The Cutting Room: Vulgar Persons, at Kings, Norwich, 23 January 2014, with Dom Jarvis, Jacob Solstice, Stan Skank, Dean Knight. Review and photos.
We are living in a time where we are ‘governed’ by some hapless, self-serving, and downright nasty politicians – with opposition parties weak, evil, barking mad or all three – whilst the mainstream (corporate) media refuse to report on the actual news and issues that they should be telling us, instead they toe the government line, ignoring anything that will upset their corporate masters, feeding us endless meaningless stories of the royals, sportsmen, pop stars and vacuous ‘celebrities’ believing we are so distracted we will not notice what is really happening.
However, an increasing number of people are seeing through all this distraction and thankfully we have nights like this being revived and springing up where feelings are given a smart, biting, and articulate voice. Here we have intelligent artists redressing the balance and pointing out the lies, hypocrisies and prejudice. The Cutting Room has its origins in 2008 in Norwich, and performed at the city’s fringe, but disillusionment at the 2010 election result led to the Cutting Room being ‘retired’. Things in politics have become ever more desperate though and so it has been thankfully revived, being more relevant than ever. There are so many parallels with the Thatcher government at the moment and consequently people are expressing their feelings in music, poetry, and the performing arts. Here we have an evening of really sharp satire, a similar type of event in London would probably be getting plenty of attention.
Host Paul Knight opened the evening with a lengthy and quite brilliant review of 2013 and what made the headlines in the mainstream press. It really is astonishing that the likes of Miley Cyrus got more headlines than some of the true news of atrocities and real scandals. He can really see through things and articulate them in a very incisive, cutting way pulling absolutely no punches. All of this done with much wit and laughter too. I thought he was outstanding.
Following Paul was some punk, anti-fascist poetry, really putting life into the genre. Angry, passionate, articulate and hitting the targets with pinpoint accuracy. He reminded me of some of the punk poets of the early 80s when it was totally relevant, as it is today. He also recited some lighter poems. Great to watch him perform, he seems so alive, animated and spoke with much feeling.
The Cutting Room is not all about politics however and there is also plenty of music and other art on offer, tonight with two musicians from local bands playing solo sets.
Jacob Solstice was next up, glass of wine in hand he treated us to some superbly descriptive poems. Very well delivered and received, his poetry-writing talent totally apparent to everyone present. He is also a superbly talented guitarist, closing the set with a couple of musical numbers “As I didn’t write enough new poems for the length of this set” his playing was intricate, beautiful, subtle and moving.
After a short break we had a few more words and readings from Paul before stepping outside into the Kings garden to watch a short display of body-burning and fire breathing from the amazing Dean Knight.
Stepping back indoors from the freezing night the evening closed with a solo set from Dom Jarvis, of Koi Paraga, playing guitar and mandolin. Everyone appeared hypnotised by some beautiful playing, haunting unusual songs and his very expressive vocals. A lovely way to end the evening in this super pub with extremely friendly and hospitable owners. The food being served smelt absolutely gorgeous, I will have to have a meal there soon! Well done to all involved with the Cutting Room, from all the performers, artists, crew, djs, Kings and Paul for hosting such a desperately needed platform.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014
Kings, on Twitter: @KINGSOFNORWICH