DAVID and his VERSIFIER cd EYE 018 has its offical release at Arc in Dunedin Friday July 19 with muso's MARTIN PHILLIPPS, JAY CLARKSON, CHRIS MATTHEWS and TREVOR COLEMAN with his group. VERSIFIER is the umbrella title of performance poet DAVID EGGLETON's new album of words and music - a 12 track collaboration with a range of notable New Zealand musicians. It is DAVID EGGLETON's second CD release. His first CD POETRY DEMON came out in 1993 on Jayrem Records. His work has also been included on various CD and vinyl compilations.

VERSIFIER features musical contributions from JAY CLARKSON, MARTIN PHILLIPPS, JOOST LANGEVELD, JORDAN REYNE, MICHAEL MORLEY, TREVOR COLEMAN, DAVID DOWNES, MATTHEW ROBERTSON, and others. The tracks on VERSIFIER range from New Zealand soundscapes to country-tinged evangelical numbers to gothic anthems to electronica.

VERSIFIER is an album of diversity and versatility, rapping and riffing on the 101 agendas into which New Zealand society has fragmented in the past decade. DAVID EGGLETON has been described as a beatnik bop poet, performing to jazz with the perpetual motion of a jiver down at a rock and roll dance-hall on Saturday night. He's a passionate poet. His poetry, "simultaneously surreal and hard-edged" uses symbols which have emotional resonance. His visionary satire draws on the 1930s surrealists, the 1950s beats, the 1970s punks, and the 1990s rappers. He's a visible ghost-writer, an anonymous voice-over, a shape-shifting poet in the street - a freestyling surrealist and lyrical word-spinner rhyming to a rhythmic beat.

DAVID EGGLETON's exuberant language, sense of humour, and skilful way with rhythms and rhymes, mark him out as one of New Zealand's more colourful and dynamic poets. His startling, and sometimes dazzling, patterns of imagery capture a strong sense of the fragmented and accelerated world we find ourselves inhabiting today.

DAVID EGGLETON began reciting his poetry in the New Zealand rock music scene of the early eighties, and he has since toured on the cabaret circuit in Australia, the United States, Europe and Britain, where he won the London Time Out Street Entertainer of the Year Award for Poetry. These days he regularly performs his poetry in schools, universities, pubs, clubs and cafes all over New Zealand. His first poetry collection, South Pacific Sunrise was co-winner of the PEN Best First Book of Poetry Award in 1987. A 1996 video: For Arts Sake - Art and Politics - Performance Poet David Eggleton won First Prize for TV Arts Documentary in the Qantas Media Awards 1997.

"A very good poet...examination of his work reveals him to have a fine way with words, and with words ably directed at his main obsession, New Zealand" David Quantock, New Musical Express.

"A hilarious subverter of language, sublime, funny..." Bill Direen, NZ Listener.

"A poetry of inclusion and affirmation...with an ability to fully depict the multi-faceted nature of a country" Bede Scott, Quote Unquote magazine.

"A dynamic, forceful, up-to-the-minute bard" Iain Sharp.

"Mindblowingly unadulterated brilliance" Kapka Kassabova, Critic.

"Surely one of New Zealand's finest living poets" James Hadley, Encore magazine.

"Easily one of New Zealand's best poets, and a mesmerising performer to boot" Tom Cardy, Wellington Evening Post..




4/5 stars

I have a photo, taken in the early '80s, of poet David Eggleton on stage at the Empire Tavern. Resplendent in multi-striped jersey, drainpipes and wrap-around shades, he stands hunched over a Casiotone keyboard, providing supporting electronica for his stage partner Otis Mace, Guitar Ace. Judging by the drum kit in the background they, in turn, were providing support for the Double Happies.

Eggleton's zealous performance on that night drew strength from rock'n'roll vitality; his rapping and jiving riffs jagging at acute angles in the same way that noisy guitars reflected off the bricks in the tiny pub. He was then, and is now, a collaborator.

With Versifier, Eggleton revels in that spirit of collaboration, happy to let his words share time and space with music from the likes of Jordan Reyne, Martin Phillipps, Trevor Coleman, Jay Clarkson, Mochael Morley and Joost Langeveld. The resultant mix is as diverse a range of sounds as you could hope to hear, and it is this multiplicity of ideas that keeps you engaged, ready to hear how Eggleton will present his next surreal snapshot.

This ever-changing soundscape allows the poet to try styles of delivery you won't hear in dry reading. Where once the word-play tumbled from him so fast you were overwhelmed, there is here a more considered approach.
Clever, fun, and funky, this is a unique vehicle for Eggleton's subversive and insightful reflections on our peculiar world view. 

-Jeff Harford