Fourth Friday March 25th

Poetry from Harry Eyres and Beata Duncan.  Music from Dave Ellis & Boo Howard.

Harry Eyres has been writing poetry, at first for himself and friends, and then for a wider audience, for twenty years. He is also a columnist (he writes the Slow Lane column for the Financial Times) and keen bird-watcher and swimming-pool activist. His first poetry collection Hotel Elisio was published by Hearing Eye in 2002. Vernon Scannell praised it in the Sunday Telegraph as “an enjoyable collection of consistent accomplishment,” describing Eyres as “a mature poet…who has forged a style, pared down, cleanly chiselled, and…admirably suited to his purposes.” From 1996-2001 Harry was Poetry Editor of the Daily Express, where he established the popular Daily Poem column, featuring much new work and ‘outsider poetry’ as well as poems by better-known poets. He regularly gives poetry readings in London, at venues such as the Poetry Café in Covent Garden, Torriano Meeting House and Highgate Library. He was a Whitbread Poetry Prize judge in 2001.

Beata Duncan has taught English Literature and Creative Writing for the W.E.A. and London University, and has worked in publishing and as a researcher. She has had poems published in anthologies, national papers and magazines and broadcast on BBC Radio, including ‘Poetry Please’. Beata twice won a prize in the National Poetry Competition. Her collection Apple Harvest was recently reprinted by Hearing Eye.

Comments on Apple Harvest:  “Stylish modern fables… Razor-sharp irony and a taste for the surreal are counter-balanced by a tender moral sense in the poems of Beata Duncan.  Her voice, which bears traces of the best and worst of life’s experiences, lends her work an authority we can trust.” Hugo Williams.

“These are seemingly simple, often ironic, poems that exhibit an unadorned presentation of life and its experiences… Each word, each piece of information in the highly crafted poems is chosen in a manner to solicit the desired emotional response in the reader… Superb examples of ‘show, don’t tell’ poems.”  Frank Dullaghan.

Dave & Boo are based in London with a musical partnership that began in 1979. Dave Ellis came to London from Liverpool in 1970. He released a solo album on Sonet records in 1973 which is considered by some to be a classic guitar record of the 70s and which gave him national exposure on shows such as the Old Grey Whistle Test and In Concert.  Discovering life after folk clubs, Dave became a regular at the Marquee and played some unusual supports, including gigs with the Edgar Broughton Band at the Rainbow and Rod Stewart at Reading Festival.  In 1979 Dave formed The Reactors with Boo Howard playing bass and handling most of the vocals in the band.  Business interest followed with some high profile managers – the Police’s Kim Turner and Jackson 5’s Germaine Jackson. In 1994 Dave and Boo self-produced their only electric album Snaps under their later band name Brave Lucy. Dave and Boo’s present acoustic partnership really began in 1998 with Dave’s intricate guitar work and Boo’s mellow vocal combining to create something entirely new and all their own. Their music is completely original and ‘Maybe I Might Fall’ was their debut CD in 1999. This was followed by ‘Amber’ in 2002 and a remastering of Dave’s original 1974 Sonet album for CD in 2003. Dave has become known around the clubs for his unique guitar style plus his highly individual banjo tunes, while Boo completes their sound with her exceptional voice and superb bass playing. After 30+ years of singing together their harmonies fit like a glove. They play venues mainly around the south east of England where they have developed a loyal following. More albums have followed… in 2004 Late In The Day, and in 2007 Living On Light. There has also been a DVD of live performances, recording sessions and rehearsals in 2006. Their latest CD is Stuff in 2010 with a cajon and a tenor guitar making an appearance for the first time. All the tunes on the album, as ever, are original.

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