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Saturday 10
March Schwa - A Lark

Schwa is Peter Spafford on piano and vocals, Richard Ormrod on too many instruments to list, and chanteuse Jacqui Wicks. They are stalwarts of the Litfest, having premiered both Threshold and I Am Alive in previous years. Here they preview Bird Songs, their forthcoming performance piece about the wonder and mystery of feathered creatures - and throw in some old favourites.

Playful, but not frivolous; intricately constructed songs that constantly surprise whilst sounding like you’ve always known them. It’s good to know that music can still bring new joy. (Pancakes for Davros)

Vivid lyricism and authentic vocals blended with fantastic, eclectic arrangements. (Testament)

There’s a northern ambience to the whole thing. Listening to it in Switzerland, this feels to me like its particular character. (Merz)

New Parlour? Fairport meets Threepenny Opera? Schwa take poems by a range of poets dead and set them to intelligent, emotive music.

Their three albums to date are available at: https://schwasters.bandcamp.com/

7.30pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
Saturday 17 March
Trio Literati: War on our Doorstep (Headingley 1939)

Trio Literati
Tune into wartime Leeds through three local diary writers - a housewife, a theatre buff, and a raw recruit to the RAMC. From the price of blackout materials, to backstage dramas, to square bashing and lectures on VD, their personal stories give a colourful picture of our community as the world slid into war.

Like the famous ‘Housewife, 49’ two of the diarists were volunteers for Mass Observation, set up in 1938 to record everyday life in Britain.

Trio Literati - ‘full of energy, wit and style’ - are known for their lively mix of thought-provoking content, and lighthearted, clear delivery. Their versatile musicians - Eleanor Rastall (soprano), Jonathan Drummond (piano) and Laurie Covell (sax) - add to the WW2 ambience with the smokey, nostalgic, foot-tapping music of ‘Forces’ Favourites’: The Andrews Sisters, Glenn Miller, The Ink Spots, Vera Lynn and more.


8.00pm HEART Centre, Bennett Road
Friday 9 March
Cabaret Thirty

Do you still love to tread the boards? Love open mic events? If you are under thirty, or okay if you look under thirty, this is your chance to perform.
Caberet 30
It could be poetry, or song, or stand-up comedy, in a group or on your own. If you think you’ve got it, then flaunt it! At the last LitFest, there was an astonishing range of acts for this wildly popular event. There’s no age limit for the audience.

Get in touch now to make sure you are on the list if you want to perform.

Contact wilcocks@ntlworld.com with all the details.

7.30pm HEART Centre,
Bennett Road

Free. Donations welcome
Tuesday 6 March
Recovery Songs

Partnership event with Hyde Park Book Club
Ralph Dartford
Recovery Songs by Ralph Dartford tells a true story of how and why addiction occurs, and how it can eventually stop. Painful, insightful, funny, and ultimately redemptive, Ralph Dartford draws from the stories of his life to fuse narratives and poems that will move you to understand that everything you thought you knew about addiction is maybe wrong.

Ralph hails from Basildon, Essex and is founder member of highly acclaimed spoken word collective A Firm of Poets. Ralph has been published in The Guardian, Stirring Magazine (US), Pulp Faction, Exterminating Angel Press (US) and London Territories. His first collection, Cigarettes, Beer and Love was published by Ossett Observer Presents in July 2013.

Wonderfully dynamic’ - York Press
Great Support’ - Kate Tempest
This is proper, visceral stuff about real life. Poetry for the rest of us’ - Luke Wright

Contains adult themes and some strong language.

7.30pm Hyde Park Book Club, Headingley Lane
Free. Donations welcome