Poet Harry Baker at The Edge, Chorlton

I’ve lived in or near most places in Greater Manchester during my 22 year career of being an honorary Manc.

My 8 month tenure as a Whalley Range resident led me like a magnet to enjoying the bright lights of Chorlton. And for me, the brightest light of them all was the Chinese takeaway, ‘The Treasure Pot.’

I have just googled The Treasure Pot and to my incredible delight, it’s still going on Manchester Road and, in fact, throws open its steamy doors at 5.30pm tonight.

Reader, they say you should never go back. But I might throw caution to the wind and

Go back!

This has fanny adams to do with the poet Harry Baker’s gig last Thursday night, other than it too was in Chorlton and proof that I was right to go back. For not only does Chorlton preserve its past (Treasure Pot), but clearly embraces new ventures as in the fantastic venue, The Edge Theatre.

Ok, new to me, it’s 10 years old and part of the Greater Manchester Small Venues Network (the other members of which I have long loved). Shame on my for this insane oversight.

But whilst I was immediately seduced by the juxtaposition of the neon signage aloft the old church hall as accessed through a graveyard, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

And Harry Baker supremely counted. In many ways, actually, given his delicious predilection for the world of mathematics which peppers a section of this work, most notably, 59 (a love poem for lonely prime numbers).

The World Poetry Slam Champion is touring the UK and for me is the perfect performer in that his poetry balances humour with word-play (bi-lingually, for goodness sake), with passions and personal insights and quick-witted observation and song. Yes song. German song.

On a freezing Thursday night, Harry took us on a journey through the workings of his mind (the sheer auditory frenzy of a dino love poem, Dinosaur Love), a history of his childhood Christmases, 24 Christmases on Earth, the generously shared and honesty of how lockdown stole away his creativity and hope (it’s back, fear not – not least triggered by the pandemical purchase of a new loo seat) and how he turned his well-justified rage towards a red-headed (well silver now – miaow) DJ into a well-versed, in every way, retaliatory rap and rebuke. I won’t spoil it but the story involves the holy trinity of Palestine, Falafel and Marathons.

A fan of punk poet and Bard of Salford, John Cooper-Clarke and Messrs Mike Garry and Luke Wright, this was my first experience of seeing, hearing, watching Harry Baker and he had me smiling, laughing, lamenting and also actually rapping in German more than I knew I needed on what had been a somewhat challenging day.

My short-form poetry inspired review is summed up as thus:

Mathematical
Germanical
Falafelical
Jurassical

Top drawer.
Ical.

Harry Baker continues his UK world tour – see for more details: Harry Baker live shows

His latest book of poetry, Unashamed, is available at all good bookshops and websites including his own: Harry Baker – Unashamed

Visit The Edge, it’s so good…The Edge Theatre, Chorlton

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