Punk poet pulls crowd at Sammy's Underground

John Cooper Clarke poses in an alley across the road from the Robbie Burns statue in Dunedin...
John Cooper Clarke poses in an alley across the road from the Robbie Burns statue in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Mentalist Robert Haley plays his cards right in the Octagon yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Mentalist Robert Haley plays his cards right in the Octagon yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.

English punk poet John Cooper Clarke was not having a bar of Dunedin poet laureate Robbie Burns yesterday.

"I hate him. I absolutely really do hate him. I've got a lot of animosity for the man," Clarke seethed.

"He shares my birthday so it's 'Robbie's birthday this' and 'Robbie's birthday that'. Nobody ever thinks about me and wonders how I am on my birthday.

"And the guy is a poetry saboteur. I mean, people can understand my poetry. Who on earth has any idea what Robbie Burns is on about?"

Clarke is very funny and eccentric company and he enchanted the capacity 500-strong crowd at Sammy's last night with his poetry, anecdotes and observations on life.

Got my head read yesterday.

And not before time, some unkind folk would say.

Wellington mentalist Robert Haley gave a demonstration of his Mind Reader show, which opened at the Globe Theatre last night.

"The most common misconception about deception is that it's in the eyes," the mind master revealed.

"A lot of it is actually vaudeville parlour tricks that were quite common back in the 1800s, but when I add my psychological slant to it, it becomes something quite eerie."

He certainly impressed ODT photographer Craig Baxter, who he invited to pick a card from the pack and then deduced which card it was within eight seconds.

"That was impressive," Baxter mused, as we walked back to work.

It's sure to be standing room only at the Blue Oyster Project Art Space at 5pm today when Christchurch artist Audrey Baldwin begins licking her way out of a toffee sarcophagus.

Also opening today is Faux Pas: Random Acts of Dance, which will be serving up dance entrees at the tables of unsuspecting diners around town, while Footnote Dance presents a selection of short contemporary works in Made in New Zealand, at the Mary Hopewell Theatre tonight.

The Polson Higgs Comedy Club restarts at 7.30pm at Ironic Cafe, with a new giggle of comedians in Jeremy Elwood, Nick Rado and Rhys Mathewson, of Auckland, and Dunedin's own Abby Howells.

And the Festival Club at Ironic Cafe fires back up at 10pm, with Adelaide multi-instrumentalist Adam Page and Dunedin singer-songwriter Drew Englehutt.

nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

 

 

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