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 1   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heat - 19th Feb 2018  Yesterday at 10:05 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by Pete Atkin
The Kitchen Garden Café in Kings Heath (I'm following what seems to be universal local usage in using no apostrophe) turned out to be a terrific venue.  It's a haphazardy linked collection of congenial brickwalled spaces, full of pine tables in the daytime, full of chairs aimed towards a performance corner in the evening.  It seemed to me to work exceptionally well.   So it's a big thank to Julia Parsons for contacting me and setting it all up, and another big thank to everyone who filled it up on a winter's Monday evening and who constituted a wonderfully attentive and generous audience.
The list for the first set is accurate, I think, and I'm fairly sure the second set includes everything I did, but maybe not in the right order.   I'm sorry about the requests I didn't manage to fit in, but, hey, next time, eh?
Practical Man – g
Ice Cream Man – p
Frangipanni was her Flower – p
Have you got a Biro? – g
Apparition in Las Vegas – g
Sessionman's Blues – p
Canoe – p
Thief in the Night – g
The Colours of the Night – g
I see the Joker – p
Time to Burn – p
Rain-wheels – p
Hill of Little Shoes – p
Beware of the Beautiful Stranger – g
Touch has a Memory – p
Thirty Year Man – p
Girl on the Train – g
OOHonkTonkNTBlues – g
The Way you are with me – g
Several people had come a fair old distance, it seems, so a special thank to them – and an extra-special thank to John from Manchester who brought me the gift of a cigar-box guitar which he has made. (I'll report further on how I get on with it;  it's in a fine old tradition which I was shamefully unaware of.)
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 2   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Re: The Pheasantry - Wed 31st January 2018  03.02.18 at 11:33 
Started by Pete Atkin | Newest post by Pete Atkin
Multiple thankyous to everyone who was at the Pheasantry for all of your indulgence and generosity, not least for filling it once again (the fourth time, now) and thereby maintaining my hopes of getting booked back - that is how it works!   And yes, it's not hard to spot, I think, what a huge contribution Simon Wallace makes to the proceedings, not least directly for me, so thank you also on his behalf.
Oh, and that leaflet with 'What The Papers Say' on it, Steve:   that was a real surprise.   It was a sort of general promo handout thing for me and Clive that was done in 1969, well before any recordings or solo career were even thought about (for me, anyway).   It was instigated by the guy who signed up the three of us (me, Clive, and Julie) as our manager at the time.   It would be unfair to say that he was the original of the Practical Man, but I think it's fair to say that he didn't have what might have turned out to be the right idea.   Anyway, it's a collector's item, that leaflet.  The only two items under the 'What The Papers Say' heading were from reviews of the Cambridge Footlights.
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 3   Not Pete Atkin / Off-topic / The Crown  20.01.18 at 16:35 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan

Sat 20 Jan 2018

'She is the Queen, whereas you are Joe Shmuck': Clive James on The Crown
How to recover from my latest hospital stay? Watch The Crown – twice, and remember a royal meeting of my own

As my latest stay in hospital came to an end, the second series of The Crown was just starting on Netflix. Since my prescribed formula for rehabilitation consisted mainly of the instruction just to lie there and shut up, I had nothing to do except maintain the horizontal position and watch the delightful Claire Foy plough onward in her role of Queen. I thought she coped nobly.
So nobly, in fact, that when the second series was all used up, I reverted to the first episode of the first series and watched the whole thing again. It would be worth it just for the cars. As piloted by the suave Matt Smith, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Lagonda is an impeccable example of one of the most beautiful objects ever manufactured in Britain. You could say the same of the Queen herself, still looking imperturbably shiny even as the duke drives off to yet another raucous lunch with his ghastly pals.
The great triumph of the first series is that the duke is shown to be more noble....  
read on
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 4   Pete Atkin / Gigs / Another one for you south-coasters  16.01.18 at 23:28 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
Still some way off, but watch out for Pete's appearance at Robb Johnson's Railway Roots acoustic initiative in the Railway Inn, Portslade (Brighton), on Thursday 8th November. They don't take advance bookings, so make a note to get there in plenty of time.
I'll add it to the Website's bulging Gig List in a minute or five...
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 5   Pete Atkin / Gigs / New South Coast gig: St Leonards-on-Sea  03.01.18 at 17:16 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
Pete has announced a new booking at the Kino-Teatr in St Leonards-on-Sea (very near Hastings) on Thursday March 1st (though as of today the venue's Events page thinks it's February 28th -- we hope this inconsistency will go away soon).

Meanwhile, The Pheasantry (Chelsea, January 31st) reports some 20 tickets remaining, and the  
Kitchen Garden (Birmingham, February 19th) indicates 8 remaining through their WeGotTickets outlet -- they added some a while back, but these might be the last. As ever, check our (Pete's) Website for booking details.
A Happy New Year to all.
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 6   Not Pete Atkin / Off-topic / Re: Kazuo Ishiguro - singer songwriter  19.12.17 at 12:25 
Started by avner greenberg | Newest post by Rob Spence
Love his lyrics for Stacey Kent. A touch of the surreal about them.
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 7   Atkin admin / Tech / Apologies for outage  16.11.17 at 03:20 
Started by S J Birkill | Newest post by S J Birkill
Some may have experienced difficulties accessing the MV Forum yesterday (Wednesday) evening, after the hosting service upgraded our server to a newer version of Ubuntu Linux. It seems the Forum's antediluvian perl code was employing a deprecated syntax in one dusty, cobwebbed corner of its source files, which triggered an error message when one attempted to view any post. I've amended the code, and things seem OK at present, but I haven't exercised every Forum function so it's possible there may remain other instances which could cause issues. Anyone encountering an unexpected response, please post in this thread to let me know just what you were attempting, and what you actually got.
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 8   Pete Atkin / Words / Re: Clive James: 'Injury Time'  14.11.17 at 19:44 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Revelator
The TLS reviews Injury Time:

Continually drawn to music
“There is no reason to shoot critics as long as they quote you”, writes Clive James in “Letter to a Young Poet”, the essay that concludes this substantial book of poems (which is dedicated to the staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge). James is a sparkling critic, of course, and poets young and old should read his thoughts on the art in Poetry Notebook 2006–2014 (TLS, July 10, 2015). But what of his own verse? After Sentenced to Life, which was very warmly received, he did not expect to publish more: “This is a pretty trick the fates have played / On me, to make me think that I might die / Tomorrow, and then grant me extra time . . .”. So begins the title poem (a sonnet). Although he would doubtless rather not have discovered the fact, elegy suits the gifts of one who rarely strays from the iambic pentameter. The steady drum beat of a funeral march sounds through Injury Time, most powerfully in poems for his family such as “This Coming Winter”, and we know James well enough not to be surprised when he diverts from the cortege towards Fawlty Towers.
There is plenty that is ambitious in this collection, but there is nothing pompous. Sometimes the engine is left idling, however; and the risk for all formalists is the resort to syntactical inversion, or slightly unnatural diction – such as that useful stand-by, “for” (which sounded archaic even in Frost’s “For I have had too much / Of apple-picking”) – to maintain a metre. Nor are a ferociously active mind or the ability to entertain and move us quite enough to make a poem, as Clive James knows. Indeed, he discusses it in one of his best pieces, “Too Many Poets”, which begins:
Too many poets pack a line with thought
But melody refuses to take wing.
It’s not that meaning has been dearly bought:
It has been stifled, by a hankering
For portent, as if music meant too much.
Sidney called this a want of inward touch.
Continually drawn to music, James is especially impressive in a poem on Beethoven’s late quartet, Op. 131, which mimics the quartet’s structure. Part biopic, part personal testament, “The Rest is Silence” repays rereading. As we will return to much of what Clive James has written, not least for the engaging personality, the distinctive voice – humorous, poignant and, naturally, metrical.

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 9   Not Pete Atkin / Off-topic / Bruce Beresford  14.10.17 at 13:32 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan
The Age
OCTOBER 14 2017   
Edited extract from The Best Film I Never Made: And Other Stories About a Life in the Arts by Bruce Beresford   

I first met Clive James in 1959. We were both students at Sydney University. I think he started there in 1958.
I saw Clive often over the next three years, although we were not great friends at this time. We were both indifferent actors, though I was the more indifferent, and came across each other occasionally during student productions, most of them dominated by students who went on to make a mark in Australian theatre: John Bell, Arthur Dignam and John Gaden. I still remember Clive's colourfully bizarre performance in Lysistrata and in annual university revues.

Bruce Beresford, Clive James at Clives party. January 01, 1980. Photo: Fairfax Media  

read on  
Kevin Cryan
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 10   Not Pete Atkin / Off-topic / Benjamin Whitrow (1937 -2017)  05.10.17 at 13:40 
Started by Kevin Cryan | Newest post by Kevin Cryan
The Guardian

Brief letters
Wednesday 4 October 2017  
Why do your obituaries of actors only ever seem to concentrate on what said actor did on stage or screen, but never radio? Your obituary of Benjamin Whitrow (30 September) failed to mention that one can still hear his mellifluous tones on Radio 4 Extra on Friday mornings in Simon Brett’s series After Henry. Here, Whitrow’s character, Russell, serendipitously plays the part of a second-hand bookshop owner.
Helen Adams
Guiseley, West Yorkshire

Kevin Cryan
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