This is my third time trying to write this- and I keep deleting it because I know I'm over thinking it and I know when the idea came to me, I wasn't. So let me tell you about that instead: I wrote the words 'Bit Deep' on my phone and it made me laugh. I then thought that would be a sick name for a night. I talked to Kareem about it at Jawdance and he agreed.
Essentially, it's a night where the person on stage isn't incentivised to be funny, or be deep, but be themselves at that time. A night of guaranteed quality.
Zia Ahmed has practically been helping me every step of the way and we still don't even know what he's going to be doing.
I'm so gassed about this.
It's easy to tell Michelle is hilarious- watching her on stage, she can raise the roof easily- but I'm always amazed by the restraint she shows- how focused she is on putting her writing at the forefront. She's driven to talk about what matters to her and give her writing the weight and silence it deserves. Her ambition in form and subject is inspiring as an artist and as a person. Below is a bit of writing I found off her blog a while ago. I like it.
Kareem Parkins Brown
If there's a chance to book Kareem, I'll book Kareem. He’s spent more time than anyone I know in the BYP- but his voice carries more than the years spent there- there's a love of many forms in his writing. I remember this inspirational video I watched a while ago where the guy was telling me to get in my "end zone"- the place where I can be the best I can be. I feel like the stage is Kareem's. His set at Boxedin this year was phenomenal. Mr Gee still talks to me about it. I’d kill for a night where he just reads his notebook from back to front. Put him on any stage in this world and he’ll be doing you a favour.
Boxedin stopped booking mucisians about three years ago now- I’ve never regretted that until I saw Lex Amor. Her music and live performance showcase two different sides to her artistry- she’s able to rap in a way that’s painful and then come back and talk to us with a smile, having both emotional states ringing true. She's also a host of an amazing podcast that showcases the best in underground talent in music, the Mellowcast. I feel like even if I hadn't seen her live I'd have booked her for her banter alone- luckily it's just a plus on top of her amazing ear for beats and artistry.
I've always loved Laurie, she's a natural on stage- being an amazing host at Bang Said The Gun, and has a real love for page poetry- I remember really falling in love with her writing when I saw her read work inspired from Tracy Emin's 'My Bed'. We were both going through break ups at the time and it was so beautiful. Come see her- and then make sure you buy her book, Box Rooms.
So yeah- The Bill Murray is a comedy pub. Club. A comedy club, pub. And this is a night comprised purely of poets. It sounds strange, but it makes sense to me. I used to be a comedian. I grew up wanting to be a comedian and spent years pursuing a career as a stand up and while I met some incredible people- the scene didn't feel right. The path you had to take, the nights that were on- the jokes that were encouraged- audiences were so scared of the comedian being just a bit deep- like it was a betrayal of their trust to be anything other than a joke machine. Plus it was very rare to see a bill or an audience reflect the cit I grew up in.
I found what I wanted when I started gigging in the spoken word scene. At the Roundhouse, at the Barbican Poets Showcases, at Boxedin, at FWYH and Boomerang. There's an amazing energy in London that isn't in the comedy world... I don't know. I've spent so long writing this and I don't even know what to say. It's just a jokes night.
So yeah. Damn. I don't know what else to say- other than that I'll see you on the 28th at 8pm!