It’s seven PM and I am at the Royal Festival Hall to see St Etienne launch their film Thisis Tomorrow. Three seats away from me is Billy Brag, the singer and two seats away is Victoria Wood, the comedienne. The music score for the film is live. The stage filled with fifty (check) singers from local schools and a full orchestra also from schools. St Etienne are within the orchestra and a mammoth film screen is suspended above. The correlation between live music and film is picture and pitch perfect. The production alone is a statement on the new acoustic of the Royal Festival Hall which was previouslydespised by performers for its bad acoustic. The actual film was more conventional in its than I expected. However throughout the viewing I experienced rushes of pride that this would be my home for the next year.
It's also the beginning of the London Literature Festival run by acting Head of Literature. The Purcell Room is packed to the rafters. It’s the fortieth anniversary of Mersey Sound by The Liverpool Poets Brian Patten and Roger McGough and the late Adrian Henri. Mersey Sound was the first book of poetry I received, given to me by the deputy headof my secondary school Leigh C of E. Though I know and like Roger and Brian and bought their book I chose to go to St Etienne as I know I will see both the poets again. I buy both their books as a concession.
It’s nineteen years since my first book was released and it’s also the launch of my poem on the wall of the festival hall too. It’s a poem (recorded in a previous blog) that is written on to the wall of The Festival Hall in Brilliant Light. It’s called Bullet In. At 7pm I ask theacting Head what time the poem is going up. “I don’t know” comes the reply. It’s not the first time I have asked the question over the past week and it’s not the first time I have received the same reply. At 11.30pm while I am at home I receive a message from the acting head of literature “it’s up now”. Exasperated I reply in text from my bed “Brilliant. Literally”.