Catherine Martindale of Poeticat writes about their first event at The Windmill – the first of what is to be many weird and wacky nights of music, art and poetry.
In my last blog post I wrote about my desire to build a community of like-minded people who love music, art and Brixton around our upcoming residency at The Windmill, Brixton. We had the first gig on Saturday. Over 100 people came, the bands were all fantastic and the art installation went down a treat. While I was on stage I was thinking “we’re actually doing this. People are having a good time and listening to poetry!”
The art installation in The Windmill shed was a great success. Elisavet Kalpaxi and her helpers put in a supreme effort, sticking UV tape to the walls in the shape of hair and ears so that it felt like you were inside someone’s head. She also made UV paint from washing powder, so people could write poems or draw things on the walls. It also meant that when people started painting each other it was completely safe and smelt good (it’s probably the best The Windmill’s shed has ever smelt). We are hoping to get her back to transform the shed again for the next gig.
Another success of the night was our Response Song. At each gig we will be asking a question and providing a box into which you can anonymously submit your responses, which we’ll make into a song or art piece for the next gig. The question we asked last time was ‘What’s the best song lyric of all time?’ We asked the question without really thinking about how turning it into a song would actually work and it was a challenge.
Some people submitted song lyrics which really meant a lot to them, and some people submitted the funniest or worst lyrics they could think of. But it worked – it was funny and people enjoyed recognising the lyrics. The question we asked for the next gig was ‘What’s Your Favourite Children’s Story?’, so do submit your responses to us through Facebook or Twitter using the hash tag #ResponseSong.
For me, the most exciting thing about the event was the sense of community. We were pleased to play alongside Mise En Scene, an all-girl, Canadian two-piece playing reverb-heavy indie-rock ballads well worth checking out if you can catch any of their UK tour dates. Any O’Neill’s folk-punk was as raucous as ever, with one member leaving the stage to get the audience to tickle his wind chimes.
Throughout the night there were lots of girls on stage; I counted 11 women and 9 men, making it the most even gender distribution I have ever witnessed at a music event. Keebo made up 5 of those women, with their effects-driven sound propelled by a tight groove and pitch perfect harmonies. A huge accomplishment of the night was Oliver Thelwall, with a debut of his solo work combining folk, country and catchy mandolin solos.
We are excited about preparing for our June residency. Will keep you posted…