Tony Walsh is a Prestwich-based, Denton-born performance poet who performs regularly in the north-west, nationally and beyond. From his first open mic event at The Briton’s Protection pub in 2004 he has quickly become “one of the UK’s most renowned performance poets” whilst picking up the Longfella monicker along the way - due to his height of 6 feet 5.
Performing everywhere from Wythenshawe to Warsaw, Tony has performed at many music festivals including Glastonbury, The Big Chill, Latitude, Wychwood, Kendal Calling, Shambala and Electric Picnic in Ireland. Along the way he has appeared in poetry line-ups alongside Patti Smith and Lenny Kaye, John Cooper Clarke, Saul Williams, Henry Rollins, John Hegley, Attila the Stockbroker, Lemn Sissay and many others.
In 2011 he had the honour of being the official website poet in residence for Glastonbury Festival from where he performed his poetry on BBC6Music with Cerys Matthews and BBCRadio2 with Jo Whiley as well as on local radio and tv. A further Glastonbury poem was published in the rock magazine Q.
"Some poets can make you laugh, a few can make you cry but only a handful can do both. By all accounts, Tony Walsh is one such poet, a poet who "...takes audiences on a rock 'n'' rollercoaster ride from comedy to tragedy, from the deadly serious to the seriously deadly." Splitting your sides AND breaking your heart? Be warned - this guy should come with a health warning!" Glastonbury Festival, 2011
"The Fly is a music magazine, for sure, but in Tony Walsh’s lone voice, we discover more music than a thousand orchestras could muster. Utterly mesmerising and unforgettable... " The Fly magazine, Big Chill 2009
“Masterful and empowering, a people's champion of poets, Tony Walsh is renowned as one of the UK's leading voices in performance poetry. Tony speaks to the heart of the nation with a Manchester twang and a touch of Indie wildness." conwyfeast.co.uk
A massive music fan and long-term supporter of the Music Archive, Tony began his gig-going in 1979 and was soon hanging around the back of Manchester Apollo where he met bands like the Ramones, the Stranglers, The Skids and even shared a can of McEwan’s lager with a young Paul Weller of the Jam as described here. From there he was a regular face on the city’s gig and club scene across the 80s and 90s at venues including the Boardwalk, the International 1&2, Cyprus Tavern, Berlin, The Venue, The Asylum, Isadoras, The Roadhouse and many more. Tony was in the tiny audience at the Hacienda in 1983 (not 1985!) when German noise terrorists Einsturzende Neubauten infamously took a pneumatic drill to the club wall and he has long promised to put right some myths about the event in a write up for the Archive. Watch this space!
Tony can still be spotted regularly around town appearing at poetry, acoustic, comedy and cabaret nights and appeared with Frank Sidebottom at The Green Room shortly before his recent tragic death.
In 2009 his rabble rousing slam poem “Rock n Roll” was published in California in the anthology “Punk Rock Saved My Ass.” More recently, his epic, all-things-Manchester poem, “Raindance” was first heard and has been raising the roof at venues around the city ever since, steeped as it is in the city’s musical, political and sporting folklore, inspired by a chance conversation with Mark E Smith of the mighty Fall in the King’s Arms in Salford. Raindance should get a commercial release in 2011/12.
Tony’s website, all links and the chance to buy his special edition Glastonbury cd can be found at