Pontefract Festival of Stories 2016 | Bringing It All Back Home

When world music magazine Songlines reviewed Ian Clayton’s book Bringing It All Back Home they declared the reading experience to be ‘The literary equivalent of a great evening in the pub’.  In the ten years since publication, Bringing It All Back Home has fast established itself as a modern classic of music writing. To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the inaugural Pontefract Festival of Stories made literal the Songlines review with a series of events over ten days that reflected the content of the book, incorporating music, film and good conversation. Ian Clayton hosted guests throughout the week. All events will took place in the intimate theatre setting behind the curtain at the Tap & Barrel, Pontefract. All tickets £5 and carried a £5 voucher to be cashed in at the Route bookshop on the night.

Run the playlist above or click here to see it in YouTube

Festival programme below.

Friday 23 September, 9pm
Northern Town
Glass Caves + Toria Garbutt

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‘That summer someone organises a Rock Against Racism benefit at Pontefract Town Hall. Topping the bill are the Leeds Marxist intellectual rockers Gang of Four. Bottom of the bill are our local punk band, The Thrust, named after a chain of petrol stations. Every punk in Pontefract is present. The Thrust have Mick Griffiths on brand new Rickenbacker, swinging his arm like Pete Townshend, and Pete on vocals. He hangs off the microphone stand like a wounded scarecrow and spits out his songs with mighty venom: ‘I’m a victim of the system, a proper little twat. I’m an ordinary member of society, society, so…ciety!’ And the immortal ‘Northern Town’. ‘You’re living in a northern town. Pit stacks t’only scenery you’ve got.’

A celebration of leading-light, home-grown talent. With live music from the sensational Pontefract 5-piece, Glass Caves, and stunning poetry from the rising star of the UK Performance Poetry scene, Knottler’s very own Toria Garbutt.

Saturday 24 September, 7:30pm
Young Man Blues
Juke Joint Night

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‘My home town is full of ghosts. It is also a blues town. Like all blues towns, Featherstone thrives on shadows and echoes of what once was. Featherstone, like the first two lines of a blues song, likes to repeat itself. Featherstone is the most remote of the blues towns, a long way from the Mississippi Delta, yet if you drew a line between New Orleans and Memphis you might find Featherstone on that line. Somewhere between Rolling Fork where Muddy Waters was born and Clarksdale, the birth town of John Lee Hooker, is Featherstone.’

The Tap & Barrel transforms into a juke joint with a night of blues, live and on vinyl records. Live music from Ben Buddy Slack.

Sunday 25 September, 6pm
One World
Global Threads + Chris ‘The Man in the Hat’ Martin

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‘Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Pakistani ghazal singer had a voice that went right through me. A bloke in a restaurant in Bradford called The Kashmir put me on to him. He gave me a cassette of a live concert in Paris. Then I saw him in the green fields at Glastonbury. He was magnificent. After Glastonbury I saw a snapshot of him pinned to the wall at the back of the till in a curry house in Pontefract, next to one of Imran Khan. The owner told me that he’d been in there for a meal. A story in the Big Bill Broonzy at Castleford mould.’

Ian Clayton presents his Global Threads world music session, spinning vinyl records from around the world. We come all the way back home with live music and hollering from the great Yorkshire bluesman Chris Martin aka ‘The Man In The Hat’ with fingered-picked and slide blues guitar.

Monday 26 September, 7:30pm
Freedom’s Just Another Word
Dave Downs with Steve Ely

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‘I’m replaying in my mind something that happened in Wakefield Prison some years before when making the Jailhouse Opera. On the day of the performance, one of the soloists decided that he didn’t want to perform his song accompanied by his own guitar that he’d been trying to perfect all week. He played a slightly out of tune guitar to the Kris Kristofferson song made famous by Janis Joplin, ‘Me and Bobby McGee’. It is the last song he learned before coming into prison. The song that seemed to have kept him going for the nearly twenty years he’d been inside. The refrain ‘Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose’ never sounded any sadder. I cried at the end of that performance. When I got home I took out my Kris Kristofferson Greatest Hits and played that song about fifteen times one after the other.’

Dave Downs in conversation with writer Steve Ely about his astonishing life: growing up on the mean streets of Featherstone, the violence and dark-side of ‘the doors’, the brutality, despair and humour of prison and his unlikely redemption. A Dissonant Voices special.

Tuesday 27 September, 7:30pm
Local Interest
Quiz + Jess Gardham

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‘When my grandad told me that I should never work down the pit, he never really told me what else I might do. Well, what he actually said was, ‘If I ever see thee near that pit I’ll give thee a bloody good hiding!’ When I asked him what he thought I ought to do he said, ‘Read books, lad!’ I used the maroon leather-bound dictionary that my Auntie Alice won for occasional reference; my word hoard improved dramatically. I got a bollocking at the age of sixteen for knowing too many “posh” words. Then there was my maps. And where did they get me?’

A specially curated cultural quiz, with a Yorkshire theme. Live music from York singer-songwriter Jess Gardham, with a distinctive mix of pop, soul and acoustic sounds. Richard Hawley was a surprise guest, and played 3 songs in the break between the quiz questions and answers.

Wednesday 28 September, 7:30pm
Knocked Down By a Feather
Allan Agar + 1983 Challenge Cup Final Screening

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‘In 1983 Rovers reached Wembley and were to play Hull, a millionaire club. Against all the odds, the Rovers with ten miners from the same colliery in their thirteen, triumphed. Jürgen Bredebusch stood on the terraces with me. He still talks about it today. “Mighty Hull knocked down by a Feather.” He quotes the headline on the back of The Observer newspaper from the day after. In Berlin just before they knocked down the wall I once saw sprayed in foot-high navy blue letters, Featherstone Rovers 14 Hull 12.’

Former Rovers coach Allan Agar in conversation with Ian Clayton about the glorious day in 1983 when Featherstone Rovers beat Hull to win the Challenge Cup at Wembley. Followed by screening of that 1983 final in full.

Thursday 29 September, 7:30pm
Subterranean, Homesick and Blue
Andy Kershaw Presents Bob Dylan’s Bringing It All Back Home*
(*Andy couldn’t make the event, but rescheduled to present Highway 61 Revisited)

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‘I have spent a lot of time following signs out of my home town. And another part of my life trying to get back in again. Bob Dylan was the first man to pull me out of here and my gran and grandad had a bigger pull to draw me back.’

‘Our Ian went to see Bob Dylan and he’s never been the same lad since he came home.’ – Hilda Fletcher (Ian’s gran)
In association with The CAT Club (Classic Album Thursdays), legendary broadcaster Andy Kershaw presents Bob Dylan’s classic album Bringing It All Back Home in full and on vinyl. With Q&A.

Friday 30 September, 7:30pm
Bringing It All Back Home
Ian Clayton with Heath Common + Edward Clayton

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‘Everything reminds me of something. I have filled my house and my head with things: books, records, paintings, stories; souvenirs that have no meaning except to me. Sometimes I think my house is my head and my head has become my house.’

Ian Clayton discusses his life and work in conversation with Heath Common, with Edward Clayton on piano.

Saturday 1 October, 7:30pm
One For My Baby (and One More For The Road)
Jazz Night with The Meg Holch Quintet

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‘It’s a long way from the sleazy bars of New York and at the same time I’m sitting right in it. I’m listening to Billie Holiday pouring out a story to a tired barman, yet I’m nowhere near. What is it that? Why in some moments do I feel more akin to a black jazz singer from America than I do to my own Auntie Alice? I could say that Auntie Alice informs me about who I am and where I’m from. Billie Holiday takes me to places that I’d like to be from. Too simple minded that, though.’

A night of jazz on vinyl and live. The Meg Holch Quintet will serve up a mixture of some classic jazz standards with soul and funk fusion songs.

Sunday 2 October, 7:30pm
No Particular Place To Go
Kevin ‘Rev’ Reynolds

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‘Prince Keeyama, the Chicken Man, King of Bourbon Street, Miracle of the French Quarter and Master of Martial Arts is sitting outside a shop called House of Voodoo surveying upper Rampart Street from a tattered deckchair, like my grandad surveyed the beach at Blackpool. He starts to tell his stories. “The chicken is wise and alert. He’ll run and run. He wiser than an owl. He give you energy and knowledge. If you bite his head off, he give you knowledge too.”’

Kevin ‘Rev’ Reynolds in conversation about a musical odyssey to America’s Deep South he took with Ian Clayton and some friends from Pontefract. Ian was armed with pen, Kevin with camera. With photographic exhibition. Live music from Scott Wainwright.

Your £5 Book Token
Cash in at the Route Bookshop

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Throughout the 10 days of the festival, Pontefract publisher Route will have a bookshop in the theatre. Each £5* ticket purchased for the festival includes a £5 book token that can be cashed in at the stall on the night of the event.

The list of books on sale was tailored to each individual event, but the mix each night will included four of Ian Clayton’s memoirs, plus other Route titles, including a selection of books on offer for £5. For these titles, tokens were directly exchanged for a book.

See Route’s full booklist: www.route-online.com

Tap & Barrel
Your Home of Cultural Events in Pontefract

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All events of the inaugural Pontefract Festival of Stories took place in the intimate theatre setting behind the curtain at the Tap & Barrel, Front Street, Pontefract. The festival is part of the ongoing cultural programme at the theatre, which hosts a regular series of events and sessions throughout the year, with live music, conversations, cinema and vinyl records. All events take place in a warm, friendly atmosphere, with the best stocked bar in the district, that includes a selection of artisan beers, wines and spirits, as well an exclusive range of fine Pontefract ales.

Tap & Barrel, 13 Front St, Pontefract, WF8 1AN
www.tappontefract.wordpress.com
www.facebook.com/Tapintothebarrel/

Dedicated to the memory of
Völker Bredebusch
(1960-2016)

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‘I first meet Völker one evening in a bar called The Optimum. He is guest harp blower with a blues band that Jörge Petersmann has got together called Black Cat Bone. Völker is Jürgen’s younger brother. He is about my age, similar height and built like a brick shithouse. He has some right shoulders on him, through years of training to be in the German butterfly swimming team. If only Germany hadn’t withdrawn from the Moscow Olympics in 1980 he might have built a career as a swimmer. Völker took up joinery and music promotion. He has organised tours in Europe for artists who he’s a fan of, Eddi Reader being one, but mainly his hero John Martyn. Völker is a walking encyclopaedia of English folk-rock, blues, jazz and Bob Dylan. At the last count I think he had over four hundred John Martyn live bootlegs on tape. Völker grew up in that peculiarly German 1970s tradition of political activism, street theatre and impromptu gig organising.’

May this be the first of many festivals to come.
Tickets exclusively available at the bar.
Tap in.

 

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The Pontefract Festival of Stories is a fringe event for Wakefield Literature Festival:
www.wakefieldlitfest.org.uk

 

 

Merrie England or Falstaff at the Bar

Merrie England or Falstaff at the Bar
With Michael Nath and Nick Groom

Thursday 21 April 2016, 7:30pm
Tap & Barrel, Pontefract
This is a FREE EVENT but numbers are limited so email us here to reserve a ticket.

In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, Nick Groom and Michael Nath will discuss the cultural heritage of ‘Merrie England’ and how it affects us today, as well as Sir John Falstaff’s drinking habits. There will be clips from Orson Welles’ Falstaff film Chimes at Midnight, and BBC interviews with Welles. Michael and Nick will read from their books British Story: A Romance and The Seasons: A Celebration of the English Year, and will right gladly take questions from any sober members of the audience, as well as all those who have made too free with Sir John Strawberry.

MichaelNath

Michael Nath was brought up in South Wales and Lincolnshire. He is a senior lecturer in English at the University of Westminster. His major teaching and research interests are in Creative Writing and Modernism, as well as in Shakespearean Drama. His latest novel, British Story, was a Morning Star book of the year. His first novel, La Rochelle, was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction.

NickGroom

Nick Groom is an academic and writer. He is Professor in English at the University of Exeter and has written widely on literature, music, and contemporary art. He is the author of a dozen books and editions, including Introducing Shakespeare (2001), The Forger’s Shadow (2002), The Union Jack (2006), The Gothic (2012) and, most recently, The Seasons: An Elegy for the Passing of the Year. He lives on Dartmoor with his wife, two daughters, and one cat, and keeps a flock of Black Welsh Mountain sheep. When he is not writing, he can be found playing the hurdy-gurdy in local pubs.

>>Click here to read a fitting extract from British Story

>>Click here to listen to a podcast of Michael and Nick’s talk ‘The Last of Britain’ at Ilkley Literature Festival 2015.

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In Conversation – Tom Hingley and Mike Joyce

Tom Hingley and Mike Joyce (ex The Smiths) recorded in conversation in Manchester on the occasion of the book launch for Carpet Burns.

Tom and Mike discuss Tom’s early life, working at the Hacienda, his time with Inspiral Carpets, the rivalries between the bands of the Madchester era and the experience of working with Mark E Smith and a young Noel Gallagher. In addition, Tom sings three Inspirals songs: ‘Move’, ‘Sackville’ and ‘Saturn 5’

Tom Hingley – Bitches Brew

Tom Hingley performs ‘Bitches Brew’ at the launch of his book Carpet Burns, held at Tap and Barrel, Pontefract.

>>Click here to see Tom Hingley perform ‘Beggar’s Hand’ on the night
>>Click here to see support act Glass Caves perform ‘Swim’ on the night.
>>Click here to see another clip of Glass Caves on the night.

Louder Than Words 2015

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Louder Than Words is the pre-eminent festival for music and literature, celebrating words – oral, written and published – associated with the music industry: a fusion of authors, artists, poets, performers, lyricists, journalists, DJs, bloggers and publishers of music and popular culture. The annual festival is a melting pot for ideas, stories and conversations about the state of the industry, drawing from history and the contemporary scene to point a direction to the future.

For the last three years, we’ve sat in on each of the Louder Than Words festivals, soaking it all in, coming away with a much clearer idea about the shape of the music industry, what its attraction is, what drives and feeds it, where it’s been and where it’s going than at any other time or occasion. It never fails to stimulate.

With all that in mind, for this year’s festival we’ve teamed up with Louder Than Words to generate a book over the course of the weekend, Across the Tracks. We’ll be resident across the festival with a team of story gatherers to capture all the activity that takes place, bringing together the stories, ideas and thoughts expressed across the weekend, from the main contributors and the audience alike.

Louder Than Words 2015 takes place at Palace Hotel, Manchester, 13-16 November. Come along and add a contribution of your own, or pre-order the book now before you forget.

Up for discussion and debate at the festival this year: Karren Ablaze, Paul ‘Smiler’ Anderson, Richard Balls, Pauline Black, The Beatles, Terry Bezer, Mark Blake, Richard Boon, Lee Brilleaux, Louise Brown, Rick Buckler, Jayne Casey, Chris Charlesworth, The Clash, Club Culture, Kurt Cobain, Copyright, Ian Daley, JP Daly, Sandy Denny, Duncan Dick, DJs, Julia Downes, Dr Feelgood, Ian Dury, Jemima Dury, Daryl Easlea, The Fall, A Firm of Poets,Tony Fletcher, Folk, Free Culture, Mike Garry, Mike Harding, Paul Harries, Dave Haslam, Heavy Metal, Jimi Hendrix, Paolo Hewitt, Mick Houghton, Barney Hoskyns, Zoë Howe, Steve Ignorant, Independent Publishing, Carol Isherwood, Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Chris Jam, The Jam, Martin James, Wilko Johnson, Janis Joplin, Norman Jopling, CP Lee, Spencer Leigh, Keith Levene, Chris Madden, Manchester v Liverpool, Manchester District Music Archive, Simon Mason, Shirley May, Paul McCartney, John McCullagh, Joel McIver, Mick Middles, Mods, Jim Morrison, Simon A. Morrison, Paul Du Noyer, Public Image Ltd, Oasis, Olivia Piekarski, Poetry, Steve Pottinger, Pulp, Prog Rock, PRS, Daniel Rachel, Riot Grrrl, John Robb, Fats Roland, The Rolling Stones, Chris Salewicz, Jon Savage, The Selector, Russell Senior, Slipknot, Ian ‘Snowy’ Snowball, Great British Songwriters, Stiff Records, UnConvention, Thomas Watts, Simon Wells, The Who, Reece Williams, Amy Winehouse, Writing Workshop… and then there’s the bar and much more besides.

There’s stories waiting to be told. You can read all about it in Across the Tracks.

>>Click here to see the full programme for Louder Than Words 2015
>>Click here to pre-order Across the Tracks now

Autumn Events 2015

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It’s literature festival time. Here’s a selection of events featuring Route and our authors.

27 September 2015, Londonville Lit, The Montage Gallery, Forest Hill, 3pm
Michael Nath reads from British Story

03 October 2015, The Last of Britain, Ilkley Literature Festival, 4:30pm
Michael Nath joins with Nick Groom to talk about Britishness

03 October 2015, Ilkley Literature Festival, 8pm
Steve & Olivia Piekarski in conversation with Dave Haslam, talking The Big Midweek: Life Inside The Fall.

1-4 Oct 2015, Moby Dick Unabridged, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Mark Gwynne Jones will be contributing to a four day reading of Melville’s epic Moby Dick alongside actors, writers, members of the public, comedians and Herman Melville’s great-great-great granddaughter.

10 October, Ilkley Literature Festival, 1:30pm
Ian Clayton in conversation about Song For My Father with Yvette Huddleston. Later in the evening Ian will be joining Annapurna Indian Dance Company to pay homage to Indian servicemen of WW1.

10 October, Still Howling, The Wonder Inn, Manchester
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first reading of Allen Ginsberg’s epic Beat poem ‘Howl’ at the Six Gallery in San Francisco, ten years on from the Howl for Now celebration held in Leeds (and the book of the same name), a stimulating group of talks and performances is lined up for what promises to be another stellar celebration.

11 October 2015, Rochester Literature Festival
Michael Nath reading from British Story plus Q&A

Tom Hingley Tour
Tom Hingley will be up and down the country as usual most weekends. Click here to see if he’s coming to a venue near you.

16-18 October Musicport Festival, Whitby
Annual world music festival on the east coast. Route will be present all weekend, and Ian Clayton will be compèring various events.

31 Oct 2015, Buxton, The Pauper’s Pit
Halloween: an atmospheric evening with classical guitarist Steve Marsh and Mark Gwynne Jones.

08 Nov 2015, Soho, Ronnie Scott’s, Jazz Verse Jukebox
Mark Gwynne Jones mixes spoken word with jazz, hosted by broadcaster and vocalist Jumoke Fashola.

13-15 November, Louder Than Words Festival, Palace Theatre, Manchester
The premier music literature festival with a stunning line-up. We will be present collecting a festival book over the weekend. If you ever wanted to work on a book with us, opportunity knocks. See the festival’s call for volunteers here.

Brix and The Extricated Autumn Tour
Steve Hanley takes his bass on the road with his band mates and a mixture of Fall classics and new tunes.

17 October, Wake Up! Indie All Dayer, with Echo & The Bunnymen
19 November, Broadcast, Glasgow
20 November, Night & Day, Manchester
21 November, East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
22 November, The Cluny, Newcastle
24 November, The Duchess, York
25 November, Le Pub, Newport
26 November, The Haunt, Brighton
27 November, ICA, London
28 November, Britannia Theatre, Chatham

Click here for tour ticket info.

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