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 localsecrets.com)
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.”
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.
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
"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.
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
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.