Launch party

The 23rd October marked the launch of Hand Job Zine issue 9.

The night consisted, mainly, of readings, beers, more readings, beers, punk band, beers, lock in, beers.

It all kicked off when the Hand Job crew rolled into the venue at 5pm, about 2 hours too early. We sat there with no idea what the night ahead would be offering. Nerves and doubt laid heavy on our minds. We didn’t have a clue if anyone was even going to come! How wrong we were.

Not only did we want to put on a night of spoken word, we wanted to make it fun. Similarly to our rebellion against the boring mainstream magazines, we wanted a night which held two fat fingers up to the monotony of poetry nights in the city. Let’s be honest, these things can be shit. You sit there staring with a lack of concentration and a lot of wishing you’d stayed at fuckin’ home. Not that we are knocking the poetry or the artists themselves, but the general vibe of these sort of nights just stink.

So we got our heads together and thought about what could we do differently.

And I don’t know about you, but I think we did a pretty good job!

The evening started with an hour or so of drinking, chatting and jamming to an eclectic mix of music ranging from Motorhead to Howlin’ Wolf.

Miggy Angel, our lord and saviour, steped up to be our compere for the evening. Intoroducing acts and keeping the crowd entertained, in a classic No Mic Miggy style. We can’t thank this man enough, he did a thousand times better job than we could have done! (plus it meant we could wander and not worry about it).

Louise Hart started us off with a couple of poem about Ian Duncan-Smith and growing up in Coventry in the 0s. She was a brilliant person and her poems went down a storm, We can’t wait to start reading her novel.

Luke Humphries was next and read a short story called ‘Homer’ that had the audience laughing as he talked us through chainsawing a picture of homer simpson smoking a bifta. Just what we like.


Raif Mansell read one poem about ‘how much I fuckin’ hate London’. It was a great poem and good of him to make the journey up.

After the first break Ben Williams stepped up to read one poem entitled ‘True Story’ that features in issue 5. The tale of watching someone drown and no-one going in to save him because ‘It seemed so stupid’.

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Dean Lilleyman is a seasoned reader. He has a strong style and clear stage presence and he stomps around telling us about his character, Billy’s, latest escapades. Choosing a chapter from his novel that is seen in a different light when taken out of context. People were in hysterics about how this character had to clean the shit from his pants (but trust me, when you get to this point in the book you see it in a very different light). An amazing reading that left a lasting impression.


Holly Watson stepped into Joe Ridgwell’s slot as he had been held up by trains and dying phones. She read her story that features in our issue 9 ‘Never Seen The Sea’. Her reading complemented the story as you could see the child inside walking over to her classmate who was trying to get a suntan in Coventry… in February.

After another break, Miggy then took his own place on the stage to blow the crowd away. If you’ve seen this man read before you’ll already know the special ora that resonates when he reads. The pace, the clarity and the passion all encapsulates the audience. He read a range of poems from his ‘Grime Kerbstone Psalms’ that is an essential poetry collection.


Joe Ridgwell turned up very late and we decide to have him upstairs with the band, just before they played. He was as cocky as you would expect and interacted well with the crowd, demanding to know ‘where are the Rebels?’ He read a mixture of stuff but ended with an extract from his latest novel ‘Burrito Deluxe’, A chapter where the two main characters get high and see the beauty in life. Joe really captures the beautiful feeling of Mexico in the night-time with his relaxed approach and carefully worded expressions. I can see him lying on that porch and looking at the stars, never wanting to leave.

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After an evening of poetry and stories we decided it would be a good idea to loosen everyone up with some live music by Notts punks White Finger. The band went down really well with a very varied crowd of all ages. Why did we choose White Finger? They are the go to Notts band for a glam party punk fix. They perfectly complimented the energy of the readers and have an interest in poetry itself. They sent the night off for a bang and left everyone on a high, ready for the party that followed.

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The venue was perfect, offering 2 floors for all the poetry and music. The place was bustling with people, for some acts you could hardly move. Daniel at the Chameleon even let us have a lock in where stuff was smoked and shots were slammed with tobacco sauce. The chameleon guys know how to have a good time! Topped off just nicely with a little Peter Green jam and very hazy stumble to the nearest Burger King. We also made a friend in Dan, the taxi driver, who encouraged our drunken shenanigans. Remember to tell us if you feel sick Dan so we can pull over!

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As most of you know who came, the whole night, as well as being for the pure fun of it, was to raise money to produce a ‘best of’ book. Overall we made £180 which has put us well on the way to reaching our goal. We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone for this. Everyone who came for making it a cracking night. All of the readers (most of which made long journeys to be there) you were all excellent! White Finger for putting on a right good set and for being so supportive of the whole thing! And finally, the Chameleon guys for being so accommodating. Then we’d also like to say a big thanks to James, Ollie and Nay for running the doors and merch stand while we were floating about.

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To the next time!!!

To get your hands on a copy of issue 9 go to www.handjobzine.bigcartel.com and support the cause!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on madscribedotme and commented:
    It was a pleasure to read at the launch of edition 9 of Hand Job Zine.

    Like

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