Rally & Broad

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A Dandy, a Martyr, and a Prostitute walk into a bar… ”

Cabaret at Stereo Café

Luke Wright
Luke Wright

It is a truth universally acknowledged that love and money provoke great entertainment and Rally & Broad’s Monthly Cabaret was no exception.  Sunday afternoon at Stereo was a decadent affair. Moustaches twitched. Clowns sang about death. Dazzling story-tellers sold tales of the sex industry. A dandy railed against political witlessness. And to top everything off, musician Jonnie Common delighted the crowd with a weird and wonderful electro-folk set about, well, his friend’s grandma (but in a sexy way).

The afternoon was curated by Rally & Broad (Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum) who are luminous forces to be reckoned with on the contemporary Scottish poetry scene. Their monthly Cabarets in Glasgow (and Edinburgh) provide a space for the more artistically adventurous of folk to soak in the (often experimental) sounds of whichever talent fits the month’s theme. Attendees are sure to hear from some of the UK’s hippest poets, writers, and musicians. Thankfully, the cabaret is well-paced and the bodacious MCs bring a liveliness (and great comic timing) to the afternoon (as well as a poem or two). There are no more than two acts to a section, multiple breaks, a raffle, and even a crowd-sourced poem to cap things off. With plenty of audience interaction, a shot at winning booze or chocolate, and a well-stocked (though expensive) bar in arm’s reach, Glaswegians would be hard pressed to find a more delectable offering from 2:30-5:30pm on a Sunday afternoon.

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The linguistic star of the set (in this lowly writer’s eyes) was undoubtedly Luke Wright, a foppish and seriously talented spoken word artist, whose set brimmed with comic irony, originality, and anger. His final (hysterical) piece gave voice to the perverted frustrations of UKIP voters. The piece was brilliant, and the performance devastating. Musical acts Johnnie Common and Creative Martyrs were just as intriguing. Common’s strange and whimsical arrangements were as funny as they were accomplished. Creative Martyrs lent a strange, and phantasmagorical air to the proceedings, drifting between stage and crowd like figments of a dream. Kirstin Innes, author of Fishnet, gave a provocative and spirited reading. Her debut (and meticulously researched novel) tells the story of the sex trade in Scotland. Innes’ stage presence is as provocative as her subject matter, and she was a joy to hear. Rally & Broad also performed a poem each (both have new pamphlets out). Both writers are expert wordsmiths, and bang on the pulse of post-referendum Scotland.

It is a privilege to be served up such prodigious talent once a month in Glasgow. Aspiring poets would do well to spend a Sunday afternoon lazing in the cavernous depths of Stereo, feasting on wine, and expertly crafted entertainment. There are many Cabarets in this vibrant city, few are frequented by such exceptional talent. I wager the billing will continue to shine – Rally & Broad have a lot of talented friends, and the featured poet next month (Caroline Bird) is as sizzling and on-the-mark as Luke wright. Keep an eye on Rally & Broad’s billings. Money may not buy you love, but at a meagre £5, it affords you a hell of an afternoon.

Reviewer : Charlotte Morgan

Photos : Chris Scott

*Note: all Prostitutes involved in the reviewing of this event were purely fictional*

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