Throughout my career I’ve been lucky enough to work with the illustrator Sam Ratcliffe. He began by drawing unflattering pictures of the Aisle16 guys and I back in 2004. He then did some work on our posters and CD. In 2006 he illustrated some of the poems for my first solo show Poet Laureate. In 2009 he became the in-house illustrator for my publishing house Nasty Little Press. This Winter he’s been burning the midnight oil (actually Sam normally sends me pictures through about 4am) to illustrate the whole of my new Cynical Ballads show. Each poem has about ten illustrations and they will appear on screen behind me as I perform the poems. In London we are confined to one screen but on tour and later in Edinburgh we’ll use two. It’s going to be dead good.
I love Sam’s work, it’s funny, strangely contemporary and yet old fashioned and not a little gruesome. I’m proud to have my poems illustrated by him, I hope my words live up to their visual partners.
You’ll have to come and see the show to see all of the drawings, but here’s a little taster: