Way back in 1997 I had the good fortune to meet Aidan Andrew Dun after seeing him perform at Union Chapel in London. Aidan is known as the poet of Kings Cross, and through his interest in the Kings Cross redevelopment project he has been given the opportunity to do a semi-regular series of performances in an excellent space called the German Gymnasium, right outside Kings Cross station. I have been to five of these performances now and they just keep getting better.
The first was in November last year where Aidan relaunched his epic poem Vale Royal (originally published by Goldmark in 1995, republished by Dark Star in 2010). He was accompanied (as in all subsequent performances) by magical Czech pianist Lucie Rejchrtova. The next event in January was called “Spirit of the River” where Aidan read from Vale Royal as well as another epic tale of his, McCool (published by Goldmark in February 2010). For the February event he came up with the title “Winged Thoughts, Words and Music” and shared the space with John Gibbens and Armorel Weston who came on first to perform a fine set of songs and poems – check out their website. Since then Aidan has stuck with the same title and format and in March the guest artist was the fire poet, Philip Wells.
Bringing things right up to date, on Thursday I made the journey into Kings Cross once more to see Aidan and Lucie, this time joined by the poet of Southwark and author of The Southwark Mysteries, John Constable. John maintained the very high standard set by the all the previous contributors and was a tough act to follow but after the interval Aidan rose to the challenge and produced his best performance yet, including the premiere of two new pieces – a powerful poem for Gerry Conlon (of the Guildford Four) called Son of Erin and a hypnotic setting of The Book of Job.
If you haven’t been to these events then you have been missing something really special, and what’s more they are free! I don’t know exactly when the next one will be (probably around the middle of May) but I will try to remember to update this post when I find out – or you could try going to Aidan’s website and joining his email list. Hope to see you at the gym.