Ralph's new found interest in Spoken Word Poetry was further piqued recently when St Helens Central Library announced that J B Barrington was performing there courtesy of St Helens Arts Service. So on Friday it was off to the library (and not to pay a fine for a change) to catch the show!
Having recently published some of his spoken word and supported the force of nature that is Sleaford Mods (who have just played Glastonbury) he is very much in demand, so it was great to be able to catch him in the intimate surroundings of Central Library's Reference Room, ably accompanied by Carol Robson.
Both will be performing during The Greater Manchester Fringe in July. Carol in The Kings Arms and J B in Salford Arts Centre.
Carol Robson's performance was both forthright and brutally honest, talking not only of her own health problems but commenting on what ails the NHS. Having overcome her own battles she now, through her poetry and spoken word battles for others. Not only that she performed her show at last years Edinburgh Fringe to rave reviews.
Tonight she regails us with both spoken word from her book Words Of Darkness And Light as well as some wise and witty monologues.
One highlight for the audience was her poem Debris with it's heartfelt commentary on the plight of the homeless.
J B Barrington takes the stage to enthusiastic applause and immediately gets the audience onside with his charming cheeky chappie style. Setting down his Addidas bag of tricks he launches into a well practised, quick fire comedy routine that sits well alongside his machine gun spoken word performance. he's witty, wise and wonderfully eloquent in his Salford twang. His asides about his Mam seem comfortingly familiar, evoking memories of similar events and sayings in my past life
Me Mam Dunt Like To Text’: ‘She said Margaret’s got rid of her BT line/ She don’t ring anymore she just texts all the time/ She sent one Tuesday saying Harry’s had heart attack/ Then I have to pay cos I ring her back’
Smartly attired and reading from his book Woodchip Anaglypta and Nicotined Artex Ceilings J B Barrington takes us from heartwarming to heartbreaking to politically astute and incisive in swift assured steps. A highlight for me is his rendition of She Holds His Hand with it's simple but emotionally effective words.
She holds his hand
She cleans him she feeds him she helps him get ready
She holds his hand