls it 'death road'.

His concerns about the balance of man and nature are clearly stated, but with sparks of cynicism, nature always wins out.

'King and the Country' summoned his strong emotions about the WW1, and how now, 'instead of 'digging for my country – inthe trenches, you'll be dry and above ground'. 'Unspoken', about the things we've all forgotten, while 'Well Spun Lies', another favourite, speaks of how spiders wait for the flies while 'Juliette waits to be kissed by Romeo (at least with the spider, you know where you stand)'.

Inspired by Mr Putin, 'It's all been done before' spins the lies in 'bringing democracy to different countries – the usual rhetoric - even after the treaty's been signed, tanks and soldiers are still shot down... He did end on a positive note with his song'Hope'.

It was said, 'To be able to compress the essence of a story, the emotion, the cause and effect into four and a half minutes takes a rare talent and one that Greg Harper seems to have in his soul'. I think everyone there would agree with that!

Meantime, our Open Mic began with Bruce Parry playing 'Floppy Mule', an American song on his hammer dulcimer, followed by a wonderfully visual short story, 'Promenading With An Aspirin', about his four 'young' aunts, in scarves, walking the promenade, the pier, in their finest, waiting for a glance from some handsome lad' – and popping in an aspirin 'in case of an impending headache'!

Jilly Funnell recited 'Feather', about wanting to dance', she'll 'take all his directions, obey every command, and afterward, with her 'strictly ballroom boy', there'll be a lot more..including TV. Well done! Then, 'The Kiss', a poem about loss of love, 'missing you, the kiss is missing…' She then played the guitar, singing of her Dublin Housewife whose husband keeps going off leaving her on her own, while 'she should be getting a lot more kissing' however, happy ending. After too many lonely nights,she does the leaving!

Reuben Edwards, first timer, but far from – played a neat banjo. 'The Halting March', (It's syncopated..either Irish or Scottish) 'Wisp before breakfast', and a duet with Bruce Parry's dulcimer, 'Old Joe Brown'. What a lovely sound, the banjo! We hope he comes back!

Richard Hawtree, lovely performance voice, did a haiku, 'In time of Brexit' very topical..followed by 'Lethe', (1928) of his grandmother who spent time in Alexandria when 'Paris courted Alexandria...she was a flapper bride..a time when drinks were swagged in cocktail trays. She still recalls those times, when Europe danced the steps with Alexandria!'. A wonderful nostalgic poem! Jake did a poem about an 'Idea For a Poem', great during sleep, that fades by morn, but how he'll keep a notebook by the bed to be sure not to forget. Leah did 'Don't Throw the Ketchup out…' an effort to save the Earth, 'WatchingTime Fly' and 'Will You Blame Me For Trump'?

The winning voucher for Petersfield's wonderful 'Tai Tong', dinner for two, was won by a Chichester film buff who also loves Chinese, so we're pleased.

And here's a special plea... Don't forget your own poetry and music. Our evening wouldn't be the same without you – andwe'd like to try and encourage you to bring along friends and family – especially those who write poetry, play guitar, banjo, bongo or even tango! We definitely need more poets! Here's a chance for you to perform your work, be heard and even have a youtube made while you're at the mic! (free!)

And for those of you who come and watch, that's fine too!

Don't forget our next event. 18th April. Bob Hill and his Wonderful Pop-Up poetry! at Townhouse Pub/Bistro, 28 High Street, Petersfield. Entry: £6.



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