Jul 27th: Stan Skinny as Otis from Reading, May Days In Barcelona, Alan Brown, Ichabod Wolf & Matt McAteer

IEG July 27

We’re back with another feast of music and poetry, featuring Stan Skinny as Otis from Reading. He’s got a tie and a harmonium – what will he do with them. Head honcho of Dib Dab Dob Cabaret and The Shipping Forecast, Yorkshire’s Biggest Show Off Stan Skinny returns to Chesterfield Labour Club for the first time since he offered the whole town outside as wrestling poet Captain the Butcher Reality with his latest alter ego Otis from Reading. Not to be missed.

Joining Stan will be the very wonderful multi-instrumentalist May Days in Barcelona. Expect a a melodic wall of sound, with violins weaving over fuzzy shoegaze guitars and analogue synths, drawing on elements of Post-Rock, Minimalism and Baroque Pop. Humdinger.

Alan Brown will be making his debut appearance at Chesterfield Labour Club. Alan is one third of ace prog jazz band Hitiro, but will be flying solo playing sublime liquid guitar over ingenious loops.

After gallivanting around the north and midlands like a latter day dust bowl troubadour, Ichabod Wolf will be returning home to kick the night off with the usual understated magnificence.

All this, plus the friendliest and cheapest bar in town for just five pounds entry. See you there

Jun 1st: Matt Nicholson, Dean Wilson, John Marriot, Ichabod Wolf, Matt McAteer

IEG Jun 01 2019

We’re back with the first of 3 fantastic events through June 2019! We start the month with 2 top poets from Humberside and a returning favourite from Nottingham.

Matt Nicholson’s poetry is sometimes dark and intense, sometimes heartfelt and funny, always honest. His second collection, We Are Not all Blessed With a Hat-Shaped Head was released in March 2018 on the Staring Owl imprint and he capped off the year with a nationwide tour with Matt Abbott.

Dean Wilson suffers from Poetry Tourettes, a condition that affects one in every ten people in Kingston Upon Hull. But being Hull’s Fourth Best Poet is not without complications. Sometimes Dean gets overcome with the emotion of it all, and has to escape to the seaside. Sometimes Dean gets sad, but he doesn’t mind too much, because at least he’ll get a poem out of it. Most of the time, though, Dean is a happy soul. And sometimes he’s so happy he’s not safe on the streets, which is the title of his magnificent debut poetry collection: “Every bit as brilliant as Larkin, but a million times funnier” (Dave Lee, The Guardian)

Joining the poets will be Nottingham’s returning master of witty deadpan malevolence John Marriott, who has previously taken the roof off the Labour Club with songs drenched in laid back misanthropy and Chesterfield Labour Club’s resident genius Ichabod Wolf.

All this plus the friendliest and cheapest bar in town, all for a fiver. See you there

Apr 27th: Helen Mort, Georgina Hardcastle, Rachel Bower, Ichabod Wolf, Matt McAteer

IEG April v2

We’re back! With another fantastic line up of music and poetry!

It’s a privilege to welcome back a legend of both the local and national poetry scene. Helen Mort has published two poetry collections with Chatto & Windus, ‘Division Street’ and ‘No Map Could Show Them’. Her first novel ‘Black Car Burning’ was published in April 2019. She was Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2013 – 2015. She lives in Sheffield

We also welcome the very wonderful Georgina Hardcastle, a solo folk musician hailing from Holmfirth. Georgina’s latest album, Wishbone, was released by Dark Room Records on Hallowe’en 2018

Rachel Bower is founder of Sheffield feminist art collective Verse Matters. A stunning poetry performer, Rachel has had work published widely and her most recent collection, Moon Milk, was published by Valley Press in 2018

Joining Helen, Georgina and Rachel will be Chesterfield Labour Club’s mild-mannered, maverick genius Ichabod Wolf

All this, plus all female playlist, cheapest and best-stocked bar in town and for the ridiculous price of a mere fiver. See you there

Mar 30th: Del Scott Miller, Jim Higo, Jeff Jethro Platts, Ichabod, Matt McAteer

IEG Mar 30 Poster

The 2nd IEG March event brings another fantastic line-up, with East vs South Yorkshire going toe to toe.
Straight outta East Yorkshire comes Jim Higo, host of Away with Words, the longest running poetry night in Hull and a brilliant, incendiary poetry performer.

From South Yorkshire, the knockout one-two of Del Scott Miller and Jeff Jethro Platts. Del was most recently seen getting commissioned to write the fantastic Little Blinder for the campaign for a statue of Billy Casper in Barnsley town centre in memory of Barry Hines. Hopefully, it will be on his imminent new lp, last year’s The Pen, The Sword and the Song was an absolute winner.

Jeff Jethro Platts stormed the Labour Club last year with a great poetry set and has been a leading voice in Barnsley’s newest poetry night Spoken Voices.

Refereeing on the night will be Chesterfield’s finest songsmith, the mighty Ichabod Wolf. Having come to terms with Radio 6 adulation in 2018, he is facing 2019 with his usual mixture of joie de vivre, love for all men and philanthropy. Or at least an Elvis-style curled lip and a witty disregard for his adoring audience.

Cracking line up, friendliest bar staff in town with the cheapest bar and only a fiver to get in.

Mar 3rd: Matt McAteer & Cornucopia Radio – FUTURE SHOCK

IEG RFM Artwork - FutureShockOn February 19th 2019, Radio Free Matlock broadcast a special show, created by Matt McAteer and Pete Beeston from Cornucopia Radio. It was introduced as follows:

“The following show is a Future Shock. A Requiem for a Lost Boy. Music and poetry for a precious life and the ones he left behind. This may be for for you if you can see past a person’s failing mental health and addictions. There was always so much more to him. This is his requiem”

Words and narration – Matt McAteer
Production – Pete Beeston, Cornucopia Radio

You can listen to the show here:


  • Joanna Newsom – This Side of the Blue from Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City, 2004)
  • Al Green – Take Me to the River from Al Green Explores Your Mind (Hi Records, 1974)
  • Tom Waits – New Years Eve from Bad as Me (Anti,2011)
  • Ichabod Wolf – Painted Horses from Carry On, Crow (Adult Teeth Recording Company, 2018)
  • Matt McAteer – Future Shock
  • Rebekah DelRio – Llorando from Mulholland Drive by Angelo Badalementi (Milan Records, 2001)
  • Public Image Limited – Poptones from Metal Box, (Virgin, 1979)
  • David Bowie – Rebel Rebel from Diamond Dogs, (RCA, 1974)
  • Matt McAteer – River Man
  • The Knife – Pass it On from Deep Cuts (Rabid Records, 2003)
  • Van Morrison – You Don’t Pull No Punches, But You Don’t Push the River from Veedon Fleece, (Warner Bros, 1974)
  • Matt McAteer – The Next Day
  • Bobby Bland – Shoes, (Duke, 1967)
  • Ween – What Deaner Was Talking About from Chocolate and Cheese, (Elektra, 1994)
  • Matt McAteer – It Comes in Waves

Mar 2nd: Me Lost Me, Jamie Thrasivoulou, Tom Nash, Ichabod, Matt McAteer

IEG March 2019

Me Lost Me is the solo electronic music project of Jayne Dent; a collision of thudding rhythms, lush vocal drones and haunting Melodies. Using the voice as her main instrument alongside the concertina and samplers, she electronically manipulates and loops sounds to create a unique, folk-influenced experimental pop music. Nestled among atmospheric and powerful original compositions are arrangements of traditional folk songs, beautiful and gripping in their storytelling. She has recently performed on BBC Radio 3’s Exposure, at the Manchetser Folk Horror Festival and Northern Electric Festival, as well as supporting acts as diverse as Martin Carthy and Let’s Eat Grandma. She released her debut album Arcana in November 2018, leading to Tall Bird Records stating, “If Sandy Denny and Laurie Anderson had made an album together, it might have sounded a bit like this.”

Jamie Thrasivoulou is an award-winning writer, poet & lyricist. He facilitates workshops in schools, universities, prisons, & all manner of community settings. He is the writer in residence at HMP Foston Hall & the official Derby County FC Poet. His debut collection ‘The Best Of A Bad Situation’ was published by Silhouette Press in 2017. Jamie’s second collection ‘Our Man’ will be published by Burning Eye Books in 2019. Jamie has performed all over the UK including: Outspoken at the 100 club , Verve Poetry Festival, The Everyman Theatre & The Other Place (Royal Shakespeare Venue).

Tom Nash’s debut record ‘Stories of The Screens’ revisits themes from an exhibition that he took part in at The Site Gallery in Sheffield called ‘Cutting Shapes’ which ran throughout June 2015. For the exhibition, Tom wrote three folk songs combining abstract lyricism paired with the trivial to cover the exhibitions topics. Several of these songs alongside some newer works will be performed with just voice and guitar to reveal the intricacies of harmony between the two instruments’ parts, in contrast to the fully decorated arrangements heard in the studio recordings of his debut record. With musical influences as diverse as John Lee Hooker to Anna Calvi to Philip Glass, means that when listening you can expect to be as disorientated as he is!

Joining Jayne, Jamie and Tom will be our resident genius Ichabod Wolf, fresh from the release of his magnificent debut album Carry on, Crow and recent airplay on BBC Radio 6, with DJ Steve Lamacq saying, “An amazing thing, quite stopped me in my tracks.”

Fantastic line up, friendly bar staff and great cheap drinks, all for a mere £5.00 entry. See you there

Jan 26th: Miggy Angel, Poke o’Swedgers, Ichabod, Matt McAteer

ieg 2019 01 26

We’re back for the first Independent Electric Group live event of 2019 with a fantastic line-up.

Miggy Angel is the organiser and compere of Nottingham’s longest running live poetry night Speech Therapy and also facilitates a weekly writer’s workshop for writers accessing the addiction project where he works as a drugs worker. In October 2018, he launched his second poetry collection, the superb Extreme Violets, published by Hi-Vis Press. This followed his debut collection, Grime Kerbstone Psalms. Miggy is a mesmeric, hugely engaging performer and, in his poetry, as Mike Garry says, “Every word is carved in concrete, every Full Stop drips with blood.”

Joining Miggy, a welcome return for ace local duo Poke o’Swedgers. Kev and Dave are two voices, one guitar. With these elements, they weave magical harmonies and lyrics of wit and warmth. Catch them on the cusp of the release of their debut album, Govanhill Moonshine.

Our resident genius Ichabod Wolf has been being lauded by Radio 6 DJ Steve Lamacq, who reckons that the majestic single Painted Horses is “an amazing thing, quite stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it.” Obviously, we’ve known that for ages and his new material easily matches the magnificence of his debut album Carry On, Crow.

All this and the friendliest, cheapest bar in town all for the still ridiculous bargain price of £5 entry. See you there


Dec 22nd: Laura Potts, Soup Review, Ichabod, Matt McAteer

IEG LineUp 20181222

Following November’s fantastic night with Henry Normal, IEG is back for December with another fantastic line-up.

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has been published by Acumen, Aesthetica and The Poetry Business. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of the BBC’s New Voices for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018.

Soup Review write songs about disastrous parties and quiet nights in, flying ant day rituals and finding the right sandwich on your lunch break. They make DIY pop music that walks a tightrope between folk and anti-folk, silliness and sincerity, high-concept and novelty. They’re the Morriseys of Morrisons, they’re like Stars in their Eyes on SSRI’s, and they’re here to peddle their debut album, From the Bed to the Settee (And Back Again).

Chesterfield Labour Club’s resident genius Ichabod Wolf returns following the triumphant release of his debut album Carry On, Crow. More Elvis than Presley and Costello combined, he performs original songs about myth, mortality and unemployment in his distinctive baritone voice. His evocative lyricism draws influence from some of the most significant songwriters of the past sixty years; Leonard Cohen, Lou Reed and Tom Waits.

All this for a mere £5 entry, with a great atmosphere and bar with the best prices in town. See you there.

Nov 24th: Henry Normal – How Chesterfield Changed My Life

In the run up to November’s “IEG Presents at Chesterfield Labour Club” host for the evening, MATT McATEER got a wonderful email from the headline guest – HENRY NORMAL. Anyone with an affiliation to Chesterfield in any way should read it…

HenryNormal Nov


“You might not consider Chesterfield a place of radical ideas and cultural awakening but for me it was.

I’d no idea where Chesterfield was before I moved there in the early eighties. I’d been told it had a crooked spire but hadn’t been told anything else. I knew no-one.

I started work at an insurance brokers in the centre of town just next to the shop that sold electric organs and I had a small bedsit in a block of newly built apartments.

My work colleagues were friendly, but we didn’t really socialise outside of work so occasionally I found myself sitting in the local pub on my own. I was determined not to just sit in my flat.

I took to reading as much as possible and was already writing comedy and poetry although mainly for my own amusement. I dressed very traditionally at the time. I wore a suit for work and had short hair. I’m told I had been mistaken for a policeman sitting on my own drinking. One day though I struck up a conversation with a couple a few years younger than me. Tracy and Dids two students from Chesterfield college on the Arts Foundation course. Within weeks we became friends and they introduced me to further friends Phil, Ivan, Judith and a distinctive couple called Rat and Pat.

I saw an address on a musical fanzine that was published in Chesterfield by a character called Faye Ray. Now Faye Ray is, of course, the heroine in the story King Kong. so I knew this was a pseudonym. I searched out the publisher and plucking up courage I knocked on the door. It turned out to be Steve Waterhouse, a beautifully kind and generous man who was a local activist and ran a community centre in a portacabin called ’48’.

It was Steve that inspired me to make that leap of faith and quit insurance to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. I owe him a great debt.

All the arts crowd I met in Chesterfield had such energy for life and optimism about the future. A very different attitude that I was used to coming from a council estate in Nottingham. In this seemingly sleepy backwater, lives filled with creativity were all around me. There was also a great sense of community. Something I’d not experienced before.

I handed in my notice and used both the money I’d saved up and my pension that I’d cashed in, to buy half shares in a new indie record shop just outside the centre of Chesterfield with Dids. The shop was Planet X records and after a couple of years we moved to just behind the spire.

These were the last days of vinyl as we knew it, before Cd’s really took over. It was much harder than I thought running a record shop and we made very little profit.

I started performing poetry both locally and around the region, especially in Sheffield and I adopted the name Henry Normal.

I helped at a dance night Dids used to organise with Rat and Pat called Gotham City. I usually did the door. I drove a few of the local bands to gigs including once a band called ‘Criminal Sex’. I supported many Chesterfield bands on stage like Body Factory, Substitute Flesh and most memorably The Bland.

Gotham City would occasionally put on bands and I got to meet Pulp and Dig Vis Drill both of which I went on to perform with around the country, including at the famous Marquee Cub in London.

Jarvis broke his legs around this time falling from a window. I would have to wheel him on stage in his wheelchair. Morrissey had been wearing fake glasses and a hearing aid on stage as an affectation, and I’m sure some people though it was Jarvis going one further. It did make me laugh when he danced his characteristic moves, but in his chair.

One of my favourite memories of Chesterfield is the informal football matches we used to play – Planet X versus 48. It usually turned into a sort of goths verses hippies affair. with a sprinkling of punks and soul music fans included.

I loved the sense of community of those days in Chesterfield and the great characters. I fell in love with a girl who moved to Manchester to go to University so I moved with her. There I met Steve Coogan and Caroline Aherne and got involved in television. I look back on Chesterfield with a great fondness. If I hadn’t have had my time there I would not have been ready for Manchester and a life of creativity.”

Henry Normal…

HENRY NORMAL headlines the Independent Electric Group presents, at Chesterfield Labour Club, Saturday 24th Nov, 8PM.