Gig review: The Accelerator, Glasgow

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Reflecting the burgeoning interest in performance poetry in Scotland, this new monthly night, curated by Jem Rolls and Bram Gieben in Glasgow and Edinburgh, puts a premium on high-energy execution.

The Roxy 171


The weather prevented Jenny Lindsay and Colin McGuire from attending but Sam Small, Craig Scott and Jim Monaghan ably filled the breach. Opening with a piece foregrounding the formulaic construction of so much performed verse seemed a cocksure gambit from Small but he brought a spiky wit and cool fury to his mockeries of state control and pleas for personal freedom. Scott has a similarly punchy style but his political commentary is less memorable; an occasional dodgy pun, clunking simile and awkward, American inflection on his accent compromising lines on the hypocritical homophobia of Vladimir Putin. Still, he’s on surer ground with a self-lacerating personal tale of love lost, Tangled Webs. Monaghan’s work, by contrast, is more measured, the passionate Lies About Iraq sandwiched between a homage to Cumnock and a meditation on the shifting nature of human relationships across successive birthdays. Echoing his socialist sympathies, former MSP Rosie Kane recounted her arrest at Faslane nuclear base before delivering a sung summary to the tune of Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Old Oak Tree. A natural performer with a deceptively sly and self-deprecating humour, she was followed by Robin Cairns, uncomfortably picking at the irony in Till Death Us Do Part and getting plenty of laughs for his faux outrage at sexual terms.