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Culture: A 'look at life' with Terence Blacker

Terence Blacker (1970444)
Terence Blacker (1970444)

In one of the more intimate gigs at this year’s Bury Festival, satire wit and music combine in the form of Terence Blacker.

He’ll bring his guitar and ukele with him on the short journey from his home in Diss and will treat his audience to his observational ‘look at life’ songs which he admits are at the forefront of his life right now.

“Music is pretty dominant at the moment,” said Terence who has a lot of strings to his career bow.

Terence’s new CD Enough About Me is, in spite of its title, his most personal to date with songs about the great challenges of our time - paranoia, regret, repression and how to be romantic in a time of political correctness.

With his trademark irony, Gyles Brandreth has described his work as witty, wistful and wonderful, he also gives voice to those rarely heard in contemporary song-writing - the deluded, the casually prejudiced and the bitter.

His Bury St Edmunds gig will feature music from his new album, songs about the world around us.

“I’m really looking forward to the Bury Festival and to being part of it,” he said.

“It’s a tough world and we need a lighter look on it,” said Terence whose journey has seen him in journalism, including writing for The Guardian, and as a children’s author, something he speaks incredibly fondly of.

Titles such as Houdini, the Disappearing Hamster, You Have Ghost Mail and the Ms Wiz series have endeared him to children and he has spent time in schools reading his stories to youngsters.

“My writing is still important to me.

“Now in the last 10 years or so, the best way for me to tell stories has been to write songs.

“I usually have a little notebook on me and I may just hear a phrase or a tune and it starts that way.

“I have played guitar since my teens, it’s always been a friend to me.

“All the years I was writing I was writing music too and I realised what I wanted and that was to tell stories through songs,” he said.

“Songwriting combines storytelling, thought and feeling.

“I like to think, in a way, my act is making different musical connections, it’s all storytelling.”

As a listener of songs, Terence admits to “listening to all sorts”.

Top of the list at the moment is Cory Seznec who brings together New Orleans jazz, country blues and folk styles, combined with their African musical roots.

When he is not putting his take on the world to music, Terence loses himself in the East Anglian countryside.

He, and partner Angela take their dog Ruby out and about and enjoy birdwatching and canoeing along the River Waveney.

“I enjoy the wildlife of our wonderful East Anglian countryside.

“I grew up in Shelley, near Hadleigh. This area is a fabulous place to live.”

Terence Blacker, May 18, Station Hill Social Club, Bury St Edmunds. Tickets are £6 from buryfestival.co.uk

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