On Tuesday 22nd, I attended the "Vocals and Verses" event for the first time. This particular show happened to be the event's 3rd anniversary celebration. Upon arrival at the event in Canada Water Culture Space, hosted by Benjamin Bennett (poet, founder of V&V), there was an atmosphere of familiarity and vibrance among the crowd, which instantly eased the awkwardness that novelty sometimes instals. At the opening of the event, it was a pleasant surprise that Benjamin was both a welcoming host and an astonishing poet, albeit his modesty. His poetry varied in intensity around the themes of romantic relationships and spirituality.
The most striking aspect of the event was the multifaceted nature of the performances; poets differed in genre, culture and style. The poems performed were a range of sociopolitical views, identity conflicts and assertions, narrations of cultural and family experiences as well as love-related expression. This allowed for an evening with fluctuating moods within the audience, inviting subtle interaction between poet and audience.
"Feed your mind, feed your soul"
In terms of the performances, an attempt to translate the array of emotions exhibited by each performance would not do them justice. Among the various themes, I certainly had favourites, which resonated with me in various ways although my commitment to engaging with them undermined my ability to recall titles. Despite this, it would be an understatement to say that I've enjoyed every single one of the poems performed.
Moreover, I really enjoyed musical performance "break" with astonishing vocals, and despite the irregularities with the microphone, the singer whose name I unfortunately cannot recall, put on a soul shattering performance alongside Michael 'Tinyman'. I can't fail to mention the pianist and guitarist, who flawlessly played the background notes through the performance, maintaining a relaxing vibe.
The evening was eventful, with a 15-minute break to separate the 3 hours into two pleasant halves. The audience had access to refreshments all throughout. It was refreshing to be exposed to so much talent. I can definitely say that it won't be the last time that I'll attend the event. I also take the liberty to speak for my friends, who came along with me and thoroughly enjoyed it. The end of the event led to networking and socialising among different people. I add sheepishly that we were asked politely to leave as it was getting late and the space was ready to close.