Loud Poets

Loud Poets is loud. And by loud I don’t mean in volume but in sheer gravity of subject matter. The five poets, Kevin McLean, Doug Garry, Catherine Wilson, Katie Ailes and guest Sage Francis were tenacious. The night combines poetry, live music and film in a way that has audience members mesmerised from the onset. The show skilfully sways from amorous to poignant, political to playful and right back around again.

Both promising and inspiring to see spoken word presented with such flare and that it’s so widely received by an audience spanning all ages.

Each performer is able to display their own unique style of poetry. Eleven poems in total and each dealing with an entirely unique subject matters, from swimming to the refugee crisis. You could not craft a better opening than Doug Garry’s wonderful piece about romantic, love. It was moving, funny, and sentimental and the musical accompaniment was successful in bolstering his words. The second piece was performed by Kevin McLean and Doug Garry about the end of the world, which they managed to deliver both humour and somberness. Catherine Wilson came next with a thoughtful piece about fear, which will resonate with us all. When Katie Ailes began her poem about refugees, I didn’t know how I felt about her talking of a crisis that is not her own. But she ended with a line explaining how she knows this poem helps nothing, and it became a reminder of how important spoken word is; poetry cannot change the world, but it can move people in ways other mediums cannot — from the soul.

Sage Francis was a particular highlight. The American Hip Hop recording artist and spoken word poet delivered two hard-hitting pieces Hip Hop and the South African AIDS crisis were particularly hard-hitting. It was after hearing his two pieces, that did not have musical accompaniment, I remembered how powerful words can be when left alone to strike their own blow. It is this element of spoken word that I would’ve loved to have seen more within the show - carefully selecting which poems require music and which can go without. I also did not necessarily believe the satirical short films of well-recognised adverts was all that necessary. I do think they offered a welcomed mental reset after some of the more harrowing poems, but were not needed in as great a quantity. This is because quality and talent of this group of poets stands up all on its own. It is both promising and inspiring to see spoken word presented with such flare and that it’s so widely received by an audience spanning all ages.

Reviews by Sophia Charalambous

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The Blurb

This is fist-thumping, pint-drinking, side-tickling, heart-wrenching poetry. This is the spoken word revolution! Over the last three years, the award-winning Loud Poets have cemented their place as the top spoken word show at the Fringe. Their unique blend of poetry, live music and film has wowed audiences at Fringe Festivals including Edinburgh, Brighton and Prague and they return this year with a brand-new show filled with comedy, tragedy, politics and poignancy. ‘Loud Poets give me a reason to live’ (Phil Jupitus). ‘Throughout, there's a humour, poignancy and most of all a confidence which serves to inspire’ (Scotsman).