Saturday, 29 August 2009

Poetry and Music In The Square

Sarah Lincoln - Poetry and Music in the Square

This is one of my favourite ways to start the festival day.

Every day from 12.30pm to 2.00pm a diverse collection of poets, writers, musicians and other performers gather in Norway Square or in The Salthouse Gallery if its raining.

The event is led by Bob Devereux - but this year only during week 2.
Bob is away during the first week of the festival and so Rod Bullimore and Anna Chen will be stepping in to conduct proceedings.

Anybody is welcome to perform, if you make yourself know to Bob / Rod / Anna when you arrive they will add you to the list for the day if they can.

I particularly enjoy this as I never know what to expect - there is a great variety of performers and there are always surprises.

Its also a free event - although donations are requested.

Myself and Anna will be filming some of the performances and posting them here.

See you there.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Everything I Know About Rock And Roll Part 4

The Who at Woodstock

A talk by legendary rock journalist Charles Shaar Murray.

Woodstock 40 Years On And The Whole Hippie Thing - Charles marks the 40th anniversary of the Woodstock Festival.

St Ives Arts Club.
Tuesday 22nd September, 7.00pm.
Tickets: £6.00.
From: St Ives Tourist Information.
Or From: Steve McIntosh - 01736 797122.

The latest in his explorations into the history of rock and its attendant culture traces rock's hippie dream from the Monterey Pop Festival in the 1967 Summer of Love to its bloody death at Altamont with The Rolling Stones. A euphoric moment in which rock music briefly embodied the highest ideals and aspirations of the human spirit, or just a bunch of middle-class white kids let off the parental and social leash and using the opportunity to have sex, drugs and rock and roll in a muddy field?

Charles Shaar Murray, "the rock critic's rock critic" (Q Magazine), "front-line cultural warrior" and "original gunslinger" (Independent on Sunday) is the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award-winning author of Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix And Post-war Pop, and Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century, short-listed for the same award. The first two decades of his journalism, criticism and vulgar abuse have been collected in Shots From The Hip (Penguin).

A founding contributor to Q and Mojo magazines, he made his print debut in 1970 in the notorious "Schoolkids Issue" of underground magazine OZ, and became a frequent contributor to IT and Cream magazines before going mainstream with NME in 1972. Since launching his freelance career in 1980, his work has appeared in newspapers like The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, Evening Standard, and magazines including Vogue, MacUser, Guitarist, Prospect and New Statesman. He has written and presented several shows for Radio 3 and BBC World Service Radio, and supplied TV punditry to Channel 4 News and Newsnight, as well as appearing on numerous rockumentary programmes, most recently as series consultant for BBC2's Seven Ages Of Rock.

As a musician, he currently terrorises London gig-goers as singer/guitarist for blues band Crosstown Lightnin' , also featuring harmonica maestro Buffalo Bill Smith and the all-female New York rhythm section Queens Of Funk. His first novel, The Hellhound Sample, is due for publication in 2010.

Charles will also be reading extracts from The Hellhound Sample at The Salthouse Gallery - date tba. He'll be making a guest appearance at Buffalo Bill Smith's gig at The Lifeboat on Wednesday 16th September with steel guitar and / or Stratocaster. You will also catch him playing most days at Poetry In The Square.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Tate St Ives

St Ives September Festival - Tate St Ives

The main exhibition from now until September is Contemporary Fine and Applied Arts: 1928–2009. Open daily 10.00 - 17.00.
This includes work by Katy Moran (artist in residence), Carol Bove, Barbara Hepworth, Lucie Rie, Alfred Wallis, Bojan Šarčević and Lawrence Weiner. I haven't had a chance to visit yet but it looks like an interesting combination - apart from the inclusion of the ridiculously overrated Wallis.

Talking Painting - Saturday 12th September 11.00 - 12.30.
Explore new perspectives on work in the current exhibition through picture description, discussion and practical art activities. Designed for visitors with visual impairment but open to all. Free but booking required.

Tea and Tate - Monday 14th September 13.30 - 15.30.
A regular event for seniors, explore the exhibitions led by artist educators and take part in lively discussion. No knowledge of art required. Refreshments provided.
Free with gallery admission, booking required.

Hepworth Garden Walk and Talk - Monday 14th September 18.00 - 19.00.
Join Head Gardener Chris Green for an insightful tour of sculptor Barbara Hepworth's sub-tropical garden.
Tickets: £7.00 or £5.00 for Tate members.

Late at the Tate - Friday 25th September 19.30 - 23.00.
An evening of poetry and blues with Billy Childish - "A cult figure in America, Europe and Japan, Childish is by far the most prolific, painter, poet, and song-writer of his generation."
In the café which will be serving food and drinks.
Tickets: £15.00.
Free entrance to the gallery exhibitions and shop which are open until 21.00.

For more information or to book tickets visit the Tate website via the links above or call:
01736 796226.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Anna May Wong Must Die!

Anna May Wong Must Die!

Anna Chen's personal journey through the life and crimes of Hollywood movie legend Anna May Wong.

This multi-media solo show grew from A Celestial Star In Piccadilly - written and presented by Anna Chen - a BBC Radio 4 programme about Anna May Wong, Hollywood's first Chinese film star, broadcast in January 2009.

Glamour, sex, beauty, fame - Hollywood legend Anna May Wong had it all. She was the most famous Chinese woman in the world during the 1920s and 30s, and yet she struggled to get decent parts while white actors played the juiciest Chinese roles in "yellowface".

Born in Los Angeles in 1905, during the height of the Yellow Peril fears about the Chinese, she overcame prejudice and racism enshrined in US law to become Hollywood's first Chinese screen legend, making more than 60 movies.

Artists painted and sculpted her, photographers immortalised her, composers and songwriters were inspired by her, philosophers wrote about her. She starred alongside Douglas Fairbanks, George Raft, Warner Oland, Sessue Hayakawa, Marlene Dietrich and a young Laurence Olivier. And yet she all but disappeared for nearly half a century since her death in 1961 at the early age of 56.

Part comedy, part social critique, this funny, fascinating look at the movie icon takes a wry look at her career and reveals the human side of the dragon lady of dragon ladies.

More on Anna's website:
Anna May Wong

Sunday 20th September - 7.00pm.
St Ives Arts Club
Tickets: £6.00
From: St Ives Tourist Information
01736 798577

Saturday, 22 August 2009

St Ives School Of Painting - Art Classes

The school will be running classes every day during the festival.
These are suitable for all levels of ability and beginners are especially welcome.

As an added bonus these are held in the historic Porthmeor Studios - so you can enjoy the atmosphere of an authentic St Ives studio and follow in the footsteps of Ben Nicholson, Patrick Heron and others.

Tuition is from experienced professional artists.
Subjects include life drawing & painting, watercolour, collage and printmaking.

There is no need to book - just turn up ten minutes before the scheduled start time.

You can call them or visit their website for more information.
They are really friendly and helpful - they'd be delighted to hear from you.
Call James or Sarah: 01736 797180.

Friday, 21 August 2009

St Ives Jazz Club

Empirical - St Ives Jazz Club - Tuesday 22nd September

St Ives Jazz Club are staging two gigs during the festival -
as usual on Tuesday evenings at The Western Hotel.

On Tuesday 15th September - Partisans.
'Partisans continues to thrill audiences with its ferociously energetic performances.'
'With its tightly knit themes and a great freedom coming from the years of playing and gigging together their visceral, groovebased sound combines bop lines with rock riffs and flowing melodies, bridging the gap between New York swing, UK rock energy and the US jam-band scene.'
'One of the first of the new wave of UK jazz bands to be influenced as much by Jimi Hendrix as by Miles Davis or Sonny Rollins.'

On Tuesday 22nd September - Empirical.
Empirical scooped the title of Jazz Ensemble Of The Year at the 2008 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.The line-up's front-line features two of the UK's brightest hopes for the future. Trumpeter Jay Phelps and alto saxophonist Nathaniel Facey are both acrobatic solo displayers, cutting and fiery, and certainly not afraid of extended bouts of self-expression.

This is a great night out - cabaret style seating, drinks at regular pub prices, quality sound system and a friendly relaxed atmosphere.

For both gigs doors open at 8.00 - get there early for the best seats.
Music starts at 9.00, two sets running until around 11.30.

Tickets are £6.00 for Jazz Club members, £10.00 for non-members.
Available from St Ives Tourist Information at The Guildhall:
01736 798577

Outside the festival -
the club stage gigs every Tuesday night at The Western Hotel.

Its run by an enthusiastic bunch of unpaid volunteers and on a not for profit basis.
They've been "keeping it live" in St Ives for more than ten years.
So they deserve your support - be there!

More Info:

Thursday, 20 August 2009

St Ives Arts Club - Members Exhibition

The exhibition opens on the first Sunday (13th) of the September Festival and runs until the final Saturday (26th).

Daily 10.00am to 4.00pm - free entry.

There is always a great variety of work in various media - paintings, sculpture, textile art, other stuff.

Most work is for sale.

Obviously art is subjective and you're bound to like some things more than others.

Well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Live Music at The Castle Inn

The Castle Inn on Fore Street have announced their programme for the festival on Facebook.

Provisional - so may change (please let me know Val!).

Fri 11th Sept - Ceilidh Band.
Sat 12th Sept - Cadgewith Singers.
Sun 13th Sept - Billy Mac.
Mon 14th Sept - Fun Quiz.
Wed 16th Sept - The Shirts.
Thurs 17th Sept - Sugar Mama.
Sun 20th Sept - Billy Mac.
Mon 21st Sept - Fun Quiz.
Tue 22nd Sept - Steph Newton.
Thur 24th Sept - The Lime Green Trevenas.

A pretty interesting line up.
Good to see Sugar Mama back in St Ives - haven't seen them for ages.
All free entry and a great range of real ales on tap.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Theatre - Anything But Love

Anything But Love - St Ives Arts Club - 17th and 18th Sep.

A unique meeting in 1930s New York between the great wit, poet, dramatist and adventuress Dorothy Parker and the equally hard drinking Dorothy Fields - the greatest female lyricist of all time.

The two Dorothys laugh, drink, reminisce and bitch, whilst romping through songs that include:
I Won't Dance.
A Fine Romance.
The Way You Look Tonight.
I Can't Give You Anything But Love.

"Absolutely brilliant! Funny, moving, totally absorbing with feather-light direction, great writing, performance and playing."
Dave Woolley - Director - Dylan Thomas Festival.

An original play by Phil Bowen.
Starring: Rhian Edwards and Kali Hughes.
Directed by Dominic Brewer.
Musical Director: Peter Williams.

Thursday 17th and Friday 18th September 2009. 8.00 pm.

Tickets: £9.00 / £7.50 (concessions).
From: St Ives Tourist Information - 01736 798577.

Get your tickets early - St Ives Arts Club only has space for 40 - 50 people.
Likely to sell out in advance.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Live Music at The Lifeboat Inn

The Lifeboat Inn on the harbour are staging their usual programme of gigs.

Some regular festival favourites including Buffalo Bill Smith, Hot House Playboys, Rudi's Message and 4 Tons Of Funk.

The full list is above - click on the image to enlarge it.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Textile Art Workshops - Jo McIntosh

Jo - St Ives September Festival 2007.
Film by Anna Chen.

Jo is a textile artist based in St Ives and is an inspiring and imaginative tutor.
Her approach is centred around her students and she loves passing on her skills:
"I get as much satisfaction from seeing my students realise that they too can be creative given the right help and support, as I do from making something myself."

Have fun ! Do something different !

She's running a series of textile art workshops during the festival.
Please book if you want to learn something new and creative.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Saturday 12th September. 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Felt Making.
Learn to make felt from first principles from merino fleece.
Then design and make your own unique seamless felt bag.

Tuesday 15th September. 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Silk Paper.
Imagine being able to make handmade paper in amazing colours and a lustrous sheen.
This is what silk fibres will produce when used for papermaking.
During the workshop you will learn how to make a sheet of silk paper and how to mould around an object to create a 3D piece.

Tuesday 22nd September. 10.00am - 4.00pm.
Water Soluble Fabric.
Learn how to make a bowl from this amazing material.

All these workshops are at Bedford Road in St Ives.
Cost is £30.00 per person including materials.
To book a place contact Jo:
01736 797122
07500 274601

Friday 25th September. 4.30pm - 7.30pm.
Learn how to make beaded jewellery and create your own design.
St Ives Library.
Cost: £10.00 per person.
To book contact the library: 0300 1234 111.

Jo runs workshops in St Ives throughout the year.
Dates and more about Jo and her work on her website:

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Contributions Welcome

We want to make this blog as good as it can possibly be - so would like to invite you to send in content for inclusion - before, during and after the festival.

Please do submit anything relating to the festival that might be of interest.

We're particularly looking for good quality content - well written previews / reviews, photos, videos or anything else interesting and informative.

If you upload photos to
Picasa and videos to YouTube or Vimeo (preferred as quality is better) that will help. If you send in written content please include a photo for illustration if you can.

During the festival we'll be posting daily so do send in anything topical - images of the daily events, reviews of what you've seen, latest news or just your own thoughts on what's going on.

Contact Steve via the blog or email:

Also please do subscribe, comment on the posts and send in any ideas that you have - your input is welcome!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

St Ives Arts Club Events

A Thousand Knitting Needles Falling Down A Well - Trailer.

The Arts Club on Westcott's Quay overlooking the harbour is one of my favourite venues.

A small theatre with space for only 40 - 50 people which creates a great atmosphere. Tickets are generally reasonably priced and you can also take your own wine / drinks.

The programme for September is really varied - talks, walks, music, movies, theatre and cabaret.

Here is a selection of them.
Tickets for all are available (except where noted) from:
St Ives Tourist Information - 01736 798 577.

Saturday 12th and Wednesday 16th September at 8.00 pm.
(Also Wednesday 9th and Friday 11th September at 8.00 pm).
The Cook, The Thief, The Plot and One Other.
An original play performed by Withpen Theatre Company.
Six novice writers attend a retreat in a secluded location. as they learn more about themselves and each other, the classical unities of action, place and time begin to creep from the notebook and into real life.
Tickets: £5.00

Tuesday 15th September at 7.00pm.
A Thousand Knitting Needles Falling Down A Well.
Filmmakers Nick Duffy and Anne Marie Carty take a look at life with The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. The Orchestra’s diverse members reflect on 21 years of aimless strumming, while their distinctive band of aficionados pitch in with philosophical asides on the pivotal role of the ukulele in everything from brain chemistry to regime change.
Free Entry.

Thursday 17th and Friday 18th September at 8.00pm.
Anything But Love - a play by Phil Bowen.
Charts a unique meeting in 1930s New York between the great wit, poet, dramatist and adventuress Dorothy Parker and the equally hard-drinking Dorothy Fields - the greatest female lyricist of all time. Performed by Rhian Williams and Kali Hughes.
Tickets: £9.00

Sunday 20th September at 7.00 pm.
Anna May Wong Must Die!
Anna Chen's one woman show about Hollywood's first Chinese movie star.
Based on her BBC Radio 4 broadcast and complete with a multimedia presentation and the Anna May Wong rap! Previewed at St Ives Literature Festival 2009 to great acclaim.
Tickets: £6.00

Tuesday 22nd September at 7.00 pm.
Everything I Know About Rock and Roll Part 3.
A talk by legendary rock journalist and author Charles Shaar Murray.
Woodstock Forty Years On - What It Meant - What It Didn't Mean.
Charlie continues his popluar series of talks - taking us to 1969 and the "Summer Of Love".
Tickets: £6.00

Wednesday 23rd September at 8.30 pm.
Back to Back - Rod Bullimore and Martyn Barker.
What happens when two Northeners meet for a drink in St Ives ?
Find out when , for the third successive festival, St Ives poet/comedian Rod Bullimore, and Goole based singer songwriter Martyn Barker meet for another laid back evening of original comedy and music.
Tickets: £6.00

Thursday 24th September at 8.00 pm.
The Big Frug hosted by Bob Devereux.
The usual mixture of local performers - poetry, prose readings, comedy, music, film and anything else anybody wants to do.
Tickets: £6.00
From: The Salthouse Gallery

The Black and White Movie Show.
A short season of classic movies on various dates.
Monday 14th September - On The Waterfront.
Saturday 19th September - Casablanca.
Monday 21st September - Some Like It Hot.
Friday 25th September - Sunrise.

There is the usual programme of talks, walks and short documentary films and as details are on the official festival website I won't repeat them here.

The Arts Club Members Exhibition is also open every day - free entry.

Please do let me know if I've got any of these details wrong or I've missed anything. As ever - in line with my shameless blagging policy - comp tickets are much appreciated.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Guildhall Tickets - Latest News

Show Of Hands - Country Life

Tickets for The Ukelele Orchestra Of Great Britain - Tuesday 22nd September - are now completely sold out.

I've just checked at The Guildhall and they reckon that Elkie Brooks - Friday 25th September - will be the next gig to sell out.

My guess is that Bellowhead and Show Of Hands will follow, quite possibly before the festival starts.

So if you really want to go to any of these gigs it would be a good idea to get your tickets now.

Box Office - St Ives Tourist Information:
01736 798 577

As far as I know there are still plenty of tickets left for other events - but you might want to check if there is something you particularly want to see.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Leach Pottery Otters

Leach Pottery Otters - Amazingly Talented

The printed copy of the official Arts and Literature programme has a few errors.

Be clear that most of it is correct - although many events are not listed at all.

But I thought it would help festival visitors to point out the ones I've spotted - there may well be a few others - please let me know.

Daily - Poetry In The Square.
Led by Rod Bullimore.
Should Read: Led by Rod Bullimore and / or Anna Chen during week 1.
The inimitable Bob Devereux will be back at the controls for week 2.

Tuesday 15th September -St Ives Library.
The Leach Pottery - local author Marion Whybrow gives an illustrated talk on the otters and their work.
Should Read: Not sure - but I suspect that it should be "potters" unless Paradise Park have instigated an amazing training programme for the little furry creatures.

Wednesday 16th - Saturday 19th September - The Island.
Romeo and Juliet.
Tickets: £6.00 (advance), £8.00 (door).
Should Read: £6.00 (advance), £7.50 (door), under 7s free.
Tickets - St.Ives Theatre 01736 797007 or Tourist Information 01736 796297.

Friday 18th September - St Ives Library.
Workshop with Jo McIntosh - Knitting With Wire.
Should Read: Sorry - this event has been cancelled.

Sunday 20th September - The Island.
Romeo and Juliet.
This performance will not take place as the production closes on the 19th.

Saturday 26th September.
Several events are listed under this heading which actually take place on Friday 25th.
The heading is printed in the wrong place - should be one column to the right.


September Festival 2008 - A Midsummer Nights Dream.
This year's play will be Romeo and Juliet. 16th, 17th, 18th ,19th September.

Welcome the the St Ives September Festival Blog - 100% Unofficial.

We aim to feature daily live updates during the festival - which runs from Saturday 12th to Saturday 26th September 2009 in St Ives Cornwall.

We'll also be previewing a range of events beforehand.

From our unofficial headquarters at Norway Square, The Sloop Inn and various secret locations around town we'll be filming, checking out what's going on and generally keeping you informed and entertained. Footage and copy will then be rushed to our production suite near Porthmeor Beach for editing and posting online.

If you're attending the festival you'll find this a useful source of information, gossip and news as things progress.

If you can't be here you can at least follow events from your PC, Mac or laptop.

Content will include the latest news from the underbelly of the festival and any "official" news that the festival organisers choose to send our way. If any events change or are cancelled we'll do our best to let you know. If any new events pop up we'll post details here.

We'll be filming at locations where we can - a mixture of live performances, interviews with key players and general scenes from St Ives.

We'll shamelessly plug events that we have a particular interest in of course.
But to be fair we'll feature lots of other stuff as well.
If you want to feature please send in the usual offers of free tickets, bribes or whatever.
If your event has artistic merit in our expert opinion - we'll consider it.
If you're event has no artistic merit and you make a good enough offer - we'll definitely feature it.

Do send in anything you'd like to see posted.
Feedback is welcome - please do add comments.

As ever, if we get anything wrong, blame Rod Bullimore.