Quiet Sirens In A Different Kitchen

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  • Mike Garry
  • Toria Garbutt
Violette @ Studio 2 9/11/19

The kitchen is an independent state within the household. It doesn’t abide by the same laws, the same expectations. Not those that preside over the other rooms. It’s the liberated land in your own fraught kingdom. The escape from the pretence of the living room; that static family portrait of perceived perfection. The place that suggests how it’s all supposed to be. Rosy, warm, sat in designated places, all facing the same direction. The kitchen’s walls don’t talk. Not like the others’ do. Its people do the talking – upfront, honestly, hedonistically, vulnerably. The kitchen is off record. But tonight, it has an audience. The confession box door has been left ajar.

Northern poets TORIA GARBUTT and MIKE GARRY have brought their own interpretations of kitchen-based disclosure to Studio 2. In parts the two have similarities – emotive recollection ushered forward in dramatic spoken word. But beyond the trans-Pennine dialect, the similarities stop there. Garbutt looks back and recollects while Garry verbally joins a sprawling dot to dot drawing of the celestial reaches. These two aren’t poets who simply let the words tell the story. Words can be shared, replaced and replicated. The way each holds theirs is theirs, and theirs alone. They own each and every rhyme, pause and exacerbation.

Garbutt sits you down at the corner of the kitchen table and says everything that needs to be said. Everything that would be drowned out or trapped in the silence of the living room. Her stories are often bleak but full of heart. They shiver in from the backdrop of a sodden, deep-set winter in her native Knot-leh (Knottingley). Cold and continuing on, but always human to its core. It’s this aspect that shines through as you gulp down the moments difficult to stomach.

Garry performs with his head raised up in faux clouds of kitchen steam. He’s unadulterated escape. Backed by a four piece string section, his passages are akin to hill top plasms. He’s removed from his own body and currently somewhere atop Saddleworth Moor, shouting into the winds and watching the words carry. In moments dark, but there is an energy that always prevails in his lessons.

As the kitchen door closes, and the studio walls return to listen, both poets have opened eyes to new ways of seeing.

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