Spoken Word Review: Poetry All Stars @ Kings Place

By Londonist Last edited 117 months ago
Spoken Word Review: Poetry All Stars @ Kings Place

Image by M@

Seduced by our own preview, Londonist couldn't resist checking out the 'Poetry All Stars' evening at King's Place last night, which proved to be a superb fusion of jazz, hip-hop, poetry and performance, ably presented by poet, musician and Hackney teacher Charlie Dark.

Each performance was accentuated by accompaniment from Jason Yarde, a jazz musician who not only displayed proficiency in a huge variety of traditional and slightly eclectic instruments (bonus points for the squeaky shark) but also showed a true talent for providing the exact music that the poetry seemed to call for.

First in the line-up was Kate Tempest, who'll be bringing her compelling blend of hip hop and earthy poetry to major festivals such as Glastonbury, Latitude and Big Chill this year. It's hard to describe the power with which she speaks and bends words to her will, with a rhythmic, almost urgent delivery.

She was followed by Lucid(ity), with a slower and more musical approach. Her 'rants' may have come from the heart, but it seemed as if she's still hunting the style best suited to her.

Next came the fantastically named El Crisis, whose laid-back appearance belied his hypnotic, ragingly fast reggae infused poetry that flowed like caramel and brought a bewitching mysticism to the auditorium. When an audience chiefly comprising slightly staid-looking professionals starts chanting back a poet's lyrics with utter conviction then you know you're in the presence of something incredible.

Kat Francois, world poetry slam winner in 2005, raised the temperature in the auditorium with a rendition of her seductive ‘White Roses’, before going on to impress the audience with brilliantly evocative performance poems in her trademark style.

The event was run by Apples and Snakes and Poet in the City, both charities that aim to bring poetry (in all forms) to wider audiences, and details of future events are available on their websites.

By Caroline Roddis

Last Updated 16 June 2009