The Eagle Inn has a great evening's entertainment in store on Friday 21st July, with two amazing and unique acts. Australian songstress Wendy Rule will headline a top double bill with her wild, passionate and empowering music.
Her visionary work weaves together music, story and ritual to take her audience on an otherworldly journey of depth and passion. Drawing on her deep love of nature and lifelong fascination with the worlds of mythology and magic, Wendy's songs combine irresistible melodies with rich aural textures and a rare personal honesty to create spiritual music.
Also taking the stage in Salford will be this year's Saboteur Award winner Dominic Berry. The evening will begin with a guest set from Dominic, performing theatre-verse from his book No Tigers, detailing his gay, vegan, poetic adventures in India and around rural Britain.
Those familiar with the spoken-word scene and The Eagle's Evidently night will be aware of Dominic and will have witnessed his talent first-hand. Dominic is arguably the hottest property in poetry at the moment. And his appearance is hot on the heels of a triumphant stint at Glastonbury Festival as Poet in Residence. He's a likable presence and conveys his work with energy, enthusiasm and poignancy.
I asked Dominic about a very successful year and his upcoming show...
How did the Glastonbury Poet in Residence come about?
"Many people don't think of poeting as a potential job. The awareness of performance poetry and slam is gradually rising, loads of teenagers are aware of Kate Tempest, and just recently the work of Tony Walsh has been going viral, but still a lot of people don't know this is a thing a person can do for a full time income.
"I got offered Glastonbury from slowly building a good reputation over the past few years. It's an amazing booking to get, and one for which I'm hugely appreciative. Glastonbury Festival is undiluted happy, being among that many awesome people is mind-blowing. It led to me getting my poetry shown on BBC2 as part of the festival highlights, so to get that kind of national exposure is fantastic."
What did it mean to win the Saboteur Award?
"An award from your peers is always a big honour, and all the artists shortlisted are people whose work I admire and respect, so it was humbling and ace. But, as we often say in slam, the point is not the prize, the point is the poetry: all kinds of factors can affect a person winning or not winning an award, and the danger can be that pursuit of that kinda acclaim can distract from actually trying to write good poems.
"Anything that helps give this art form a platform is good. Us poets are all on a constant quest to undo a lot of the poor introduction to poetry so many people had and have at school. No disrespect to teachers, the way the Government frame lessons leaves little room for the importance and empowering affects art can have.
"Hearing Jeremy Corbyn's Glastonbury Pyramid stage speech about the power of poetry is of course something I wholeheartedly agree with, and if this prize helps me get work, work about mental wellness, work about standing up to inequality, work about unity and inclusion, to more people - that's all good."
Will you be performing old favourites along with your new work at The Eagle?
"For sure! Whenever anyone requests one of my poems, I'll always perform it on stage for them..."
How did you come to be on the bill with Wendy?
"Wendy Rule is an epically splendid and spell-binding singer songwriter from Australia. I came to know her as fan before we ever worked together. I have had the massive joy of sharing stages with her on dates in England, Wales and recently across Melbourne as part of my Spring Oceania tour.
"Wendy's mix of gentle understanding and phenomenal power draws on so many rich sources, ancient mythology, modern magic, a complex understanding of melody and a voice of incomparable beauty. Her set is also going to be a mix of old and new songs. Her recent work, inspired by the tales of Persephone, are gorgeous and deeply moving. I'm so excited about hearing her in concert again. It's all too rare Wendy comes to the UK so this is not a show to be missed..."
Get along to The Eagle on the 21st July and witness the magical and ethereal songs of Wendy Rule. Even if you think that spoken-word isn't your bag, I'm sure you will be taken by the inimitable Dominic Berry. I'd advise anybody in need of a night out with difference to attend this showcase of two distinctive talents.
Wendy Rule and Dominic Berry
Friday 21st July 7:30pm for 8pm start
The Eagle Inn
18-19 Collier Street, M3 7DW
£10 entry on the door
For further details click here
Words by Ian Leslie