Gil Scott-Heron Tribute Night Review

I would like to send a heartfelt thanks to all those who came to join in the Gil Scott-Heron Tribute night last night at the Crescent Arts Centre. I felt it was the perfect end to a beautiful sunny weekend.
We started the evening by watching a film called the Godfather of Rap about the life of Gil Scott-Heron. It was one I’d never seen before but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would encourage anyone who has a passing interest in poetry, politics or rap to check it out. It was interesting to see the breadth of people who have been influenced by Scott-Heron and his work, from traditional poets to better known rap artists. I was fascinated by the list of people that Scott-Heron drew his inspiration from and this has given me a whole new set of artists and tunes that I am looking forward to finding out more about. I also was surprised to find out that Scott-Heron wrote two novels; The Vulture and The Nigger Factory both of which are now on my must read list for my upcoming holiday.
Ezekial Johnson read some of Scott-Heron’s poetry including Whitey on the Moon and The Revolution will not be Televised. He also read some of his own pieces. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in the room and there was something spine chilling about listening to a poet from Ghana putting his own inflection and stamp on works by Scott-Heron. It was a new experience to hear them stripped down and raw and without any musical backing it added huge weight to the words. It has made me want to re-listen to every track I’ve ever heard.
After that it was Scream’s turn and from my point of view our set flew by in a heartbeat. But I guess it’s always that way. It’s been so much fun for me to get back into performing with the group, after having a wee break to complete my Masters. I’m loving the whole band vibe that’s going on at the minute. It really makes me wanna boogie when Pearce lets rip on the drum kit, Keith gets the bass funk going and then Peter and Clare have the double sax blasting. I also enjoyed helping Lyndsay drum on one of our new tracks called Slipways….I’m not sure I was always in time but sure at least I had fun!
Thanks also to Simon Mateer from My First Recorder for an amazing DJ set and to Joe Lindsay who provided end of evening vibes.
This event was supported by Belfast City Council and as always we are grateful to them for this.

Gil Scott-Heron Tribute Night

On the 27th May at 8pm Scream Blue Murmur will be hosting a Gil Scott-Heron Tribute night at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. They will also be launching their EP ‘Belfast Sun’ which will be available to buy on the night but you can also download it from Band Camp here – http://screambluemurmur.bandcamp.com/album/belfast-sun

On the night there will be a showing of the film about Scott-Heron “The Godfather of Rap”, poet Ezekial Johnson will be reading some of Scott-Heron’s poetry and local DJ’s Venus Rollergirl and Joe Lindsay will be spinning the decks giving us tunes from the great man himself and also those groups he inspired.

Scream Blue Murmur will also be performing. And no, they will not be performing cover versions of Gil Scott-Heron songs, they will be doing their own tunes which are in the spirit of Scott-Heron and all he stood for. This group of poets and musicians are the closest thing to GSH that I can see here on the local scene. And just cos I’m part of the group doesn’t make me biased…..it just means that I have an insiders knowledge on what drives this group of people to create songs/poems/chants that have a political message that aren’t driven by the message but by the groove and the overall vibe. It’s too hard to explain in words. It needs to be explained by you shaking your ass and a bottle of glittery rice. It needs to be explained somewhere in your gut and only you have access to that. So come along to the gig, see what happens and explain it to me afterwards.