This past week I have had the pleasure, nay, the privilege to catch five of the finest spoken word artists in the UK.
Scroobius Pip is zig-zagging across the country as we speak. He brought to York the wordsmith PolarBear and speaking siren Kate Tempest. I’ve seen PolarBear a few times, but he performed a collection of new work which genuinely overshadowed his older material. His older stuff is generally story-based, but his new stuff had this charm of being about stories. I’ve seen Kate doing a scratch of Brand New Ancients, so it was a treat to see her poems and Sound of Rum raps in a gig context. Then of course, the man himself, Mr Pip, doing his gloomy-yet-honed spoken word. Then last night I was invited to compere Sticks & Stones. The weather dented the crowd somewhat but everyone there was up for a good night. Sally Jenkinson, a poet I’ve not heard before, have a lovely intimate style. But, for me personally, all four of these names are eclipsed by Inua Ellams. Not necessarily because of any specific poem or writing style or deliver, but Inua has trailblazed this fusion of spoken word, poetry and theatre with his shows The 14th Tale, Untitled and Knightwatch. I haven’t been able to see any of them sadly, but his craftsmanship is undeniable in whatever genre he works within.
So 2013 is coming close. I fully intend to Raise My Game. To take on all quarters. To get more gigs, do more events and perform at more festivals. So…book me please?