Spraffing

An Announcement from Rally & Broad HQ

Dearest folks,

We hope this finds you very well. This is a very special announcement from Rally & Broad Towers!


Over the past four years, Rally & Broad has been showcasing the best of Scotland-based spoken word, new authors, new voices and more lyrical delight and musical goodness than we could possibly quantify, and we have been utterly delighted to do so.


But, ladies and gentlemen, it befalls us this fair morning to announce that this will be the last ever Season of Rally & Broad. Our June shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow will see Rally & Broad’s last cabarets – and we’re going out with a BANG!


We have seen Rally & Broad grow from humble beginnings at the Counting House in 2012 to stellar monthly shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow and further afield; growing our wonderful team; delighting in seeing the audiences come back month after month; and being so thrilled to be able to provide a platform to some of the best Scottish and international artists out there. We’ve laughed, cried, swooned, and eaten a lot of biscuits along the way. It’s been wonderful.

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We wouldn’t change a single thing about the last four years (except that night we did shots of cherry bourbon after the December 2014 show. Brutal, brutal times….), but the time has come to hang up our matching kimonos and say adieu to Rally & Broad. We want to bring Rally & Broad to a glorious close, riding high. We – Jenny Lindsay and Rachel McCrum – will both be pursuing different passions in and for the spoken word scene in Scotland, which we so thoroughly adore. Also, Broad and Rally would dearly love to go for a long walk up a beautiful hill before lying down in the long grass to eat peaches (for a few years, at least).

 

 

 

However! We ain’t going quietly, ladsour final shows are absolute firecrackers!

See the lineups below and get yer tickets bought now (click through the links…). Oh come, do come along…

  • Edinburgh! Fri 20th May, 7pm, Bongo Club! With… Black Doves! Paula Varjack! Harry Giles! Kirsty Law! Sam Small!
  • Glasgow! Sun 22nd May, 230pm, Stereo!  With…Karine Polwart! Christopher Brookmyre! Denise Mina! TV JOY! Michelle Fisher! 

And for our last shows – OUR VERY LAST SHOWS – we’ll be doing it ‘Once More, With Feeling…’

  • Edinburgh! Friday 17th June, The Bongo Club, 7pm.  With…Don Paterson! Caroline Bird! Maud the Moth! Lara Williams! Paper Rifles! 
  • Glasgow! Sunday 19th June, Stereo, 230pm. With…AL Kennedy! A New International! Jonnie Common! McGuire! Roseanne Reid! Georgia Bartlett-McNeill! 

(With an After-Party in Glasgow after the show, of course… ;))

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We will also have one last Rally & Broad Masterclass weekend, with the incredibly talented poet, performer and playwright Caroline Bird on 25th – 27th November at the beautiful Moniack Mhor – see details and booking here .  We’re also both delighted to be part of the fantastic, ambitious and wonderful Scottish Schools Poetry Slam project, brought to you by the team at Confab, which will be running September and October 2016. (More info here)

 

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Phew! Well. Aye. There you go. So. Aye.

We’d like to thank you, lovely, awesome audiences; everyone who has ever performed on the Rally & Broad stage; and our wonderful R&B team for all your support over the last four years. We couldn’t have done it without you; we wouldn’t have dreamed that we could. It’s been quite a time, lads, quite a time.

Please do come join us and toast Rally & Broad, and all who have sailed in her. We hope to see you at some of the last shows.

All our love. All  of it. Really.

Rachel & Jenny

RB PRETTY

xx

 

 

Six Questions For…. JO CLIFFORD!

Jo Clifford is known as one of Scotland’s leading playwrights. She has written about 80 performed scripts in just about every dramatic medium, some of which have been performed all over the world. Rally & Broad are delighted to welcome her to our Glasgow stage this month on Sunday 24 April. Tickets here!  Josephine Sillars interviews her below!

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  1. As well as being one of Scotland’s leading playwrights, you are also an actress, poet and teacher! Which medium are you the most comfortable in (and is there anything you can’t do?) 

I’m rubbish at football. And weightlifting is not my strong point. Of the things you list that I can do, I love doing all of them…I guess because acting/performing was something I was blocked in for about 40 years, I feel I have to catch up a lot of lost time. And get the hugest satisfaction and pleasure from…

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6 questions for…Liam McCormick!

‘I’m not weird you’re weird.’

Liam McCormick is a young poet and performer based in Glasgow. He was one of the BBC 1Xtra Words First Glasgow poets and was subsequently selected by BBC 1Xtra to represent the Glasgow scene, performing at The Roundhouse and on-air, and also gaining mentorship from Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Bohdan Piasecki from Jan – June 2016

Our Rally & Broad wunderwummin on the ground in Glasgow, Josephine Sillars, sat down with Liam to ask him some questions…

Rally & Broad ‘First Editions’ – Sunday 2oth March, Stereo, Glasgow.With Stina Tweeddale (Honeyblood), Janice Galloway, Louie (Hector Bizerk) & Jack of Diamonds aka Toby Mottershead! £6 on t’door or a little cheaper in advance here

 

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Liam McCormick: Photo by Bibi June

  1. Recently you were selected by BBC 1Xtra to represent Glasgow as part of Words First! How have you been finding the experience, and what are you most looking forward to in the next few months? 

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6 Questions for…Malachy Tallack & Chrissy Barnacle!

Malachy & Chrissy will be performing together as part of our Ampersand Sessions on Sunday 21st February at Stereo, GlasgowStereo, Glasgow, as part of an amazing bill including Emma Pollock, Katie Ailes & Catherine Wilson (Loud Poets), and Jenny Lindsay & Heir of the Cursed (formerly Genesee). Tickets just £5 in advance or £6 on the door! ‘mon down!

In the meantime, our intrepid wummin on the ground in Glasgow, Josephine Sillars, asked Malachy and Chrissy a few searching questions…

  1. I’m very excited to hear what your collaborative piece is. Without giving too much away, what can we expect to hear from you both?

Malachy: We’ve written a couple of songs together before, and we’ll probably be playing at least one of those on Sunday. Hopefully we’ll have a new song or two for the occasion as well

Chrissy: Harmonies and hooks, I hope. With minimal choruses.

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Rally & Broad: Season 4!

Good day, comrades!

We hope this finds you brutally well and in full fine fettle.

Rally & Broad have had a gorgeous summer of words, including some small naps and a glorious August.

We looked out to all things across the world at the Festival of Politics with pals A New International and Sophia Walker in the veh fancy surroundings of Holyrood; and then finished August in the glorious Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival with a roof-raising, tongue twisting medley of words and music exploring all things (mis)communication  for ‘The Interpretation Edition’ at Jura Unbound, in the damn fine company of R M Hubbert, Rebecca Green, Harry Giles, Bram E Gieben, Chrissy Barnacle and Jonathan Lamy.

And now, dearhearts, we have some exciting news….

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Six Questions for…Alan Bissett!

Alan Bissett is one of Scotland’s best known writers, novelists, playwrights, performers, and activists, with Very Good Reason. We’re absolutely delighted to have him back for Rally & Broad ‘Because The Night...’, at Stereo, Glasgow, on Sunday 31st May with Caroline Bird, The Last September, Marianne MacRae and Hailey Beavis (tickets here). Oh yes!

With Rally & Broad at Festival of Politics 2014. Photo credit: Robb Macrae

With Rally & Broad at Festival of Politics 2014. Photo credit: Robb Mcrae

Ahead of May’s show, we sat down to ask him six questions about writing, labels, politics, art, activism and all the rest. And boy, did we get some cracking answers…

1. Novelist, playwright, performer, activist – that’s a lot of strings to yer bow! Which one is twanging hardest for you at the moment?

To be honest, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between them. Obviously at one level, if you are sitting down to write a novel you are a novelist, when writing a play you are a playwright, and so on, but otherwise it all bleeds into one. I only became a ‘performer’ in the first place because I was doing so many readings from my novels in schools, libraries and festivals that after a while you just memorise it and it tips over into theatre. Some of the activism has felt ‘performed’ – not because you’re not being truthful but because you have to engage a political audience in exactly the same way that you engage a theatre audience. So for example, I just got back from Wigtown, where I was billed as ‘stand up’, which involved me improvising a comedy set that included storytelling, banter, politics, plus bits from my novels and plays – which I think might form the basis of a future tour. I can’t really see the joins anymore. Let’s just call it all ‘blethering’.

2. Cutting straight to the mustard. Post Indy ref – what is the role for artists? And, with hindsight, what role do you think artists played in the referendum?

I think artists played a huge role in the indyref, both within, say, National Collective and beyond it. I’m not going to kid myself that the opinions of artists were as important to the general public as those of politicians or economists, but we did add another dimension that was more colourful and imaginative, and we were able to frame the debate in certain ways – through poetry, theatre, songs or illustrations – that allowed people to understand differently and see themselves inside the magnitude of what was going on. The numbers people can’t do that, which is why they often had to rubbish us – ‘oh you’re just people who make up silly stories and draw pictures, what do you know?’ Well, we gave the whole thing an emotional layer that is often more powerful than talking about GERS figures.

Our ‘role’ afterwards? Well, I don’t think anyone can or should proscribe what any artist’s ‘role’ is. But clearly the whole process is ongoing. We don’t have an indyref to bind us together, which is why it’s probably the right thing that National Collective folded and also why we’re now seeing divisions emerge during the movement, some based on sound political principles, others on ego. But I think the artists will continue to try and make sense of it all in their own ways, sometimes individually, sometimes collectively. There have been very fine works created during the white-heat of the campaign, but we’ve yet to see a true masterpiece emerge. I think there could be several in the offing, but we’re still in an extraordinary state of flux so it’s hard to pin things down. Soon as your pen touches the page the material is dated.

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3. What do the words ‘Scottish culture’ mean to you?

Well, Scottish culture is different things to different people, obviously, and it should feel inclusive. I might think Allan ‘rivers of blood’ Massie has lost the plot as a political commentator, but I can see that he has written some very fine novels which deserve to be taken seriously as works of Scottish literature. However, I can certainly say that the Scottish culture which means the most to me is the kind which feels oppositional and rebellious, which is a clearing a space beneath the hegemonic Anglo-American culture (some of which is obviously very good, but hegemonic nonetheless) to articulate the language, themes and stories of working-class (or other marginalised) Scots. Unless Scottish writers themselves do this then we”ll just have this homogenous Hollywood/BBC culture, and an entire people’s consciousness will go with it. This is what Hamish Henderson called the ‘carrying stream’ of the folk tradition, and it applies as much to Eddi Reader as it does to Irvine Welsh. That’s the stuff that’s really valuable to me.

4. So, the seeming rise and rise of the spoken word/performance poetry scene in Scotland. Do you see yourself as part of it? And if so (or if not), what are your thoughts on it?

Oh I don’t know. I’ve been on the ‘scene’ for about fifteen years now and when I started out there was a lot less of what would now be called ‘spoken word’. Rebel Inc had done some great stuff creating a buzz for live events in the Nineties, and Liz Lochead was a stand-out before then, but that had died away by the time my first novel, Boyracers, came out in 2001. Back then the ‘poems and pints’ vibe in the back room of a pub was more the thing, but people weren’t really expected to be ‘performers’ and to be honest I found some of it quite boring. I always felt it was being rude to the audience to expect them to listen to you for twenty minutes and not even make an attempt to be entertaining. I mean, with the best will in the world the human brain doesn’t work that way!

I was like: we’re really missing a trick here, and I resolved to make my readings more of a theatrical experience, which is why I stood out back then. I got involved in nights like Discombobulate with the poet Magi Gibson and the comedian Ian Macpherson in Glasgow in the mid/late Noughties, which was really about consolidating that ethos across a whole bill, and which was eventually replaced by Kirstin Innes’s and Anneliese Macintosh’s Words Per Minute. I think both contributed to the current crop of very, very strong spoken word nights we now see, like Rally and Broad and Neu Reekie! which really have perfected the form.

Things have truly changed now and evolved into ‘spoken word’, where writers are expectedto be good performers and boring acts just aren’t programmed. There’s a level of professionalism about younger writers – in terms of the way they present themselves onstage – that’s much more in tune with what live audiences want. I’m certainly not a rarity anymore. As for being part of the current ‘scene’? No, I’ve probably been around for too long for that to be the case. But I definitely approve of this generation of stage-ready younger writers, who all seem really politicised too, so I don’t feel estranged from it either. If the current spoken word scene was Britpop, then Irvine Welsh would be John Lennon and I’d be Paul Weller.

5. What’s coming up next for you?

I’m touring a comedy set around Falkirk, called What the F**kirk? which is about, you guessed it, Falkirk. Having spent so long looking at the things on the national level during the indyref I want to really focus in on the local: asking what it means to have a ‘home town’ and trying to work out whether or not community still exists. It’s definitely feels like my first ‘post-referendum’ statement, which is going beyond the Yes/No binary.

After that, in Spring 2016, it’s the big one: my play about the ex-Rangers manager Graeme Souness, written in verse. We’ve tried sections out in front of test audiences and it provokes big reactions. I can’t wait.

Beyond that I’d like to try a stand-up tour. I should also get around to writing another novel, but I have to wait until my theatre slate is clear and the right idea presents itself. You need to keep doing things that no-one will see coming. There’s no point in releasing a novel just for the sake of releasing a novel. Why miss the chance to fuck with people’s expectations?

6. And finally…Because the Night…belongs to who?!

…vampires, of course! *

*Team Gary Oldman in Dracula 1992. [excellent choice…Ed]

Alan Bissett’s Collected Plays is out now with Freight

(http://www.word-power.co.uk/books/collected-plays-2009-2014-I9781908754448/)

What the F**kirk? will be touring Falkirk venues from 3rd-14th June

(https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/falkirkcommunitytrust)

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Six Questions For….. Jenny Lindsay & Rachel McCrum!

IRETHIN

Guid day! So, here at Rally & Broad HQ we got wind of a joint pamphlet launch from a couple of poetry/ wordy types. We like a guid pamphlet launch so we thought it worth conducting one ae our Six Questions interviews with the authors. We’ve never met them, but we’ve heard that they occasionally come to Rally & Broad, so we thought we’d check them out. Broad sat down with the Jenny Lindsay one, and Rally spoke to Rachel McCrum. We all got on pretty well, I must say, even though Jenny ate all the biscuits and Rachel tried to nick Rally’s lighter. Anyway – we’re going to head down to their launches at The Jazz Bar at 2.30pm on Sunday 11th (where they are joined by Christopher Willatt) and check em out at The Old Hairdresser’s in Glasgow on Thursday 16th at 7pm. Be nice tae see some of you guys there too – ours is a pint of chutzpah and a side order of cognitive dissonance. 😀

Broad to JL: Nice scarf, lass! I used to have one just like that! Anyway –  why ‘Ire & Salt’?

I spent ages swithering over this title! My pamphlet is essentially about personal and political power. Both of these entwine, both were fundamental themes of the Scottish independence debate (which is the back-drop to all the pieces in the pamphlet), and I’ve experienced both power and complete dis-empowerment both personally and politically in the last three years. A diagnosis of chronic depression and anxiety in June 2013, learning how to live with that and various ups and downs, being in a position of authority as an educator, having a platform, being an activist, amazing camaraderie, horrific break-ups… All have made the last 3 years pretty interesting and have made me revisit theories of power as part of understanding what I’ve just experienced.The Ire is the anger that powerlessness produces as well as the spark that can overcome it. The Salt is the tears of relief at retaining or regaining yer own agency after feeling dis-empowered.

It’s also a preserving agent. We’ve just experienced a pretty damn significant cultural and historical shift in Scottish politics. What is going to be preserved from that and who is going to preserve it? Who has power now and are we really as empowered as we could be, given the riff that Scotland has become empowered as a consequence of the vote? How many things continue to just happen at us and how many things can we shape? Political disempowerment and depressive illness share this one characteristic: both feel like they are happening at ye, and not something you can shape.

I mean, there’s also a fair bit ae word-play going on with that there title too, but I thought I should try to sound intelligent…

Rally to RM – Nice to meet ye! I got lost on the way here, sorry I’m late: I ended up in the wrong place. On the subject of place – Do Not Alight where Again? And why?

The long version…(or just skip to the end. There’s a much shorter answer after all this waffle).

Setting out this pamphlet has been a really odd process. Firstly, it feels somewhat overdue – the last one (my first one) was in 2012. C’mon, the poems aren’t even that long. But I honestly didn’t feel I’d done enough writing since Glassblower to have filled a pamphlet, or at least fill a coherent one, despite having had all these incredibly experiences with poetry trips to Greece and to South Africa – and not really having made time to write about any of them. If it hadn’t been for commissions and collaborations in the past two years, I’dve felt totally stulted. That’s not a word. Ah, it is now.

So, come January, I had all these half written poems hanging about and had convinced myself I was going to have to write a pamphlet’s worth of new ones in three months. On the verge of throwing everything up in the air for good in a suitably melodramatic fashion, I gave myself a bit of a shake, took the poems I did have, and found that they told a story, of sorts. So then I had a look back over the past two years, to try and understand where the story had come from…

It was the Scottish referendum. It was being in Scotland while it’s having what was (is?), let’s face it, a remarkably civilised debate about this huge question of future of the country, whilst being from Northern Ireland, which has not proven so capable of such a thing. Realising that because of this whole stupid hangover of Empire called the United Kingdom, being not so much an immigrant in another country, as, y’know, more of a blow in. But definitely not being Scottish. Despite all the invitations to engage in that process, despite the glorious and inspiring commitment to civic rather than ethnic nationalism that the referendum made, I honestly never felt more of an outsider than during that time. In practical terms, it meant it felt very odd to campaign and tell Scottish people how I thought they should vote. In personal terms, it meant I definitely wasn’t Scottish. How frightfully self absorbed.

Ouch. But, aye.

So that means I’m Northern Irish, right? And what the hell does that mean? I don’t live there. I don’t contribute anything to the culture or the economy or the society there anymore. Moreover, I’m of Northern Irish middle class Protestant heritage, one of the least sexy cultural heritages you could lay claim to, but it is mine, and how do you deal with that, flaws and faults and all? I still call it home. My family is there. There is a certain – character – that you could say is bred there.

There was also something quite specific for my generation, who came of age – I particularly mean the middle class lot who were finishing secondary school and heading out to university, but has also been true for any numbers of generations coming of age before ours – that Ireland was never seen as good enough. To make a life, a proper life in the world, you had to get out. The diaspora, all those ones wandering about.

Louis MacNeice writes how

‘I can say Ireland is hooey,

Ireland is a gallery of fake tapestries.

But I cannot deny my past to which my self is wed.

The woven figure cannot undo its thread.’

Which is all very romantic and maudlin. Don Paterson, with a more cynical robustness, talks about the ‘Irish boomerang – it doesn’t come back but sings you a song about how much it would like to.’

Putting the pamphlet together let me look at Northern Ireland, and find a way to love it (and I do – oh, you buggery stubborn country, I do, and I hope the book shows it) and leave it. For now, anyway.

There are over two years between the first and last poem in the book, and they move from asking you to listen to an accent and hear the story behind it, to making the accent vagrant, leave, move on. I’ll always love Northern Ireland, with a knot the size of a clenched fist in the pit of my stomach, but I’m done with spinning the guts out. I’d like to look outwards and forwards. I’d like to swallow the world.

The short and prosaic version…It’s a sign I first saw on disused railway platforms from a train winding up through the Highlands. Look at that language! It’s so politely firm and forbiddingly melancholy, all at the same time. Smashing.

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Broad to JL: We at R&B HQ ken well the battle between Poetry and Promoting. So: Poetry and Promoting get into a ring and have a fight. What wins, and why?

Jesus. Of late, promoting. But! I should say that’s by design. I love programming events. I find it brilliantly fulfilling to create or co-create an event that artists and an audience can enjoy in that moment. It’s empowering for everyone, if done well, and it is a creative outlet in its own right. Poetry’s always there though – jabbing its finger in mah back saying, ‘Oi! I’m the bloody reason you’re doing this remember, fool!’ And so poetry always wins cos it’s the catalyst for the promoting. I bloody love spoken word. I can’t imagine ever not wanting to run events and I can’t imagine ever not writing poetry or whatever the hell it is I write. In conclusion: they go two rounds and declare it a draw. On a personal level, one has rarely existed without the other. I’ve been running events for as long as I’ve been writing.

Rally to RM: I’m crap with a hammer and nails and am prone to watching DIY shelving units crash to the ground. But I like DIY platforms. Tell me more about this and how you make them sustainable?

I landed in Edinburgh in 2010, via Manchester, Belfast, New Zealand, Oxford and basically a lot of dithering about in my 20s. I mean, I had a briefcase at one point – it was quite official looking dithering – but I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I landed in Edinburgh – ostensibly, the reason I’d moved up was for a PhD but I wasn’t too hot at that either. However, I had a wonderful Italian anthropologist for a supervisor who knew I wasn’t very happy, and told me to go forth and find my people – find my community – as this would help me understand the PhD better. I found the Forest Cafe.

The Forest Cafe, unlike anything else I knew, says ‘yes’ to everything and then works out how to make it happen afterwards. Without Forest, I would never have fallen in love with building platforms and stages, with seeing how empowering that can be for folk, and how much strength a like minded community can give one another. It was a whole DIY punk world that I’d never been part of before. I loved it then, I love it now. Some of the very best of people. With Forest came Inky Fingers, then Blind Poetics, then that thing that we’re trying not to mention here, and now, looking forward to summer 2015, SHIFT/…new solo shows from Scotland based spoken word artists for the Fringe.

But I also think there’s something really special about Scotland, about Edinburgh, in particular.

The way the DIY world supports one another – not just within poetry but with music as well – the sense of community, the space to try things out and suceed or fail, to pick yourself, to keep going, to collaborate. And the way the larger institutions – the Scottish Poetry Library, the Scottish Book Trust, the Libraries, the Book Festival, the City of Literature, even the University – connect with the grassroots scene, are aware of and support it – and vice versa. Maybe it’s a scale thing – we all drink in the same pubs – but maybe something more.

Ways to make DIY platforms sustainable? For my tuppence worth…

  1. Find a collaborator, a comrade, a partner in crime. Find a partner in crime with whom you can laugh, cry, drink and work. Who will support, share, provoke, energise you. Who you will always love to bits, and could kill half the time. Who will have your back and kick your arse all at once. Who has similar approaches to work and to appetite, to afternoons in cocktail bars and staggering to the late night chippie, to the occasions when to tell you that you look amazing in that dress and that that new poem is the best thing that has ever been written (and recognises when the time is to tell you that both could probably do with some more work). To mutally acknowledging the need, occasionally, to throw it all up in the air, have a nap, and start all over again. No, you can’t have mine. Yes, I know she’s pretty special. Get yer own.
  1. Find your community. The one you respect. The one that you’d push past exhaustion for. Learn from it. Don’t get so excited about the thing you’re doing that you forget to look around you and support the things that other people are doing. Don’t compete. Don’t self promote at the expense of others. Don’t bitch about one another. Find the thing you do, find the thing they do. Support one another. Hold each other up. Applaud one another. When you start playing, performing to more than yourselves – and you will – they’ll still be there. Still be there.
  1. Learn how to work with the professional world, the institutions. They are not the bad guys. They are there to help, and they’ll have expertise, experience and perspective to learn from, and opportunities beyond what you can achieve on your own. They’ve probably got public funding, and that means they’re reaching out to wider audiences than you could ever do on your own. That’s a good thing. Public funding for the arts is a Very Good Thing. And you are probably more nimble, closer to new audiences than they are, quicker to react and to act. You can help each other.
  1. Say yes to everything. Then understand where your energy levels are, and when to say no. Don’t burn out. Take care of yourself. Do the things that you believe have integrity. But where you can, take a leap out, say yes.

Broad to JL: What is the best gig, ever, that you’ve been involved with, and why?

Well, there is this one thing I’m involved in that is hands-down the best creative partnership I’ve ever been involved in and also contains my favourite ever events I’ve ever been part of, but I think we’re trying not to talk about that, right? He he! So: here’s another top 2!

Firstly, in 2006 the Scottish Slam Team went down to Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre to take part in the Three Nations Slam Championships. It was me, Bram Gieben, Graeme Hawley and Milton Balgonie. We won the national title and in the individual scores I came first, Bram came second, Graeme came third and Milton came fourth. We were the complete outsiders and no-one had ever heard of any of us. It was bloody brilliant.

The second has to be the National Collective Edinburgh Sessions from Jan – Jun 2014 that were organised by a small team and led by Cameron Foster and I. They were a great mix of art and politics, debate and discussion and they were informative as well as entertaining. It’s not often ye’ll get a debate on forestry alongside a spoken word artist alongside a theatre-maker alongside a discussion about fiscal policy. They were great motivation and built up a lovely network of friends and campaigners.

For balance: the worst was being heckled by an elderly lady at Stanza in 2011 who shouted out that my language was “appalling, dear!” It practically started a riot as the aforementioned Balgonie shouted “Nae censorship at Stanza!” and thus a short interlude of back-and-forth ensued with various members of the audience chiming in. It was the first time I had performed an hour-long show. Ever-so-slightly off-putting.

There’s plenty of quality profanity in a couple of the pieces in Ire & Salt though, so I look forward to a repeat of this in August…

Rally to RM: Oi! That’s my lighter! Harrumph. Anyway –  home and identity are a big part of what you write about. So: weighty question –

Where do you consider home?

Where I can lay down my hat. Where there’s a pot of Earl Grey. Where I can find a shoulder to rest my head on. Where someone will tell me their story. Where I can work as part of something bigger than myself. Where I can feel of use.

And that concludes our interview! Come hear and see these two and buy their pamphlets too. That Jenny likes a lot of biscuits and lighters don’t come cheap… 😀