Cherry & Peesh

  • Mark Cartwright posted
  • Interviews

Cherry And Peesh - Poetry Is the New 'Rock n Roll'

  • March 2021


For the uninitiated Cherry & Peesh are a spoken word/music combo who have been together for a several hundred years already (feels that way when you see how they bounce of each other so well), already with two stints at Rebellion Festival and a third coming up (fingers crossed), playing the length and breadth of the country to audiences who have come away wondering why they hadn’t caught on earlier.

So fast forward to, well now!  They have been invited to create their own radio show on Totally Wired Radio which is run by Acid jazz Records in London.

The show will give a fresh and well needed kick up the Ass to the entertainment business, anyway lets not listen to the mouth when the brain (brains) can fill us in on the truth.

MC:  Who are Cherry & Peesh?  Can you tell us all about yourselves, a little background into where you are from and a short history of how you became artists?

Cherry:  I live in Essex, but have lots of connections with the northeast, I grew up loving poetry and was first blown away when I saw it being performed in my youth club, that was Little Dave supporting the neurotics. I’ve always written but found it hard to share, I finally took the plunge in my late 20s and began performing in mostly comedy clubs as poets don’t know where to fit in sometimes. I returned to performing after a gap of 20 years.

Peesh:  I’m from Ashington in Northumberland and was brought up in a music loving household. My Dad loved AC/DC , Motörhead, Sex Pistols and my Mam The Monkess, Beatles etc. I started playing drums at 15 in local cover bands and eventually doing original stuff but after 10 years found it wasn’t enough creatively for me. So I started again, bought a guitar and began writing my own songs. This lead to the formation of my first band Junkster. More recently I’ve sang, played wrote for The Blisters / Crackdown, currently LoGOz and of course Cherry & Peesh.

MC:  How exactly did the both of you meet and when did it become obvious that you would want to work together or was there a particular reason it happened.

Cherry:  We met on a punk bus organised by Keith Newman in Newcastle nearly 5 years ago, we were introduced by a mutual friend Marcia who said I was a punk poet from Essex, but I hadn’t gigged for years, so felt a fraud. We became friends and it was Peesh who encouraged me to start performing again.

Peesh:  We met in August 2016 when I was performing on the Tyne Idols Punk Tour Bus. We were introduced by Cherry’s good friend Marcia. I was impressed by the punk poet background and we just hit it off from the start. I encouraged Bev to get back into performing and guest on my Psycho radio show Cos the material was so good. But the Cherry & Peesh collaboration was Bevs idea, suggesting I put music to some of her words. The first song we did was Punk Mum. I just played a simple background riff and it just clicked so we were off and running.

MC:  As you are both so obviously embroiled in or have been brought up within the Punk music scene, do you think this is a scene that is still as strong as it ever was or possibly even stronger and do you think it should be represented more in the wider media? 

Cherry:  The punk scene is a hotbed of disenfranchised alternatives that makes them feel at home and values their originality and creativity. It is never a ‘stereotype’ or a formulated punk by numbers experience, it embraces all artistic qualities, art, music, clothes, poetry. As a poet it’s been hard to ‘fit in’, the punk scene accepts all. Yes it’s also important to be represented on a different platform too. 

MC: I personally have watched you both grow as a duo, having different styles on stage previously, did either of you find it difficult to get up on stage and perform as a duo?

Cherry:  Haha! every time! I have to consider someone else and not go freestyle when I forget words. It’s harder for me sharing a stage as Peesh is in a band, but we are both front vocalists, so we have to acknowledge and share the role.

Peesh:  I guess with us both being used to performing solo, and or me fronting a band, neither of us had ever really performed as a regular duo. I think we’ve inadvertently created our own little niche which is greet for us Cos there’s nothing to compare it to do we have no rules musically or lyrically really.

MC:  Are there any stories you can share with us of how it felt to get together for the first time and actually put your two mediums together, did it click immediately or was it a struggle?

Cherry:  I wanted to try, Peesh was hesitant, but it clicked immediately. The technical aspects I find hard, due to my dyspraxia and hearing loss, so I struggle with catching intro’s, I have to continually count myself into the songs and by watching Peesh’s finger placements on the guitar.

Peesh:  As I mentioned earlier once we decided to work together it kinda clicked instantly with the song Punk Mum. Although I initially had reservations haha but I was happy to be proved wrong. But we were both pretty excited when we completed that first song Cos we knew we had something unique.

MC:  For Cherry, Knowing that performing as Cherry B for so long and sharing your poetry with so many great audiences, what was it like to then bring the same finely honed words to life with help of Peesh?

Cherry:  It amazed me how different the words felt with a catchy tune behind them. But we both write the words, some songs are completely Peesh’s some are completely mine.

MC:  For Peesh;  How easily or hard did you find it to add you own rock/punk sound to words that were not your own, was it as or more rewarding for you to do this? 

Peesh:  I suppose initially it was the first time I’ve written music to someone else’s words. But the way we write the lyrics now, it comes from both sides. Some songs are all Cherrys’ words, some all all mine and others are 50/50! It’s always exciting to receive new words from Bev and get a feel for the music and vibe of the song it’s gonna be.

MC: With this new show for Totally Wired Radio on the very near horizon, do either of you feel that this could be the dawning of an opportunity to give the spoken word and music from yourselves and other similar artists a platform to reach out and bring it to a new audience?

Cherry:  It would be nice to think so. Poetry scares a lot of people, they think it’s boring or doesn’t mean anything, that’s why we value song lyrics, many are poems. Eddie Piller who runs Acid Jazz and TWR has always identified and valued diverse music. 

MC: For Peesh;  Having already been successful at doing your Psycho Radio show for a number of years, do you feel that this is a natural progression to what could be a wider audience?

Peesh:  It’s pretty much come out of the blue to be honest haha but it’s a great opportunity to have an eclectic show where we can both discuss some of our favourite artists lyrics. 

MC:  For Cherry;  I know that you have in the past appeared as a guest on many radio shows, but have you ever actually hosted your own show before? and if not, do you feel that this show as a duo is a chance to gain your own style and express what brings you joy in life.

Cherry:  I’ve not, but over the past year I have loved presenting my own live streams on Facebook, where I not only present my own spoken word pieces but also Cherry & Peesh and spoken covers of poems or songs. I often aim at a theme to bring these together and even had special guests sitting on the sofa with me (when we could), so I love being a presenter.

MC:  The title of the show is ‘Poetry Is The New Rock n Roll’ I would love if you can expand on why you chose this title and give us an insight into what you believe is the reason poetry should and could be the new Rock n Roll.

Cherry:  It’s named after one of our songs that challenges the stereotype of poetry being out of touch. It can be exciting, rebellious, musical, provocative and even sexy sometimes!!!

MC:  What can we expect from the show?   Sell it to our audience…

Cherry:  We are choosing songs and poems that lyrically we love and they span decades and genres. We look at what has influenced that song or poem, or even songs written about poems. We also incorporate our own skills, so I’ll be embracing the spoken word and Peesh will be playing some songs live. We want audience participation too, so would like some ideas and requests.

MC:  So do you have a date for the first show and where are we able to catch it, is it an internet led show only?   Can you let our audience know the best route to find the station and your show.

Cherry:  Our first show is Sunday 28th March at 9pm and it will be at the same time on the last Sunday of every month. It is an internet show, so you can find it on their webpage and go live from there or on the Tunein App. They have various social media sites too. But the shows will be uploaded to Mixcloud so you can catch up that way too.


Find Cherry and Peesh on their Facebook HERE

Totally Wired Radio can be checked out HERE