Rally & Broad
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 ideas. ‘Music, tunes and lyrical delight, in all possible forms. A platform for new writers alongside established acts. Proper fees for all performers. Bigger audiences for spoken word by promoting the heck out of it. Authors, poets, dancers, theatre-makers, musicians, all sharing a stage for the evening. Gender-balanced billing. Politically engaged work.’
It’s been going well so far. The pair met in 2011 and started R&B in Edinburgh the next year, with that self-funded night having come so far that it co-hosted Kate Tempest’s book launch last month. Now with a bit of funding behind it, they’ve inaugurated a monthly Glasgow night which will run into next year. ‘Key to our plans is making the scene sustainable,’ says Lindsay. ‘We've both seen too many acts disappear from the Scottish scene, often to London, due to a lack of appreciation of the importance of supporting Scottish spoken-word artists and promoters.’ There will also be masterclasses and hopefully a tour in 2015.
This month will end 2014 in particularly busy style, with two touring dates as part of Home Straits, the finale of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming; Never Mind the Fullstops at the Bongo Club, pitting Team Rally (Jenny Lindsay, Paula Varjack, Toby Mottershead) against Team Broad (Rachel McCrum, Michael Pedersen, Chrissy Barnacle) in a literary quiz battle; and nic-e melville, Zara Gladman & The Wee Terrors, Sam Small, Leo Glaister and Becci Wallace at the Hangover Special in Glasgow.
Tolbooth, Stirling, Thu 11 Dec: Byre, St Andrews, Sun 14 Dec; Bongo Club, Edinburgh, Fri 18 Dec; Stereo, Glasgow, Sun 28 Dec.