Late Night Tales


Hello. I’ve been doing a bit of writing the last two or three years, ever since I was on the train on the way to Canterbury for teacher training, and I realised the name of the estate agent I used to deliver leaflets for would make for a good punning title for a story. A few hours later “Chard Times” was born, in lieu of an essay…

Well, its been exciting, I always feel better, like I have a reason when I have completed a story. I did “Come On Down” this morning. Have a look.

The point of this post is, that after years of bad attempts, plagiarism and piss-poor writing it has come together in some form. I was then extremely flattered and very grateful that the gentlemen in Friendly Fires asked me to contribute a story for their “Late Night Tales” compilation. 

I thought “Flat Of Angles” the most suitable, as it deals with that strange period back at individual houses after some sort of gathering, party… I submitted a remix of that, and waited for the approval from the lads, and…

Benedict Cumberbatch. I didn’t know his work, but when I looked him up, I was humbled and feared-up. “Frankenstein” at the National. Oh shit, he, won’t dig my stuff. But he did – I couldn’t be happier, that was such an amazing feeling, I can’t describe it. That’s the bad writing again. 

When I met him I accidentally called him “Ben” in the confusion, I had tried to look writerly – hat, briefcase, London Review of Books, Nabakov in pocket. He was very friendly, just “got” all the references I thought no-one would, and performed it incredibly – really got into subtleties in the text I didn’t realise were there.

A Coke can fizzed its way onto the track. He said “I’ll leave that out here. No Coke for me until I’m finished.”

There was much more chat, but I’ll leave it there.

Buy Friendly Fires’ “Late Night Tales.” Out worldwide on CD, download and vinyl. November 5th 2012.


PS. He nailed “Spare Change Man” and Tim, and Doug, having never met them.


12 thoughts on “Late Night Tales

  1. Hi.
    Thank you for sharing your lovely experience.
    Downloaded your work right after the release.
    Mr. Cumberbatch is a truly amazingly talented person, isn’t he?
    Really looking forward to Flat Of Angels part 2.

    • Hello,

      Thank you very much for your comment and support – it is much appreciated! Mr Cumberbatch is fantastic, a really amazing person, and a privilege to work with. Glad you are enjoying the piece!


  2. Pingback: 2013/06/15 : Benedict reads Flat of Angles pt2 on Royksopp’s Late Night Tales | Cumberbatch infobank

  3. Pingback: 2013/11/11 : Benedict reads Flat of Angles (Part 3) on Bonobo’s Late Night Tales | Cumberbatch infobank

  4. Hi.
    I’ve just listened to the stories read by Benedict Cumberbatch. It sounds fantastiс! He has such a pleasant voice.
    Dropped in here to find the text to check myself whether I got everything right.
    I’m from Russia and I wonder if there is a mistake in the story of your encounter with Benedict when you write “Nabakov in pocket”. Did you mean NabOkov?

  5. Hey Simon,

    I love this piece! Been listening to it again and again and again. But where is part 4? Benedict is amazing!

      • Many thanks for your reply. I downloaded the narrated version last week from iTunes. It’s great. You’ve got to write more!

  6. Pingback: 2014/04/02 : Benedict reads Flat of Angles (Part 4) on Django Django’s Late Night Tales | Cumberbatch infobank

  7. Mr. Cleary, I’ve now listened to the entirety of the “Late Night Tales” version of your poem. It was really brilliant, and of course, brilliantly read. One of the fun things I’ve found about being a fan of Mr. Cumberbatch is that he’s led me into a wide variety of wonderful things that are interesting and worthy of pursuing. (Other actors to follow, Cabin Pressure, I’d probably not have seen “Fifth Estate” if he wasn’t in it, and your work is wonderful, etc.) I wondered if you ever posted a copy of the poem, as read, on this site. (I read it in the original form here and I read that you re-worked it for the album.) Also, did you ever write about why you made the changes that you did? Thanks for any feed back you feel willing to share. Thanks also for sharing your work here. This is a wonderful site. Do you have any of your work published anywhere other than the poem that Mr. Cumberbatch read? We have a local poet that reads at our library (in CT) but I can’t connect with her work. Maybe it’s that I’m the wrong age bracket– she’s much older than I am, and we grew up on different coasts? I don’t know. But what you write makes a lot more sense to me… on a gut level. Again, thanks for sharing.- Clare

    • Hello Clare, thank you for your words. I often don’t connect with poetry, but I felt that I somehow liked it – which was why I had to write my own. And I try to write “on the gut level.” It flows through me, and only makes sense that way. Its not from me, but somehwere else. Simon.

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