A LIFE OF STORIES, POETRY, SONG & MUSIC – JIMMY LEE AT FEBRUARY WRITE ANGLE
If Jimmy Lee had turned out to be a criminal, welfare scrounger, alcoholic, drug addict, wife or child abuser, people might point to his childhood and teens as explanation or justification. Instead, he rose above the impoverished and hard childhood as well as his bullied, rebellious teens.
Instead, his stories, poems and songs tell of a life well lived, happy and sad memories of childhood as in the poignant Lucy Cartwright song; and even though his father was a Hard Man, he loved him and came to understand what had made him that way. Poorly educated, he blagged his way into jobs for which he was not qualified, yet succeeded in them – in one case, as sales manager for a tobacco company, he lived on expenses and saved his salary, becoming rich enough to buy and develop property.
Guest poets and musicians at Write Angle, frequently provide us with explicit protest messages about society, politicians, capitalism, the wealthy and much more. There's Attila the Stockbroker with his fervent Marxist-Leninism; others with paranoia over government watching through public video cameras; and many more. Jimmy's stories and songs are about his own life and the messages are there without preaching as he shows the effect of such things as war and urban develoment on how they affected him.
Jimmy's guitar playing was self taught; he plays simple tunes and sings to them, and this reviewer found himself humming them long after the gig. When he sang Eileen about the Rose of Tralee, he had the audience enthusiastically joining in with the chorus of “One more dance, Eileen, one more dance with me ...”
At the open mic, newcomer Graham Langley held up a piece of paper which “used to be a tree- it needs a poet to make it a poet-tree.” We hope we'll see more of Graham and his humour, not just his words but in his voice too.
Jood and Leah performed in a more serious vein, each dealing with different issues yet both lightened the mood with humorous poems. Colin Eveleigh continued the saga of his health issues and the reassuring news but also dealt with the subject of connections in Touch and Go. Dick Senior was nostalgic in At the Mermaid Inn, St Mary's.
The open mikers provided a good poetic foil to Jimmy's melodious music and lyrics; and the raffle was for a meal at excellent, local, Thai restaurant, Lemon Grass.