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This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to… Mike Garry May 14, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Well, was at the first gig in two years – that being John Cooper Clarke in the Olympia. Had seem him just once before in Whelans in the mid-2000s and that was a ramshackle show if ever I was at one. Not sure was it the venue or himself but it sort of felt half-baked and Clarke a little off. One of those I was with was particularly incensed by the ratio of jokes to poems – too high on the former, too few of the latter, that evening. I was just glad to see him at that time and doubted I ever would again.

But this is rock’n’roll, or something, and everything stays the same and nothing goes away – to paraphrase Christgau. So naturally he appears at the end of the global pandemic. 

This time the show was much tighter, much more finessed. Clarke was in fine form and there was almost, though thankfully not quite, a slickness to the delivery and the approach. Don’t want to overstate that, it was still a man with a mic and a table with volumes of his poetry on and a scarf. But still, he was fluent, engaged and genuinely funny – even if the humour tends towards areas that at this remove seem a fraction antediluvian. It was a pleasure to see him.

Meanwhile he had Mike Garry as support. Now I was wracking my brains to work out had I heard of Garry before, and I hadn’t, or not consciously, but he was great. He’s Mancunian, almost needless to say, Irish parents, and a line in poetry that while not a million miles from JCC tends to go in a very different direction. It was an excellent forty minutes or so, and was glad the bar staff shut the bars for the duration of the set. I’ll let his work speak for itself, not least a fine piece in the last selection on Tony Wilson which while myth making simultaneously deconstructs the myth. 

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