The seventh Stoke Newington Literary Festival kicked off on June 3rd and we were in the manor’s best bar for Poetry, Punk, and Pints. Fenella Fielding, England’s first lady of the double entendre, was bringing the delights of her husky voice to the Town Hall whilst we kicked off on Stamford Hill with The Members’ Nick Tesco dropping a solid selection of punk rock.
This was an old school gig; raucous, rambunctious and rebellious. Our first poet up was Bridget Minamore, reading from her new collection Titanic. Closely following was Ashna Sarkar with sharp words and sharper asides. We’d advertised that our acts would be riding to the stage on either a monkey or a tiger… and they did.
Bridget Minamore easily won best t-shirt of the night with her ‘Jesus Loves UK Garage’. “My mum loves it ‘cos she thinks it’s bare religious” she told us. And so does Craig David.
It wasn’t just the finest young poets London has to offer, we also had Nick Tesco and dropping a choice selection of punk rock with a dash of reggae.
Emily Harrison took the stage after a pogoing break and delivered a lively set showing why she’s such a popular writer.
By now Fenella’s gig had emptied out and the bar was packed with aesthetes and drunks. many people being both. This was an old school gig: a lively audience, cheap beer, snogging in the toiles, poetry and a surly band. London’s second best punk band Shocks of Mighty! hit the stage and belted out their take on Bob Marley’s Johny Was. A tight set from them got the crowd jumping and we then went into a DJ set from Ray Gange.
Shocks of Mighty’s guitarist and singer Mistah Brown, Ray Gange, and Tim Wells
As it got later we were joined by people from the Morning Star gig at the other end of Stoke Newington and the records kept spinning, as the punks kept posing…
The late bar, and toilets, saw plenty of action. Quite right too. There was only one way to go after all that – limbo!