Interview (not an argument) with Attila the Stockbroker


I saw Attila the Stockbroker perform at the Cumberland Arms in Byker, Newcastle when I first started to write and perform poetry. He was funny and truthful, with real righteous acid in his tongue. You knew he’d seen both wrongdoing and optimism and thought and fought hard about them both. You knew this was someone that loved deeply enough to sink his teeth into injustice and hang on until the last dog died. Attila was kind enough to give me an interview about his recent autobiography, his politics and his history with the festival.

Arguments Yard Cover1.indd

Your autobiography is out this year, and you’ve clearly had quite a life. What prompted you to write it, and how easy was it to get it on paper?

I’ve earned my living as a poet/musician for 35 years, done over 3000 gigs in 24 countries and got an unbelievable amount of experiences to share. I hope the book will make people laugh, think..and occasionally weep! As I say in the foreword, my message is this: you don’t need to be ‘a celebrity’ to have a happy and fulfilling life doing what you love – you just have to have a way with words, the self confidence and organisational ability of Napoleon and a skin thicker than the armour of a Chieftain tank. (Not everyone has those, of course…..)

It was very easy to write and a most enjoyable process, the first time I had embarked on something of this magnitude. My respect for people who write books for a living has increased enormously!

You’ve been a massive political campaigner and polemicist for decades.
What are your thoughts about the recent election? Are you surprised at what happened?

No. Given that there is no freedom of the press in this country, just a brazen Tory propaganda machine run by Murdoch, the Barclays and Desmond, and that many  English (not British!) people are endemically conformist cap-doffing Ragged Trousered Philanthropists who meekly do what they’re told, I’m not at all surprised that when yelled at to vote Tory by nearly every press outlet in this country, 38% of them did. In fact, I’m surprised that not more did. It’s totally undemocratic. I’d shut the Sun, Mail and Express down in the interests of public decency. They can keep the Times and the Telegraph, we can have the Mirror and the Guardian. That’d be fair.  I think it is fashionable to underplay the role of print newspapers in elections and claim that ‘the British public is more sophisticated’. Sorry, but I think if the Sun told people to shave off their pubes and put brillo pads in their underwear or they’d get crabs I reckon the dustmen would have a very hairy load the following week and the supermarkets would sell out of scourers!

Have your audiences changed throughout the years? Do you think there’s generally less political interest amongst the young than there was back when you first took up the mic?

It’s complicated because there is often politics there, just expressed in a different way. I think the fact I came out of punk and lived through the battles of the 80s meant that my delivery and focus was very militant and forceful. Most of the young people I hear now are more subtle (and often confused) about their politics.   I’ve always been much more that JUST a political polemicist, though, and some of my best recent work has been intensely personal, as you probably know.  There is a fair bit of action on the streets…I wish it was a bit more focussed, that’s all!

Are there any poets out there now that you think are successfully carrying on the mantle of poetic polemicist?

Yes, loads. Luke Wright, Itch from the King Blues, Janine Booth, Nextgen, Captain of the Rant…there are loads.  Different from me but with a lot of the same sort of values and ideas. Looking forward to checking out some new ones in the poetry tent.

What are we likely to see you do on the P&W stage this year?

Lots of new poems – and a couple of autobiography bits.

This will be your 26th Glastonbury. What is it about Glastonbury that keeps you coming back? Can you remember your first? Who played?

I love Glastonbury – it’s the only festival anywhere where you can have a thoroughly enjoyable time without ever visiting any of the major stages, just wandering around, looking, hearing, soaking up the atmosphere.  What keeps me coming back? The fact that I have been asked to perform here for the last 26 festivals. And I am very proud and grateful for that.

You’ve shared in this blog that you once fell asleep on your back, naked at Glasto and woke up sunburnt. Can you share any similarly weird episodes during your many times here?

TWO GLASTONBURY ERRORS
(Dedicated to the memory of Arabella Churchill)

Now I’ve performed at Glastonbury since 1983 –
That’s 25 so far this year, though each feels new to me
I’ve seen it grow from hippy roots into a massive splurge
A massive celebration where the old and new converge
And that’s OK. Each to their own. Us old school hardcore purists
And all the mobile-cashpoint-weekend-hippie Glasto tourists.
I have a thousand memories of sunshine, rain and flood!
Joe Strummer on the main stage, John Peel in the mud…
No time for all. Two special stories, and a rare old mixture.
The beer-befuddled memoirs of a punk rock Glasto fixture.

The first concerns a gruesome and apocryphal event
Concerning those unfortunates ensconced in the Dance Tent
One afternoon when Glasto staff were cleaning out the loos.
The bloke inside the toilet truck had two buttons to choose –
The one emblazoned ‘Suck’ and the other labelled ‘Blow’…
Wrong button, wrong place and wrong time. The end result?
Oh, no.

The second is more personal and close to home, I’d say.
My wife and I were wandering one sunny Saturday
Amidst the close-pressed masses of a modern Glasto crowd
When she had a whim to do something to make her husband proud
Give me a lift, despite my beers, and really set me up
So she gently reached behind herself to make a loving cup
But my stopping by the beer tent quite undid her wifely plan
And the loving cup was given to an unsuspecting man….
Her fingers knew at once the heinous nature of her error
And she dashed off in embarrassment, confusion, pain and terror!
I’ve never asked Robina if the grounds for her surprise
Were because her chosen target was over- or undersized……
Or was it just a different shape? Well, that’s as it may be.
Long live Michel Eavis, and long live Glastonbury!

I’ve seen you perform twice in the Poetry&Words tent now, and you’ve smashed it both times. Do you have a secret for keeping the crowd on your side?

Start off as a performer shouting anti fascist poems at drunk nazi boneheads and being attacked on stage. After that, any audience is a piece of piss.

What’s next for you? Any projects coming up you’d like to share?

Autobiography published by Cherry Red Books in September and a huge book launch tour taking in everywhere that will have me!

Finally, can I put in a request for ‘Doggy on a String’ for when you play the P&W tent?

You can.

Mint! Attila the Stockbroker will be performing ‘Doggy on a String’ just for me (and some more of his work) in the Poetry&Words tent on:

Sunday 28th at 1.15pm.

Come early as he always packs out the tent! Find out more about Atilla the Stockbroker here: www.attilathestockbroker.com

More interviews lined up. Stay tuned.

Scott 🙂

 

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The FULL Glastonbury Poetry&Words 2015 Line up

Behold, the dates and times of all the stars of this year’s Poetry&Words tent at Glastonbury. Thanks to P&W’s very own behind-the-scenes veteran Jack Bird for designing this year’s poster. Is very pretty 🙂

PW Poster Final

The first of our special interviews will be going up soon. Keep watching.

Scott 🙂

I trust I can rely on your poets?

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Huge elation for some and crushing bewilderment for others, but Poetry&Words is standing on its soap box to welcome the next five eminently electable and delectable poets appearing in a big top in Somerset in late June. Be you left, right, ecstatic or sitting in a darkened room picturing imminent armageddon, this batch will show you manifestos that every poetry lover can get behind…

Dan Simpson

Dan Simpson

A top poet. A top bloke. I had the pleasure of performing with Dan at the Larmer Tree festival a few years ago. His warm, affable, utterly likeable delivery perfectly compliments his razor sharp writing and observation.

As well being a poet he’s also a regular compere. His poetry deals with love and literature, science and stars, people and Pac-Man: all that good geeky stuff. He was Canterbury Laureate 2013-14, and has worked on literature projects for Southbank Centre, Royal Academy of Arts, and National Museum of Scotland. His first collection of poetry is Applied Mathematics, published by Burning Eye Books, and his poems have featured on the BBC and London Underground. As an educator, Dan delivers poetry workshops in schools and for adults, most recently as a Poet Coach for Apples and Snakes’ youth slam project Spoke ‘n’ Word. Dan has performed at major festivals, events, and venues around the UK, including: The National Theatre, Roundhouse, and BBC Radio. He also performed (poetry) at both a hen party and a death metal gig, and is unharmed.

“charmingly geeky” (The Scotsman)
@dansimpsonpoet

 

Paula Varjack

Paula Varjack

A powerful, subversive, unstoppable, sassy poet I’ve had the pleasure of performing with several times.

Paula Varjack is an artist and creative producer.  Trained in filmmaking and performance, she works across theatre, documentary and spoken word. Her work explores identity, our desire for connection, and our relationship with cities.  She is currently developing “Show Me The Money” a solo performance on the relationships artists have with fees and funding. She has performed at numerous arts festivals and cultural spaces including: The V&A, Richmix, Wilton’s Music Hall, Battersea Arts Centre, Glastonbury Festival, Berlin International Literature Festival,  and The Photographer’s Gallery.

I’ll be interviewing both Paula and Dan Simpson about their creative partnership (including the hosting the Glastonbury Poetry Slam) in a future blog!

 

Erin Bolens

Erin Bolens

Meet last year’s Glastonbury Poetry Slam Champ. Bubbling with wit, energy, great writing and a flawless performance. And I should know, I was one of the judges last year.

Erin had only been performing for several months when she won The Glastonbury Poetry Slam in 2014. Originally from Leeds, Erin currently lives in London where she has been performing and writing regularly over the last year. She is also the co-founder of Culture Cake, a new event that promotes emerging performers of poetry, comedy and music. She says that Glastonbury was definitely a tipping point that allowed her to dive into a world of words and she is very appreciative of such a glorious and rare opportunity. Erin has attended the festival since she was seven so is particularly excited to be performing somewhere that has been such a big part of her life.

“Fun, rhythmical and welcoming. Extremely comfortable but not so confident you want to punch her.” – Char March, poet

 

The Antipoet

Antipoet1

I love these guys – funny, ranty, anarchic, silly and tight as the proverbial gnat’s derrière. One of their more dodgier songs I couldn’t get out of my head for days last year. They’ll be doing the warm-up shows at Poetry& Words in June, and I can’t think of anyone better for pulling a crowd into a tent.

The Antipoet, Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman, are together the world’s finest exponents of beatrantin’ rhythm ‘n views!  A delicious mixture of comedy and spoken word. They have tirelessly toured the poetry, comedy and music circuits, and have appeared at countless festivals including, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Brighton, Ledbury, Camden, Wenlock, Larmer Tree, Nostock, Blyth Power Ashes and Buxton.

“Really, really ace! I like what you do” -Ray Peacock, comedian, FUBAR Radio February 2015
“I might not agree with the sentiment, but you said it well” -The Mayor of Milton Keynes, January 2015
“The Antipoet: Funny-arse Fuckers!” -Mama Tokus, Apples and Snakes, December 2014
“It was lovely to corrupt the festival with you” –Helen Gregory, Poetry&Words, Glastonbury June 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF2FOTKarpc 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQgDWzbwo3o

 

Attila the Stockbroker

Attila

Let’s face it, Glastonbury wouldn’t be Glastonbury without Attila. A stalwart of Poetry&Words for many years. A massive force for aggressive good and guaranteed to pack out the tent. So get a patch of hessian mat early if you want to feel angry, elated and fired up to change the world.

Attila the Stockbroker: ‘Arguments Yard’ is the autobiography of Attila the Stockbroker. Published Sept 8 2015 – the 35th anniversary of Attila’s first gig…

Launched into public consciousness by legendary Radio One DJ John Peel in 1982/83, Attila the Stockbroker has spent 35 years touring the world as a self sustaining  DIY one man cottage industry, performing well over 3000 gigs in 24 countries and releasing about 20 LPs/CDs, 10 EPs and 7 books of poetry.

He toured East Germany 4 times before the Wall came down and twice more immediately afterwards, was involved in the first ever punk performance in Stalinist Albania and had to turn down playing in North Korea because he was already booked to tour sensible old Canada. He once stood in for Donny Osmond at a gig. He was targeted by fascists during the early Eighties and as well as the physical stuff once had a 10 minute stand up political argument with notorious Nazi band Skrewdriver singer Ian Stuart in the middle of a Black Flag gig at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street.

Having got an encore as the support act, he was thrown out of his own gig by the bouncers on the orders of the main act John Cale, one of his all time musical heroes. His support acts? They’ve included Manic Street Preachers, Julian Clary, New Model Army and Billy Bragg.  And in the early 80s the incredibly influential Radio One DJ Steve Lamacq was his roadie for a while.

He has led his ‘medieval punk’ band Barnstormer for 20 years as well as the solo stuff – but he did his first ever punk gig as bass player in Brighton Riot Squad in 1977 in Brighton’s legendary Vault, where coffins and skeletons from nineteenth century Huguenot plague victims kept coming through the walls.
Reviewing his first album in the NME, Don Watson said that he would rather gnaw through his own arm than listen to it again! Didn’t deter Attila though: that was 32 years ago. Didn’t deter New Zealand either: when he arrived for his first tour in 1991 both national TV channels were waiting to greet him at the airport.  And when Attila argues with a journalist he knows the score because he is one too, having written for NME, Sounds, Time Out, The Guardian and The Independent among others. He currently does a regular column in the Morning Star.

This book is social history and personal story combined: a cultural activist’s eyewitness journey through the great political battles and movements of recent times. Rock Against Racism/Anti Nazi League, Miners’ Strike, Wapping dispute, Red Wedge, Poll Tax, campaigns against two Gulf Wars. There are memoirs from all over the UK and mainland Europe and his many tours of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA, and the centrepiece of the book is the story of his time performing all over East Germany as the campaign for democratic socialist change grew: history observed at first hand.

Back home he had done every Glastonbury Festival since 1983 and organizes his own beer/music extravaganza. Glastonwick, in his native West Sussex. He was at the heart of a 15 year campaign to save his beloved Brighton & Hove Albion FC from oblivion. And he tells of a happy childhood ripped apart by his father’s death  and, forty years later, of  how he and his wife nursed his mother through a 6 year battle with Alzheimer’s.

Above all, though, his message is a simple one:  you don’t need to be ‘a celebrity’ to have a wonderful life earning your living doing what you love. You just have to have a way with words, the self-confidence and organizational ability of Napoleon and a skin thicker than the armour of a Chieftain tank.

The next batch of wunderwordsmiths are coming soon…

Scott 🙂

 

Today is Sunday, today is like creamy mud

 

Satisfyingly exhausting.

This morning I awoke before my alarm, which is always an achievement. It’s hard to sleep with so much to take in. My bedtime has averaged at 5 and I am looking forward to one more night before returning to curtains and walls. I have discovered that Berrocca is in fact the best thing straight away even if you don’t want to drink it, and that a shower doesn’t have to be long just cool enough to take the heat of the hangover away.

As I listen to Scott Tyrell, the tent slowly fills. He reviews Bethlehem Inn which I’m guessing from his review is like sleeping over at Glastonbury (Yes, in my mind we are all at one big giant sleepover!) He cautions our anger and tries to persuade Dave (id Cameron), that we, like humans, do care about stuff! From what I garner, Scotts festival tips are:

– Embrace the mud – Jesus was born in it

– Say no to anger – its victim may want to save you

– Buy a spare t-shirt with poets as owls on it – Save the owls, take them home, care about them.

Later today, we welcome the fantastically great, Michael Rosen at 14.00. This is a real treat and a perfect Sunday afternoon must see.

We also have the SLAM at 17.00, last years slam winner, Torrey Shineman, will be taking to the stage at 15.45 for a full set, This full set can be won today at the slam.

But before then, we have some more feature sets including: Rob Auton – Glastonbury Poet in Residence (14.50), Raymond Antrobus (15.20), and Helen Gregory (16.45).

So come see there’s loads to see, it’s chilled there is a mat to lay on and we are a deaf friendly tent!

Ill be staring at you all from stage at 16.15!.Deanna.xx.

 

Scott Tyrrell

 

The full line up

Full line up

 

Deanna.xx.

Festival Tactics

With just over a week to go, before we are donning our wellies and layers (of glitter!) and trying our best to let go of any city convenience – reception, flushing loos, wine glasses and walls – I decided that we should seek tried and tested tips from our poets… (biogs and pics at the bottom).Deanna.xx.

 Sara- Jane Arbury

Three Festival survival tips: 1) Don’t keep saying “When I came here 15 years ago…” 2) Don’t wear pants – there’s less fumbling to do in the toilets. 3) Wear a different hat every day, physically and metaphorically. Watch her live, hats and all, at the Poetry and Words tent: Friday 17.30 &  Sunday hosting the Poetry SLAM 17.00

Attila The Stockbroker

This year is Attila’s 25th Glastonbury, celebrate with him at the Poetry&Words tent and take these tried and tested tips seriously: 1) DON’T drink too much scrumpy and fall asleep naked on your back in the sun as I did in 1983 (when the festival was very different and being naked wasn’t unusual) 2) Make sure you go for a poo in the backstage area rather than in the general facilities elsewhere. Far more chance of finding a concave toilet (convex toilets aren’t nice) 3) Stay away from the main stages unless there is something you really want to see. Wandering around Glasto is brilliant.  It really is the only festival where you can have a wonderful time even if there is not a single band or act you actually care about playing! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrD2RHrNMYU Catch Attila The Stockbroker at the main stage of Poetry on Sunday 12.15, he is definitely someone you should want to see

The Antipoet

Glastonbury survival tips from Paul Eccentric of The Antipoet: 1) If you don’t eat then you won’t need to use the toilets. 2) There are pushers and dealers everywhere. Make sure to take your own toilet paper with you as the black market stuff is more expensive than drugs. 3) If you have to use the field hospital, make sure to tell the triage nurse that you’re a poet as it’s the only hospital on the planet with an ‘artists go first’ policy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oF2FOTKarpc With tips like these you have to see the person behind them. Watch and listen live on Saturday 14.40

Scott Tyrrell

The artist who has drawn all the artists* top tips: 1) Embrace filth! It is a festival. You are in a tent. There may be mud. There will be hippies. In the words of Idina Menzel, you must Let it Go. 2) A festival-goer’s tent is their castle. Respect the castles. And try not to trip over the guy ropes holding them up. 3) Glastonbury does not believe in an early night. You’d be unwise to fight this ancient belief. Stay up till morning. Sleep till midday. You are, after all,  on holiday…except for those booked to perform, who are consummate professionals who will be there to entertain, on cue, bang on time 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jd1vjxrXzd0 *Owl artwork is courtesy of Scott Tyrrell, T-shirts and posters will be available from the Poetry and Words Tent  See this talented man on Saturday 16.25 and Sunday 12.25

Kevin P Gilday

Survival tips: 1) Be kind. A festival is the closest we get to a complete breakdown of society. This means a lot of social norms go out the window. This is an opportunity to revel in the freedom not an excuse to be a dick. Which leads us on to my next tip… 2) Don’t be a dick. Just don’t do it. And finally… 3) Know your limits. Not that I care about your physical health but because no-one wants to deal with the lightweight chucking up their craft cider at 5 in the morning. To see this kind peaceful festival performer, come along to the Poetry and Words tent on Friday 16.40 and Saturday 12.00

THE ‘MORE ABOUT’ BIT Sara-Jane Arbury 2 MORE ABOUT Sara-Jane Arbury was born in Exeter and lives in Ledbury. She began her performance poetry career in Bristol. Since then, she has been involved in the production and promotion of creative writing and live literature for over twenty years, collaborating with organizations including the Arts Council, BBC, Oxford University Press and Bloodaxe Books. She was the Voices Off Director at Cheltenham Literature Festival, the first Writer-in-Residence for Herefordshire and is the co-founder of Spiel Unlimited with Marcus Moore, a creative combo aiming “to take the spoken and written word anywhere, to reach hearts and hearing parts everywhere”. Sara-Jane has performed her poetry on television, radio and racecourses; at arts centres, clubs and festivals; in restaurants, schools and shopping malls. She has held writing residencies in unexpected locations, including posts at The Galleries shopping mall in Bristol, Leopardstown Horse Races in Dublin, the Bristol and Bath Railway Path and four Oxfordshire village shops. She has performed in many spoken word shows such as Staying Alive with Pauline Black and Matthew Sharp, Flash with Glenn Carmichael, Lucy English and Anna Freeman, and is currently touring Count Me In, an immersive theatrical show where poetry meets Bingo. Sara-Jane casts a wry eye over everyday minutiae with a pithy sense of poignancy and pun. Her poems are published in a variety of pamphlets and anthologies, her style described as “often punning and poignant, reminiscent of Roger McGough or Dorothy Parker”. Glastonbury Festival 2009MORE ABOUT Attila’s new book of poems ‘UK Gin Dependence Party & Other Peculiarities’ was published in December 2013. Just in time to make an ideal Xmas present for your favourite bigoted aunt. Sharp-tongued, high energy, social surrealist rebel poet and songwriter. His themes are topical, his words hard-hitting, his politics unashamedly radical, but Attila will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger… Inspired by the great Sussex poet Hilaire Belloc and punk, especially The Clash, he did his first gig on 8 Sept 1980, shouting poems in between punk bands.  He quickly got 2 John Peel sessions and was on the front cover of Melody Maker – and he hasn’t looked back since…. He’s done about 3,000 more in 24 countries – at venues ranging from the Glastonbury Festival (every year since 1983) and countless other music and literature festivals in the UK, Europe, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to freezing punk squats in Germany to the Law Society and the Oxford Union and a hotel basement in Stalinist Albania.   He’s released 7 books of poems and over 20 CDs/LPs, formerly  with people like Unwins, Bloodaxe and Cherry Red Records, latterly via his own global cottage industry, Roundhead. (No cavalier attitudes!) Utterly self-motivated. He’s sometimes on the radio and TV. And all over the internet. He’s loud, radical, lyrical, reflective,will make you roar with laughter as well as seethe with anger and 2010 saw his 30th anniversary tour. As you get older you mellow out, allegedly. Attila hasn’t. This from his 2012 album ‘Bankers & Looters…..”‘There’s no such thing as society/So steal and cheat and loot/Just one thing to remember/Make sure you wear a suit!’ He’s just written a song called Prince Harry’s Knob (it isn’t actually about the royal appendage, it’s about people who read the Sun and believe it.) And, on the day she died, he wrote a poem called ‘A Hellish Encounter’, about the epic battle between Thatcher and the Devil for control of Hell…. He writes a regular column in the Morning Star. Now there’s a surprise. ‘Whether he’s ranting a poem or bashing out a song, there is something magnificent about Attila in full flight’  Ian McMillan, BBC Radio 4) http://www.attilathestockbroker.com http://www.reverbnation.com/attilathestockbroker   The AntipoetMORE ABOUT THE ANTIPOET Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman are a wry blend of anarchocynisism and comic observation. They have appeared at countless festivals and haven’t gone down too badly, including, Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Brighton, Ledbury, Camden, Wenlock, Larmer Tree, Nostock, Blyth Power Ashes and Buxton. ‘Enigmatic poetry, comedy and music sometimes all at the same time’ (Fringe review, 2010).   scottMORE ABOUT Scott: This Newcastle-based festival and slam-winning favourite has been poeting since the turn of the century. A former member of the Poetry Vandals, he has performed his work at venues around the country, Europe, on a bus, a plane and Stratford east tube Station in rush hour (he was bullied into it). His recent critically-acclaimed collection, ‘Grown Up’ provides a snapshot of a family man juggling the absurd demands of full-time employment, poetry and parenthood under the pressure of being normal under such circumstances. Reviews: “Scott’s poetry is as funny as the finest stand up comedy with razor sharp punch lines that hit in just the right places. But it also has heart. Scott is one of the best live stand up poets in the country” – Kate Fox “Scott is instantly likeable. His poetry is so easy to relate to that when he makes me laugh – which he does a lot – I sometimes feel I’m laughing at myself. It’s real, human and hilarious.”- Anna Freeman “From BBC Radio 4 to Glastonbury via the Larmer Tree festival and numerous other stages, Scott weaves a tapestry of spoken word leaving audiences entranced. As a performer I am always honoured to share a stage with him.” – Richard ‘Dreadlockalien’ Grant “I have been fortunate to perform alongside Scott on a few occasions at both Glastonbury and Larmer Tree festivals, and each time he has astounded the audience and left them simultaneously creased with laughter and wiping their eyes. Poignant, powerful and undoubtedly poetic” – Joelle Taylor   Kevin P GildayMORE ABOUT Kevin P. Gilday is a Glasgow-based spoken word artist known for his intricate word play, confessional tone and raw Glaswegian delivery. Kevin started his spoken word career by stopping his band in the middle of gigs to read poetry, much to the annoyance of the audience, before discovering Glasgow’s vibrant spoken word scene. Since then Kevin has become one of the pillars of an emerging spoken word community, performing all over the city (and beyond) in his own inimitable style. His first full length show Notes From A Quarter-Life Crisis had runs at the Edinburgh festival, the Southside Fringe, a national tour and was recorded live for a radio special.  Kevin is also a slam veteran having competed in slams (and even won some!) up and down the country.  Kevin presents Rhyming Optionalon Subcity Radio, a monthly radio show focusing on spoken word and poetry, and promotes showcases and slams all over the city under the Rhyming Optional banner. In praise of Kevin P. Gilday: “I heard the voice of a new Scotland. It demonstrates a young man who is at ease with himself and all his contradictions.”  – Tartan Tights Blog “Knowing and erudite”  – Southside Fringe “I’ve seen this show and it’s the f**king tits – so go see it” – Sam Small Poet “Do you need to keep talking about touching yourself?”  – My Maw