Kings of England performed last night at Easton Community Centre, Kilburn St, Bristol, as part of You and Your Work 5. We developed "Recent Falls" into "Where We Live and What We Live For", a 20-minute text that structured a few short performances from Dad, most notably, a song and dance, which he pulled off with his customary panache.
"Where We Live..." cited or otherwise appropriated writings by Henry David Thoreau (the title is adapted from a Chapter from Walden), Charles Bukowski, John Berger, Yevgeny Vinokurov, Garrison Keillor, Larry McMurtry, and Tobias Wolff. This won't tell you much about the show but a copy of the text is available on request, just email me at the address in the 'about us' section.
For now, here is an excerpt from the introduction:
“Good Evening, and welcome to the (third) of tonight’s performances, which concerns, for the most part, the passing of time, we were kestrels and starlings, the passing of time, let’s drink to that, the passing of time, and furthermore, to dead dogs, dead children, dead lovers, dead heroes and how good it is to be alive.We got lots of positive feedback over drinks afterwards, and everyone asked what we're going to do next, encouraging us to develop the work. I think Dad was quite surprised how well it was received and I could see his confidence soar as all the young people took the time to thank him. He was, as ever, gracious and kind, pretty quick after two glasses of wine, great to see him enjoy our work, and the others shows too. I think in his old age he is becoming a live art enthusiast.
“We dedicate this, our third show, to a memory of one morning hour spent with a lost friend (and to him) in the summer 2001. And shortly my father will present – in lieu of everything else – a song and dance, mothered by all sorts of hardy emotions and a curiosity see how he moves these days, to hear what he sounds like these days, to reconsider who he is, who he has been, and who, perhaps, he shall be" (...)
But I have to thank the organizers and the wonderful people we met, old friends or new: Birgit Binder; Sylvia Rimat; Katherina Radeva (who held up Dad's cue-cards); Jo Bannon; Chris Collier, Ella Good and the Tinned Fingers gang; Duncan Speakman; Jo Britcher; Zoe Collins; Katrina Horne; Hannah and Maritea from Pennyblack, and the excellent technician (who I think was called Michael). And most of all, big thanks to Dad, for his dilligence and care. After the gig we went back to our digs, a B&B on Fishponds Rd, noisy with the traffic, cracked a bottle of wine and talked for an hour or two like best mates, before 4 hours ragged sleep and then up.
"How Good It Is To Be Alive" Still
Dad arrives in the 'Jump' position.
Photos by Laura Montag.
Last night: I went out with Jaime and Vicky and Andy to the 16th Annual Beer Festival at the Royal. It was rather a quiet night, things were obviously winding down, but we went through several, but not all, of the 17 pumps. My winning beer was definitely "Fine Fettle" by the Osset Brewery, described as "A strong yet refreshing pale ale with a crisp clean flavour and citrus fruity aroma". We talked our way through Catterick (the Vic&Bob tv-show) George Clooney, the Cohen Brothers, the new Batman, Jaime's cars (he has several), and the house he is doing up.
Dad was out with the village choir doing "Trial by Jury" by Gilbert and Sullivan. About 9.45 I saw a bloke at the bar dressed in a tux, he said to the barman he'd just finished singing . I said "D'you sing with my Dad? Peter Bowes?" He said "Yes". So I rang home, he's just got back. He came over and I treated him to a pint and a half of "Fine Fettle", while he talked enthusiastically about all sorts of things (he could not be stopped), but it felt really good, really normal, he was on form, and pretty funny. And he got to answer question about his third career as a performer, which he was modest about, but clearly made up after Bristol.
Mum in the Lakes
We got up too early, with hangovers, and had a breakfast of almost soft-boiled eggs and soldiers, which Dad described as "warming". I have had headaches all morning and hardly left bed all day (for which I congratulate myself). Mum is in the Lakes so I am in charm of dinners this week. Left to his own devices Dad would probably have beans on toast three meals a day until her return. We took two pieces of salmon out the freezer for tonight so hopefully I can make something else good to complement it. No word from Mum today but she is probably in her element with dry, crisp weather, and doubtless doing no less than twelve miles a day.
Go Team!. x