12

THE STAR

www.thestar.co.uk Saturday, August 21, 2021

Music

with

Chris Hallam

Poems by
Scott shine
a light on
Steel City
oet Adrian G R Scott said: “It
must have been about three
years ago that I decided that
I wanted to write a collection
of poems about Sheffield, where it’s
going and where it’s been.”
Recently, I was fortunate
enough to spend a little time with
Scott, a Sheffield-based poet, painter, photographer and an all around
creative extraordinaire. He’s just
released a collection of poems
called, Made in Sheffield, alongside
the musician Andy Selman.
There’s a depth and a sincerity
in Adrian’s tones, something which
effortlessly intertwines itself into
the spoken word that’s further
punctuated by the instrumental
riffs and backing audio additions
courtesy of Selman. “The thing
about poetry is often that you
want it to be heard, you
don’t want anything
cluttering it up,” said
Adrian in a recent interview.
“I started reading them at different gigs and events.
Andy Selman, he’s
in my wife’s band, approached me at a gig in
Crosspool, and he asked ‘how
would you feel if I put some music
to your poems?’ I was delighted”.
“It was a bit of a risk, but since
we were in lockdown and we didn’t
have anything better to do.
"So I’d send a poem, well, record
it and then it would go off and Andy
would work on it.
"Then he’d send it back to me
with an accompaniment.”
Made in Sheffield is a delightfully intriguing poetic journey, a
swaying unveiling of feelings, oftdeconstructed musings, elaborate
expositions of perspective, discovery and an underlying love for all
that encompasses the city that he
grew up in, but didn’t really ‘see’
until much later on. Something he

P

openly discusses as we make our
way downstream along the River
Rivelin, with the dog leading the
way.
“I was a little apprehensive
about how it would work out but as
each poem came back, I was taken
aback.
"I was astonished at how much it
had augmented the poem, and that
it made it a more powerful experience to listen to.”
Our conversation flowed with
iridescent tones, against the backdrop of Rivelin’s green hue, and
Adrian – stick in hand – spoke of his
travels, his adventures, his work
for Rites of Passage that seeks to
positively and spiritually guide
people, embracing vulnerability,
all of which parlays into his poetry.
We discussed mental health,
it’s lingering impacts, how
we cope (or rather don’t)
when it comes to losing control, direction,
purpose. As well as
faith and its effect
on Adrian, he had
almost pursued a devoutly different path
to the one he is on now.
We discussed some
of the poems on the album,
Sheffield as I See It, a sub-10-minute number that pulls out the history of the city from beneath the
city’s contemporary look that many
of us a familiar with, “under the
city’s skin, veins of remembering,
some varicose and sclerotic”, for all
the change that may occur on the
surface the soul of the city, its past,
is but a layer of tarmac away, where
“there are cobbles on Sheffield’s
streets”.
Seeking Asylum is one that
stands out. Perhaps it’s the subject
matter. It’s the first clear display of
vulnerability, perhaps a bit of guilt
and frustration as well, “I’m sure
some people will be thinking, who
the f*** does he think he is, what

Poet Adrian Scott, a man who cares, at home in the Rivelin Valley. Made in Sheffield is a’ delightfully intriguing poetic journey’.

does he know, why is he writing a
poem about asylum seekers?” But
simply put it’s because he cares.
That much is clear in the passion
displayed throughout his spoken word, our conversation as we
walked along the steadily flowing
Rivelin. Sometimes you can merely
empathise, care, question, try to

understand without having to justify why, even if troubled migration
hasn’t personally impacted him, it
has had an effect… so he’s chosen to
speak on the topic but most importantly he listens much more than
he speaks. That is key.
Sheffield is absurdly rich in
culture without the confidence to

discuss the sum of its parts, good
and bad. Scott’s poetry discusses
the past, our city’s present, all while
pondering the future. It gives a perspective on things, which although
they may differ to mine, or to yours,
I can’t help but feel that we’re all
collectively enlightened both spiritually and intellectually as a result.