Stand up and Spit

A Firm Of Poets and Speaking Volumes present
'Northern Accent' tour

EVENING SHOW: 7.30-10pm

Line-up: Kate Fox, Tim Wells, Nick Toczek

Back before hip hop made its way from across the pond, young, angry, working-class youths took to poetry to address politics, fascism and boredom.

Accessible, protesting, diverse, inclusive, political, working-class, humorous yet also deadly serious, Ranting poetry appeared in the late 1970s and early '80s. Platforming young rowdy writers with something to shout about, it was closely allied with punk and reggae and was the vibrant precursor of today’s spoken word.

Far from the literary establishment, Ranting was beer-soaked, spit-stained and real...and Stand Up and Spit is bringing it back. Inspired by poet and original ranter Tim Wells it toured across the UK in 2016 and will continue to do so in 2017.


About the authors/artists

Kate Fox is a stand-up poet who's originally from Bradford and was inspired by punk poets like Wild Willi Beckett in her late teens. She has been a Poet in Residence on BBC Radio 4's Saturday Live, Glastonbury Festival (official) and the Great North Run. Her solo shows include "Poet in Residence", "The Starting Line", "Kate Fox News" and “Good Breeding” which was made into a Radio 4 show.

She has been commissioned to write and perform poems for BBCone(including 2014's "Great North Passion" in South Shields and the Great North Run, 2011 and 2015), BBC Two's Daily Politics, BBC Radio 3's The Verb, BBC Radio 6 Music and many Radio 4 shows and has performed at venues from Latitude to the Stand Comedy Club, the Soho Theatre to Oakland University, USA and Turku Literature Festival in Finland.

Publications include "Fox Populi" from Smokestack Books (2013), pieces in Bloodaxes’s “Funny Peculiar, Funny Ha Ha” and the “Iron Book of Humorous Verse” and she has edited several anthologies of young writers work.

Radio 4 broadcast her two half hour comedy shows "The Price of Happiness" in June 2015 and another two have been commissioned to air in 2017.

She is currently halfway through a studentship-funded full time PhD in solo stand up performance, class, gender and Northernness at Leeds University |

Tim Wells is made of reggae, lager top, pie and mash, and Leyton Orient FC.

As 'Teething Wells' he was an original teenage ranting poet. Since long trousers he has published several poetry collections; 'Everything Crash' published by Penned in the Margins being the most recent |

'London poetry landmark' Times Literary Supplement
'Suedehead bard of N16' The Guardian
'Bizarre character from the East End' The Times and The Sunday Times
'A neatly twisted line in rhetoric' NME
'Working class hero' The Morning Star

Nick Toczek is a writer and performer working variously as poet (and one of the original ranters), journalist, magician, vocalist, lyricist and radio broadcaster. He is a best-selling children's author who has worked as a visiting writer in thousands of schools.

His book on anti-Semitism, 'Haters, Baiters and Would-Be Dictators', was published by Routledge last year and a collection of his best dragon poems 'Dragons are Back!' has just been published by Caboodle Books.

Melissa Lee Houghton is a poet and writer of short fiction, selected by ThePoetry Book Society as one of the Next Generation Poets 2014. She was born in Wythenshawe, Manchester and remains based in the North West of England.

Her debut release, 'Patterns Of Mourning', a book-length sequence recording a descent into madness during a troubled affair, was published by Chipmunka in 2009 and was followed with 'Bite Your Tongue When You Give Me My Name' (2009), a collection of early poems.

Her first major collection, 'A Body Made of You', a series of poems written for writers, artists, strangers, lovers and friends was published by Penned in the Margins in 2011. 'Beautiful Girls' was published in November 2013 by Penned in the Margins and was selected as a Poetry Book Society Recommendation for Winter 2013. Her new collection, 'Sunshine' combines acute social observation with a dark, surreal humour born of first-hand experience. It includes ‘i am very precious’ - shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem 2016.

John Hegley was born in Newington Green, North London and educated in Luton, Bristol and Bradford University. He fronted the Popticians, with whom he also recorded two sessions for John Peel, and has since been a frequent performer of his words, sung and spoken, on both local and national radio. He has produced ten books of verse and prose pieces, two CDs and one mug.

Tour Information

20th April 2017 7:30pm
The Ropewalk
21st April 2017 7:30pm
Seven Arts
22nd April 2017 7:30pm
The Civic, Barnsley