Ian Whiteley is a Performance Poet and Singer/Songwriter who was born in Wakefield but lives in Wigan. In 2013 he published his first collection of poetry, ‘A Step Towards Winter’, which collated poems he had written from the age of 15 up to the date of publication. ‘The Cycle Of The Scarecrow’, his second collection of poems, was published in 2016. He has produced 4 albums of poetry set to music, with his writing partners Martin Heaton and John Kettle from The Music Projects studio in Wigan, under the guise of The Crows Of Albion. The first, ‘Poetic License’, brought together some of the material from ‘A Step Towards Winter’ and was released in 2013.The second, ‘Still In The War, Boys!’ catalogued some of the events of the first world war from Declaration to Armistice. The third was titled ‘Here There Be Demons’ and was released in 2015 and the fourth 'Screaming Blue Murder' was released in 2018. In January 2019 he also released a spoken word/poetry CD entitled 'Black & White & Read All Over'. His latest music album is titled 'Crowlore' and was released in January 2021
His Write Out Loud profile page, the site where he blogs all his poetry, has over 550,000 views. He took up hosting duties for Wigan's Write Out Loud open mic poetry sessions in March 2019.
Ian / The Crows Of Albion can be found on Facebook – or:
Poetry Blog Page: http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/ianwhiteley
Music Blog Page: https://soundcloud.com/the-man-at-the-back-1
Download Page: http://thecrowsofalbion.bandcamp.com/
Gordon Zola has had a meteoric rise from oblivion to obscurity as a performance poet. Despite many requests, local (as in anaesthetic) legend, Gordon continues to confuse audiences from Bordeaux to Bristol, and lots of other places beginning with 'B' with his rye (as in bread) sense of humour. He's been published in numerous magazines, including all three editions of 'Best of Manchester Poets' and 'Sweetrapper', a track from his popular CD, 'No Strings' was played on Key 103. He's currently in the process of recording a DVD of his live performances and struggling to play a recognisable tune on the keyboard. He's hosted 'Cuckoo Calling', a night of Spoken Word, Music, & Comedy at the Cuckoo Wine bar in Prestwich, for the last 2 years, had a pizza named after him and is at home performing, hosting and entertaining at venues all over England, lesser-known parts of Uzbekistan, and Stockport.
Tony Kinsella is a stand-up comedian, poet and writer, in addition to working in Further Education for 30 years, a profession summarised in his first ever one-man show, 'I Belong To Maslow'. He has performed live on the national comedy and folk circuits since 1999, as a solo act and as 50% of music-comedy duo The Bootleg Mark Chapmans (alongside Dave Lockley) who reached the final of The City Life Comedian Of The Year competition in 2004. He also joined Bard Company from their 2014 inception in the role of Bolshie Bard.
Tony wrote for The Comedy Store, Manchester, for 5 years as part of a monthly satirical review called 'The Unbroadcastable Radio Show', which also produced a Radio 4 pilot. He still performs regularly on The Comedy Store's New Material Night and has performed stand up at all of the Manchester clubs as well as The Edinburgh Fringe, Newcastle Stand and others throughout the country. His more unusual gigs have included Tate Modern Art Gallery in Liverpool and two charity gigs involving 100 comedians in one night, which he co-organised to raise money for Cancer Research. He has performed in gigs alongside Johnny Vegas, Robin Ince, Sarah Millican and John Bishop and has compered numerous music gigs.
He has had articles published in Private Eye, City Life and When Saturday Comes. He published his first self-made volume of poetry 'If You Tolerate This Your Brain Cells Will Be Next' in 2012.
He has written and performed full length shows about his love of The Undertones (performed at Derry Playhouse Theatre) in addition to shows about Brexit, Scandinavian philosophies of happiness and The Shangri Las.
Tony has also been very active online during the pandemic-led lockdown. He collaborated with West Midlands singer-musician Jess Silk on a show commemorating the life and career of Kirsty MacColl, called Reasons To Be Kirsty, for the Derry Playhouse Theatre, which was streamed on their website in Feb 21. The Playhouse have also commissioned a show about the late Dolores O Riordan of The Cranberries, which will again be written and performed with Jess Silk.
He teamed up with Wigan poet and wheelchair-user Shaun Fallows on a show about attitudes to disability entitled Debased, Demonic and Disabled and is currently developing a podcast with comedian Steve Titley called There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards, a series of discussions about whether it is possible to love the work of artists who are reprehensible humans.
Tony has been an organiser and some time host of a weekly Zoom event called Sunday Assembly Manchester, a secular congregation celebrating life, throughout the pandemic, helping to create Sunday morning events with guest poets, musicians and presenters, including Davey Johns, Robin ince, Henry Normal and Chez Houston from Coronation Street. To mark a year of online events, Tony hosted a Saturday Special featuring the likes of Thick Richard, Chris Kehoe and Rod Shepherd, conspiracy theorist. Forced to used Outlook Teams for his day job as an English teacher, Tony has embraced the online platforms with relish!
Jeffarama! is Bolton's punk poet and poet and guitarist with Bard Company. He is MC and one of a team of comrades who stage The Wigan Diggers Festival as well as organiser of Bolton's Write Out Loud sessions at Bolton Socialist Club. Jeff has performed at many gigs and festivals including Rebellion in Blackpool, and supported some of his heroes including Dave Sharp and TV Smith as well as lots of punk bands.
He has released 2 books of his own poetry - 'Loud n' Proud!' and 'Bolton Calling' together with a book of poems with his previous band A Means To An End.
Jeff is proud to have done many events and festivals to support charities and other great causes as an MC and poet - and with Bard Company combating austerity for the Socialist arts movement We Shall Overcome.