Last night was an emotional one for the Scottish poetry community as it signalled the end of the cultural institution that is , was and ever shall be Last Monday at Rio after 10 amazing years in the heart of the both the west end and the Glasgow spoken word scene.
Picture (1) The main man and host of this event Robin Cairns kicks off the final night of his reign at this cracking wee venue by taking us down memory lane as he performed the poem that opened the very first night at Rio and we meet the school teacher called Old Lochgelly.
Picture (2) Peter Russell takes his turn at the mic
Picture (3) Shows A R Crow and Shannon McGregor relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of the night
Picture (4) Sees Jim Monaghan share his thoughts on Rio and why it will always have a special place in his heart. It is the mark of a man of principal that Jim would sooner speak with integrity on the part that Rio has played on his spoken word journey than perform on such an important occasion.
Picture (5) Is of a stalwart of this event and many others over the years. A man who has entertained us in his boxer shorts and worn his party candidate rosette on stage and had his hand up so many puppets that he could were he not so principled get a job as a Tory Chief Whip. I refer of course to the one and only Chris Young.
Picture (6) Shows Shannon McGregor taking her turn to entertain the company .
Picture (7) It was an emotional night for Stephen Watt who regarded Rio as his poetry home and has done since making his performance debut on this stage in 2010. Over the years since first meeting him in this cracking wee cafe I have come to respect Stephen as a poet and even more so as a man and have valued his friendship support and advice.
Picture (8) Has our very own Falkirk bairn Janet Crawford at the mic. In her introduction last night Janet informed us that it was Stephen Watt who encouraged her to go west with her poetry and I for one am very glad he did.
Picture (9) Shows a poet whom you can always rely on to raise the bar, the brilliant Katharine MacFarlane who went for a poem on sex and brought us all in to a fit of the giggles.
Picture (10) Shows the man whose had more headline slots at Rio than anyone else the man who Robin described as the best poet in Scotland today the amazing poetic tour de force that is Kevin Cadwallender.
Picture (11) Sometimes in life it’s the small things that make us happy and that’s certainly the case in the poetry world when Sam Small performs his work.
Picture (12) As reached the penultimate open mic slot it was time for A R Crow to share their thoughts on what happens when Scots get a glimpse of the sunshine with their hilarious poem Taps Aff.
Picture (13) Kirsty Nicolson makes history as the last open mic poet ever to grace the stage at Cafe Rio with one of my favourite ever poems Being From Lewis Is on the stereotypical images people have on the island where she was raised and her family roots are planted.
Picture (14) Our last ever headliner who took not only to the end of the night but to the end of an era was the excellent Hamish MacDonald. A consummate performer Hamish’s poem Ma Bit is an outstanding example of what can happen when people become too territorial and attempt to exclude others from what they believe to be ‘their’ communities.
And so it was over. 10 years of not only of quality spoken word but a valuable part of Glasgow’s cultural and social history. During a decade in which Glasgow has undergone many changes we have heard 1,000 voices speak their truths on a wide variety of topics and listened to everyone who shared them. In doing so we have created a treasure trove of memories and we’ve done it in a room full of friends. I can think of no better legacy than that.
Picture (15 ) Our host and compere for the last 10 years.
See you somewhere else.
Love And Best Wishes