High Energy Poetry Cabaret @ The Jazz Bar, 15 May

Article by Ellis Falconer | 24 Apr 2008
  • High Energy Poetry Cabaret

The Edinburgh performance poetry scene’s longest-running night went out with a bang last month, as the mighty Big Word took a bow after a strong, thirteen year run that covered Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. Host Jenny Lindsay presided over a crew of some of the finest Scottish performers to have graced the Big Word stage, and a teary goodbye was bid by all.

But wait! It seems the end of Big Word does not necessarily mean a dearth of good performance poetry gigs – far from it. Besides Anita Govan’s awesome VoxBox nights at The Mercat Bar, there are loads of independent gigs coming up, the first of which sees some of the key Big Word players reuniting for another blowout at The Jazz Bar.

Big Word founder and uber-successful touring poet Jem Rolls headlines, premiering his new one-hour touring show, How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Mall. Jem says he has learned and integrated some new techniques into his live show: “…from clowning to theatre, and from stand-up to dance and song.”

This is a show not to be missed, from the man The Scotsman called “The Godfather of Scottish performance poetry.” His intense, intelligent and hilariously funny verbal feats of derring-do have to be seen and heard to be believed. “I see performance poetry as a new medium where no-one has written the rules yet,” says Jem. “There is therefore a lot of new ground which no-one has yet ventured into.” Jem treads fearlessly on that new ground: an intrepid explorer armed only with verbs, nouns, and loud shirts.

Jem’s show will be accompanied by a performance by Big Word host Jenny Lindsay. Her verses are often acerbic, sometimes romantic, rabble-rousing and politically weighty, but always elegant and intoxicating. Regular Big Word attendees will not want to miss this rare opportunity to see Jenny perform a solo show.

The bill is rounded off by underground sensations The Chemical Poets, who recently ripped it up at the Acoustic Café, right here beneath Skinny Towers at Out of the Blue. Featuring members of bands Sileni, Burning Bright, Double Helix, Underling and Kresch, this apocalyptic soundclash between hip-hop and poetry is a must-see. Get your tickets now for a lyrical cabaret to end all lyrical cabarets. From Big Word... to Immense Word!

8pm, £4 / £3