The Enemies Project presents the North by Northwest Poetry Tour- Manchester January 14th
There is a thin line between the avant garde and the ability to procure self indulgent sludge. This remains a line that cannot be defined and is often closed for discussion due to its inherent ambiguity. It goes without saying that experimentation and innovation is a necessary part of any creative forms evolution, but hijacking it for the sake of posturing is inexcusable and acts as a disservice to the ‘art’ in question. It immediately leaves those ‘uninitiated’ exposed to its ingrained insincerity, providing detractors (plebeians) to stockpile ammunition and continue their view of it as little more than pretentious splurge. The addition of it’s creators masking it with equivocate speak only furthers the vain attempt at sustaining a meaning to justify its purpose when it in reality holds none. The real issue lies with those that regardless of it’s ridiculous nature still seem to lap up, all massaging and celebrating delusion. This is not a matter of subjectivity or taste, it’s a celebration of a legitimate metal health issue.
This night provided some very creative performances of poetry from the likes of Amy Cutler and Chris McCabe, Tom Jenks and SJ Fowler to the entertaining collaboration from Richard Barrett & Tim Allen performing ‘Hot Talk’, which displayed some back and forth rhetoric and wordplay that was naturally comedic at times, and provided one of the highlights to close out a largely successful night showcasing the broad range of poetic talent. There was also the addition of some interesting use of obscure lo-fi instrumentation, specifically collaborative piece which made use of a melodica from David Gaffney while Adrian Slatcher read the 1972 local government act. To me had a quality reminiscent of Annie Clarkes Sleeper in Metropolis or Burroughs spoken word pieces, for example ‘Words of Advise for Young People.
Although one performance in particular stood out for the wrong reasons and can be summed up simply as shite, and reaffirmed my hate for posturing disguised under the premise of ‘art’. The pairing of Ben Morris and Ben Knight desperately tried to appear profound but missed the mark on every level. Coming up short on imitating the feeling garnered by the experimental finesse of early industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten; whom, despite Blixa Bargelds maniacal wails was structured by a complementary unorthodox instrumentation that formed a composition and experience that was intrinsically primitive and carried a resonance that rarely came off as pretentious. It merely mirrored the landscape of 1980’s West Berlin and a youth culture blossoming in reflection to their divided city post war city. This on the other hand had nothing to say
By throwing shapes like an assembled Topman manikin imitating Ian Curtis, while your partner performs some indecipherable gurgles into a microphone is neither music nor poetry or even something vague enough to be given the name ‘art’ (Using art as a scapegoat is something that I find to insult me if you hadn’t guessed). Cult of Outrage.
To merely define it as ‘high avant garde’ implies its meaning is beyond me, something so intangible to my sensory scope that it functions above my cranial capacity, and/or I am an uncultured prole. Also for anyone to conclude any performance with a mic drop is pure infantile hilarity. As if to feed into the concept that I have witnessed something truly life changing and profound, from a delusional couple of stereotypical Shoreditch urchins that have only just become aware of a Dictaphone and feedback. Was this an ironic form of sardonic humour that I just didn’t get? No it’s just cancerous garbage that created a cringe so strong that formed its own gravitational pull on my facial muscles that started collapsing in of themselves. Their effects were only dampened by uncontrollable giggling into my cuff.
On a side note one of the performers provided me with acid reflex that i was thankful able to contain, and swallow. While waiting in a queue for the uni sex toilets I was the receiver of an unprovoked statement ‘now you know what its like being a woman’ like an inner reflex, to rattle off Buzz Feed ideals on unsuspecting members of the public. If I was to view her in the same way she viewed me then I would say she vouches for safe spaces and is a prominent supporter of gender pronouns. If Sean Connery was in the vicinity he would of given her a firm backhand into the 60’s and would ask her ‘happy now’. all ridiculous statements aside, there is no need for this overt walking talking Vice article shenanigans, posing to protest against nothing. Cult of Outrage.
The review that degenerated into rant.
The next date & venue on the Tour: January Thursday 19th – Edge Hill Arts Centre
Here is a video of the culprits. Watch at your own risk.