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Spotlight Club headlines Steeve the Poet, Mollie Baxter and great music

John Freeman
Ace performance poet Steeve the Poet, the marvellous Mollie Baxter and the peculiarly eclectic Pascal Desmond form just part of next week's Spotlight Club at the Storey, compered by Simon Baker.

Spotlight will no doubt be celebrating confirmation of Arts Council funding until March 2013 for its work on the night, mixing 'pro' performers with its usual Open Mic opening acts, where aspiring talent can try their hand at delivering poems, stories, music (and sometimes, other things) on stage.

Laconic, lugubrious, or just plain miserable, Steeve the Poet returns for a final comeback re-union tour again with a wry, sideways look at birth, life, love and death, hoping that a tribute poet will take on the onerous duty of writing stuff and reading it out.

Mollie Baxter is a writer, editor, musician and tutor. Before the Rain, published by Flax 2008, contains a collection of her short stories, said to have a "beautifully light touch" (Time Out) and the "ability to pull of the unexpected." (Dogmatika)

Her flash fiction piece 'The Map', speculating upon the true cause of honey bees' exodus was published by the Biscuit Flash Fiction Prize in January.

She is currently on the editorial team of Back & Beyond, a new literary-arts publication based in Lancaster, first issue due to be launched in June.

Pascal Desmond will be revisiting a piece he did some nine years ago following a general election in Ireland. As a graduate of the National University of Ireland (NUI), he is on the register of electors for the upper house of parliament, the Seanad. The NUI elects three of the 60 senators. Back in 2002 he told us who he wouldn't vote for. Now we can help him to decide. There are 27 candidates for the three NUI seats in the Seanad, and the beauty of the Proportional Representation voting system allows him to vote for all 27!

So who should he vote for? Should he vote for those who didn't send him a canvassing letter? NO! Should he vote for those whose election literature has basic grammatical errors or spelling mistakes? NO! Should he vote for utter gits? NO! Should he vote for long strings of misery? Maybe. Should he vote for complete wazzocks? Depends. So, who SHOULD he vote for? You can help him to decide.

Music on the night comes from Ewan Scarlett and the Deep Cabaret Trio. Ewan hails from Bolton and is a Singer/Songwriter,guitarist and Harmonica player. "Starting out at the tender age of 16 I have moved through Blues rock to Grunge to Country and folk," shes says, "gigging and recording in and around Manchester in various outfits/misfits, appearing on Salford and Manchester Indie Radio and have most recently found a spiritual home in Lancaster to muster the Muse.'

The Deep Cabaret Trio is a new project from the mind that brought you Orchestre DC Dansette and Top Ten SexTips. With Steve Lewis on guitar & voice, Matt Robinson on bass clarinet & Paul Sherwood on hurdy-gurdy, its pure folk meets pure jazz mediated by an impure jack of none - fulsome and romantic one moment, edgy and distrubed the next. Imagine a cream cheese and dill pickle bagel with extra mustard.

Then there's the lyrics lifted, adapted and mashed-up from the likes of Beckett, Borges, Bukowski, BBC sit coms, buddhist self-help books and Danish grooks. This is the last leg of their Chill-Out Wired-In Spotlight tour.

•  Spotlight Club: Friday 15th April, the Storey, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster. Door open 8.00pm, tickest on the door £4,/£2 concessions