“And now for something completely different…” - the launch of Ian Hall’s Tales from the Adanac House Poetry anthology at the Casa, Liverpool on 22nd November 2016. Review and photographs by Alan Hewitt.

A bit of culture never did anyone any harm did it? And tonight was definitely an evening of culture. I have had the great pleasure of watching Ian’s development since he adopted Liverpool as his home and his work on the Liverpool Sound And Vision site may be familiar to some of you - if not, check it out!

Ian is that rare thing these days, a genuine wordsmith with stories to tell and a command of the language that makes them infinitely readable. Tonight though, before we got to the launch of his latest anthology: Tales From The Adanac House, we had the equally great pleasure of being entertained by two other local talents, the first of these was a delightful young lady songwriter, Eleanor Nelly whose youth belies a great talent as was demonstrated in the handful of self composed songs e she performed for us tonight. A great voice matched by a genuinely modest persona, Eleanor deserves to go far… but not too far as Liverpool needs its talent!

After a sort break the stage was taken by John Chatterton, a local guitarist whom I am ashamed to say, until tonight I had never encountered but I shall be putting that omission right from now on! John gave us a delightful mix of covers and some of this own compositions which were rich in musical detail and superbly played ending his all too short set with a marvellous acoustic rendition of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid! Don’t knock it, it worked!

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Then it was the main event. I had met Ian at the venue prior to showtime and he was understandably nervous about things but he need not have worried. From the moment he took the stage behind his lectern, we were given a rare treat. Ian mixed poems from his first anthology, Black Book with the latest edition and the magic just flowed. Poems such as Fear And Loathing In Bootle, the truly awe inspiring and deeply provocative reflection on the current state of affairs here in the UK, Welcome To The New Reich were imbued with a quality of feeling which is rare these days and as I said in my review of Ian’s first book, I am no poetry aficionado, but I will make an exception for material such as this. Liverpool is lucky to have such a talented adopted son as Ian Hall and Tales From The Adanac House is one collection of poems anyone should cherish.

Evenings like these are all too rare, and so I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who made it possible: Tony Higginson who recognised Ian’s talent and encouraged it, to Janie Phillips who took the chance to get Ian into print,. To Eleanor Nelly and John Chatterton for such musical excellence, and above all to Mr Ian D Hall, a man with a talent as prodigious as his heart my thanks for the invitation to an evening I shall never forget!

For more info check out Ian ‘s site; www.liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk

Black Book and Tales From The Adanac House are published by BB Taylor Books.

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