We all know how high we like the cultural bar to be raised here at DGMLive and thanks to the intrepid rummaging of Mr. Stormy we have Robert Reads Hardy.[endtease] These were recorded sometime during 1996 for Mark Radcliffe and Lard’s programme on BBC Radio 1 where they would often invite various musicians and assorted media guests to read poems, do the weather report and other wacky contributions.

Gary Hewitt, from Hodthorpe (near Worksop in the UK), remembers taping Fripp’s contribution as it went out on air. Though his tape is long lost, Gary was fairly sure that Mark and Lard only used Neutral Tones and Amabel for the show and certainly none of the X-rated in-between banter. Here however we have the full set list for your entertainment.

Neutral Tones
Amabel (abridged)
She, At His Funeral
Revulsion (abridged)
They are all taken from Wessex Poems And Other Verses which were published in 1898.

Poet, publisher, critic and KC enthusiast, Rupert Loydell took a listen and commented “Interesting to hear a Dorset burr at work. Even with the (restrained) musical layering Hardy's formal, strong and plain structure shines through. Whilst Hardy doesn't *need* accompaniment, this is an interesting little experiment with surprisingly intriguing results! Maybe a little diversion from Fripp's drive to wherever, but a good 'un.”

Of course we all know the swearing isn’t big or clever but it is, very, very funny. "I just love the Blessing of Tears Soundscapes under these poems, they give a real sense of emotion” says Mr. Stormy. “Robert's delivery is perfect, he should do more of this! And the funny intros, well, they speak for themselves.”

"Chuckles" Fripp and "Happy" Hardy - does it get any better?

This track is available for download as part of a bumper collection of Mr Stormy's Monday Selections - his first year of random romps through the murky, cavernous DGM archives, torch in hand, fedora upon his head.




Robert Reads Hardy
Written by Darryl J Dardenne
Gorgeous reading
This is quite beautiful. Fripps’ reading is excellent and the musical accompaniment is perfect for these lovely gray, sad poems. I find Fripps’ profane in between poem banter to be really funny. Think a foul mouthed Rodney Toady.
Written by G. Gollinger
A must.
Incredibly moving, fairly morose (it’s Hardy, natch) and mildly surreal.  NSFW, however.
Written by Robert Mayer
Two sides
  I’d love to have two copies of this. First, I’d love one "clean" copy for my students,  for in terms of recorded poetry readings, it’s well done; it really captures the feeling of the poems  (Yes, the music helps, but the reading style by itself makes it work). You have to think Hardy would have liked the reading. Alas, I’m not brave enough to endure the backlash of parents, so an edited copy would have to do....The other copy is this version, the full version: that persona Fripp assumes is hilarious. Then again, knowing what little I know of Hardy, he might have enjoyed the full version, too.Question: Did Robert Fripp chose the poems, or were the poems chosen for him? Just curious....
Written by Rick Whitehurst
Oh Dear...
Fooking funny!  And also quite continental in a word.