It was a very enjoyable evening yesterday at the St Mungo’s Mirrorball reading in Glasgow. I travelled from Edinburgh by bus, which was delayed in a traffic jam for some unknown reason while it bypassed Glasgow’s east end. It gave me a chance to read halfway through Claire Crowther’s new collection, The Clockwork Gift. It’s not poetry that’s easy to sum up after a single read (let alone just half the book), but it’s striking and distinctive stuff, and I now know what a ‘thike’ is. Well, sort of. Not the kind of thing you can even know from a Google search. Only from this book!
It was a varied programme at the Mirrorball, three very different poets, but the audience (barely an empty seat) seemed to enjoy everyone and were happy to switch mood with each reading. I went on first and read from The Opposite of Cabbage for the first time. It all went well. Robin Cairns was next and combined his comic verse (unlike many poets who write light verse, Robin can actually make an audience laugh) with a couple of more serious pieces. Andrew Philip read from The Ambulance Box - a varied set in itself, from the wit of ‘The Meisure o a Nation’ to the more emotive poems concerning the death of his son, ‘Lullaby’ being the stand-out yesterday evening.
On the bus home, I ran into Father L. who was heading back to Edinburgh after celebrating his 43rd year as a parish priest. He is something of a raconteur, with a fascinating life, one of these guys who gives the priesthood a good name.
Anyway, a gig report wouldn’t be complete without a set-list:
1. The Preacher’s Ear
2. While the Moonies are Taking Over Uruguay
3. Berlusconi and the National Grid
4. Nuclear Submarines
5. Plastic Cork
8. White Noise
9. Married Life in the Nineties