Ev’ry Time We Say GoodBye (Edinburgh)…End of Season Shows!

Friday 19th June, 7pm, The Bongo Club, Cowgate, Edinburgh. With Ross Sutherland, Hannah Silva, Dan Willson (Withered Hand), Ryan Van Winkle and Caro Bridges. Tickets £5, and available in advance here

…we die a little..

And thus it ends…for this Season at least. We’ve come to the end of our third year Rally-ing & Broad-ing about the place, and we’re aff for a nap in July*. But we couldn’t go without saying goodbye… and what a goodbye it will be. Celebrating all things au revoir, a bientot, toodlepip, farewell and see ye soon with us…

[*Never fear, loves: plots are afoot for Season 4, starting from October, and we’ll be bobbing about Edinburgh in August too…come see us with our very own solo shows at SHIFT/ at Summerhall!]



One of the UK’s top poets and performers. Author of four collections of poetry, member of the Aisle 16 collective, and currently touring acclaimed new show ‘Standby For Tape Back-Up’, Sutherland is an ingenious writer of stunningly unique work.

Beautifully crafted, strikingly original”★★★★ The Telegraph

Dizzyingly clever”★★★★ The Independent




Hannah Silva is a poet, playwright and performer known for her innovative explorations of form, voice and language in performance. Her work explores a wide range of subjects: from political rhetoric (Opposition) to paranormal science (Total Man), teenage sexual identity (Orchid) to long distance running (Marathon Tales). Her current performance, Schlock!, is a meditation on pain, the body and the self, consent, complicity and ownership. She has given some of the most jaw dropping sets on a Rally & Broad stage, and we’re absolutely delighted to have her back in Edinburgh.

“One of the most ambitious and entertaining poets in the country.” (The Times)




A set of beautifully executed songs from one of Scotland’s most gifted songwriters. Described as ‘The UK’s best lyricist’ by King Creosote in The Independent, Dan’s live solo performances are fragile, beautiful and uplifting.

“Endlessly loveable stuff” (NME)




Ryan’s critically praised first collection, Tomorrow, We Will Live Here, was published by Salt in 2010 and won the Crashaw Prize. A forthcoming second collection is forthcoming from Penned in the Margins. An Edinburgh-based poet and live-artist, Ryan has toured nationally and internationally including at the Erbil Literature Festival in Iraq; as part of the Auld Enemies tour, and the Wordstorm Festival in Darwin. He’s recently launched his new collection The Good Dark with Penned In The Margins, and we’re excited to hear from it. Ryan is also an endlessly generous promoter, collaborator, tour organiser, podcast maestro and overall galvanising force for the Edinburgh poetry scene (although he’d never admit it, and you probably don’t realise you’ve been galvanised until he’s left the building). The Golden Hour, which ran at The Forest in Bristo Place, was one of the inspirations behind Rally & Broad…oh look what you’ve done, Ryan! xx

“Here is a new and authentic voice with a punch in the language.” — Penelope Shuttle




Summery and sweet, varied and interesting, Caro’s words and tunes can’t fail to make you smile. Having performed extensively, both solo and with her band The River, Caro returns to the The Bongo Club after being support act for A New International’s album launch, hosted by Rally & Broad. We loves her.


And with all the usual spraffling, raffling and lyrical nonsense from your hosts Rally (Jenny Lindsay) & the Broad (Rachel McCrum). Ours is a double brandy and Red Bull, and some Nytol, aye? We’ll pour the champagne. xx


Because the Night… – Rally & Broad 50th Show! With The Mental Health Foundation.

Rally & Broad ‘Because the Night’ – Friday 15th May, The Bongo Club, Edinburgh. With Aidan Moffat, Kathryn Joseph, Anneliese Mackintosh, McGuire and Liz Cronin. Doors at 730pm, £5. 

…belongs to us…


This month marks our 50th event since those heady, hectic begininings in October 2012 and to celebrate that, and many other things beside, Because The Night! pulls together some of our most favourite past acts alongside newcomers to the R&B stage!

In both Edinburgh and Glasgow we’ll be celebrating The Night with the help of excellent line-ups, and in Edinburgh, an extra-special partnership gig in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation and the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Because The Night! (Edinburgh) is simultaneously a sparkling line-up of utterly delicious lyrical delight to celebrate the Night (that is, the show, the show, our 50th show!) as well as being a celebration of using the arts to address the stigma of ill mental health.




Prolific and multi-talented Scottish songwriter in a special spoken word set. You know it all…Arab Strap, Mogwai collaborations, the collaborations with everyone left, right and centre, Lucky Pierre and a children’s book with Cargo Publishers, ‘The Lavender Blue Dress. So. Much. We are excited.




Prodigiously talented and criminally underrated; Kathryn is one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets. Her voice possesses the other-worldly quality comparable to Ms Newsom and Björk; but she is by no means of an ilk. With songs from new album ‘bones you have thrown me and blood I have spilled.’

Bruised and yet beautiful, down but not out, her wonderful, visceral songs knocked King Tut’s for six. She is the real thing.” **** (The Herald)




Author of highly acclaimed Any Other Mouth (Freight Books) and captivating live reader, Mackintosh returns to the R&B stage. We’re thrilled to see her again.

Winner of WINNER OF THE GREEN CARNATION PRIZE and listed in Books Of The Year 201 in The Herald, Favourite Books Of 2014 in The Scotsman, Top Scottish Books Of 2014 in The List,The Best Books Of 2014 in Civilian, Books Of The Year in The Cadaverine, The Best Fiction From 2014 in Scots Whay Hae! And Voted Top 10 inThe Readers’ 10 Best Books Of The Year So Far, The Guardian.




McGuire’s first full collection “As I sit quietly, I begin to smell burning” is a wild mixture of poetry and short stories. In the spirit of verging on discovering catastrophe, the collection displays McGuire’s tendency toward the confessional, the social-realistic and absurd. Expect a live performance confronting Scottish cultural life, perversion, identity, masculinity and addiction.




Edinburgh-based songwriter and lyricist whose songs about love, life and sorrow are simultaneously heart-breaking and hilarious. An R&B favourite and for very good reason!



With extra-special Rally & Broad based antics from yer resident hosts Jenny Lindsay & Rachel McCrum. xx

Can’t Buy Me Love: Rally & Broad in April (Edinburgh)!

Friday 17th April, The Bongo Club, Edinburgh. Doors at 7pm, £5. Tickets available in advance on Eventbrite!

We just don’t care too much for money. But we care a lot about love.

Joining us this month…



BBC Radio 4 Folk Singer of The Year (2014) with songs from new album With The Dawn. A prolific and ingenious artist, Bella Hardy’s new work documents the flux of life, good and bad, happy and sad. A must-see act of lyrical delight!

“(With The Dawn is) nothing short of a masterpiece.” (The Sunday Times)




William Letford is a former New Writer’s Award winner whose first collection Bevel was published by Carcanet Press in 2012. He is also an unmissable live reader and performer, and has toured nationally and internationally including as part of the Auld Enemies tour and Reel Iraq. He’s also a particular Rally & Broad favourite and we’re delighted to have him back in Scotland after he headlined oor second ever show in Nov 2012. Yass!



Emma Jane Unsworth’s first novel Hungry, the Stars and Everything (Hidden Gem) won a Betty Trask Award from the Society of Authors and was shortlisted for the Portico Prize 2012. Her short story ‘I Arrive First’ was included in The Best British Short Stories 2012 (Salt). She has worked as a journalist, a columnist for The Big Issue, and a barmaid. Her second novel Animals was published by Canongate in May 2014. She’s writing a third novel, as well as the screenplay of Animals, which has been optioned by BAFTA-nominated producer Sarah Brocklehurst and awarded development funding by the BFI.

“I wish I had written this book… Withnail with girls.” (Caitlin Moran)




Faith Eliott is a musician and artist living in Leith. She writes songs with fantastical lyrics, makes drawings, puppets, sculptures, and tiny rugs out of mouse skin.

Songs here: https://soundcloud.com/faith-eliott

Artwork here: http://faitheliott.blogspot.co.uk/


In our New Voices slot this month, rising star of local performance events such as Soapbox and Loud Poets, Freddie Alexander! Freddie’s work is thoughtful, captivating and often humorous coupled with a raw talent that deserves tae be heard.

Hosted by yer resident sprafflers Rally & Broad (Jenny Lindsay & Rachel McCrum). We don’t need no diamond rings. But come and lend us yer ears, yer heart and yer soul for the evening. We’ll pay it back with interest.



‘Ire & Salt’/’Do Not Alight Here Again’ – new pamphlets from Jenny Lindsay & Rachel McCrum

This is definitely not a Rally & Broad event. No, no. It’s the new pamphlets from Stewed Rhubarb Press. An event in Edinburgh, an event in Glasgow. But it’s definitely not a Rally & Broad. It just happens to contain some of the same supporting cast. jennyandrachel The events…

  • Thursday 16th April, The Old Hairdresser’s. With support from Chrissy Barnacle.
  • 7 – 9pm, suggested donation of £3. Doors at 630pm.

The pamphlets… Ire & Salt Set to the backdrop of the referendum on Scottish independence, the pieces represented in Jenny Lindsay’s second pamphlet reflect a personal journey grappling with the contradictions in Scottish culture, in calls for independence, and in the way we view and try to attain personal and political power. Empowerment, individualism, autonomy, alienation – this pamphlet flips the lid on a life where depression and anxiety meets hopeful and inspiring political engagement meets frustration, ire and salt. “Defiant, eloquent and inspiring.” (Andrew Eaton-Lewis, The Scotsman) Do Not Alight Here Again Crossings, sailing, borders, salt, fathers, women, appetite, colonialism, home, grief. Rachel McCrum’s second pamphlet has been two and a half years in the cooking. It explores coming with to terms with life in a country that is in the middle of deciding its own future when you only – sortof – come from there. ‘The sense that this is the perfect way to say something is never far off…’ (Poetry Scotland) The poets… Jenny Lindsay Jenny Lindsay was born in Glasgow in 1982 and grew up in Maybole, South Ayrshire. She began her performing career as a singer-songwriter, whose lyrics were always better than her singing. In 2002 she discovered the live poetry world and thus began over a decade of writing, performing and promoting Scottish spoken word. Jenny’s poetry has featured on BBC Radio Scotland, the Rob Da Bank Show (BBC Radio 1), STV’s Nightlines, Channel 4 News and the BBC World Service. She has also appeared on Newsnight and Newsnight Scotland, and featured in the documentaries Homage To Scotland (dir. Justin Webster) and Scotland Yet (dir. Jack Foster, Christopher Silver). Her debut collection, The Things You Leave Behind was published by Red Squirrel Press in March 2011. Her first pamphlet The Eejit Pit (2012) is published by Stewed Rhubarb Press. She also features in Be The First To Like This: New Scottish Poetry (Vagabond Press: 2014) and Inspired By Independence (Word Power, 2014). Jenny writes about people, love, loss, politics, alienation, Scotland, and Edinburgh, where she continues to live and breathe. When she is not teaching, writing or promoting Jenny enjoys an occasional nap, frothy ales, and holding the world to rights in some Edinburgh bar-shack. Rachel McCrum Rachel McCrum arrived in Edinburgh in 2010, via Manchester, Belfast, New Zealand, Oxford and a small seaside town in Northern Ireland. She works as a poet and performer, has worked to develop the spoken word scene in Edinburgh with Inky Fingers, Blind Poetics and now co- produces Rally & Broad, Scotland’s cabaret of music, words and lyrical delight. Her first pamphlet ‘The Glassblower Dances’ was awarded the 2013 Callum MacDonald Award, as a result of which, she was the 2013 Michael Marks Poet In Residence at the Harvard Centre for Hellenic Studies in Nafplion, Greece. In Spring 2014, she toured performances and workshops in Johannesberg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch, South Africa as one of the six Scotland based Commonwealth Poets United, supported by the Scottish Poetry Library and the British Council/Connect ZA. Her work has been included in the anthologies ‘Be The First To Like This’ (Vagabond Voices), ‘A Bird Is Not A Stone'(Freight Books) and ‘Double Bill’ (Red Squirrel Books). She has performed alongside Liz Lochhead, Phill Jupitus, William Letford and Don Paterson, at the Latitude and Wickerman Festivals and many other places. . Rachel’s work explores national and personal identity, loss, love, frustration and things questioned and unsaid. She believes passionately in setting up DIY platforms, likes red wine, dark chocolate and strong pickles, and once upon a time, she went sailing.

Six Questions for…The 2015 Scottish Slam Champ BRAM E. GIEBEN!

In February 2015, Bram E Gieben competed against fifteen of Scotland’s best slam poets to win the title. He’ll go on to represent Scotland in the Slam Worlds in Paris in June. Rally & Broad were both in the audience that night, and it was an incredible performance, equal parts power, control and fire. We’re delighted that he’ll be appearing at Rally & Broad on Friday 20th March for ‘Dance While The Sky Crashes Down’ with RM Hubbert, Alan Bissett, Lynsey May and Elyssa Vulpes. In the meantime, a few queries about what makes him tick tick tick…


  1. So…how does it make you feel?

    It honestly feels incredible, for a number of reasons. I’ve always seen myself as something of an outsider on the slam, hip-hop and poetry scenes – too hip-hop for the poetry crowd, too poetry for the hip-hop crowd, and too hard to place for a lot of slam judges and fans. To win, especially against a huge field of very talented poets, has definitely made me feel that I’ve been working towards this eventual goal, and that it hasn’t all been in vain. I was ready to quit slam after this year, just to make space, I guess, for new voices… but this has given me an extra boost to keep going. What I hope, more than anything, is that my win gives hope to people whose poetry is a little weirder, edgier and more combative that they too can win slams and acclaim for their performances if they work hard enough… and that it’s not always deeply personal, emotionally-wrought poems and poets who win; that polemic and rhetoric and satire and wordplay all have their place, if delivered with passion and a little bit of stagecraft.

  2. You’ve been doing spoken word in Scotland for a while. What are your thoughts on the scene over the past number of years? And how is it looking to you now?

    I think in may ways the scene is healthier than it’s ever been – people like Loud Poets have popularised it for a new generation of people, and the level of talent coming up through the ranks is inspiring. Someone like Sam Small, who I’ve collaborated with in the past, have pushed spoken word out to new audiences who had never encountered it beofre. There’s a progression – a talented poet can go from packed clubs and bars doing open spots or features, to paid gigs at showcases like Rally & Broad and Neu! Reekie! I have benefitted from that progression a great deal, and I think in general, spoken word has much more mainstream recognition than it did when I started 10 years ago. If I was going to be negative for a second, I might express some concerns that a generic, slam-influenced style and solipsistic subject matter have become more prevalent – I think it is still very hard to get noticed or applauded in the same way if your work is transgressive or experimental, and I also think this is a factor in the feeling that some artists have that work which deals with gender, sexuality or race in a confrontational way can sometimes be passed oveer or marginalised. I might also lament the fact that although the performance scene is driving interest in poetry, it is still page poets who get most of the press – as if one has to ‘graduate’ to the page from the ‘sophomoric’ spoken word scene. But these are minor quibbles, and quibbles that existed in some form 10 years ago, so I don’t let it bother me much. The fact is, the scene continues to grow and evolve with little outside interest or interference, and probably, this is a good thing. I’d like to see more Scottish poets travelling to perform, I’d like to see more recognition for Scottish poets from English tournaments, organisers and events. But the fact is if any of that is going to happen, we have to make it happen ourselves. Thus has it ever been!

  3. Poet, performer, rapper, musician, novelist, journalist, record producer, ex-Chemikal Poet, Post-cyberpunk miserablist and crime junkie…you have an insane number of strings to your bow. How do they relate to one another? And do any of them play more loudly than others, for you?

    I’ve long struggled to separate music, spoken word, performance and storytelling. I think the confusion about ‘what I do’ stems from that. With my new stage show, I am combining all of these disciplines and approaches – something which synthesises them all in a theatrical way is what I am working towards. Journalism was fun for a while but wasn’t very renumerative – like many of the strings in my bow, coins don’t tend to rain from the sky when I pluck them. But I am still writing the odd piece for places like The Quietus, and I still write fiction for publication as well as performance. In my experience, self-taught artists like myself, in this day and age, are usually multi-platform artists. It’s a function of the accessibility of the means of production, promotion and visualisation which are part and parcel of our bold new creative era. The one thing left for me to figure out is what I, as an artist, can do which will be a financially rewarding pursuit as well as a creatively fulfilling one. I;m working on that…

  4. How important are Slams?

    I think slams are vital for a number of reasons – first and foremost, they still draw a big crowd, and for an event organiser, the slams tend to help pay for the shows, which will be quieter but more expensive to mount. Secondly, they make you raise your game, by comparing yourself to other poets, and learning from their technique. Thirdly, they provide a calendar or focus for a calendar of spoken word events in a city or region. This gives the scene a chance to renew itself every few years. The only way in which they are damaging, I think, is in terms of what they do to some poets’ egos. It’s worth remembering that the opinion of a judge – no matter how qualified – is just that, an opinion, and that there is a degree of arbitrariness in every slam contest. Finally, I’d say that the need for more regulatuon of which slams qualify a poet for the nationals, how that qualification works, and standardisation of rules for slams is looking increasingly necessary, just to avoid squabbles over fairness. I can see a two-tier ‘pro’ and ‘semi-pro’ slam circuit arising in years to come, and I think that raises as many problems as it solves…

  5. What are you bringing to Paris with you in June?*

    I’ll be bringing some old favourites like BURN and KEEP GOING. I am a bit worried about finding a French person who can translate words like ‘phenotype’ and ‘polycyclical’ in plenty of time… I’m optimistic, as they like a bit of controversial politics and science fiction, the French.

  6. Finally, looking to ‘Dance While The Sky Crashes Down’ at Rally & Broad in March…how will the world end?

    I’m on record as being a great believer in ecophagy, or Earth-death. I strongly believe we are among the last generations of humans to walk the planet. I think the world will not end, but rather carry on without us, or with a considerably diminished human presence. The great die-off seems inevitable to me. There are a few technological scenarios I could see ending capitalism, dispensing with profit-driven economic models and leading to a kind of population plateau, which might resemble a post-singularity technocratic utopia, where humans get to mine the asteroid belt, explore the stars and spread the human virus beyond the Sol system. But my strong gut instinct tells me that billions upon billions of us will die before those technological high water-marks are reached. 

    In the resulting chaos, I think it’s unlikely that the values we prize as ‘civilised’ will be seen as important by those with the traits to survive. My prediction for the next few decades is an abrupt slide into fascist totalitarianism for what is now known as the ‘West’ and a continuing descent into medieval barbarism elsewhere in the world, with the surviving population hotspots tending to favour dictatorships like Russia rather than quote-unquote ‘democracies’ such as we inhabit. The erosion of liberal values in favour of ruthless self-preservation is already perfectly visible in the rise of UKIP and the Conservatives in the past decade. But the true horror won’t start until the temperature rises a few degrees – then you’ll see democratic and liberal values thrown out in favour of the genocide and murder of climate change refugees. Religion is due for a big revival – people will reject utopianism and myths of progress in favour of the simplistic ‘eye for an eye’ fables of dead eras.

    Teach your children to hunt, fish and grow vegetables. Teach them to kill without hesitation in self-defence. Teach them to ride horses. Teach them not to put their faith in machines or live their lives through the proxies of social media. All very easily said, of course. Harder to do. Me? I plan to hole up in a tower block with a bicycle-powered dynamo, a DVD player and a box-set of Adventure Time. That or join some sort of post-apocalyptic biker gang….


‘Dance While The Sky Crashes Down’ (Edinburgh)

Rally & Broad present…’Dance While The Sky Crashes Down.’ Friday 20th March, The Bongo Club, 66 Cowgate, Edinburgh. With RM Hubbert, Alan Bissett, Lynsey May, Elyssa Vulpes and the 2015 Scottish Slam Champion. Doors at 7pm. £5.

You know we always love to dance. This month, we’re kicking up our heels while we watch the sky fall down, sequins and silk in hand. Whether it’s utopia, dystopia or just good old fashioned apocalypse, we’re dancing through it all. Come waltz over the rubble with us.

See you at the front? Ours is a swirl of radiation and star dust.*

It’s a particularly lush bill of delights this month. Joining us…



Prolific Glasgow-born songwriter and guitarist who, in his own words, “writes music about love, death, friendship, mental illness and occasionally a dog called D Bone”. He is the winner of the Scottish Album of the Year Award 2013 (forThirteen Lost & Found); was short-listed for the SAY Awards in 2014 (for Breaks & Bones) and his live performances “provide the rare spectacle of a noisy rabble falling instantly silent to marvel at both his technical ability and the emotional impact of his music” (The Scotsman)




Speaking of prolific: Alan Bissett is a novelist, performer, activist, theatre-maker, playwright and essayist – a man of many literary talents and firm Rally & Broad favourite. His Collected Plays from 2009 – 14 are released this month by Freight Books and demonstrate why Bissett is one of Scotland’s brightest, multi-award-winning literary and theatrical talents.




Lynsey lives, loves and writes in Edinburgh. She was born to be wild but she didn’t realise and got into the habit of keeping receipts paying her taxes on time. Her stories are where the wildness runs free.




…dreams and firelight, shadow and rock and roll. Late night tales of witchcraft, mystery and desire from battle-scarred survivors of the Love Wars…


...and the 2015 Scottish Slam Champion BRAM E. GIEBEN!


Scotland, hail your champion! Rally & Broad were both in attendance at the Scottish Slam Finals at the end of February, and such a night it was. We are without fingertips. The rightful winner, in the midst of glorious competition, was none other than Bram E. Gieben and we are delighted to have him (back) on the Rally & Broad stage.  Self described poet, performer, rapper, musician, novelist, journalist, record producer, ex-Chemikal Poet, Post-cyberpunk miserablist and crime junkie, it’s all held in one furious balance. Come and marvel.


* and with due credit given to Jason Webley, where the title of this month’s show has come from.

Rally & Broad Masterclass Series: #3 Harry Giles & #4 Elspeth Murray!

We are delighted to present the next two masterclasses from Rally & Broad, from Harry Giles and Elspeth Murray! See below for more details, and book a place.
We’ve found that they are filling up quickly, so advance booking is essential. As before, book a single workshop for £8, or both for the special price of £15! 
#3 HARRY GILES – MASTERCLASS – Poetry On The Streets
(Saturday March 28th, 12 – 4pm)
What happens when we take poems off the stage and out into the streets? This is a workshop on performing out in the public, looking at the skills and ideas behind street and political performance. We’ll practice street performance skills, explore writing in powerful and impactful ways about the issues that matter, and talk about what it might mean to be a political poet.
# 4 ELSPETH MURRAY- MASTERCLASS – Performing Poetry With Presence
(Saturday April 25th, 12 – 4pm)
You and your poems have life and energy. How can you bring your work off the page and deliver it to its full potential? Performance nerves are natural, however much experience in front of an audience you have. Learning about the energy of presence will enhance your experience of your (and other people’s!) poetry both on the stage and off. In this workshop you will build performance presence through awareness of your body, voice, eyes, ears, head and heart. Through short writing exercises and voice practice in pairs and small groups, you will develop a sense of confidence that will serve you as a performer and have relevance to other areas of your life. No need to bring poems with you. Come prepared to breathe, focus and let go!
About Harry Giles

Harry is from Orkney and lives in Edinburgh, where he does poetry and performance and stuff in the cracks in between. His pamphlets Visa Wedding and Oam are published by Stewed Rhubarb, his debut poetry collection was shortlisted for inaugural Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, and he was the 2009 BBC Scotland slam champion. He founded Inky Fingers Spoken Word, co-directs the live art platform ANATOMY, and his participatory theatre has toured across Europe and Leith.


Murray, Elspeth

About Elspeth Murray

As a poet and wordsmith Elspeth Murray enjoys multi-disciplinary collaborations, cross-platform and educational projects and writing to commission. She has been a poet in residence at national and international health conferences, a hospice, Glasgow Fort shopping mall, Scottish Widows, Great Circle PR agency and Glendronach distillery. Her workplace residencies were featured in BBC Radio 4’s documentary Blood, Sweat, Tears and Poetry. She is a member of the Authentic Artist Collective and a trained facilitator in Critical Response Process. She also tours internationally with the multi-award winning Puppet State Theatre Company.