Since JCC had put out several albums that I knew from the early 80s, I wasn't sure until arriving at the venue whether or not a band was going to be playing with him. There was a single mike and speaker set up on stage so I knew it was going to be a solo event and got excited -- I was going to hear things as poetry not as songs!
I once lived in a place in Toronto where my friends refused to visit because it reminded them too much of John Cooper Clarke's song "Beasley St". I have been told that this area has been unrecognisably gentrified. so it was with some amusement that I heard JCC's update "Beasley Blvd".
The support act was another poet, Mancunian Mike Garry. I had not heard of him before but he was fantastic also. Here he is in action, with his tribute to Tony Wilson (founder of Factory Records & La Hacienda nightclub in Manchester):
It was a fabulous evening of poetry and a good reminder to me to keep up that habit that Joseph Brodsky recommended. Very appropriately, the night was started with a long walk into Dublin, stopping along the Grand Canal at John Coll's sculpture of Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh .