Spoken word

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The Accelerator

24 Jan 2014

Poetry night that organisers Jem Rolls and Bram E Gieben hope will get up to speed

The Accelerator is a new Edinburgh and Glasgow performance poetry night run by Jem Rolls and Bram E Gieben. ‘We want to be the highest energy night around,’ says Rolls, describing the pair’s vision for the event. ‘We want it to be poetic, theatrical…

Hot 100 2013: 59-50

11 Dec 2013

Young Fathers, LuckyMe and Rally & Broad among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Scotland's spoken word scene in rude health

14 Oct 2013

Rally & Broad's Rachel McCrum has a look at the country's thriving spoken word scene

This August, for the second year running, the official Fringe programme included a section specifically for spoken word. The 67 shows included are certainly a little footloose with their definition of spoken word: spot on the mark with original shows…

Scroobius Pip - Words

22 Aug 20134 stars

Spoken word mastery

A dark figure walks onto the stage to the boisterous cheers and applause of a packed crowd. With his black leather jacket, black slacks and long black beard, Scroobius Pip exudes an obscure aura and powerful charisma which instantly captures the…

5 of the best spoken word events at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

1 Aug 2013

Featuring Ross Sutherland, Liz Lochhead and Norwegian troupe Ljodahått

Foreigner Go Home (With Me!) Described by critics as an 'awkward teenager' with 'wisdom beyond her years', UK Poetry Slam champion Stephanie Chan tells of moving to London from a small island in the Far East in a quest for knowledge, power, revolution…

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Writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz presents Superbard: The Flood

1 Aug 2013

The multimedia spoken word performance will take place at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013

Superbard, a futuristic storyteller played by writer, composer and performer George Lewkowicz, returns for his fourth consecutive Fringe appearance with this spoken-word show, imagining an apocalyptic future through stories of characters surviving in a…

LeithLate - various venues, Edinburgh, Thu 13 Jun 2013

17 Jun 20134 stars

Sterling art and music evening based on and around Leith Walk

If there’s one criticism of LeithLate, it’s that there’s not enough time to take it all in. With performances and exhibitions taking place in 17 venues on and around Leith Walk, three hours is nowhere near enough time to get a taste of everything. You…

Queer Spoken Word Out:Spoken

11 Jun 2013

'A space where queer poets can be unafraid, proud, and celebrated'

‘Spoken word has always been an artform that’s about disruption, speaking from the margins, and shouting the unspoken,’ says poet Harry Giles. Writer and performer Wendy Miller agrees: ‘All art should set out to be queer on some level, in that it should…

Hot 100 2012: 100-90

11 Dec 2012

JK Rowling, Tilda Swinton and Andrew Fairlie among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2012

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2012, you'll find them here.

Tips for performing at poetry and spoken word open mic nights

26 Nov 2012

Advice on how to make your poetry reading debut go well

Reading your own poems out loud to a room full of strangers might sound terrifying. Having done it a few times myself, I can confirm that it is. But with the number of poetry open mic nights in Scotland increasing, sometimes eclipsing their musical…

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Spoken word and live literary events in Scotland

2 Nov 2012

An overview of live literary events including Inky Fingers, Unbound and Neu! Reekie!

Where once the poetry slam was the Scots wordsmith’s destination of choice for public verbosity, there are now a growing number of spoken word readings at everything from book festivals to DIY venues. Aspiring writers are quickly catching on to a…

Shane Koyczan: Talk-Rocker

30 Aug 20124 stars

Canadian spoken word poet conjures tears as well as belly ache laughs

Canadian spoken-word poet Shane Koyczan combines poetry with anecdotes to create an hour of word-wending magic that conjures tears as well as belly-ache laughs. Evocatively he recalls the loneliness of growing up, the bedroom monsters of his childhood…

Luke Wright: Your New Favourite Poet

24 Aug 20124 stars

Rock’n’roll tour de force of performance poetry

Despite the title of Luke Wright’s show this year, he doesn’t mind if he’s not quite your new favourite poet. Being second to Larkin is not, he concedes, to be sneezed at. I’m not quite sure he really occupies the same niche as the post-war poet…

Red, Like Our Room Used to Feel

20 Aug 20125 stars

Inspirational one-on-one poetry experience with Ryan Van Winkle

Poetry readings have often suffered from small audiences. Ryan Van Winkle has worked that to his advantage: the size of the audience for Red, Like Our Room Used To Feel is precisely one. And that’s why it works. There is nothing scary or awkward…

New 'Spoken Word' category houses some of the finest acts of Fringe 2012

27 Jul 2012

Performers in the new strand include Luke Wright, Mark Grist, Alex Keelan and Claire Mooney

‘People still think it’s going to be “Charge of the Light Brigade” by a bloke in a suit,’ Luke Wright crackles down the phone to me. He’s sitting in the pub where he’s working on a new show with Mark Grist, a teacher turned rap battler and fellow…

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Cargo Publishing launch a new crowd-sourced audiobook

25 Nov 2011

Glasgow-based publishing house use social media to find new readers

Publishing has seen all sorts of breakthroughs in the last few years, with a wide variety of exciting e-book projects springing up. But, as interactive as these projects promise to be, they rarely capture the aural tradition of storytelling, and the…

Interview: Henry Rollins on his eating habits

16 Aug 2011

Rollins set for Edinburgh Festival Fringe spoken word show

What time is breakfast? Even though I am not hungry when I get up, I try to eat to get me ready for the day. Within an hour of getting up. Tea or coffee? Both. Usually tea in the morning, coffee after that. Smoking or non-smoking? Non.

Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat - Everything’s Getting Older

25 Apr 20114 stars

A great jazz, folk and spoken word collaboration

(Chemikal Underground) Lovers of a collaboration both – Bill Wells with The Pastels and Isobel Campbell among others, Aidan Moffat with the likes of Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite and FOUND – it was really only a matter of time before this pair got it…

Edinburgh's Let’s Get Lyrical festival celebrates the art of the song lyric

3 Feb 2011

Highlights include lectures on disco lyrics and Bob Dylan

This month-long celebration of song lyrics keeps on rolling with a bunch of superb events across the capital. Among the many highlights on offer are Naturally Lyrical at Royal Botanical Garden, an exhibition which looks at songs that deal directly with…

Hole In My Pocket mark Pope's Scottish visit by starting their own church

22 Sep 2010

Eilidh MacAskill and the Parsonage choir appear at Arches event

Inspired by the papal visit, Allistair Burt, more usually known as an architect and the brains behind Glasgow blog Southside Happenings, has just started his own religion. ‘With the Pope being in town, it just seemed like the perfect time,’ says the…

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Words Per Minute 5

20 Aug 2010

There’s life in Glasgow again, as the spoken word, film, music and performance event goes for broke with an all-lady line-up. Zorras, Eilidh MacAskill (of Eilidh’s Daily Ukulele Ceilidh fame, pictured) and Kirsty Logan are all present and correct – look…

Havers and Blethers brings new spoken-word show to Edinburgh

16 Aug 2010

Daily show features writers, poets, actors and musicians

One of the great things about this time of year is the number of off-Fringe festivals that spring up, like this daily spoken-word-based show, hosted by Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard and featuring writers, poets, actors and musicians performing short…

Skint & Demoralised

19 Feb 2009

Wakefield/Sheffield duo Skint & Demoralised’s stuff at first sounds like a shamelessly derivative take on The Streets’ geezery ruminations on life and love, sung in an Arctic Monkeys-esque brash northern lilt and produced in the Mark Ronson…

The Big Word

10 Apr 2008

Sad times indeed, as it falls on us to announce the last ever night of Edinburgh’s spoken word cabaret institution The Big Word, which was started ten years ago by the now-mythical performance poet Jem Rolls. Over the last decade the night has proved…

Aidan John Moffat - I Can Hear Your Heart

31 Jan 20084 stars

(Chemikal Underground) SPOKEN WORD Sometimes a relationship has run its course and all you can do is split up, something former Arab Strappers Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton know all too well. Since going their separate ways, Middleton has…