Interview by Benjamin Solah
Brisbane Poets Darkwing Dubs, Martin Ingle and Angela Peita Willock will tour the East Coast of Australia including a gig in Melbourne on the 28th of June, alongside a bunch of solo shows by Darkwing Dubs. The tour, dubbed the ‘Roar Poets Tour 2013,’ will also head to Armidale, Nimbin, Sydney and Canberra.
Darkwing Dubs visited Melbourne two years ago and did a bunch of gigs including Sweetalkers, the first ever Slamalamadingdong and Passionate Tongues, where he impressed Melbourne with his very physical and dynamic style of performance poetry, and then came back and did a gig with the Stillwaters Women’s Storytelling Collective. It’s clear he loves Melbourne and can’t get enough of us so I spoke with Darkwing Dubs a.k.a. Scott Sneddon about visiting Melbourne again, and bringing two other Brisbane Poets with him.
What do you look forward to the most about coming down to Melbourne to perform? What’s unique about doing gigs in Melbourne?
What do I look forward to most? Melbourne is always a challenge. You learn a lot from coming to Melbourne. In both good and bad ways. It is a notoriously gated artistic community for an interstate person – especially from sunny QLD. Yet also one of the most warm and welcoming. I hate comfort zones. So coming to Melbourne is always a bit of a walk in the lion’s den. It’s rewarding and humbling and tiring and beautiful. There are people in Melbourne who constantly ask me to come back and perform again, and people who never want to see my face again.
You don’t get that in Brisbane. Everyone’s just like “Yeah, I’ll come to your gig”, and then they come and then they leave and you’re never sure whether anyone enjoyed anything. In Melbourne you know for sure. Melbourne peeps either love it and talk to you and shout you dinner (score!) and hang out. Or they hate it and tell everyone how much you suck and avoid every email and eye contact with you and delete you on facebook and poke voodoo dolls with your likeness. I’m looking for clarity in my art. I think if anywhere is going to give me that, it’s Melbourne. Melbournites don’t fuck around. I love that.
What do you hope to bring from Brisbane that Melbourne could do with more of?
I’ve been performing poetry for around 8 years now. I’m good at it. I’d want to be after this long on the circuit!! I’ve performed at numerous festivals including Woodford, won slams, hosted slams, done roving performance, facilitated workshops etc etc etc… So I’ll tell you straight up I’m bringing a fun, awesome, world class performance. And sure that may sound like a lot of ego but it’s just the truth. Would Tool tell you not to buy their album? Would Kanye West be like “eh, there’s a lot of great hip-hop albums out there so if you wanna buy this one fine, if not I understand”… FUCK NO!
If I wasn’t able to make crowds roar I wouldn’t be in the business still. 8 years of spoken word is a long time man. I’m not messing around anymore. I don’t know what Melbourne’s lacking. I don’t live there.
But I’m bringing with me some of QLD’s freshest voices, newest talent and dynamic performers. We’re bringing a bit of love, a bit of skill sharing, a bit of our learning. And a bit of poetry. Melbourne’s cold in winter. QLD’s not so much. Share the fire with us a bit.
Tell us a bit about the performers you’re bringing with you, what’s unique about them?
Martin Ingle could be a stand-up comedian. If he could stop being an amazing poet. He’s just really honest you know? I find honesty hard to get to in spoken word. Everyone’s so fucking melodramatic and saying what they think people want to hear rather than what they want to say. Martin seems to just get me. He’s raw and passionate and awkward and tells his own truths and he is hilarious. He doesn’t try to speak for anyone. It was a no brainer that he was coming on this tour.
Angela Willock pulls the shreds of her experience together into one cohesive whole every time she steps behind the mic. Angela manages to perform poetry that tells society’s story in her own. I’ve never seen anyone that can make a whole room sigh like that. What’s amazing is that she has a wicked sense of humour that throws people too. Her growth over the past few years has been like watching a rocket blast into space. She gives everything a spoken word crowd could want, and then messes with them, breaks them, and then puts them back together at the end. She’s pretty cool.
The Roar Poets Tour 2013 will visit Melbourne, sadly without Angela Willock as part the House of Bricks spoken word event, supported by Melbourne’s own Jacky T on Friday, the 28th of June. House of Bricks takes place every month at their gallery space on 40 Budd Street, Collingwood. There’s also workshops in the works so stay tuned for more info on that.
Darkwing Dubs will also be performing at Passionate Tongues (June 22), Melbourne Poets Union (June 26) and the Dan O’Connell (July 1). See ‘Upcoming Events’ for more details.