Friday, January 11, 2008

cutting remarks, rambling tales

So one time I came in between Marc Almond and Jayne County, like the filling in a sandwich...

Let me explain.

As a side effect of tidying the loft space and cathartically giving away boxes of books and comics, I found a pile of old notes, photos, letters and copies, many dating from m time as a footnote in the margins of live art. These include reviews of my stuff, which I had totally forgotten about, immersed as I am in a 30-year-long, site-specific guerrilla performance where I masquerade as a marketing director...

So, here's a side trip into nostalgic egoboo:

Way back in 1983, Chrissie Iles reviewed the Sheffield Expanded Media Show in Performance magazine, and mentioned that 'Roy Bayfield, a student from Brighton, performed three readings from a collection of rambling, narrative, semi-autobiographical anecdotes and tales...He mixes truth with fiction and his own personality with that of 'Jack', creating a separate personality and exploring theories of multiple reality...One finds oneself listening intently to the rambling [that word again]tales, which have the fascination of other peoples [sic] overheard conversation, with a sustained interest, despite the mundane subject matter...the beauty of his work lies in its simplicity and mobility, and his ability to do, as he would like to, a show either in an art space or in the pub where, one feels, he would get an equally good response.'

I think that's a compliment...

Four years later, Tim Etchells reviewed another Sheffield performance in the same mag: 'Roy Bayfield's piece rambled along [there it is again], with much talking off microphone, much pulling of relevant and irrelevant objects from a white polythene bag, and much gulping of beer. Roy's subject matter is himself and the slightly odd and occasionally ordinary stuff he cares to talk about, or carry with him. On this occasion he showed us his STINKOR 'plastic play figure', and read the packaging which implored us to 'swivel his mutant hips'...His lack of performing tricks or well-timed effects suit the simple humanity of his material: it is a frail and generous work...'

Cheers Tim. Fair, and as true today as it was then.

Meanwhile the year before I was mentioned in, of all places, Melody Maker, when Jim Shelley reviewed the Zap Club's 'Taboo Week'. 'After Almond's 'Buck', the second laugh of the week was Roy Bayfield's 'The Man Who Couples With Sufaces' routine. More John Dowie than Ted Chippington, he offered the theory that if a man achieves his first orgasm over a porn mag, soon the magazine, as an item, becomes his own obscure object of desire. "Until, ultimately, he gets his reward from any magazine, be it Snooker Monthly, Airgun World, or best of all, Big Fish." Third laugh was Jayne County's "I Want a Wedding Like Lady Diana's"...'

Gratifying to be mentioned in such illustrious company - and no rambling.

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