On a wet and windy Thursday Anna and I headed off around the Manchester ring road to Wigan for Something New - a mixed genre night with featured acts (us and a rather good "rave poet") plus an improv troupe on hosting duties and an open mic section.
Taking place at The Old Courts, this multi-room arts hub is pretty slick and doing well. Whilst we were performing in a little "black box" type theatre room neighbouring the bar, upstairs in a much larger space Sean Ryder was chatting about his life in music and, no doubt, chemical experimentation to a sold out crowd (also the setting for many of the scenes in World On Fire I learned.)
The night was busy, mainly due to the large number of first year drama students who were all looking for 3 minutes to deliver their poetry, someone else's poetry or - strangely - to sing Creep acapella slightly off key. As an ardent fan of open mic I was happy to spend the first section watching this and the improvisers.
Come the second section and our rave poet delivered 20 minutes of engaging spoken word. Sometimes funny, sometimes earnest, an interesting act to come on after and one I'd recommend. His reflections on still going to raves in his forties certainly struck a chord.
Our set was twenty minutes long and typically anarchic. With one mic between us it was a miracle I only came close to injuring Anna once during a mic exchange worthy of constant replay and scrutiny had it been a baton pass in an Olympic relay. The crowd were more than up for it and joined in with total abandon - also happily chatting to Anna between tracks in the setups. We look forward to returning.
My Sunday night was supposed to be spent near Rhyl but the gig's been postponed. Instead I'm now off to Blackpool to perform at the Comedy Station. A night I have heard many great things about and would hope to be pretty warm to some interactive rap action.
Have you seen the latest parody video? Thought not. It's here