The Scene of the Rhyme featuring Tullamore Rhymers Club featured both in Joe Lees as its own monthly night, and as the spoken word stage at the 2015 Castle Palooza.
MC’d by David Mallaghan on the Friday in Lees, the line up varied from what was advertised due to unexpected artists showing up and a few drop offs due to unforseen circumstances.
Karl Parkinson was one of the guests down from Dublin, and his signature piece “Positive Power Poetry” is as powerful now as it was when I first heard it at the Glór Sessions up in Dublin back in the day.
Elaine Harrington was also a guest. She had featured before at Scene of the Rhyme, and gave background to some of her work during performances. A really cool feature of her work is her pressing her readings onto vinyl, and of course I picked myself up a copy. Its the first vinyl record I have bought since I lost my collection when the house burned down.
The act I enjoyed most was Breda Larkin from Ballinasloe. Galway head will know her from the show in Coyotes during Arts Week / Fringe Festival “We Have to Talk About Breda!” – what she preformed at both nights was an extract from that. They say to do your art well you should talk of what you know, and that is what she does, telling of growing up gay in Ballinasloe… thats like being a Christian in Tehran! It happens, but is not without its difficulties! A series of great gags about sandwiches and silage whipped up our appitite for more!
We had “Three Davids and a Dick” according to Richard Brennan, who led the second selection of the Rhymers for the night in Lees, as new reruit Dave Duncan joined Dave Mallaghan and Dave Plunkett on stage. Punkett had a great satire on the rhymers which for me was his most memorable piece.
Shauna Byrne missed the first night due to illness, but done a stormer on the Saturday with her usual set of poems, which got a great reaction. Her stand out piece for me is her “Alice” poem, as Ive written before.
Dave Hynes “Poem of P’s” seems to get longer every time its read, and is hilarius. Im looking forward to when he gets around to the whole alphabet… he will be in bother with the letter X but if there is anyone who can di such a verse, its Hynes!
Richard Brennan done his staples, as did David Mallaghan, as did I, varying only to so “The Donkey and the Thistle“ on the Friday. On the Saturday I got a fair few laughs to the poems, even to ones I though were mildly amusing in a tongue in cheek sort of way. It must have been the waistcoat I was wearing!
Alicia Byrne Keane featured on both sets, and I thought her short poem on the baking coming from downstairs was a poetry picture sort of poem, capturing a snapshot in time in verse. Her verse on why some women say women have the right to work in the home I had heard before, Alicia taking the view that that was betraying feminism.
John Cummins done sets on both nights, his favourite one for me is his piece about his mother calling him in for tea, “I hear herclaling me / calling me / home again”… its not the usual angry poetry wailing the world is fucked and we must fix it, its the kind that evokes across all the ages, across all classes, and not in a sentimental way, but in a way all folk can relate to.
Little While Lies didnt make the Friday night, and they are playing today in Ballymore Festival in Westmeath.
It was as Castlepalooza always is a fantasitc gig, except this time the crowd was larger than usual, and were there for the poetry. An avid listnership from a festival crowd I had not seen since Festival of the Fires at Uisneach. Cormac Lally posted on Facebook that David Mallaghan got asked a lot about “Gypsies in Space”, a tongue in cheek poem that a lot can find beyond the pale but most find a riot.
I was asked myself about were we reading on the Sunday but a guy whose mates I was talking to on the Saturday outside after the gig. They asked for a reading of a funny poem, so I read “Willie Rimes Goes to Belfast to Protest at the Parades“ for them which they enjoyed.
Next up is Fannings in Birr at the Tin Jug studio as part of their celebration of Birr Vintage Week. And we are trying to pin a date down for the Readings at the Pallet in Banagher. The big gig we may get is still not confirmed, and will be annouced as soon as we get confirmation! Keep an eye here!