Liam McCormick, 4 Stories High, Spoken Word
23rd August 2016
Under the shadow of Edinburgh castle, down a cobbled staircase there is a club named Silk, where Liam McCormick paces the stage maniacally in hole-ridden high tops and a number two buzz cut, ranting lyrical about a host of characters devised from the twisted innards of his mind. It feels in that strange velvety room that a number of worlds have collided, that perhaps the fusty plush bubble built no doubt for the minted tourists and students who keep the Edinburgh economy afloat has burst for a moment to let less fortunate creatures in. Indeed for a half hour or so, the space was home to Tam, xxxx, and xxx – the characters at the center of Liam’s poems – each of whom is subjected to the destroying forces of the societal pressure, specifically bullying.
The stories are well told, and at moments beautifully crafted. McCormick brings an intensity and a commitment to his performance which is as uncomfortable and electric as his subject matter. He should be commended not just for his ability as wordsmith, but also as performer. When I listen to him I am jealous that I am not Scottish. His rhymes are gutteral, and his rhythms twist and turn into the sing song lilt of a bygone storyteller. How I wish that I could utter words with the thick rasp of his.
His is an energetic, albeit slightly unhinged show. It is not easy to sit in a room and listen attentively to one voice swell and fall for half an hour. But everyone should try it. Isn’t Storytelling one of the age old ways of experiencing the unknown? Where heard in the firelight in a forgotten age or the neon glow of a fusty night club, it is beautiful form, and one which when used to great effect can convey emotions more deeply and directly than perhaps any other form. Liam’s work certainly does, and he is a star on the rise in the world of Scottish spoken word. Isn’t the Edinburgh Fringe about trying something new? Exceeding what you know? Taking a chance on hidden gems, and fresh talent? People these days seem to say all the time that they mean to do extraordinary things, that they want to support creativity, and encourage the bravery of young artistic talent. Well, get your arse to Liam’s show then! Support him, listen to him, open yourself up to something different. It’s free, and it’s interesting, and you’ll end the show with a great big chuckle, emerging from the dark stairwell of Silk into the hazy shadow of the castle, the sun starting to soften, and the bustle of the Fringe waiting for you around the corner.
Support young artists. Support spoken world.
Get yourself out to something interesting for a change.
Reviewer : Charlotte Morgan