Dylan Thomas once, when describing A Visit to America, referred to the list of visiting lecturers to include “…fat poets with slim volumes…”. Tony Webb is a well built man and his first book of poems, lyrics and short stories – Down a Sparrow Lane – is certainly fatter than Dylan’s 18 Poems.
Nonetheless it is a delightful read which draws on his past and particularly his years of growing up in the east of Swansea. The book launch at the Brunswick in Swansea was a memorable evening of music, readings and laughter. All the better for the introduction by poet Malcolm Parr being half way through the evening on account of him disappearing to the loo.
Tony is perhaps better known as the front man for the Swansea folk/rock band Sparrow Lane and the book contains a number of lyrics to songs that he has written. The short stories include He Only Swore in Welsh which tells of his early life living close to his grandfather.
Unlike Dylan’s obtuse early poems Tony’s are easy to understand and are drawn from a lifetime living in Swansea.
Even his adventures further afield as in London, New Year’s Eve convince him there is no place like home. And home is not all roses – The Boy in the Subway is a tale of our time – sad and haunting.
Tony will be appearing at the Dylan Thomas Birthplace in October – don’t miss it!