By Niamh Moran
After a short time away Slag Mag returned with issue 2 on Thursday, August 29th, showcasing the baddest bitches in Birmingham’s art and music scene, getting you the inside scoop on the struggles of the industry and keeping you in the know about any upcoming gigs, exhibitions and club nights out.
On August 29th the Hare and Hounds opened their doors to the best of Birmingham’s female/fxmale talent and along with an especially enthusiastic, energetic audience, celebrated a community built on acceptance, feminism and a passion for art and music.
Scarlett Ward opened the show reading from her new book ‘Ache’ a breathtaking collection of her poems. The debut collection delves into life’s deepest emotions and as Scarlett read the room felt all the love, pain and healing that inspired her. Her extremely imaginative use of language and her emotive speaking voice silenced the crowd as we listened and explored the struggles of mental illness, the suffering of heart break and the warm embrace of love. Scarlett recently received the title of ‘Best Spoken Word Performer UK ’19’ and she did not disappoint, some words punch you in the gut while others kiss your cheek. The journey she describes is so relatable it claws you in, reminding you of your own scars and reminding you how far you’ve come.
Bryony Williams followed, treating us to a solo performance. After performing in the duo Field Harmonics, Bryony started her solo venture with her EP ‘Conscious’. We got a bare bones view of her mellow sound as her and her guitar stole the stage, with an engaging personality, an angelic voice and warm guitar tones she entranced the room. Her lyrics seek to empower, telling a hazy story of recovering from heartbreak stronger and happier, she’s a big supporter of the message too as she breaks the patriotically industry structure with her female music label and zine ‘Grrrl Groannn’. Named by BBC WM as one of the ‘25 to watch in the Midlands in 2019’ it’ll be great to see her continue to grow even more.
Another spoken word performance from Hayley Frances packed a punch with her ‘Wingless Words’ and ‘Grief Diaries’ a collection of gripping and powerful poems posing questions about modern societies’ addiction to digital media, Brexit and more. Being shortlisted for Birmingham’s Poet Laureate 2 years in a row it was clear she had an intelligent understanding of language, her words were thought provoking and her delivery was ground shaking – silencing the room. Another female voice greatly needed in the creative scene here in Birmingham.
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Finally Ruth Kokumo and her band brought their wild energy to the stage, inspired the audience and ended the night on a real high. Performing their version of jazz ballads such as Nina Simone’s ‘Funkier Than A Mosquitos Tweeter’ as well as their original works the crowd really couldn’t get enough. Ruth’s astoundingly immense voice was full of fire and the soulful sounds of the saxophone supported the funky vibes felt throughout the room. They continued to impress ’til the very end performing a improvised jam session as an encore allowing each member of the band to show off their skills and giving excited audience members more of that they wanted.
Issue 2 launch was a true celebration of Birmingham’s serious ladies: moving, impressive and influential. Looking forward to issue 3, it’s exciting to think about all the talented babes out there and what more they have to offer.