Darren McGarvey AKA Loki: Scotland Today
The Stand New Town Theatre
Aug 12-25 (16.50)
Loki McGarvey is an artist that has weathered more than his fair share of hard knocks, from alcohol addiction and crime, Loki has emerged from the ranks of Glasgow’s underclass to become the voice of the beaten generation. Initially through his power as a wordsmith, recanting truthful poetry inspired by the challenges faced by people that have been failed by the machine, making a name for himself as a vocal activist to become one of Scotland’s national treasures. Both in literary circles and as a performance rapper. Being at the forefront of Glasgow’s bustling music scene along with Mark McGhee of The Girobabies and Colonel Mustard and Dijon Five. Between them they have amassed an increasingly large following of lovely people. Why? Because they have the balls to speak the truth and have the talent to carry it. Voices of solution to a very real problem. The secret of that success is Grace, good karma and above all, making an effort to be part of the solution. Evolving his skill as a writer, his first published book, Poverty Safari, won the Orwell Literary Prize launching him to international acclaim. A true hero of our times that speaks common sense, the thoughts of decent people everywhere.
A comedy club is a strange place in which to house this amazing talent, because the content of which flows with ease and grace from the mouth of Loki, is far from funny. Rather an exploration of what is truly sad and unjust in not so Great Britain at the moment. With the gap between rich and poor widening to levels not seen since the Second World War and the disadvantaged becoming even more disadvantaged as a result.
Today was not so much a performance but a sermon on the pitfalls of suddenly hitting the big time and having the readies that go with it. Comparative wealth. At this time of year Edinburgh doesn’t have a social conscience.The problems get swept under the carpet as wealthy tourists flock to the capital. to experience the original and best performance art festival in the world. So it was no surprise to find the theatre filled with people on the same wavelength (not a comedy crowd), listening with depth to every word that came out of Loki’s mouth. Its an uncomfortable truth that resonates with the people who are suffering it also. And in Austerity Britain that is just about everyone that isnae a Tory. Everyone in the audience could relate to Loki because Loki speaks of humanity and that is his appeal. A graceful voice of truth. A very gifted man indeed.
Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert