Rare performance at storytelling festival

The Hastings Storytelling Festival runs until Sunday (November 18).

Nearly all the events are child-friendly, but not Billy Childish .

This is a rare spoken word gig from the Bard of the Medway – but don’t make the mistake of labelling him a ‘poet’.

Erica Smith caught up with him for a quick Q&A.

Q: Billy, you are a musician, author and visual artist. Which one came first?
People start with painting as 2 year olds and I just carried on. Music came along in my teens, although I loved music in the 1960s as a kid. I wasn’t allowed in the school choir though.

Q: Is it unusual for you to perform as a spoken word artist these days?
Yes, it’s unusual. I’ll occasionally do something related to an exhibition, but not often.

In fact I hardly do any kind of performance, music or spoken word these days.

Most of the venues I’ve played in have turned from old pub back rooms into black boxes.

Rock and roll can scarcely exist in that kind of soulless environment. My main interest is painting.

Q: You must have performed in Hastings many times over the years – and only last year you participated in a fund-raising art show for our burnt-out pier. Do you have fond memories of particular Hastings gigs or places?
The Clash supported by Richard Hell at the pier in ’77.

Q: What other plans do you have in the pipeline at the moment – any art shows or gigs coming up?
I’m releasing two new LPs this month with the Spartan Dreggs.

You can cut coupons off the LP covers and send them in for a third new LP you get for free.
Then I have solo exhibitions in Los Angeles in February and New York in March.

Q: Anything else you want to say?
All poets are vermin.

Billy Childish will be supported by a performance of ‘The Model’ by IdolRich Theatre Company – a performance about the fashion industry with input from Jean Shrimpton.

Tickets are £10 and are available online at www.billychildish.eventbrite.co.uk or from Hastings Information Centre.

Doors open at 7pm and The Model starts at 7.45pm.

There will be a book stall with books by Billy Childish and others.