McCleary & Blair Panda to the Audience

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Banshee Labyrinth

Aug 21-28 (21:50)


This August, I witnessed the lyrical literacy of the national laureates in the great theater in Charlotte Square – a splendid setting for poetry. Last night, I was on the other end of the spectrum, in the back room of the many-roomed, multi-tunneled, Banshee Labyrinth – the hub-hubbing bubble of punters filling the place with backnoise as our two poets wrestled with the sonics in order to deliver their show. This, by the way, was a very clever, very charming, very in-your-face affair — not aggressive in-your-face, but sniper rifling thoughts from your brain through an incessant shower of wit & wordplay.

Andrew Blair & Ross Mcleary share recital duties, reading from their poetic scripts like a couple of bright-eyed auditioning actors trying to win good roles in a Broadway play. Their theme is death, although they are also both dressed as pandas, while Robert Pattinson from the Twilight series pops up a tad too much. Creating their semi-lectural pastiche of perpendicular thoughts I found their muse to be modernity, their angle is analytical observation, & their delivery most energetic to boot. These guys are above the norm for most performance poets, & are a cool watch – but be warned, the venue is not the most conducive for the spoken word – sit near the front or the speakers. Yes, McCleary & Blair’s style can only be described as guerrilla poets dressed up as panda bears stitching society up like a kipper – a veritable safari of quite satisfying free versification.

Reviewer : Damian Beeson Bullen

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