Music to ears of Sheffield poetry lovers

Little Machines, who are bringing their history of poetry to Sheffield's Off the Shelf festival
Little Machines, who are bringing their history of poetry to Sheffield's Off the Shelf festival
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A PERFORMER who cut his teeth on Sheffield’s music scene is bringing a sell-out poetry show to the city.

Former University of Sheffield student Walter Wray and bandmates Steve Halliwell and Chris Hardy, known collectively as Little Machine, are set to take Sheffield by storm when they take to the stage with EPIC! – A Mad Dash through the History of Poetry tomorrow night.

The band, whose unique brand of poetry and music have attracted praise from poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, will embark on a journey through 3,000 years of poetry in one hour.

Beginning with the epic poems of Homer from the 8th century BC, the trio travel through time to Anglo-Saxon Britain, to Shakespearean sonnets, the era of the romantics and right up to modern day. The extracts come thick and fast, with interesting facts interspersed with some of the world’s most celebrated works.

Little Machine - whose appearance is part of Sheffield’s literary festival Off the Shelf - have played to packed-out crowds at Manchester and Cheltenham literature festivals and recently appeared on BBC News to celebrate National Poetry Day.

Walter, who lived in Sheffield for a decade before leaving for London, said: “In the 80s, it had a fantastic music scene, it was a great time to be around. I played in a few heavy rock bands until I was headhunted and went down to London.

“The band formed with the idea of some famous poems to music. We have two on guitar and one instrumentalist. Some poems are set to rock, some which have a folky sound and others that sound like something from a Victorian musical. It’s fun and it’s fast - as we’ve got 3,000 years to get through in an hour. I’m really looking forward to coming back to Sheffield and performing.”

EPIC! will be performed at Sheffield Hallam University building The Hubs at 8pm tomorrow.

For ticket information visit or call 0114 273 4400.