Monday, December 2, 2013

Hammer & Tongue Slam Final with Simon Munnery - 5th December

This Thursday I have the honour of competing in the Brighton Hammer and Tongue poetry slam final at Komedia. The honour is further enriched by the inclusion Simon Munnery as the headline act making the £5 admission an absolute steal. You can get all the details here.

Here's an article I wrote last time Simon Munnery did Hammer and Tongue which gives an idea of what to expect both from Simon and the slam.

(Originally published on

The small function room upstairs at The Emperor was packed for Hammer and Tongue: a night of spoken word entertainment featuring a poetry slam, performance poet Cat Brogan and comedian Simon Munnery whose name frequently appears in close proximity to words such as “legend,” “genius,” and “surreal.”
Simon Munnery
Hammer and Tongue started in Oxford and now runs events in five cities. Each event features a slam: a competition in which entrants have 3 minutes to perform a poem. A panel of judges drawn from the audience awards points out of ten. The result is a fast-paced event with high energy and dynamic performances creating a tight bond between poet and audience.

Slams are not as brutal as they sound. Slam etiquette demands respect for performers and newcomers brave enough to step up to the mike are always rewarded with a round of applause and a good score. For the most talented performers the rewards are greater. The national final is highly competitive and winning brings national media exposure, paid gigs and other exciting opportunities.

Hammer and Tongue provides further entertainment and inspiration by featuring established performers at each event. Support act Cat Brogan delivered a polished set combining witty and thought provoking poems on subjects including social prejudices and her Northern Irish upbringing. Her powerful delivery perfectly combined words and performance, the hallmark of a slam champion and worthy of the sellout crowd who had come for the headline act.

"I used to be allowed to stay up to watch this guy on TV,” announced excited compere Alex Iamb as he introduced award-winning comedian Simon Munnery. Taking to the stage strumming a toy guitar he dispensed with the three minute bursts of poetry format and delivered a twenty minute ramble of observational comedy and shaggy dog stories. With material on subjects including killing dogs, Swiss hazard signs, seedy great uncles and rural life it was an unpredictable routine that kept the laughter flowing.
Munnery’s skillful use of language allows him to constantly juggle a diverse range of topics and give stand up comedy a fresh twist. “Anyone from anywhere? Anyone noticed anything?” he inquired, deadpan, early on. “Some of these jokes require background reading,” he remarked after a line about Greek mythological characters Sisyphus and Icarus. Only towards the end of the set did he do any poetry; a chant sarcastically praising a well-known chain of pubs and a surreal and embittered rant on London.

It was a low-key gig for a veteran performer who has many awards, TV and radio series to his credit. His appearance is testament to the outstanding reputation Hammer and Tongue has for organising events which are getting more people to listen to, write, perform and enjoy poetry.

No comments:

Post a Comment