Upon my return,
I held a page in my palm
tracing my fingers
across its lines
‘where do I begin?’
‘the origin of pain.’
©Assumpta Ozua 2016
On Tuesday 29th March 2016, the juggernaut that is Out-Spoken (a night of poetry and live music), helmed by the brilliant Anthony Anaxagorou, Karim Kamar, Sam Broomfield and John Berkavitch, celebrated its 4th birthday. I feel I lack the appropriate superlatives to suitably describe the night but let me be clear that it was an evening very well spent. I’ll try my best to recount it for you.
All of the acts impressed. The evening began with a courageously honest performance by the floor spot; Ruth Awolola. I think Joelle Taylor described it best when she said Ruth shared “a lifetime of words in just 5 minutes”. She was followed by a young lady I am proud to call my friend; Theresa Lola – who always leaves me full of mirth and suitably inspired by her beautiful poetry and her controlled but powerful performance.
After Theresa came Jodi Ann Bickley, the bestselling author of One Million Lovely Letters. Centered around [first] love, her baby and her mother, Jodi’s poetry was sweet, endearing and really made me want to sit and have a cup of tea with her some time. She has a really warm presence about her.
Then came Okiem – also known as the hidden talent embedded in some of Tinie Tempah’s catchiest tracks. He’s a great pianist and composer. The addition of the cello players to his sound created a really enchanting dynamic. It was a great ending to the first half of the evening.
In true Out-Spoken fashion, the second half was ushered in by contemporary composer Karim Kamar. Ordinarily, his co-curators would have performed too but they gave their time to Karim as he has a concert coming up (you should really go if you’re in London), which meant more of his beautiful and original work for us to enjoy.
There was another floor spot filled by a rather confident, funny, young poet but sadly I cannot remember his name (sorry!) Rob Auton continued the humour with his unique brand of poetry that kept the audience very amused.
Finally, the night ended with saxophonist and rapper Soweto Kinch. His saxophone playing was sublime but when he started rapping I sat up straight in my chair! It really resonated with me. Soweto closed the evening showcasing his lyrical prowess by free-styling with the following words suggested by the audience; wonderful, orange, rapacious, death and serendipity. The rap not only made sense but was interesting too. Absolutely EPIC!
If you’ve never been to a poetry and music night before, or even if you have, I highly recommend visiting Out-Spoken. I’m a bit of a regular as it always inspires and entertains me – hence the poem at the beginning of this post. I brought a poetry event virgin with me and he really enjoyed it too so why not give it a try?