Live on Air with Poet Laureate Telia Nevile
Telia Nevile @ The Tuxedo Cat – Blue Room
8:45pm, Sat 25 Feb 2012
There’s no point denying that I fell completely in love with Telia Nevile last year, and to be warmly greeted by the t-shirt-(Rimbaud Built My Hotrod)-and-pyjama-bottoms-clad Nevile as I scuttled into the Blue Room was an unexpected delight.
As was the opening tune of Raise Your Hands as a “Live on Air” sign flickered with life at the side of the stage. Nevile bounds onto the stage, grabs her microphone, and drags us into her bedroom pirate radio station, which she uses to broadcast her poetry and thoughts to the world.
The poetry itself feels a lot more balanced than that in For Whom the Bell Tolls; there’s a much more consistent flow to the work. Whilst Nevile’s previous effort was charming because of the occasionally awkward reaches for a rhyme, Live on Air smooths those bumps out and replaces them with silky stanzas that constantly impress with her wordplay. The humour quotient seems to have been lifted, too – her weather report (of her soul) is a bittersweet delight, and the jazz-esque “deep” piece suitably lush.
And then she lets loose with her “grammar grindcore” bit… and I’m completely, utterly, head-over-heels-edly falling in love all over again. Her dedication to the tall blonde guy across the street, recited as she gazed longingly into the audience, was wonderfully stirring (in more ways than one), and her West Wing slash-fic that detailed – and I do mean detailed – Josh and Toby’s War Room dalliance was a work of art.
The eighties-lyrics closing piece was just icing on the cake, really – but by that stage I was already grinning from ear to ear, and was blindingly smitten yet again. I absolutely adored Live on Air: with smart poetry, a charming host, and an infectious nod-and-a-wink, what’s not to love?