Book Slam has been emailing me for months enticing me with authors to listen to and poets to muse with, yet I’ve never taken the plunge – until this month.
Book Slam has been emailing me for months enticing me with authors to listen to and poets to muse with, yet I’ve never taken the plunge – until this month. For those of you who are unaware of this amazing concept it is quite literally, in their own words, ‘London’s best, finest, only literary nightclub’. A mix of authors, poets and musicians bringing original work out to the literary hungry.
On 24th November Book Slam was held at the Tabernacle in Powis Square – a venue that helped add to the exciting atmosphere which was evident as soon as you walked in. On arrival tickets were verified and wrists stamped – maybe this was where they get their ‘night club’ image from? They were launching their annual, a collection of stories and poetry, One for The Trouble. Tickets were available beforehand and proved popular. They sold out before the gig. Whether that had to do with the excellent line up, David Nicholls, Luke Wright, Sophie Woolley and HowAboutBeth or because they are cheaper if you pre order, I wouldn’t like to say.
In the main auditorium we chose to sit in the gallery seats and had an excellent view of the stage and access to the bar! There was food available in a box (£6) for ease of eating whilst at the event. Good value too considering we were in West London.
The compere for the night was welcoming and rather jealous of the ‘hot looking’ (his words, not mine) guy, stood next to him, signing all the acts that night. He did a brilliant job and was mesmerising to look at – and that wasn’t down to his good looks… honestly.
Luke, a poet came on first who performed with gusto. He reminded everyone that they should always clap poets as they are like fairies – if they don’t clap they die. He needn’t have worried, he went down a storm… despite, before delivering a poem about a bloke from Brentwood, asking people in West London if they watched T.O.W.I.E. They either didn’t, or more likely, didn’t want to admit it.
He was followed by Sophie who entertained us with a shortened version of her story, ‘I am the Walrus’, which is included in the Book Slam annual.
A short break for bar trips and food orders was followed by David Nicholls who shared with us his story of his childhood days, learning the piano which ended with the unfortunate death of his piano teacher. But before he falls in your estimation of him, please remember he is a master story teller and no piano teachers were hurt in the creating of his story. He returned later to read a piece from ‘One Day’ which left many of the audience wiping imaginary dust specks from their eyes. At least that is what the guys around us said. We know differently. Nicholls vowed it would be the last time he publicly read from his successful novel – before adding that if he never had another success then he might have to change his mind.
In between Nicholls reading we were treated to the amazing vocals and musical talents of HowAboutBeth. The audience were not only intrigued with her beautiful soulful singing but I have to say her electric blue sparkly heels were incredible too. Okay, that was probably just me.
All in all the evening was a great mix of literature, music and socialising. Those taking part were more than happy to sign books, postcards, anything put under their noses really. They were happy to chat about their work and encourage others with theirs. I for one will definitely be responding to more of Book Slam’s invitations with a ‘yes’. The fact it was at the Tabernacle was an added bonus. I feel as if I discovered two new places last night. The Tabernacle, and the family that is Book Slam.
Book Slam usually takes place on the last Thursday of the month. Get on the mailing list and listen to their podcasts. You won’t be disappointed.