Rally & Broad in August – mon then, Festivals: let’s be havin’ ye….

Ladies! Gentlemen! Comrades! Verse-lovers and verse-phobics!

It’s August, didn’t ye know, and that means lots of running around like a blue-arsed fly, gaining skinny legs and beer bellies. This is how Rally & Broad met in August 2011. We have continued the tradition ever since, so here is how we shall be gaining our unique-physiques in 2014. Read ahead for politics, poetry, page-matches and reading in the dark. We hope to see you at all of these things, but if you just chance to catch us wandering about, a Valvona & Crolla sausage roll for Jenny, and a halloumi wrap for Rachel would be most pleasing. August! Let’s be having yer…. First up, our Rally & Broad shows:


The Scottish Parliament, 6.30 – 8pm, Sun 17 Aug, FREE

festival of pol image

It might be going too far to say, as Shelley did,  that “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the state,” but that won’t stop us trying. Come explore the Referendum (the theme of this year’s Festival of Politics) but in a round-a-bout manner with nane o that hectoring business. Exploring Scotland’s political past we have Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead and theatre-maker Kieran Hurley. Looking at the referendum debate we have novelist, activist and writer Alan Bissett, and Edwin-Morgan award nominee Harry Giles. Exploring Scotland’s possible political future we have performer and poet Rachel Amey and novelist and poet Tracey S Rosenberg. Hosted by the gavel of Rally & Broad, who will very much be playing Devil’s Advocate.

RALLY & BROAD @ UNBOUND: The Ampersand Edition! Edinburgh International Book Festival, 9pm.


We pure love oor Ampersand Editions, we do! Chucking two awesome acts together to create a set is one of our favourite things to do, to the extent that we’re actually doing it ourselves this time too! Rachel will be teaming up with A New International, while Jenny will be creating a set with Rally & Broad favourite, Lake Montgomery. Joining us will be Don Paterson & Rachel Newton; Ryan Van Winkle & Dan Willson (Withered Hand.) It’s the closing show for Unbound at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, so come on down! (Our beer bellies and skinny legs will be very pronounced by this point and may do a collaborative piece themselves. Who knows….)

So, those are our Rally & Broad events, but R&B will be performing separately, and sometimes together, at several other bits n pieces that you can check out on our individual pages. But! Here’s some of the highlights; the places we feel offer the best chances of gaining those physiques (and, in the case of All Back To Bowie’s, those halloumi wraps and Valvona & Crolla sausage rolls….)


Scottish Storytelling Centre, Netherbow, 9 – 10pm,

Thu – Sat’s of the Fringe £6.50/ 5.50


National Collective are the cultural campaign for independence, and we’re both big fans. This show presents an ever-changing line-up of folks presenting the positive case for independence, whether through film, poetry, theatre, dance or song. We did an impromptu double-act as R&B last week, but on Thurs 14th you can catch Rachel alongside David Greig, Ruth Mills & Jack Webb, while Jenny will be on at the final night with Stephen Greenhorn (writer of Sunshine on Leith) and Billy Bragg (aye – that Billy Bragg: squee!!) Whether you’re decided or undecided, get yerself to this one!


The Stand In The Square, St Andrews Square Gardens, 12.20 – 13.20pm, Daily.


Earlier this year, David Bowie pleaded ‘Scotland, stay with us,’ so David Greig and friends took him at his word. Join us at Bowie’s yurt to discuss all things indy-related. Jenny’s programmed the poets for it, and a fine bunch they are too. Rachel will be entering Bowie’s yurt for the Northern Ireland themed one on Thurs 14th August, and Jenny will be poeting about The Common Weal on the 22nd. But go along to more of em too – quality spoken word, free-ranging discussion, music and more!



Lordy. We’re hijacking the place all day and eve, doing the following things: pinting, poeting, battling, drinking, falling over. Here’s why:

10am, Writer’s Retreat – Jenny kicks off the Spoken Word programme with a specially commissioned “Very Scottish Provocation”. Taking that instruction literally, Jenny will explore Scottish culture, cringe, language and fears in a ten minute spoken word provocation. There could be dancing involved….

8.30 pm – Rachel will be taking part in ‘Voices in the Dark’ at Edinburgh International Book Festival, Charlotte Square. With William Letford, Rhian Edwards and Joshua Idehen. £7/£5. They actually will be reading in the dark. Lovely stuff!

9pm – PAGE MATCH @ Unbound!!! So, we’ve both been cacking ourselves about this one, but we will be taking part in a Page Match battle, on the independence referendum, having been partnered up with opponents, as curated by Dan Cockrill of Bang Said The Gun. Rachel will be squaring up to Laurie Bolger, while Jenny takes on Luke The Earl of Essex Wright. Expect much, much hilarity, a wrestling ring, poets in character, and a great night out.

We’ll also be hoping to hear who has won the coveted Edwin Morgan Poetry Prize, catching as many of Sophia Walker’s shows as possible, supporting them Loud Poets, and…..

gearing ourselves up to tell you some really quite awesome news after the festival is over…..


Much love! See ye around! Oors is a frothy ale! Embrace the month! (And us, as we might need it….)

xxxx Rally & Broad xxxx

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