Last night, I popped down to London to watch some spoken word poetry at the Green Note in Camden and it was fantastic!
The event - Utter! Issues - was hosted by Richard Tyrone Jones and included sets from Hollie McNish, Kayo Chingonyi, Laurie Bolger and Alan Wolfson. Richard kicked things off with some excellent poetry from his own back-catalogue, before introducing Alan Wolfson, whose poetry wittily illuminated the perils and pleasures of growing old disgracefully.
Laurie Bolger was thoroughly excellent too, giving the audience a mixture of old and new material, and performing all my favourites, including her poem about shitty Shoreditch nightlife and some wicked new poems written for her new role as poet in residence at her local pub.
After the break, Kayo Chingonyi took to the stage, and his moving, lyrical poems really blew me away. Exploring themes of racism and identity with a insightful, thought-provoking set that few could match, he completely captivated the audience.
Finally, there was a set from the very lovely Hollie McNish. I've seen Hollie perform a lot now, but her poetry is always fresh, innovative and engaging. And last night was no different, with some fab poems about everything from family and motherhood, right through to Megatron and Optimus Prime!
Utter! events also include the traditional 'paid gig contest' - a mini slam for
budding performers, with a paid gig up for grabs as the prize for the
winner. Of course, I thought I'd give it a go!
The competition was fierce, with six of us jumping up on stage for our three minutes of fame, and there were fantastic performances from Dominic Stevenson, Ernie Burns, Tracy Starreveld, Paul Wady and Fikaye. At the end of the night I was completely delighted - and more than a little surprised - to be announced as the winner!
Which means I'll be doing a set at the next Utter! Spoken Word show, on Tuesday 18th November at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. I'll be supporting the likes of Rose Drew, Daisy T-G, and the BBC Edinburgh Slam Champion Sophia Walker, so it's going to be an amazing show.
So if you're in London on the 18th November and you fancy coming down, it'd be awesome to see some friendly faces in the audience! You can get early-bird tickets here.