Art and poetry inspired by landscapes and dreamily delivered
The spoken word scene in Sheffield is happily a crowded one with a tight knit and dedicated following, so much so in fact it could put you off trying to start a new night with so many well established and excellent ones around. Poetry may be the new rock and roll but thankfully variety is still the spice of life and the duo behind High Above Wide Lands were not to be discouraged.
The slam style of poetry event is close to my heart – they’re raucous, stompy fun – but this was a different beast altogether. Even with an audience so big the venue had to be moved last minute, you could have heard an ant fart during the readings. It was a refreshing and intimate atmosphere.
Full line up is below, along with the usual interweb 2.0 linkage; special mention has to go Niall Grimes who was at once hilarious, emotive, mature and wonderfully childlike. The combination of visual art work on the walls of the Lyons Den studio worked excellently with the relocation of the performance to the cafe space of Hagglers Corner, allowing both readings and exhibitions to be enjoyed at will.
Tessa Lyons’ monochrome, character-filled landscape charcoals contrasted with vibrant climbing and Peak District photography to draw you into the small, but packed, exhibition space and keep you there. Until the call of poetry and beer became too much of course.
It was unfortunate that the acoustic set from Jupiter in Jars was drowned out for those not at the front; a folky, fun end to the night would have been great. For the audience though, it seemed the readings were simply too good not to talk about!
There will be future events from these organisers we’re told, you’ll want to keep a weather eye on the Lyons’ Den facebook page for updates – High Above Wide Lands certainly felt like the birth of something special and watching it grow up will be well worth it.
Full line up: Art Work – Tessa Lyons, Jill Ray, Al Williams, Alex Ekins, Mandy Payne, Dan Arkle, Neil Woodall – Readings – Niall Grimes, Helen Mort, Heather Dawe, Claire-Jane Carter, Marcus Doyle – Music – Jupiter in Jars