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Rousing Performances at ReVerb Ignites

Steve Stroud

There are times when things are just against you. You need to be somewhere yet every set of traffic lights is on red, the traffic is moving at less that walking speed, and you’ve had a bad day at work that leaves you feeling lethargic, as if you can’t be bothered.

Well that was me on Friday night. The traffic for the fireworks was dense, traffic lights were letting 3 cars through at a time, and instead of continuing down to the Catholic Club on Queen Street for the first of a new regular Poerty/Music night, I could have quite easily just gone back home. But I didn’t, and let me tell you, the pay off was worth the pain.

ReVerb is the brain child of Adele and Steve from the Blackpool Dead Good Poets and Anna from the Gillespie’s Acoustic Club. This first venture, under the title ‘Re-Verb Ignites’ was put on as a proof of concept.

Steve Stroud
Steve Stroud

Being late meant I missed the first music act Shaun Kennion which was a pity because I was really looking forward to hearing him. I made just towards the end of the first poet of the evening, Steve Stroud. I know Steve and I am familiar with with work. A very strong writer with words that conjour images from deep within his mind. It had been a while since I’d seen him perform, however from the snippet I did catch it looks like his confidence has grown on stage. I’ve always like his heartfelt delivery that pulls you into his highly emotive pieces, only now he has added a sprinkle of showman ship which makes his performance more intense.

Next came the first of two sets from the headline music act the Blackaways. Setting up as a 3 piece with a lead singer/rhythm guitar, lead guitar/banjo/electric mandolin and a box drummer. We later discover that the drummer was a stand in as the original drummer had to attend a funereal.

Musically this group were solid. A mix of original compositions and cover version was took the crowd on a journey of folk, blues and skiffle. Toe tapping beats and some nifty finger work on the mandolin held tightly together by the front man strumming his acoustic and conducting breaks with professional ease. Personally I wasn’t taken by his vocals, but that’s a matter of taste. Judging by the smiles all around me, his energetic performance was very much to everyone’s liking.

Food and performance
Food and performance

After a short break out comes the headline spoken word artist, Rose Condo. A curious murmur set about the room as various items of food where laid out on at table in front of her. This curiosity turned to excitement as this lone performer, from the prairies of Canada, delivered her Edinburgh Fringe show ‘How To Starve An Artist.’

Starting off with an ironic piece about how to stop people growing up creative and thus removing all artist from society at source, Rose quickly has the audience captivated with a wonderful blend of preamble and poetry that merged together like a beautifully crafted monologue.

Claiming the show was a combination of her two great loves, spoken word and feeding people, Rose connected with the audience with more than just words, she actually prepared food. Sweets were handed rounds and open sandwiches were made while she told us how she had finally, after many years, made friends with her breasts.

Covering subjects of creativity, being who you are, homelessness and if you run out of a charity shop wearing a pair of their jeans but leave your old jeans behind, is it really stealing? Rose’s natural performance and her mastery of words (and the food, let’s not forget the food) hit home so hard that at the end the audience were on there feet applauding loudly.

The Blackaways came back to have the place bouncing to the beat and smiles decorated the faces of all that had come along. I personally thing the night was a raging success. So I advise keeping an eye out for the next one.

Images courtesy of Jill Reidy.

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