This was a staggering feat of the meeting of communities, billed as a battle and born from a heckle, the event was an inclusive embrace that was inspiring and warming. Presented in three parts, the first section introduced us to to some of the players, MCs and poets with some good-natured side-swipes at the opposition as well as musings on everything from death and cynicism to the joy of seals, as well as some slamming rhymes in Spanish, succinctly done and enjoyably performed.
The middle section served as an open mic for MCs, but was also a brilliant showcase for MC-in-chief Heinz’s school-liasson work giving a voice to the next generation of MCs in this impressive settings.
The actual battle was in the final part, which suffered a little from timing issues and a few personal non-rhyming/poetic shots, but once they were away showed exactly why this joyfully vocal confrontation has continued to grow each year. Wit, banter, smart beatbox and glorious performance were all in evidence as events played out. Who actually won wasn’t entirely clear, or entirely important. Stereotypes were challenged, minds met and it was a great night. Boom.
Concorde 2, 28 January 2016