Having Twitter-followed the poet Matt Abbott @mattabbottpoet since we saw him in Derby last month, we caught up with his collective Nymphs and Thugs at an event that was part of Nottingham Poetry Festival. 

Hosted by Do Or Die Poets (a group using poetry as part of their addiction management), the night was tremendous. We expected the star turns to be brilliant, and they really, really were.  The Do Or Die team held their own too. 

But we held our breath at the introduction of 10 minutes of Open Mic, just after the interval and before the main event. How bad could that be? As novices at this kind of thing, were we in for a new circle of hell?

Host Miggy Angel promised it would be great. But, really though? Would it?

Yeah. Yeah it would. 
Everyone just had a first name. One by one they were called up. We held our breath. 

Every one was good. A couple were very good. And this guy (pictured)… I’m so sorry that I didn’t catch his name. It doesn’t matter because I guess neither you nor I will come across him anytime soon. But he appeared with a fully-formed performance (of the prescribed one poem, mind). 

It was written on a loo roll (because it was “about all the crap”). 

It was a litany of weird, dodgy and shitty things in absolutely no order. 

And the poet nailed the beat and the tempo and the emphasis of his own words, all while spooling out the paper and never missing a word. 

Brought the house down. Honestly, it was like “We didn’t start the fire” for 2017. 

And I suspect I’ll never hear it again and if I do, it will already be dated. 

It was the best poem about April 28th 2017 I’ve ever heard. 

You should have been there. 

As a footnote, we spent twice what we spent on drinks on parking, and nothing whatsoever on the amazing entertainment. There’s something odd about that economic model. Happy to put that right: give me a shout. 


Miggy Angel, filled in some details for me:

Also, just to say, I saw your tweet about the ‘guy with the toilet roll’ – that was Keith Ford who is an incredible performer and poet in his own right, who also has an amazing band who if you get the chance you should see live. They perform all over – are called Mr Ford and Mr Gibbs.

So now you know. Would love to see more of his stuff too and if you happen to know him, say “wow” from me. 

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