Wednesday 19th April, Drygate, Glasgow.
Sonnet Youth bills itself as a spoken word house party and the launch of Season 2 was no exception. Cat Hepburn and Kevin P Gilday have been running these nights for over a year and while they work closely with the local community, hosting poetry events for the 16 and up age range, Drygate seems to be where they are most at home.
Cat started off with a poem about being out of her nut at T-In-The-Park : a fun start to the evening, after all, losing a pal, taking poppers and having a disappointing sexual encounter in a tent is something we can all relate to.
Next up was Aidan Rivett, relatively new to poetry in comparison to the performers on after him but you wouldn’t have known. Trotting out a mix of tried-and-tested and new material, his set almost seemed professional. What I like about Aidan is his jump between the serious and the absurd. Call me old fashioned but when dealing with heavy topics like depression or Oasis, a bit of humour is always needed to get the crowd on side. Spending a great deal of time on his back, reading poetry to the ceiling, he finished off with a poem about hangovers, quite rightly dedicated to Gilday – the king of self-hatred and vomit.
Kate Tough got a lot of laughs in her set. I’ve always thought found poetry to be hit or miss: hats off to Kate for taking a text called ‘basic horse law’ then substituting the word ‘horse’ for ‘sphincter’. After watching her performance, I would love to read some of her fiction and poetry, which is available from Freight books & Amazon online.
Last in the first half was comedian Kimmy Louden who chatted about feminism, ecstasy and her ingenious idea for a dating app – Dick Advisor. Maybe the most impressive thing about her set was how she manged to use the word ‘slag’ at a poetry night without the world ending – who knew? I’ll be looking out for her on future bills and I would encourage you to do the same.
The Creative Martyrs are a musical/comedy duo who play the ukulele and the cello while singing politically charged lyrics that cover topics like whether it’s ok to punch a Nazi in the face, bombing for peace, and bumming. Stepping away from the mic they easily managed to control the room, creating their own atmosphere. Regulars on the Edinburgh fringe, these two fine gentlemen showcased their performance chops, with a healthy dose of crowd interaction and lashings of face paint.
Colin McGuire read excerpts from his long-form show “Wake Up” with musical interludes, costume (he was dressed in his PJ’s) and props (he had a duvet and pillow). McGuire has always been a master at bridging the gap between page and stage, creating poetry which works just well as delicately crafted verse as it does being shouted to a pub of drunken revellers. Continuing to go from strength to strength, Colin shows no signs of calling it a night any time soon.
Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 treated Sonnet Youth to an acoustic set, pleased to have a few less members on stage, front man Colonel John Mustard informed the crowd that they could play some songs that don’t normally get to, as not everyone in the band enjoys them. Getting the crowd to their feet, the whole room danced from one end of Drygate to the other and back again to The Dijon’s current single ‘Cross the Road’.
A great night and well worth the door price. Peace, Love and Mustard.
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