I’m on top of The Royal Festival Hall next to a Beehive . It’s an instalation established by St
Etienne when they were artists in residence at The South Bank about a year ago. The Bees look suspiciously like wasps to me. I’m reading a poem about bees to welcome spring to The Southbankcentre. There’s a small audience of mainly South Bank Workers, the beekeeper and the guy from St Etienne who is filming the whole event. Today is the day before spring and the front cover of the independent newspaper has pictures of bees mid-flght and a headline proclaiming spring has come. I use this in the filming. From the top of the festival hall there is a breathtaking view of London. Hey, SPRING HAS COME. The bees are starting to get agitated and they do, they look like wasps.
I finish this and then get in the transparent lift six flors down into the basement of The Festivall Hall, The Spirit Level. where Shlomo is recording in a room called the violet room which has become “the violent room”. He’s recoding in there. It turns out the event that I spoke about in the previous blog got a four star review in The Guardian today. Hey
Spring has definitely come. Early afternoon I leave South bank for Paddington Station and
get on a train to the historic city of Bath – it’s suprisingly close, only one and a half hours train journey. I relate the entire countries travel distance to Manchester where I used t live. But somehwere, in London, everywhere is closer? In Bath I meet Jo who runs rainmakerart and her husband Andy Pink who works with Siobhan Davies whom I met at he Shlomo event referred to in previous blog.
We say goodbye and by 7pm I am in the rustic Great Western Wine Company in Bath. It’s like being in a gigantic wine cellar. The lighting is warm as is the owner. I feel like I’ve
walked into a lush advert, a larg shop in tuscany. There’s lots of wood and stone and beams. It’s a select audience of financiers and sponsors of The Bath Music festival. They amount to about twenty or so in total . Smack bang in the centre is the 780th
Worshipful Mayoress of bath . I’ve ben invited by an old friend, Nod Knowles the Chief Executive Officer of the bath music festival. It’s good to see Nod. If it hadn’t been for him you could have caled ths a corporate event. To be honest I don’t think about corporate events. I do events that I like and Bath music Festival is one of the best, so why not do
a gig for its sponsors.
Though these kind of events are scarey. There’s no lighting, no mic. I am surrounded by thousands of bottles of wine ranging from over a thousand pounds per bottle to a few quid. The mayoress is stood adorned in her bling gold chain directly in front of me for the entire reading. It was a blast. I’m always touched and amazed at the power of poems to touch the hearts of people whom I may never otherwise talk with. it is an incredible thing that art does, bridges the gap betwee physical and emotional environment. It’s an incredible and beautiful thing. I saw one woman wipe a tear from her face after listening to a poem.
Afterwards I met the great pianist Joanna MacGregor which was a treat. After a chat with Joanna and Nod I got back to the train station and arrived in Paddington by 10.30pm dived onto the Bakerloo line and arrived at The South bank at 11pm. The place is still alive and
vibrating with people and light. I pick my bike from the office and race home. At 11.30pm cycling alongside the canal the Heavens open and the rain pours. Like that palce in ireland it’s Cold Rain. I arrive at my front door at just before midnight like a drenched rat. It’s been a day. It’s been a day. Knda oring blog right. I know but not a boring day. Strangely enough it isn’t the events that are interesting in blogs. Sometimes its the little things. The disturbing man who talked to me in the sandwich shop.