14 March 2011

Perfecting Prose

Dim lights, talented people, pro-dominantly red, fairy lights and candles. I started my Thursday evening attending Word is Bond and event organised by Arts University College at Bournemouth 2nd year students of the Arts Events Management course. Featuring the ingenious PIP Collective- Jodi Ann Bickley, Sabrina Mahfouz, Raymond Antrobus, Josh Idehen and Inua Ellams. Hosted by Alex Gwyther, also a part of the PiP Collective.
First to grace the stage was the lovely, slightly coy Jodi, with her Brummie accent she introduced herself through a poem. A lot of her stuff is based on love and her poem Hold Tight was a crowd favourite. She has a dream like ambiance and takes you on her journey through her carefully chosen words with out you even realising it. She is extremely captivating. The room was still, not a sound and her entrancing voice and soft nature allows you to really, truly feel everything she has written about . She makes you want to fall head-over-heels-madly-weak-in-the-knees in love. She is a very talented young lady that said however, the caliber of talent on the stage that night was really truly something special.
Sabrina Mahfouz, what can I say? I LOVE LOVE LOVE this girl. She is so in your face with regards to some of the things she talks about. She has a feminist view of things and some of her poetry really gets you in stitches. I love her poem Toilet Break where she writes about what happens in the ladies toilet. Only Sabrina can pull of using words like twat, dick, cock, fuck, 'tell me how you like to suck it', 'do you swallow?'. One thing that makes Sabrina stand out from other performers is her ability to change voice and accents really bringing the characters to life. She is running her play, Dry Ice, at the New Wimbledon Theatre from 20 April to 23 April 2011. Be sure to get your tickets. She is an amazing performer and any night spent watching this lyrical genius is a night worth living.
A little surprise, unexpected short performance from Belinda Zhawi was very well received. This Zimbabwean born goddess has a way with words and she enunciates every single word flawlessly and effortlessly making her set very soothing. Her Mother poem was very touching and when she speaks I just want to hug her. after these three lovely ladies finished their performances we had a 20 minute breather and a few beers. 
The second half of the evening was dominated by the men. Raymond Antrobus, was up on stage and his presence and charmingly good looks make him very easy to listen to and well, look at. This talented young man is off to Chicago to tour and do a few gigs in America and hopefully round up a good few followers. He is extremely passionate and loves every thing about poetry and prose. His on stage aura is always a little jittery but I think that is just because he always wants do his best and wants people to like him. He is a lovely guy and his poetry is something to get lost in. 

Joshua Idehen. WOW. What can I can really?! It is so tough to get across what seeing such amazing writers does to your soul. Josh is a joker and always is taken well by any crowd. He is so full of life, love and energy and this is portrayed through his genius writing capabilities. He is the front-man for the amazingly talented Benin Citythe host, co-founder and co-promoter of PoeJazzi as well as the founder of PiP (Poem inbetween People) which is labelled as 'London's hottest spoken-word talent' by The Times. I have three extremely favourite loves of his work. My Love- which was inspired by his disapproval of any 'real' love poems while watching Def Jam Poetry- in which Josh takes a stab and nailing the truths about loves and the heart with all it's fault. Secondly, Lost in The City which he writes about London as a metropolis and what London can do the soul or strongest of people and for any one who has lived in London will truly relate to this masterpiece of writing. Lastly, he has a poem about his Dad. And I am not going to lie but the first time I heard this poem I actually shed a tear, it is such an emotional poem written with such love and respect and you can't help but feel every emotion as he takes you through this story, however emotional you feel, you still laugh Josh still makes you laugh at some points which I think eases the emotive state of the audience or else, well basically, every one would be in tears. JOSH IDEHEN- if you ever see this name please go and watch him, you will not be sorry.

Lastly on the nights agenda was the lovely Inua Ellams. This beautiful Nigerian born wonder has such a way with words that you are fixated on his every one. He sold out at the Cottesloe, National Theatre for his play 14th Tale. His other book 13 Fairy Negro Tales, has great vector and I loved the graphics of this book and thought it would look great as a coffee table book. Inua is an extremely calm and passive performer and stresses pieces with use of great hand movements and gestures. This man is the Einstein of the Spoken Word scene. An extract. Enjoy.

Spokenword is like sex 
the more you listen
the better it gets. That’s why on long bus rides
I close my eyes and try to hear drumbeats
from Nigeria- the mother land calling.
I be like “yes mum, I’m hearing ya”
It’s like some ciphered world
with armies of sounds
and underground cultures
with talon-less vultures
trying to pierce my skin
and place talking drums within.
 But Hip Hop takes over
and my head bobs to the beat
of a different soldier
and it’s gotten colder
on this side of thought
‘cause now
I hear dreams money bought.

All in all the night was amazing, I can not believed it was organised from brainstorming to the actual event by University students- they can be extremely proud of their accomplishment. Every thing ran very smoothly and the venue and artists were incredible. I really find these Spokenword events very exciting and interesting I have always loved lyrics and this is a way to see great minds tickle and tease you through the inventive use of word play. If you have never experienced one of these events, you really should keep an eye open and if you are a new comer I suggest PoeJazzi or OneTaste as you get the mixture of spokenword as well as music. Well done to all the people involved and all the hard work that every one put in to it. Ace! 

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