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Videos, Performances, Joy… Poetry.

End of Summer – Poetry Videos and Talking Creativity.

Having started to throw some ideas around with some amazing poets, I  began to wonder, how do spread our work and share it with others? I remember seeing a poet by the name of Leon, perform a poem called ‘Johnny’. Having been amazed by Leon, I asked him; “Can I find that online?”. It turns out I couldn’t , and this a problem for so many poets, people who love their work can’t access it, can’t relive it, can’t share it with others.

With this in mind, I teamed up with a long time friend, and amazing videographer, Robert Lawrence (of PHD Media). Together myself and Robert created two videos for my poems… and here they are.

 

Tap Tap Tap

Tap Tap Tap is poem about my experiences with ADHD. The video was created by Robert Lawrence of PHD Media, and stars Lorna Meehan and the young people of Continental Star FC. The poem and video have subsequently been endorsed and promoted by the ADHD Foundation, and I couldn’t be more proud of that fact!

 

Broke vs. Broken

As we walked through a nice little courtyard, returning some rented equipment that we had used to film Tap Tap Tap, myself and Rob saw a chair and table.  The idea for this video came and we made it happen, I’m glad we did.

Performances

Since my last post I have performed at a number of open mic events, including two of the best fixtures in the Birmingham poetry scene; Poetry Jam and Word Up. As well as performing at these events, I have been booked to perform at some events which are not just poetry orientated. On September 7th I performed at the York Road Street Festival in Kings Heath, it was a big open crowd and a daunting experience but as ever I loved it! Later in the evening I performed at Sunplugged, at Sun at the Station in Kings Heath, a more intimate crowd and another enjoyable performance.

On the 28th of September, I played at Sunplugged for the second time in a month. I decided that it was time to attempt to perform an extended set, as well as trying some new and experimental pieces. I performed 13 pieces and was received generously by the audience. It was a great experience and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe French for giving me the platform to test out this extended set and all of the people who came down to show there support.

 

Crowd York Road Sunplugged

 

Coming Up

Workshops

PQA Romford 11/10/2014

PQA Warwick 25/10/2014

Performances

Sunplugged @ Sun at the Station 19/10/2014

3 Days in November @ the Wheatsheaf pub in Walslall 8/11/2014

 

 

Blogging Regularly

So… This post is intended to serve a number of purposes. It is initially to announce that as of now, I will be using this website more regularly. The things I will aim to cover regularly are as follows: –

  •  What I have been doing from a poetry/ rap point of view.
  • A small write up on an artist or particular piece of work that I want to share/promote.
  •  Anything  coming up that I am looking forward to, or would like support at.

I will also cover any issues, topics that are, for whatever reason, attracting my attention at the time. Please feel free to comment, share and like the blog on whatever media that you receive it and provide feedback.

 

The second reason for this post is to begin with this new, regular blogging chapter of the page. So… here goes…

 

What has been going on?

July 12th – Exactly a month ago today – PQA Solihull BRAP Workshop.

On July 12th I ran a BRAP workshop at PQA Solihull in Shirley, Birmingham. This was a fantastic experience, as all of my work with PQA to date has been. I was blessed to arrive on the same day that the kids at this performing arts academy were set to perform at Shirley Fete. The energy was brilliant, the engagement with the workshop was great and some of the work produced was outstanding. As always we started with a room of full of kids telling me that they would not be able to rap… and as always we ended each hour session with the same kids getting up in front of their peers and performing their own rap to the group. A stand out performance was by a young lady (around 10 years old), who wrote and performed a story in a rap format, which was about domestic violence. She assured me it wasn’t a true story, but having seen advertisements about it on TV, she thought it would be good to write the advertisement in a different way. I have to say, her version appealed much more to me than any I have seen on the television. All around there was great work produced and great fun had, mainly by me!!

July 25th – Holistic Day at Work – BeatFreeks and Bar Bullyz

At the academy that I work, we have an extra week on the end of the year where pupils transition into the year above, including year 6’s coming up. All in all I think this is a great idea, and experiencing it for my first time, I have to say it worked very well. This week ended with Holistic Day, where in my position I was tasked in getting a company into the  academy to work with a cross section of the kids. I contacted the amazing team at BeatFreeks, and was happy to agree for a  team to come in and run a number of workshops on the day (Poetry, Music, Dance, Drumming and Theatre). Without going into a massive amount of detail… BeatFreeks were amazing, every workshop getting rave reviews and Amerah Saleh (Birmingham poetry powerhouse and general warrior of the arts – @voiceofthepoets – go follow) running the show with ‘diamond like’ precision.

When BeatFreeks left the building, I was left to deliver the last assembly of the year (and the first that my new year 7s would see by me). I decided to discusses progression, hard work and responding to set backs… touching on the inevitable link between these things. To grab the attention and imagination of the pupils on the last day of term I decided to get a good friend of mine, D-Dubz (@dubzbarz on Instagram) from BarBullyz (@barbullyz on instagram) to come and assist me. The master in calisthenics that he is, he came in and performed a few exercises for the pupils, before discuss the hard work and steady progression that has lead to him being so highly skilled in his field. The pupils were amazed an astounded and went away for the summer holidays with a positive message bouncing around in their heads. I’ll take that as a win!

Poetry Poetry Poetry!!!

On the 26th of July I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bohdan Piasecki and filmmaker Pippa Riddick to film a video for my poem ‘Genocide’ as a part of a project called Power Plant. I can’t wait to see and share the results… The video should be up on this site by the start of September.

On the 3rd of August I was invited to perform at Sunplugged at The Sun at the Station in Kings Heath. I performed five poems and was generously received by the crowd, as I broke up a number of acoustic musicians. Having received positive feedback and securing a second booking for a return date on September 28th, I must say I was very happy with the evening!

On the 7th of August I attended the latest instalment of the amazing Poetry Jam – at Urban Coffee Co – put on by BeatFreeks (@beatfreeks). I performed an acapella version of a song I wrote years ago, and was once again blown away by the amazing performance poets, just floating around this city! My favourite poem of the night was performed by Jasmine Gardosi (@Jasminegardosi) – An amazingly witty and imaginative tale of a female, lego army cadet who found out she was a girl when experiencing her first period whilst on parade. The word play and puns were absolutely mind blowing!

 

What’s Coming Up?

28th September – Performing at Sun at the Station in Kings Heath – Sunplugged starts at 6ish.

 

Collaborative Collective – Myself and a number of other poets/ creative people are looking at coming together to inspire, encourage and push each other to do and be better… watch this space for an update.

 

PHD Films – Myself and my brother Robert Lawrence at PHD films will soon be putting together some videos to promote my own and hopefully some other poets work… again – watch this space.

 

The rest of this year will hopefully filled with workshops, performances, gatherings and taking in some amazing poetry, I will endeavour to keep you updated!

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Hit the Ode 17/04/2014

On Thursday 17th April 2014 the local community of poets and poetry enthusiasts were treated to another fantastic ‘Hit the Ode’ at The Victoria in Birmingham. With some amazing open mic performers and two fantastic guest performers from sunny England, the stage was set perfectly for international poetry phenom Shane Koyczan to set the stage on fire, and he duly obliged! Here are a few things about the event which stood out to me, personally, making it a great privilege to be a part of.

The Host

Bohdan Piasecki, where to start, this man holds and effortlessly displays an intelligence and grasp of humour that could make for an engaging show all on its own. His quick witted interaction with the audience, his classy and smooth transitions between poets means that the show runs at a good pace and his interludes are a massive strength, so many times at events like this the host lets the talent down… Not at Hit the Ode, Birmingham – Bohdan, take a bow.

Open Mic

Opening the Open Mic section of the evening was a huge rush for me, the crowd were brilliant and very generous to me. I thank them for that, but don’t really want to talk about my own time on stage, because that’s just weird. I enjoyed all of the acts that followed, but will quickly mention two who stood out to me.

Liv Barnes A poet from Worcester (actually a small village near Worcester I later found out) performed two poems, both of which had a very neat melodic flow. This made me think that Liv was a fan or a member of the hip hop/grime rap/mc scene. Her second poem, based around celebrity and how they are worshipped like new gods, was a fantastic concept and she explored it skilfully. At one point she led us to ponder – ‘Could Jesus compete with Justin Bieber for followers?’ My own answer to that scares me… A lot.

Carys Matic Having heard Carys read once before, and knowing hat she was on the open mic, I was excited to see her performance. She did not let me, herself or anyone in the room down! She shared an epic dissection of a school encounter with the deputy head and her Dad. Within this, she touched on her relationships with each, her relationship with herself and her school environment at the time and made it clear, that being a ‘Complex Character’ is not the negative that her deputy head seemed to imply it was. Courageous, Contagious, Cool and Collected… The alliterations and superlatives could continue, Carys Matic was exceptional and by the reception I feel that all agreed!

 

Jodi Ann Bickley

Jodi Ann took to the stage as the featured local guest. Her accent and tone soft and endearing, you immediately wanted to listen to what she had to say. She shared off the cuff jokes with the crowd throughout the set, poking fun in particular at the way her poems revolved around relationships. It was such a poem that I appreciated most in her set, talking of falling in live in one night to the back drop of Bob Marley music, with a number of well placed ?Marley defences to really add to the quality of the piece. She was a joy to watch and listen to, if the opportunity arises again, I will certainly take it.

Jasmine Cooray

An amazing poet and clearly a real enthusiast too, when watching others perform Jasmine showed appreciation for what she enjoyed and listened intently to every word spoken. When she took the stage the same passion was shown, with an eclectic set which touched on a number of subjects clearly very close to her. With poems on her race and heritage, her treatment based on this and her father, there was so much going on in this set and so much to love. But the poem that I appreciated the most and that really tugged at my heart strings was about her mother’s fight with a debilitating illness, I felt that she opened up and let her audience in, and I for one, felt like I shared her pain, worry and helplessness… A truly wonderful set, by an outstanding poet.

Shane Koyczan

The main event, flown in all the way from Canada, with the entire room expecting magic when he hit the stage. Well… This man turned words into wands because magic is what we got! So many fantastic poems shared but a few I felt really hit home with me. An introduction to Shane’s grandfather, and the concept of heaven took us on a twisting roller coaster of emotion. From the idea that he allowed Shane to believe that he was becoming a monster when puberty started, to the feeling of loss for Shane when he was gone, it was a journey. The poem that hit me the hardest of the whole night was about Shane losing a friend… A best friend. This poem hit me because his story was told so clearly, but I still couldn’t hear it clearly, it tangled in with my own loss. At parts I could swear he wrote the poem based on my experience with my best friend who I tragically lost… As I heard it I felt it, and as painful as it was, I loved it… Instantly!

 

Shane also hit us with the funny short poem, 68. “68, yes yes yes, that’s when you go down on me, and I owe you one”

 

Check It Out

Hit the Ode Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/hittheode?fref=ts

Check out Liv Barnes – http://www.soundcloud.com/b-liv

Check out Carys Matic – http://www.Carysmaticjones.com

Check out Jodi Ann Bickley – http://www.onemillionlovelyletters.com/

Check out Jasmine Cooray – http://www.jasmineanncooray.wordpress.com/

Check out Shane Koyczan – http://www.shanekoyczan.com

 

Check Me Out

 

Starting this Site

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What is this site for?

I have started this site for a number of purposes.

  1. I need a fixed location that people can come to for the information about Bailey’s Rap and Poetry.
  2. I want somewhere to share the things that are going on with ‘BRAP’ and experiences that I have along the way.
  3. I want to be able to share my lyrics/poems/songs in a number of forms – (text/audio/video).
  4. I want feedback, and to connect with people with similar passions and interests.

I appreciate, that as far as blog entries go, this is a very short post with very little real purpose or use… but HEY… I might as well get you used to what will follow :-).