Adrian Slatcher writes poetry, fiction and criticism, and lives in Manchester.
Last Thursday saw the fourth performance of the Alan Smithee Experience, an occasional musical collaboration between me and David Gaffney, at the Golden Lion in Todmorden as part of Anthony Donovan’s experimental Classwar Karaoke night. We performed a 3 song set, with guitar, synth and vocals.
The collaboration began a couple of years ago when S.J. Fowler invited us to be part of the ENEMIES collaboration project – and paired the two of us for a poetry event at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester. As both of us have performed our poetry (me) and fiction (David) regularly, and are big music fans, we decided to add some music to our performance. I came up with a “found poem” based on the Wikipedia entry for the 1972 Local Government Act (an obscure obsession of mine!) The performance saw David playing melodica, and me reciting, both over an electronic backing from my Korg Monotribe. We revisited the performance several months later, and added several other tracks supporting another friend at Anthony Burgess.
That it seemed was it – as other things got in the way – but in December I was asked to perform at a seasonal “Krampusnacht” in Chorlton, and asked if David fancied revisiting the collaboration – he did, but this time with guitar rather than melodica. Last week then was our 4th performance, and the one that was closest to an actual “gig” as we added two new songs written specially for the night.
Hopefully 2019 will see some further live performances, and we’re looking to capture the songs properly for possible release later in the year. And why the Alan Smithee Experience? Alan Smithee was the name given to the directors who wanted their own name taken off their films for various reasons – so a case of plausibility deniability! – and of course, we’d like to think anyone can be part of the Alan Smithee Experience!
Listen to “1972 Local Government Act” here.