Soapbox – 27/2/14

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A couple of days before the event, I noticed that there was an open mic night called Soapbox on at the Pleasance Courtyard which had the theme ‘Scotland’.

I immediately applied for a spot, thinking I could do it as Nob Stewart but when I got a reply saying that I got one, I thought about it and on the morning of the event I decided to write a poem about Scottish Independence, so I popped down to the local library to do so.

I get a bit frustrated when I hear about people talking about Politics as I don’t share the idea that we should be ‘governed‘ in the way that we are, so you could say my poem reflected that and because of that I was a bit nervous about performing it.

On arriving I was met at the door by the lovely Reyyan who asked me if I was performing as myself or Nob. I told her it was just my good self and she didn’t seem too disappointed. In fact, she had a good feel of my hair and told me she had the same kind but I guess we’ll just have to take her word for that. I should probably use a scarf to cover up mine as well. 🙂

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As I made my way to the bar I heard someone say “Hi Billy” and on turning round I was very happy to see Anita Govan who I bumped into a couple of months ago at Henry’s Cellar Bar but never had much of a chance to talk to her that night as I had to run for my train.

Anita was actually one of the founders of the Spoken Word scene in Edinburgh way back in the day when I first started performing poetry. Along with Jem Rolls she ran a night called Big Word that was very successful and she has went on to earn a full time living from performing and teaching poetry. Not an easy thing to do in this financial climate. It was a pleasure to share her company for the night.

We were joined by a German girl called Catherine who has come to Edinburgh to do a pHD and who seemed to write down more words about every act than the act actually spoke on stage. She was interested in the differences between the audiences in different Scottish cities. I told her what Glasgow audiences were like and she said she would have to visit there one day, so I wished her luck. 😉

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The night was hosted by Miko who is a founding member of the Loud Poets collective. They won Lach’s Superhoot a couple of months ago and they had a very successful launch night of Loud Poets just a week ago.

He done a great job of hosting Soapbox. He was relaxed and a very natural compere, setting up the energy of the room very well and keeping the evening flowing nicely, while throwing in a couple of his own poems at the appropriate juncture.

They had two featured poets who were Janette Ayachi and Anna Moora who both done a good job with their 15 minute sets. Indeed all the acts were very well received and as I had a nice vantage point I set my camcorder up and videoed the whole show.

So here it the evening in full in a playlist.
The performers were Miko, Colin McGuire, Max Scratchmann, Tracey S. Rosenberg, Alec Beattie, Taylor, Rachel Rankin, Matt McDonald, Johnny Rhodes, Freestyler and Anna Moora.

I was last of the pre-arranged acts to go on but before I did Miko read out a list of the audiences favourite Scottish words or phrases. I have included the last one on the video below as it is an absolute peach. lol.

Then I hit the stage to deliver my poem. Earlier in the evening Miko had said that after they announced the theme of Scotland they realised that people may argue about Independence but he defended anyone’s right to say what they felt and if people didn’t agree then they should talk with the poet afterwards if they had any real beef about it.

Of course, this is only right as we have to be able to express ourselves freely, otherwise what’s the point? I understand though that my poem, like this guys point of view, could be a bit controversial but felt glad that he had pointed that out beforehand and so went ahead and read it although that didn’t stop my hand from shaking as I did. lol.

After I was on there was an open mic section where Anita Govan, Lewis Brown, and Lexe performed.

And with Lexe’s poem the evening drew to a close. It was a fun night and I was thankful to be part of it. They must have had about 100 people there which is no mean feat for a spoken word night. If they’ll have me back, I may send Nob the next time. Who knows? Maybe it’ll depend on what the theme is for the next one. 😉

Check them out on Facebook and come along and support the evening if you can.

The Photos

Cheers!

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