I arrived at the first floor to be greeted at the newly added cloakroom by the happy smiling face of one of my good friends Ellie. You could feel the energy from the room slipping under the door. I entered to a mass of people, probably the busiest I’ve ever seen it! The venue is so versatile, tonight it had a festival vibe to it, dainty bunting hung from the ceiling and mini hot air balloons floated about. Some steampunk and victorian costumed folk and a random ork were strolling around, it was vibrant scene.
Adam Gaterell of the Reading Between The Lines Collective was hosting the night, entertaining the crowd with his well delivered poetry and prose. He was joined onstage by the whole R.B.T.L crew (minus Ivana who is currently teaching English in Turkey.) King Stammers, Richard Heaven, Catfish Jon and Doris Doolally all took their turns on stage. To watch them all together is real treat everyone should enjoy at least once. It was an eclectic mix of performances of poetry with some elements of comedy, more serious notes and a few haikus thrown in for good measure.
Sam Stagg on sound took over and filled in with some electro swing and other beety tunes before Luc Valvona (also known as the Wurzulizer) took over on ukulele. He opened with the well known ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ done in the style of the Wurzels. What better way to get the crowd on your side! It was brilliantly funny with lots of “OohArrs!” and lines such as “I see a scarecrow looking like man… Scare him off! Scare him off! ‘Coz they’re eating all the corn crops” and “easy come easy go will you help my parsnips grow.” He continued with some original tracks also humorous satirical songs about things such as wealth & offshore bank accounts and a rap about ‘Samuel L Mother F****ng Jackson!.
After another Dj Break Adam Gaterell stepped back onto stage to introduce the main man himself – Professor Elemental. He opened with ‘A Cup Of Brown Joy’, everyone moved to the front to get involved. It’s such an intimate venue, you really felt like Professor Elemental was there with you having fun as the audience shouted back on all the echoing parts. He dedicated his song ‘All in this together’ to “all the weirdos, nerds & freaks… basically all of you”. The audience participation reached full pitch during ‘this is my horse’ when reveller Chris who was wearing a horse mask got called onto stage, everyone else followed him trotting along to the music. Professor Elemental was highly entertaining and spoke to everyone well “I like it down here, you’ve all got such earthy names like Radish, Turnip and Stag”. He jumped down among the masses for some freestyle rapping using inspiration from random items held up around him before going into ‘I’m British’ a song celebrating the things that make us proud to be British such as “Bagpus, Corbyn, Fish & Chips”, “The Specials” and “The Isle of Wight”! As his set was drew to an end the audience shouted for more and more, so he ended on ‘Fighting Trousers’ finishing it off with some dirty jungle & D’n’B.
It was a brilliant night had by all, we look forward to more nights like this at the first floor and hope to see the Professor back on the Island soon!