FEBRUARY 2015 NEWS:

The Aeneid for Naxos
The Aeneid for Naxos AudioBooks.

Produced by Alec Reid, recorded at Phase Shift in Bristol by Ken Barton.
Read by me.

Poetry in the Laughternoon - reprised

David Johnson and David Collins
The two Davids perform

Feb 23rd 2014

I had great fun with David Johnson and John Telfer doing Poetry In The Laughternoon.

This was a one-off concert in aid of BRACE (Alzheimers and Dementia Research). It raised more than £1,400 from an enthusiastic audience at Cotham Parish Church.

David Johnson's tour de force with his poetry held the audience in the palm of his hand. The ease with which he moves from pithy introduction to fluent, witty and moving verse draws us into to a world of humour and humanity which we can admire and share at one and the same time. A skilful and enchanting display.

Cotham parish church was full
Cotham parish church was full

John Telfer, actor, pianist, singer and composer, was astonishing; the range of his songs is breath-taking. From brilliant pastiche 17th century pieces, composed for Vanbrugh's The Provok'd Wife, to a selection of his settings of Alec Reid's lyrics for modern musicals of theirs such as Muscles, John's range once again made us marvel.

To round off the afternoon John and I performed three songs by Flanders & Swann, The Slow Train, The Gnu, and, with huge audience participation in the choruses, The Hippopotamus (of course!).

Mr Johnson's performance as the station announcer in The Slow Train was much appreciated.

So, congratulations to Lyn Deas for the idea, and BRACE for the success—
—here's mud in your... ear!

Audiobook thrillers

Chatterbox logo

February 2014

The Sixth Man and Other Stories,
Vacuum,
and Undercover are three police adventures by the prolific Bill James, which I've recently recorded as audiobooks for Chatterbox.

The main characters in each are a perfect pair: Desmond Iles is a verbose and paranoid Assistant Chief Constable and DCS Colin Harpur is his laid-back partner in crime(mostly drugs)-busting. The startling but all-too-convincing stories are told with a rich helping of dark comedy mixed with humanity and sad compassion; the characters are vivid and various - from Harpur's observant teenage daughters to drugs gangsters and bosses drawn from every class of 21st century English society.

In Undercover a policeman lives a double life of hideous danger, 'embedded' in a drugs gang. It destroys him and his family; ACC Iles, at times a comic figure, is here a sincere and passionate opponent of these methods.

Bill James' characters are never stereotypes, but real, rounded, contradictory people in a confusing up-to-date world. Gripping stuff.

Poetry in the Laughternoon

John Telfer
John Telfer

31st December 2013

BRACE funds research into Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, in universities in the West of England and South Wales.

It helps scientists to understand the causes of dementia and improve diagnosis and treatments, and relies on voluntary donations, sponsorship, legacies, and fundraising events like the one we're doing in February.

I'm proud to be involved, alongside my friends, John Telfer and David Johnson. Over the years I've collaborated with them quite a few times.

John is probably best known as Ambridge's vicar, Alan Franks, but he's also recently played Johnny Cradock, Fanny's complex and longsuffering husband, and Philip Larkin. His acting by no means sums him up though: he's been a lead singer and keyboard player in a rock band, and is a talented composer and conductor, writing scores for everything from Shakespeare to pantomime—truly a polymath!

David Johnson
David Johnson

David is a poet's poet: He has performed his poems in Austin and Houston, in the New York Poetry Café and at the Cheltenham Literary Festival, to name but a few places.

He's quick on the poetic draw too. Whilst that's probably handy in Texas, it's invaluable in Oxford, England, where he won the Poetry Slam. As well as poetry, he sometimes co-writes BBC Radio Four Afternoon plays. His latest collection of Poems is ‘Fallen Apples’.

So I'm in august company! If you'd like to come and join us for music, poetry and fun, you'll be most welcome. You can get tickets via the BRACE web site.

Poetry in the Laughternoon
Feb. 23rd 2014, 2.00pm,
Cotham Parish Church, Bristol.

Happy New Year, David.

Becoming busy again...

Bee Audio's logo
20th December 2013

I'm reminded of an old music hall song: I've become a "busy little bee"!

Bee Audio are a select international band of audio book and voiceover specialists—producers, expert technicians, and voice artists like myself. Although they're based in Portland, Oregon, famed for its jazz and film festivals, their team and clientele are truly international.

Bee Audio's credits include more than four thousand audio books to date, and I'm very much looking forward to working with them. For your delectation and amusement, here is my potted biography on the Bee Audio site.

I'm hoping that examples of my Bee Audio book recordings will follow soon...

AudioGO - gone!

25th November 2013

What a shame!

No sooner had I finished three new Sherlock Holmes stories for AudioGO, than they go into administration!

It's sad and difficult news for many of us, especially in the run-up to Christmas, not least for AudioGO's staff. It's not clear, either, what will happen to their catalogue.

As I write a postsctript in late December, their website is no longer available. How sad.