Spoken word

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David Shrigley and Malcolm Middleton – Music and Words

15 Dec 20142 stars

Middleton and Shrigley are capable of creating something much more subtle and powerful

When the first track of this collaboration between former Arab Strapper Malcolm Middleton and Glasgow School of Art alumnus David Shrigley was released, there was plenty to get excited about. ‘Story Time’ told the tale of a delightful wildlife scene…

Jean-Luc Guionnet/Éric La Casa — Home: Handover

12 Dec 20144 stars

Ambitious collaborative project of spoken word, field recordings, improvisation and sound art

To describe this ambitious, four-disc, multi-stage collaborative project in any detail would require a far larger space than the one this review inhabits. In brief, Home: Handover is an exploration of sanctuaries and private lives and acoustics, with…

Rally & Broad

5 Dec 2014

A busy end to a brilliant year for the spoken word event run out of Edinburgh

’We knew we wanted poetry and spoken word, but … even more so,’ says poet and spoken word performer Jenny Lindsay of her and Rachel McCrum’s fast-growing literary platform Rally & Broad, before going on to outline its manifesto-come-shopping list of…

Sleaford Mods – Broadcast, Glasgow, Wed 5 Nov

7 Nov 20144 stars

'21st century British frustrations with a style and intelligence that is at once commanding'

‘It's all so fucking boring’: just one of many spit-spattered phrases to be gobbed on one's face courtesy of Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson. But it's true. Or feels like it sometimes. In these times of constant information and 'trending', what actually…

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014: discussion events on modern arts and culture

31 Jul 2014

Featuring input from poet Ron Butlin, theatremaker Rachel Chavkin and artist Alec Finlay

As well as their by now renowned performance and visual arts programme during the festival, multi-arts venue and former veterinary college Summerhall will also be showcasing a number of discussions and workshops about topical subjects in arts and…

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Edinburgh Art Festival 2014: experience music and poetry in arty environments with Festival Detours

28 Jul 2014

Luke Wright, Meursault, Eilidh MacAskill and John Osborne prepare to perform in gallery settings

Detours is a series of live shows by music, poetry and theatre artists taking place in galleries across the city. As part of Edinburgh Art Festival, it aims to bring a new audience to visual art by transforming the traditional gallery space. This…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Yeti

26 Jul 2014

Performance poet Gary from Leeds bags some easy exposure with his Yeti Action Pack

We thought our last bribe – a handheld 8-bit gaming console – was lo-fi. Then we received Gary from Leeds' Yeti Action Pack: a slab of cotton wool, a twig and three numbered index cards. Rather than explain what each item did/does, Gary merely assured…

Longlist announced for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award 2014

23 Jul 2014

The award recognises Fringe shows that encourage audiences to consider their environmental impact

The shortlist for the Edinburgh Fringe Sustainable Practice Award, which celebrates the greenest and most sustainable shows of the fringe that encourage audiences to take responsibility for their own environmental impact, has been announced, with 22…

Big Fat Fringe Bribe blog 2014: Sweater Curse - a Yarn about Love

23 Jul 2014

A 'knitting obsessive' buys some exposure with handmade 'small dog sweaters'

Following Chelsea Manders' perhaps too valuable bribe, we were happy to receive something that had more of a homemade vibe to it. 'Writer / actor / obsessive knitter' Elaine Liner sent us an envelope stuffed with woollen wonders; were it not for her own…

Mini-festival Home Nations celebrates theatrical language from the UK

14 Jul 2014

Works by Seamus Heaney, Dylan Thomas, Carol Anne Duffy and Liz Lochhead will be performed

The idea for this mini-festival of plays from around the Home Nations began with Edwin Morgan’s Dreams and Other Nightmares by Liz Lochhead, says the Tron’s artistic director, Andy Arnold, with its ‘brilliance’ demanding he show it with the eyes of the…

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Rally & Broad: The Ampersand Edition

16 May 20144 stars

Ryan van Winkle, Ruth Mills and Lach take part in the spoken word cabaret's collaboration special

'Tonight is all about collaboration,' says Jenny Lindsay, one half of the evening's hosts Rally & Broad. Their regular cabarets of words, music and lyrical delights creates a string of unique events through the collision of a variety of people. The…

Kanye West plans spoken word album

28 Apr 2014

Music gossip

Kanye West is planning to release a spoken word album. The 'Bound 2' hitmaker will reportedly make the three-hour recording available on vinyl, and it will feature everything from his views on the environment to life with fiancee Kim Kardashian and…

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…

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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…

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…

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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…

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…