Folkestone is quite a trek from Grimsby but I have become adept at sleeping in the back of the car or at being in a poet’s coma as my lengthy naps have been described. The Dartford Crossing is an event and I’m glad I was awake for it as the bridge is quite beautiful. The traffic isn’t and the roads are in a lamentable state – but I digress.
The welcome at Folkestone Jazz Club was warm indeed. The Tower Theatre is a beautiful space, a lovingly adapted chapel that is inviting and well designed for performances. The octet found themselves up close and personal again after being some distance apart at Herts on Sunday.
The vibe was suitably windswept and sea-inspired as a storm was brewing in Folkestone when we took to the stage for what was a barnstorming performance from everyone. Because the stage was small I sat to the side which gave me a new aural experience. I’ve got used to sitting with Mark and hearing a lot of gorgeous, warm brass solos from him and Neil with the visceral delight of Gilad cutting through. I’ve heard lots of drums and bass as well and so it was great to hear more of Alan, Dean and Pat this time.
After having my knees knock throughout the set last Sunday, I was pleased to feel enough nervous energy to power my performance but not so much that I feared I might fall over. As the tour has progressed I’ve added more layers of storytelling to my introductions and have grown in confidence. I feel I know the poems so well now and really enjoy inhabiting them as I share them with the audience.
The standing ovation at the end brought tears to my eyes and yet again the lovely comments from audience members made my heart swell.
I am thrilled that we have more dates in November and yet more next summer. At the moment I feel I could do this forever and never grow tired of it. However, there are stories, poems and ideas bubbling away and we shall see what time brings.