I have just returned from the phenomenal Word Cup organised by Apples & Snakes. Nine regions brought together slam teams culled from schools in their local areas, and slammed it out live on the evening of Saturday 10th July to a packed theatre at the Contact in Manchester. What. A. Gig. The SLAMbassadors performed as a featured (non competing) act, with a blistering set from Sin1, Sarah Olowofoyeku, and Chris Preddie – and I joined the judges Riz Emcee and Charlie Dark to select the winning team which was: Yorkshire! Big up Leeds Young Authors. The best performance award went to the South West, and the team with most spectacular lines was the North West. And all the way through, Leeds Young Authors led the chant ‘It’s not about the competition, it’s about the poetry!!!’. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
What a lot of people don’t understand about slam is that it is not about the the 2-3 minutes on stage. It isn’t even about the weeks of writing and rehearsal that goes in to creating a team piece – it’s about the bits you don’t see, the underbelly of creative energy, the artistic community, the intellectual acrobatics and the life-long friendships that are founded through these events.
Most of all, it’s about a little white van that waits outside the gig gates…(when you’re old enough, you will be invited in to freestyle and cypher til your lips drape down to your knees).
Thank you Chris, Sin1 and Sarah for making me the proudest coach in show business.