A Northern Soul – on BBC iPlayer till 18 Dec

I heard Steve @redeyefeenix at Being The Story, a marvellous day of storytelling curated by Jude Habib of Sound Delivery (she’s doing a Crowdfunder to expand her work, you can donate here)

Steve’s the star of A Northern Soul, a film by Sean McAllister, a Hull insider, about the city’s year as a City of Culture. It was the complete antidote to a week of crazy Brexit shenanigans. Instead of fractious politicians out for what they can get, here was a man determined that poor kids in Hull get their share in the city’s year in the spotlight. With a loaned bus and music equipment he sets out to teach rap and self confidence in Hull’s sink estates. It’s on iPlayer till 18 Dec, please watch! I’m no rapper, but here’s my poem in tribute to him.


Jaw, jaw, jaw, yap, yap, yap.

The politicians drone on, who’s listening?

Not them. Not to me or you.


Wearying of Brexit yes or no, I tune into A Northern Soul.

Set in Hull, City of Culture 2017.

You can scoff if you like.


But watch as red eyed Steve shrugs off his weariness –

a weariness so deep his mother lays her head on her front door –

and takes off in the borrowed Beats Bus.


See the shy stammering child light up with a smile;

a lonely boy announce he doesn’t have butterflies in his belly:

instead, he has a dragon! Hear him rap and roar!


Phoenix like, Steve rises from the wreck of his own life

He’s got it all – divorce, debts, demotion –

Yet he has his hand on the key that unlocks joy. 

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