Neu! Reekie!’s Untitled #Two might be dreamed up and published in Scotland, but to Getintothis’ Cath Bore the poetry collection, with accompanying 30 track compilation album, is very much an international affair.
The book is a collection of ‘good poetry…that reflects our own curiosity about the world and everything in it’, according to co-editor Kevin Williamson.
Poetry’s problem, if it has one, is that it’s not seen as for everyone, when in fact poetry writing for private pleasure is more widespread than we think, the unexpected scribbling away in notebooks and keeping it to themselves, like a guilty secret. Neu! Reekie!’s mission is to make consumption and sharing of poetry easier via live salons and books like this, and its predecessor Untitled #One, though it needn’t be difficult in the first place.
And true to Neu! Reekie! form, the poetry within Untitled #Two’s gold cover encompasses so much. Jackie Kay’s poem about climate change, Extinction, packs a piss taking punch. Polly Clark’s Hedgehog, about a…hedgehog, is a delight. Michael Pedersen, editor of Untitled #Two along with Kevin Williamson, is all worming tongue and flushed cheeks in Deep, deep down.
My Tits Are More Feminist Than Your Tits by Salena Godden would, were this world a saner one, be on the national curriculum.
“Those tits are not real women’s tits…Those tits don’t juggle motherhood tits and career tits, those are not the tits of a working mum”.
Hallelujah! In these days of body comparison and shaming, this poem is essential reading for each girl, boy, adult, everyone.
Godden, who wrote Flags : Kanye and Kanye last summer, a tremendous riposte to those petitioning to bar Kanye West from entering the country, has, like all the poets in this book, performed at a Neu! Reekie! salon at some point.
The music on the download album intrigues too, kicking off with Scottish rapper Loki’s Sneer Campaign. Sneering and poverty porn is a national pastime or so it seems, but ‘There’s part of me broken beyond repair…they sneer when I talk about poverty…’ resonates loudly.
We get a mix of poetry and music on the album, on The Dinosaur Where We Fell in Love, sparse gentle acoustic guitar from RM Hubbert with intense words from Anneliese Macintosh. Soothing calm from Japan’s Tenniscoats on Kyoku Wa Mirai matches the dreaminess of The Pastels’ Guest of Honour. But when are The Pastels not dreamy, indeed?
The inclusion of Vic Godard’s Better Not Turn On further cements Scotland’s double lifetime long love affair with the Subway Sect frontman.
The album comes pleasingly close to home, with the inclusion of By The Sea’s Wild December from the Endless Days, Crystal Sky album. The Pop Group’s Gareth Sager rocks out big time on £1 Fruit Bowl Haircut Blues, and Bang Dirty’s rap, Break Up, tugs unexpectedly at broken heart strings. The Vaselines’ Eugene Kelly never lets us down, taking us for Chips and Cheese after a bevvy or ten.
The perfect end to any night out, we’d say.
Neu! Reekie! Untitled #Two is available now.