Welcome to the TVA 2016 Autumn newsletter!
I often start off my newsletter pieces with some poetry relevant to the season by a poet I admire, and this time is no different – except that the poet in question is not a famous bard, but a lad called Dylan (bardishly enough) who took part in a project (led by musicians Matthew Jones and Mark Owens, and writer Matt Abbott) we ran earlier this year. His rap is about Mischief Night in South Bank:
When the squares in the suits all sit inside
and hide in front of crap TV,
and the coppers park at Asda,
swapping roles with teachers after 3.
They ask what we’re up to,
and the shoulders give a shrug.
They’re sat there, poised, prepared to pounce,
and I’ve done nothing wrong …
but I feel like a thug.
But it’s Mischief Night, and Boro’s buzzin’;
the number swells to a baker’s dozen,
the usual lads plus someone’s cousin.
Mam’s provide the missiles …
As eggs rain down on passing cars,
an adrenaline surge beneath the stars;
neighbours chase you far too far,
and chests begin to tighten …
But once a year you come alive;
laugh for hours on foreign streets,
scale a fence or duck and dive;
nothing else tastes quite as sweet.
When the streetlights swap with the sun,
it becomes our town,
and the cap on my head,
that becomes my crown,
on the concrete, following the fun;
it’s ours when the streetlights swap with the sun.
No handshakes here, just backwards nods,
as older lads cruise by on wheels,
in GTIs, girls treat ‘em like gods.
And you wonder if they save,
or scam and they steal.
The houses all blend together.
We do what we can to make the nights stand out.
For some of us the mischief follows us forever …
for the Boro boys, that’s what is all about!
I am a recent graduate and returnee to the Tees Valley, looking to get more involved in the arts and community support.