I'm not a regular visitor to such parts as Deptford but this was well worth the journey.
Monday, April 18, 2016
Chill Pill, 10th March
It was no surprise that Chill Pill was great. I had been forewarned that it would be so, plus their reputation as one of ‘the’ spoken word collectives is widely known.
We got there a tad late so I think we missed the first open mic spot but other than that we saw the full show. It says something when even the open mic performers are of a ridiculously high quality. It attracts that. The ‘amateurs’ get to do one piece each, which I think is fair. We had someone reflecting on their love affair, someone imagining they were teaching the way of the world to their son, and another just giving us words that have helped her – basically go for it. But it wasn’t limited to spoken word. Gecko brought his guitar sang an incredibly amusing ditty about what it must be like to be in the painting opposite the Mona Lisa – neglected… unloved. Or is it…?
I think I had seen one of the two headliners before (there are only so many spoke word ‘stars’ to go around) but thinking about it, I think I may have seen her when she was first starting out. Anyway, she was amazing – Jasmine Ann Cooray. She spoke of her dad who has passed away and the love of her man’s hands with warmth and wit.
Of course The Chill Pill collective did a little of their own work as well – our host – Simon –treating us to various haiku inspired by his infant son. Deanna gave us a poetry video, where she questioned her desire to become famous and rich – something that hasn’t entirely gone away. She wondered if spoken word would be as powerful coming through a screen and I can confirm that it is.
The final act was Jack Flash who even had a backing band – one person on guitar and Karim (who co-runs Outspoken) on piano. He was an excellent performer, but somehow, even though I could agree with the message he was promoting, I didn’t warm to his act. Perhaps, as a cynical person my instinct was to roll my eyes at such blatant, earnest, political belief. Yeah, yeah, we’re all just human, we should be looking out for each other; whevs. Others I'm sure would find it rousing.