A selection of previous gigs….

Friday 1st December , Watch House, Cullercoats. Talk of the Tinsel Town a festive celebration with words, music and pretty pictures. I feared the ice and snow would impact on audience numbers but we were fine. Another silly and seriously good evening with my talented pals Rob Walton and Steve Drayton with the added FAB factor thanks to special guest Lynne Patrick. Last gig of 2023!

Friday 27th October, Watch House, Cullercoats. Sunlit Days and Moonlit Caves: an evening of song, story and memory This gig was arranged by me and my dear pal and longtime creative collaborator Sandy Chadwin. We were looking forward to performing alongside instrumentalist and singer Chris Harrison, the great-great grandson of Northumberland miner and poet Joseph Skipsey.
Sadly Sandy died in early October but the gig went ahead with Sandy’s two brothers reading his work. The event was a sell out. Sandy would have loved that….

Friday 14th July: Cycle with Steve Drayton, Rob Walton and Steve Urwin at Newcastle’s Cycle Hub. It was all about the bike at The Talk of the Town’s summer show. Ironically it tipped down all night but that did not deter our hardy audience who came, laughed and bought copies of a commemorative pamphlet, lovingly made by Steve Urwin for the night.

Thursday 3rd November: Drifting as Clouds with Elaine Cusack, Sandy Chadwin and Ross Punton at Whitley Bay Library. This evening was a celebration of enduring friendship, strong family ties and writerly solidarity and support. It also highlights North Tyneside Libraries support of local writers. Thanks to the audience for joining us, Clare Pepper and staff at NT and to Phil Punton, father of Ross, for taking the photos.

Saturday 8th October: Writers Reunited: an afternoon of prose and poetry with Elaine Cusack and Geoff Smith at Blyth’s groovy rePUBlic Gallery. After almost 40 years I was reunited with Geoff Smith, the man who showed faith in my writing by publishing my first pamphlet of poetry, Bed and Breakfast with Lydia Lunch. The afternoon was a success on all levels: working with Geoff and the rePUBlic Gallery plus photographs by Ken Young who recently made this film about me. Lovely, supportive audience too. We read poems old and new and Geoff read from his debut novel, Holy Disorder.

Thursday 29th September2022 : The Talk of the Town featuring Elaine Cusack, Steve Drayton and Rob Walton plus special guests Jack & Sam. This sold out gig’s location was a secret until the night. It was Scott’s the barbers in central Newcastle. Billed as genre-defying and defining event, this carefully crafted “Happening” featured poetry, prose, music and moving images in a fast-paced performance. Top night. Chaotic and magnificent. Thanks to Ken Young for the photos.

Poetry Jam at The Waddy 7/7/22

Thursday 7th July 2022 : Poetry Jam at The Waddington Street Centre, 3 Waddington Street, Durham City, DH1 4BG hosted by my Loose Threads and Sacred Spaces collaborator Steve Urwin. I was honoured to headline the first PJ since the pandemic closed things down. I shared the floor with Helen Marshall, Stephen McGowan plus some cracking open floor turns. Welcome back to The Waddy!

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Under the Arches May 2022

Tuesday 10th May 2022. Under the Arches, Tynemouth. Evening poetry event hosted by Penny Blackburn at Alfie and Fin’s bar in the Land of Green Ginger, Front Street, Tynemouth, NE30 4BP. Rob Walton performed plus Dean Jolly. Open mic-ers included a splendid turn by Scunthorpe/Tyneside Leg End, Steve Drayton.

Morpeth Book Festival April 9th 2022. Photo credit: Steve the Sailor

Saturday 9th April 2022 at the Morpeth Book Festival. Afternoon poetry event at Pleased to Meet You Morpeth which included Ellen Phethean, Catherine Graham and Jan Clarke. Covid prevented Harry Gallagher from joining us. Good to see old friends and new there.

Seven Bells, Nov 2021. Photo credit: Jennifer C Wilson

Thursday 11th November 2021 performing alongside Renata Connors and James Tucker at Seven Bells in Whitley Bay’s The Brewery. Sandy Chadwin was our skipper host. Our doorman and Merch Man used to flog PJ Harvey’s stuff on tour. Impressed? I am! Great to be performing again but numbers were roughly half our last Seven Bells in Feb 2020. We all agreed this was the Covid Effect as seen at other live events.

Bowes Railway, Oct 2021

Saturday 23rd October 2021 hosting and performing at Mellow and Fruitful in Bowes Railway Museum in Springwell. So lovely to be joined by friends old and new to share autumnal poems. It was a treat to have poets Jenni Pascoe and Steve Urwin there. I’ve missed hearing and watching other poets perform these past 18 months or so…

Saturday 2nd October 2021 performing at Here Now & How an online Zoom gig organised by Phoenix Folk. This was my first gig since the Hartley Memorial one. I’m not a big fan of online gigs but Phoenix Folk are experienced at hosting them. It was a pleasure to perform alongside Adam, Maurice, Marina and fellow coastal poet, Rob Walton.

Saturday 18th January 2020 performing at The 17th Hartley Memorial Concert in New Hartley alongside Beeswing, Chris Harrison, Ann Sessoms and headliner Bob Fox.

Sashay on the stage
The Princess Sashays….

Monday 25th November 2019  The Princess and the Piano at Newcastle’s Central Library. Part of the annual Books on Tyne Festival.

Me and Ali Finlayson

Tuesday 19th November 2019 Meet the Poets: Ali Finlayson and Friends. Shiremoor Library. I hosted this magical event celebrating the work of local writer Ali. Great atmosphere

Friday 1st November 2019 The Princess Visits Bloomsbury. This was my London launch in Bllomsbury’s Rugby Tavern. Great night filled with fun, laughter, Shepherd Neame beer and reminiscence.

The Princess in Bloomsbury, Nov 2019
Princess of Felling party
Mayor and Mayoress at Felling gig

Tuesday 8th October 2019 The Princess of Felling Party at the Holly Hill Sports and Social Club. A neet to celebrate my book and the connections I’ve made with community groups in Felling. Mike and I performed The Princess and the Piano and the Mayor and Mayoress of Gatesehad were in attendance. There was bingo, blather, a top notch buffet and we raised £200 for The Friends of Felling Park and Town Centre. I chartered a Tyne Idols bus to carry folk to and from Whitley Bay. It was a wonderful night.

Tuesday 10th September 2019 The Princess and the Piano with Mike Waller at Whitley Bay Library. A lovely relaxed event in front of friends old and new. Enjoyed working with Clare Pepper and her team at Whitley Bay Library. Thanks to Sandy for being the merchandise monitor.

Thursday 5th September 2019 Poetry Jam at the Waddy on Waddington Street, Durham. I got to headline my favourite open mic night! With Steve Lancaster and Helen Marshall plus other performers. Great atmosphere!

Friday 30th August 2019 A Blanket of Grass, Marden Quarry. An afternoon of spoken word en plein air hosted by me and Sandy Chadwin and organised in conjunction with North Tyneside Parks and Leisure. Nice mix of performers and I got to read a poem by North Tyneside poet Ali Finlayson.


Tuesday 13th August 2019  Seven Bells at The Whitley Bay Brewery. Performing alongside Sandy Chadwin to a 30 strong audience. Not bad for a Tuesday evening in the middle of the school holidays.

Thursday 31st January 2019 Whitley Bay Library. The event was called Meet the Poet: Elaine Cusack. It was my first solo show and it went down well. Thanks to North Tyneside libraries for promoting the gig and supporting me. I performed to an attentive, enthusiastic audience. Loved the night, including the after show party in next door’s Black Storm Brewery!

Performing in Whitley Bay library Jan 31st 2019. Photo credit: Penny Blackburn
Elaine four
Elaine performing at The Pot Luck Club in Newcastle’s Old George in September 2017

Thursday 19th April 2018 Whitley Bay Library:  Blackburn, Cusack and Creen.
Performed with Ken Creen and Penny Blackburn. Hot night. Hot ticket! Ken’s break time quiz went down a storm.Thanks to North Tyneside Libraries for supporting us. And the lovely audience too!

Thursday 21st September 2017 The Old George Inn, Newcastle.
Performed at the second Pot Luck Club alongside my cousin Ross Punton, two thirds of The Cornshacks, Penny Blackburn and more. I performed one poem, Good Girl.

Thursday 4th May 2017. Poetry Jam at The Waddington Street Centre, Durham, with poets Paul Summers and Tom Conway plus open floor spots. A refreshing change to be sans microphone. They can get in the way, you know. I thoroughly enjoyed the night.

Monday 7th November 2016 supporting John Hegley at Whitley Bay Library with fellow poets Harry Gallagher and Ken Creen. What a blast for Harry, Ken and I to perform in front of an almost sold-out home crowd. And supporting John Hegley!!!

June 3rd 2016. Bay Traders, Whitley Bay. MCed at a private party I performed a couple of poems in between introducing The Cornshacks, Harry Gallagher and Ken (with two “n” s) Creen.

Friday 15th April 2016. Bay Traders, Whitley Bay. Private party. Performed alongside Harry Gallagher and The Legendary Ken Creen. Great fun.

Tuesday 8th March 2016: International Women’s Day event, Wallsend. Performed one poem, Swifts Screech and Circle in the Afternoon Sun. The poem’s theme of creative recovery seemed apt.Great audience: attentive, supportive and receptive.

Friday 20th November 2015. Bay Traders, Whitley Bay. Private party and as much fun as the last one in September. Great to see The Corn Shacks perform. I read poems including Skin Stains, Excavating Elaine & a Geordie haiku.

Friday 11th September 2015. Killingworth Library.  Part of the Heritage Open weekend. I was one several poets performing work about George Stephenson. The Sawdust Jacks performed too.

Friday 4th September, 2015. Bay Traders, 305 Whitley Road, Whitley Bay. Don, who runs Bay Traders, asked me to perform at this open evening. I was happy to oblige. The invite only audience was lovely and I got to support a wonderful bunch of musicians including Mick, Gill & Stew “Bottle Man” Rickard.

Friday 3rd April 2015. The Cumberland Arms, Byker, Ouseburnshire. Supporting Kevin Gilday from Scotland with his “The Man Who Drank Beer” show. Other support acts were musician George Sharpe and poet Vinny McHugh. Small but perfectly formed crowd. Warm reception but freezing cold room! George, Kevin and myself all fluffed/forgot our lines. I blame the microphone! Vinny was okay but he had his notebook with him to keep him right.

Free as a Bard March 2015

Sunday 22nd March 2015. The Jam Jar Cinema, Whitley Bay. Free as a Bard featuring me plus poet George Jowett and musical duo, The Primates. Fantastic night. Primates evoked late period Velvets. George performed his stunning Bonus Canto. The audience were receptive. Sold out event.

Stanza 2015 Photo credit Phil Punton

Thursday 15th January 2015. The Stanza, Chillingham Arms, Heaton. First night of new monthly performance event run by Harry Gallagher and Mandy Maxwell. I performed with David O’Hanlon and Catherine Ayres. There were open mic slots too. See my blog for Jan 16th 2015 for more info

Newbiggin 2014 Photo credit Paul Cordes

Saturday 9th August 2014 : Woodhorn Church, near Newbiggin on Sea. A night of Northumbrian music and verse in this Grade 1 listed deconsecrated 11th century church. 7.30pm. Inspiring venue. Warm and receptive audience. Fantastic musicians. Mistake to wear linen trews…