Review: The Sunshine Kid | Harry Baker at Appledore Book Festival

09/10/2016




When five random French strangers judge your poem as the winner in an international competition, you'd think there wasn't much more you could do in life after winning the so-called poetry world cup. But it quickly became clear that Harry Baker, writer of the best poem in the world, isn't taking his rhymes anywhere anytime soon.

I have to admit I don't spend every Friday night as a 17 year old giving my best shot at learning German tongue twisters and singing along to a dessert remix of Ed Sheeran's A Team but that seemed to be on Septembers agenda as Harry Baker slammed us with some poetry as part of his show The Sunshine Kid.

After playing numerous worldwide stages, including the UK's very own Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the comparison of performing to a such an intimately small crowd as part of the 10th year of the Appledore Book Festival must've seemed as easy as talking to the family round the table at Christmastime. Combining a love of maths (which I found ironic due to my old maths teacher coincidentally being among the other audience members), effortlessly clever wordplay and an ability to spit out words quicker than I can listen to them, Baker spent the night like a true raconteur sharing various stories from his life accompanied with a collection of his poems along the way.

Stretching from stories about a Weston-Super-Nightmare, a poem about the consequences of going to the beach in the middle of February, to a love story about prime numbers Baker had the crowd in continuous laughter - even my own Mum who is regularly a grumpy sod.

Harry has released a book, under the same title The Sunshine Kid after the name of one of his featured poems, containing a selection of his work. I've spent far too long laughing over his selection of Haiku jokes and consequently messaging them to my friend Matt who loves a good bit of cheese as much as the next person. My favourite of these being "Got a job as a pilot despite not having 20-20 vision, I've got contacts."

Harry Baker made up one of 78 different events that made up this year's festival down in sunny (touch wood) Appledore. Having been attending events for many years now it's always great to be in an environment where you can meet so many creative people in a situation that is small and intimate giving you the chance to socialize with many interesting writers, speakers and new people.

The Book Festival will be back in the village next October giving everyone the chance to gain experience, or entertainment depending on what it is you want to take from it, from talks with another selection of different writers.