A midweek treat was on the cards at Stockport’s latest music venue (and fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit out of the city centre). Poetry, live music and followed by an interview with one of the most famous DJ’s on the planet, interviewed by one of the finest spoken word artists Manchester has produced, made this Wednesday evening a special one.

The evening kicked off with numerous local poets, some of whom had only stepped foot on a stage a handful of times. This evening (due to minor technical issues with a mixing desk) the eager participants were encouraged by Dave Scott (AKA Argh Kid) to stand on a table and kick off the evening in style. Amongst the were Steph Lonsdale and James Young. This monthly event provides an ideal platform for up and coming poets who are able to share their work in a top venue with a friendly and encouraging audience. The spoken word scene in the North is flourishing, and I urge any aspiring or established poets to get involved in this event which has proved to be popular in recent months.

Next up, and slightly miffed that the mixing desk was fixed as I believe he would have also liked to stand on a table and perform, was Levenshulme’s Chris Bridgett. One third of Cold Water Swimmers, former Dub Sex Guitarist and frontman of The G-O-D, Bridgett was here to perform a special solo acoustic set which he did, in his unique style which always includes a great deal of passion, humour and cool as fuck, effortless edginess which is becoming rarer these days, especially in acoustic performances. Bridgett is a bloody good songwriter, and it is clear that every word is well thought out and performed with emotion, especially his newest song ‘Were You Even There’. Less of a question and more of a statement, played out with frustration and Bridgett’s raw vocals.

Due to the technical issues at the start, the music was cut short, much to the disappointment of the audience as I know that there were many more songs on the set list, but time was not on our side this evening and we still had the main event.

Dave Haslam has recently launched a series of books focusing on various genres of art and include  ‘We the Youth: Keith Haring’s New York Nightlife’ ; ‘Searching For Love: Courtney Love in Liverpool, 1982’ ;  ‘My Second Home: Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956’ , ‘All You Need is Dynamite: Acid, the Angry Brigade and the End of the Sixties’ and the latest ‘Not All Roses: The Life and Times of Stephen Cressa’.

We were privy to a sneak preview of one of the yet to be released which focuses on Pablo Picasso and his hedonistic lifestyle on the streets of Montmartre. Sex, music, drugs and art are art the forefront of this series, and as an art teacher I cannot wait to get my hands on the whole collection. Iconic figures and tragic heroes are from Picasso, to a more local icon, author Sylvia Plath. All thoroughly deserving of Haslam’s inspirational and poignant tribute which shows links to Paris, New York and of course 1980’s Manchester music and arts scene. Haslam continues his book launch tour across the UK and all the dates can be viewed here. http://www.davehaslam.com

The evening was hosted by the brilliant spoken word artist ‘Argh Kid’ who kept the audience amused throughout and made the evening run smoothly. Bask’s ‘express yourself’ evenings run monthly on a Wednesday evening, kicking off around 7:30pm. I highly recommend you get down to the next one, but get there early if you want a seat!