Taking you through a journey in time and space, ‘cos we can do that in this virtual era, along the way we’re going to meet some more of the superb acts lined up for Plugged In & Wired for release on the 26th March. On this Southside Sunday meet spoken word artists Toni Seaward and we’ll be introducing some of those juicy headliners you’re dying to meet including Bemz, Eliott Simpson, Laurie Black, Scunner and Tales from Battlefield. So strap in cybernauts and prepare yourself for this skilled stellar Southside line up. And a wee reminder that the arts are really struggling, if you can and where linked please support our artists and buy their merch, their books or support through their socials. Go on show some Southside love…
TONI SEAWARD – SPOKEN WORD
Come on a poetic journey with Toni Seaward, in her show Platitudes, she looks at life, love and lockdown from 2020 and beyond. We have seen words play a central role in our online, zoom oriented lives and communication becoming more important than ever in our socially distanced world. Moving from physical to verbal words take on new meanings all while our politicians give speech after speech every day. But what did this mean for you, for us? Do these words ring true or are they just platitudes? Toni Seaward is a writer, poet and spoken word artist based in the Southside of Glasgow. Her works are observational and reactive and usually interwoven with a strong sense of motherhood and the female condition. Toni has always been interested in how we connect to each other and the world around us on an emotional level and I use my poetry to try and make sense of these emotional connections on a personal and universal level. Toni has performed at various events as well as radio, festivals and podcasts as well as having some published works and organising multidisciplinary events and she always looks forward to being involved in events in her local area.
HEADLINER – BEMZ - MUSIC
Bemz - Saint of Lost Causes, Bemz speaks his truth. In Glasgow, Bemz is one of several artists helping to establish Scotland as a bona fide hotbed for Black music, while also proving that rap’s cultural reach stretches way beyond London. Having first fallen in love with music through the usual childhood influences and inspirations, Bemz began experimenting with making his own sounds, primarily as a medium of self-expression. Art and poetry were the precursors to his introduction to rap, before blossoming into a lifelong dedication with the artform itself. He delivers a very raw, emotionally charged view of life, which never falls into the cliched trappings that often come with that territory; truth is his asset. His music is a form of therapy, so everything spoken about in his EP and also in the media has been in relation to a situation he has experienced first-hand. Bemz’ sound is unique, and he dabbles in and out of different styes of rapping such as old school hip hop to drill to grime. His diversity is what makes him stand out. Since the EP has been released, Jubemi has organically developed a team consisting of a management duo and social media content creator. Kobi Onyame makes up part of the management team which is beneficial for showing Jubemi the ropes of the industry to some extent due to his admirable success in the industry as a musician himself. The rest of the team consist of two students who study Music Business at college. They aim to lift and help each other which creates a well-oiled machine. Before the team formed; Jubemis’ success came from himself and he has triumphed by surrounding himself with the right creators (producers, other rappers and likeminded creatives).
HEADLINER - ELIOT SIMPSON - COMEDY
Eliot is an eccentric asexual expat comedian who has been performing stand-up, sketch & improv comedy for over 5 years across the UK and the USA. For years he’s been using comedy as a means to spread awareness and education about asexuality and other lesser known queer identities. Using surreal one liners, wordplay and prop humour to explain and dissect topics of gender and sexuality is the crux of his comedic style, and has made me recognised as the most well known Asexual comedian in the world. He has performed over 800 gigs across 2 continents and has also written & performed for BBC Radio. He’s written, produced, and starred in 5 festival stage shows across several of the UK's Fringe festivals, including his current solo show "(A)sexy and I know it", a comedy show about the bizarre world of living as an Asexual man. He frequently headlines queer-focused nights and also runs his own successful comedy night in Glasgow called "The Diversity Quota"; a night that aims to always provide a diverse and varied line-up of performers. He’s been reviewed as "Absurd and Accessible" (Norwich Radical), "Weird as f**k" (Janey Godley), "Instantly likeable ... informative and hilarious” (ArtsYork), "Offbeat, wacky and unpredictable" (The Wee Review) and "infectiously funny" (The Indiependent).
HEADLINER - LAURIE BLACK - CABARET
The world has ended... Now what? In Laurie Black: Psychopomp, Laurie guides you into the abyss and out the other side with her unique brand of synth-rock and musical comedy. Build the beginnings of the new world, and your post-apocalyptic retirement plan, with this former “cabaret queen” [EdFest Mag]. This is a work in progress piece with new songs, instruments and beats. Photo by David Ryder Prangley. Laurie Black is an international cabaret performer. In 2018 she won Emerging Artist of Adelaide Fringe and her 2019 debut solo show Space Cadette has been featured on BBC's Edinburgh Nights and won Best Solo Show Awards at Newcastle Fringe (AU) and Reykjavik Fringe. Playing synthesiser and producing and writing her own tracks in a "neo-cabaret" electronic musical comedy style, she also plays with bands The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and her own Glasgow-based band S!LENCE. In 2020 she was supposed to be presenting a brand new solo cabaret show called Mockstar that has since been shelved: instead she’s used this year to write new songs and experiment with more music technology to use onstage and in future shows. In 2017 at Edinburgh Fringe she played in Briefs Factory show Sweatshop and accompanied renowned cabaret singer Anya Anastasia. Laurie has three albums and an EP that you can find on Spotify and other streaming sites.
HEADLINER – SCUNNER – MUSIC
In Scunner's Sensational Southside Soiree, Scunner hark back to musical TV specials of yore with an otherworldly video spectacle. Join this colourful bunch of electric music hall rapscallions as they blur the lines between concert/theatre/music video. This is a band who have genre hopped their way through the bizarre and whimsical, always delving into unfamiliar territory, and always uncompromising in their stage performance. Step into a world of wonder, imbued with the spirit of Dada, silent movies and wonky machines!Scunner are a bunch of electric music hall rapscallions from Glasgow who have been peddling their sinister fairground wares since 2004. Purveyors of 'Vaudeville Pop' and 'Cabarock', the band like to put on a show of a theatrical and surreal persuasion! Currently working on their 4th album by way of file swapping and home recording, they are adamant that music will still be released despite never being in the same room. Scunner are fronted by Paul Puppet, who as well as being a singer is the host and curator of Spangled Cabaret, which has provided monthly variety nights for 12 years in Glasgow. In 2013 Scunner wrote and performed a musical called, 'The Sorry Tale of Subtraction Jack & his Lady Cadaver' Plans to tour their brand new musical on the life of 'Walford Bodie, The Electric Wizard of the North' have been somewhat scuppered however due to covid. A full length musical which also utilises puppetry and masks, it is hoped that the show can hit the road in summer 2021.
HEADLINER – WORDS FROM BATTLEFIELD – LITERATURE
Words from Battlefield is an anthology of writing by the Finn's Place writing class over the past few years. This short film features two of the writers from the book, Donna Campbell and Libby McInnes. Linda Jackson, the class tutor introduces the book and then Donna and Libby perform several of their pieces. Donna's performance poet experience is evident in her piece, Mongrel, a poem about a strong and powerful woman who goes her own way. Libby reads a series of Cinquain poems about her travels and her freedom to return to the Southside of Glasgow. Class work by both.
Finns Place is an organisation that offers opportunities to enhance and improve well-being and a supportive environment for difficult times. Through classes and events they offer the opportunity for local residents to access as many of the five ways to wellbeing as possible: Connecting with others, learning something new, taking notice, being active and giving. These five ways are proven to increase a sense of wellbeing and keep people physically and mentally healthy. Over the past 7 and a half years Finn's Place has become a community hub for wellbeing, working with other community groups and organisations to bring a positive energy and community spirit to Battlefield.
We'll be back next week to introduce you to more Southside stars...stay tuned