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, comedic, physical, beautiful, visceral, smart, dumb. We want to present the highest quality at its most diverse.’
The List attended their first Edinburgh show, and felt that it didn’t quite meet the organisers' aims. The choice of performers and poems could be more discerning, but there was a buzz to the evening and Rolls and Gieben were friendly and engaging MCs. The cosy Canons’ Gait was packed with an eager audience and the set began with Rolls’ energetic ode to performance poetry, before moving onto Colin McGuire’s social commentaries. 'The Social Science of Sorry' (a funny take on British manners) and 'Gymnauseum' (a look at our body obsession) were great pieces of satire, with 'Lady Nervosa' asking ‘does my soul look big in this?’
A handful of poems were forgettable and too many picked easy targets, raising laughs but not amounting to much. The exuberant and angry pieces could do with a measured delivery and would be more powerful for it. The star of the evening was JL Williams, with a pitch-perfect delivery that had the audience hanging on every dreamy word. Her poems were beautiful and mythic, conjuring evocative imagery that filled the room with magic. It’s early days yet, and The Accelerator could well prove to be something special.
The Canons’ Gait, Edinburgh, Wed 12 Feb; The Roxy 171, Glasgow, Thu 13 Feb.