My Second Den Of Voice Night

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Last Wednesday evening I headed to Frog's cottage, as we were both going to the Den Of Voice event, which was inside the Boileroom in Guildford that night. It was my second visit to the event.

I first went to the Den Of Voice event last month, and wrote about it here. It is basically a Open Mic night for poets, speakers, storytellers, singers, live music, and for people to show off their films, a bit of everything really.

I met Frog in his cottage, and he was busy preparing for his performance that night in the Boileroom.

He showed me what he was going to do, by testing it out on me first, before he did it live at the event.

Frog was dressed in a purple Indian tunic, with black leather trousers, and red Doctor Martens boots. He played a song of his own through his speakers, which was about peace. Frog danced along to his song whilst singing out his words, banging a metal Tibetan singing bowl and then some smaller bells. He put on a Native American Indian war bonnet complete with white, yellow, and red feathers to dance along to the drum beat of his song. When he loudly sang  'Peace' or 'Peeeaaaceeeee' from his song, it very much sounded like 'Peas' or 'Peeeeaaaaasssss', which was very amusing. It was very good though, and great fun to watch.

I wanted to video his performance, so I could put it on here, but Frog was nervous about doing it, so I didn't film him. I took a few pictures of Frog on my mobile, but they came out a bit blurry.


Frog preparing for his performance in his cottage


Frog in a rush to get everything ready for his big night at the Den Of Voice event

Frog was also busy making and testing a DVD of his best videos, so he could play a few more videos again on the screen at the event.

Chris then phoned Frog to say that he would also come along to the event to see Frog and the others do their performances that night.

Myself and Frog left his cottage towards my car to drive to the event. Frog had a big bag with him, which was filled with bells, Tibetan singing bowls, his Native American Indian war bonnet, and a long black cloak.

I drove us to Guildford, and we parked in a car park within walking distance to the Boileroom.

We walked to the Boileroom, but when we arrived, there was no one inside, apart from a few bar staff.

We bought some drinks, and I ordered a Chinese Sweet and Sour vegetable curry with noodles.

Whilst we waited for more people to arrive, we sat outside in the garden of the Boileroom. We took a few pictures of each other using my mobile.


Frog in the garden of the Boileroom looking a bit nervous about his upcoming performance


Me waiting in the garden of the Boileroom for the start of the show

Steve, a friend of the local poet Nigel, who we met at the last Den Of Voice event came to join us at our table, so we both chatted to him.

Then Andrew, a local musician, who also goes to our local meditation group, plus he also works part time behind the bar in the Boileroom, joined us at our table. Andrew is famous for his collection of woolly hats, which he always wears one upon his head, apart from one time at the meditation group, when we saw him without a hat. He was also going to perform that night playing a loop station connected to a keyboard, whilst talking over his music. I was looking forward to watching Andrew play, as I had never seen or heard of a loop station before.

My Chinese curry was then brought out to me in the garden by the bar girl, and I started to eat my meal, whilst the others chatted to each other.

I enjoyed my curry, it was very tasty.

Chris then arrived at the Boileroom, and joined us in the garden. More people then arrived inside the Boileroom, so Frog went back inside to get everything ready for his performance, and Chris followed him.

I sat outside sipping my cider with Steve and Andrew, who were still sat at my table. It started to get a bit cold and windy outside in the garden, so I headed back inside the Boileroom, to see what was going on in there.

Frog was talking to the guy behind the control booth, who controlled the lighting, sound, and screen for the event. Unfortunately their DVD player was not working, so it looked like Frog was unable to play his videos that night.

I suggested Frog speak to Chris, as maybe he, or another person around had a laptop with a DVD player on them, which they could link up to the equipment inside the control booth.

Luckily someone did have a laptop, so Frog could play his DVD when it was his time to go on later that evening.

I also saw and spoke to Sharon at the event, who is Frog's Australian workmate. I recently sketched her, which you can find my drawing of her here.

I chatted to Chris about the story idea I recently submitted to him, as he asked me to send it to him, as he works for a film company. After reading it, he felt my story would work better as a trilogy of books, as there was too much story to fit into a single film. I don't think I have the time to write books, but maybe I will speak to a writer friend about it in the near future.

The show then started.

Gareth the only host for the night got up on to the stage to introduce the first act. The other hosts Jen and Elisabetta could not make it this time, so it was left to Gareth to run the show on his own. He made a great job of hosting the acts and entertaining the crowd.

A lot of the poets are quite a bit older than myself and Frog, as they are people in their late forties, 50's, 60's, and 70's. People I imagine who were around in the 1960's and had a great time during the most creative of decades. They each went on stage to do their poems, which were all very good.

A few people sang. One guy with a guitar was great, I wouldn't mind owning his music on a CD, as I really enjoyed hearing it.

Then Gareth the host for the night asked the audience if anyone wanted to come up on stage to talk. One guy did, who I thought was very brave. He told a bit about himself and his life, which included his time in foster care, prison, his own kids, and his ex-girlfriend. I felt sorry for him, as he sounded like he has had a hard time. Everyone applauded him for sharing his story. Gareth then said that everyones life is just like a poem, which I thought was a very good and interesting thing to say.

Andrew the guy with the cool hat collection then went on stage with his keyboard and loop station. Andrew was amazing, he was playing different instruments on his keyboard, whilst the loop station was recording these different instruments and looping each rhythm he played. It built up a music track of multiple instruments, which were all playing in time and in harmony with each other. The music was sort of Acid Jazz style, as Andrew spoke over his music playing. The crowd loved it, and he got a big applause.

Frog was last to go on, which by then was quite late. There was unfortunately a few things which went wrong. The host Gareth tripped over and fell at Frog's feet whilst adjusting his microphone. Frog made a joke of it by saying things like 'Bless you my child', 'I didn't know you felt this way about me', 'While your down there...' This got the crowd laughing. The microphone was then moved out of the way by Garethm and he placed it by a speaker, which created a loud screaming feedback noise.

Frog's music was then played through the speakers and he sang his 'Peeeeaaaccceee', or 'Peeeaaaasssss' song whilst dancing around the stage banging his Tibetan singing bowl. He sadly didn't wear his Native American Indian war bonnet, or use his bells, but it was great fun to watch.

Frog then did a lengthy speech, which was enjoyable, but I think he maybe used the word 'f*ck' too much, as there were older people in the audience too.

His video 'Love Won The War' was then shown. There were a few problems with getting Frog's video started, as it appeared the laptop DVD drive was overheating. It got going, and everyone loved his video and song.

Frog was going to play another video, but the DVD drive stopped working. The crowd started going home, as it was near closing time. It was a shame about the technical hiccups and Frog being the last act, they should have maybe had him near the beginning of the show.


"Love Won the War" by Frog

After Frog had finished his act. We left the Boileroom with Chris and we walked back towards my car. Chris headed off to the the train station, then I drove and dropped off Frog at his cottage. I then drove back to my home and got back around 11.30pm that night.

It was a fun evening, I look forward to seeing more future Den Of Voice events.

Yesterday I found a small bell on the floor of my car, I'll have to give it back to Frog when I next see him.

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