Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Upcoming gigs for the Scarlet Starlings

It seems that gigs, like men, according to Wendy Cope, are like buses. ('You wait for about a year/ And as soon as one approaches your stop/ Two or three others appear' - from Bloody men by Wendy Cope)

We have 2 great gigs coming up in April if you'd like to drop by (we're very folky at the moment with plenty of mandolin so if you like your Fleet Foxes mixed in with a bit of Bowie you might like us).
We're so not-awful that BBC introducing played our song 'Ransom' t'other week.
To hear more of our stuff go to or

The Underbelly - Monday April 2
Where? 11 Hoxton Square, N1 6NU. It is about a three minute walk from Old
Street Tube Station and is situated on the corner of Hoxton Square just off Old Street.
What time? 8pm-8:30pm
There are loads of other great bands on as well including:
Metro Paradiso
Feral Sun
Scenic Life
With Talitha still globe trotting around (sigh...we miss her!) we have our lovely Saffa cousin stepping in with a bit of flute and some keys...Emily!
We hope to see all of our friends there so if you can make it come up and have a beer with us.
Plus its free, so more money for gin & tonics.

Then as the 16th of April is my birthday we'll be ringing it in with a gig on: 
Sunday 15 April at Dusk till Dawn (opposite Archway tube)  

Friday, 23 March 2012

Launch of the Gothic issue of New Trespass

We're launching the 'Gothic' issue of New Trespass with the help of our brilliant contributors including: Collin Kelly, Izzy White Sarah Reilly, Dzifa Benson, Joel Toledo, Katrina Naomi, Lorraine Clarke, Maria Gregoria, Nick Field, Sue Johns as well as our inimitable guest ed. Agnes Meadows.

Poetry, short fiction and blood red wine! Dress code is (of course) Gothic, so be sure and whip out the velvet corsets and top hats!

Here's a taster of the issue which is due out shortly (will be available from

Where?  L’Osteria Wine Bar, which is attached to the L’Osteria Restaurant at 57 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8PP 

What time? 7:30pm
The Gothic issue

This issue has been an opportunity to delve delightfully into the dark side. With Gothic mania over recent years embracing teen angst (Twilight et al) and vamps being a little overexposed, guest editor (the marvellous Agnes Meadows) and I, decided to eschew all things fanged. Instead we’ve got gargoyles, the Cross Bones cemetery, fertility dolls from artist Lorraine Clarke as well as interviews with authors like Nicholas Royle, whose new book First Novel will be out early next year.

Elsewhere, poet Richard Tyrone Jones gives us an extract from his bittersweet and hilarious play in which he talks about his near-death experience due to heart disease. One of our favourite (and very Gothic) photographers Iza Gonzalez has taken the pictures for our gorgeous photo story, as well as the Sexuality piece on Japanese Rope Bondage, a practice that is both disturbing and strangely compelling, as you’ll see from the pictures.

Ex-psychologist and now writer Guy Mankowski writes about the dark side of the psyche and his new novel, while our cover artist the immensely talented Alex Gross gives a new slant to the idea of Gothic, with his eerie Victorian picture cards, re-imagining the unknown figures as super-heroes. 
There is, of course, much more to indulge in with poetry, art and more interviews with the likes of Mario Petrucci, Joni Deehan, Merlin Evans, John Constable, Izzy White, Deborah Mo, Sarah Reilly, Joel Toledo, Sue Johns, Katrina Naomi, Nick Field, Collin Kelley and Maria Gregoria.

I'd love to see some of my internetty friends, although the venue is smallish so get there early if you want to grab a

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Celebrating women: literary heroines

It's National Women's Day today, so it's great to have a chance to celebrate women writers who've inspired me. One of my all time literary heroines is George Eliot. I still re-read her novels and find new layers of meaning, subtleties and nuance. She, and others like Austen and the Bronte's, is a writer I'll always return to.

“To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely-ordered variety on the chords of emotion--a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge.”
― George Eliot, Middlemarch

Loose Muse is an event which takes place every second Wednesday of the month at London's Poetry Cafe. Having recently got some funding from the Arts Council, organiser Agnes Meadows has started an anthology series to showcase the work of some of the female writers who've performed there.

"It's not about excluding men, who are always welcome. It's more about giving female voices a chance to shine, particularly those who've never performed or been published," Agnes said.

The recent anthology launch featured writers like Katrina Naomi, Dzifa Benson, Patricia Foster as well as previously unpublished writers.

Held at the Whitechapel Gallery in Aldgate East, the evening was a warm and inclusive affair with some cracking performances.

I might put a video up of me reading my poem 'Paper Hearts' later, if I can get it off Mike, who turned up to support me despite being high in painkillers (medicating himself after a cycling accident left him with a wrenched arm).

Perhaps the old adage 'the pen is mightier than the sword' is more true for us, and certainly was for our predecessors, than it has ever been for men.
So, to all you creative women out there - use it! You just might have a Middlemarch or a Wuthering Heights in you.

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”
― George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

Here are some pictures of the Loose Muse event.