REVIEW: Keith Wilson at The Stables Bar, 20/10/2012

Keith Wilson

Most people would know the phenomenal wordsmith and musician Keith Wilson as a Friday afternoon guest on the Billy Butler Show on BBC Radio Merseyside. He was part of the Eric’s punk/post-punk scene in the late ‘70s, co-collaborated with the legendary Scaffold and does readings for a number of television stations. This time Keith was appearing at the Stables, as part of the Heswall Arts Festival.Shaun McCoy went along to see him in action.


Tonight Keith read poems from his best selling book Irritable Vowel Syndrome and played songs from his forthcoming album L6 Boomslang, and a few from his back catalogue. Keith strapped on his electric guitar ready to play Comb Over Beethoven from L6 Boomslang. He’s accompanied by Roy Brandon on saxophone to deliver us a modern day rock ‘n’ roll classic. Keith says the song ‘was inspired by the seventies Spurs footballer – Ralph Coates, who was mostly bald apart from a side comb over.’

The lyrics as usual are very humorously cutting – ‘underneath that shredded wheat he’s got a fine head of skin.’ Then there was the 30 second blues lament Dead Short Blues, in which he wakes up and finds himself dead! All Loved Up is another highlight of his music set. It’s a punk rock/sax filled track with plenty of passion and glaring lyrics.

Keith then put his guitar down and read from Irritable Vowel Syndrome. Keith is a poetic Commando, a sharp shooter of the tongue and most of all he’s very funny. Talkaholic is one of those poems that quickly picks up speed with lots of clever wordplay. I thought it had a rhythm akin to Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues. This one, like many of Keith’s poems, went down well with the packed audience. Dennis is another memorable poem about a dog that lacked motivation, but it turns out the dog had died! His poems are humorous adult themed depictions of life, love, man flu, food and emotions. There is always a hilarious punch-line that leaves people in fits of laughter.

Keith is in touch with his feelings and at odds with Social Networking sites. He is frustrated by the lack of real time, face to face communication people often encounter these days, which is excellently summed up in Twitter Ye Not. In this classic poem he just wants to talk to his former girlfriend in person but Facebook, text messages and Twitter always get in the way. So he takes evasive action by declaring ‘all I want to say is I’ve been on eBay and bought a Thai bride – we’re finished.’ A show nicely rounded off by the wit and wisdom of one of Merseyside’s greatest contemporary performers.

Words by: Shaun McCoy


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Author: News Desk
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