I arrive at Hull Uni armed with information gathered after an afternoon's research fest on the
bearded one; an unlikely counter culture hero, who takes his moniker from one of the pioneers
of nonsense poetry Edward Lear, or rather The Scroobious Pip, a poem that remained
unfinished at the time of Edward's death in 1888.
I am due to interview him before he headlines alongside beats master and DJ Dan Le Sac.
Do you see yourself as a poet, a writer, a spoken word artist, a rock n roll performer, a rap artist or a hip-hop artist? Where d'you kind of fit..?
Hopefully, all of them aren't mutually exclusive. I like to think of myself as a spoken word artist, just because I do stuff over beats. I generally try everything out as spoken word first.
There's a poet I've done a load of gigs with, Inua Ellams, and he said once, we were talking about these terms, and he said a poet can never refer to themselves as a poet 'cos it kind of puts an almost arrogant gravitas on your material. Whereas someone else can refer to you as a poet, you can't refer to yourself as a poet, so I kind of like that; I'll stick with 'spoken word' chap, really.
I like 'chap'. Some people think it's weird, but I like 'chap'
It's a good word.
Why do you think there's been an increase in the interest in spoken word?
I think, from what I've seen in the last, say five years or so, a lot of the boundaries have been dropped. I think poetry, for a long time, was seen as a posh middle class kind of upper class thing, whereas the boundaries have dropped now and everyone who is capable of speech really is open to speak their minds, express their experience or views and opinions.
I think that's a great thing 'cos it has broadened it.
It has taken a lot of the people who are doing UK hip hop and maybe feeling a bit down by it, because it can be a bit monotonous, samey - I find personally a lot of it can be generic - it opens up to be more creative; to push the boundaries.
Okay. April 2006 is when you started performing is that right? What was that first gig like?
About then, yeah. Well, the first gigs were all on street corners. I toured the country living in a van. I'd go to open mics as well but mainly I was just turning up. My original plan was to just go outside, just in town centres and stuff, with a microphone and an amp.
I would do spoken word or beat box into a loop pedal or play over a backing track. Then I figured, as I went on, to look at the gig listing and see who was playing that area and see if there was someone of a similar genre or mindset.
The first one I hijacked outside of London was a Mr Scruff gig in Oxford. If I play in Oxford High Street, one in every hundred might be interested in what I'm doing, whereas Mr Scruff would literally get my target audience and line them up against a wall outside his gigs, which was good because I'd just turn up and do stuff.
It went down well cos I wasn't busking or asking for anything - I didn't have anything to sell at
that point - I think I might have had my album No Commercial Breaks (1000 copies only, now sadly
all gone) but I wasn't attempting to sell it, I was just handing out flyers of where to find more -
the myspace, the website and things like that.
And yeah, it was really good.
At the gig where I was recently, in Norwich, a guy came up and he'd seen one of the first ones I ever did - it was the only other time he'd seen me - 2 years on and he said 'I saw you outside an atmosphere gig in Camden.' I remembered him because he had couple of tattoos I really liked so it was good to have that recognition and conversation. It's nice.
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I'm think there's a one-hundred per cent chance that I won't win, but if by some chance I did,
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... he rang me up and said, 'John, I've got this group.
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It's a wet Friday, the one a week before the floods last year, and we are
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Here, in an exclusive interview with Steve Rudd, he chats candidly about his time in
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They even stopped by Hull University
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Back in April he unleashed yet another outstanding album - A Way Of Being Free' - and,
fresh from his recent support slot with Lucy Kaplansky in York, here he chats exclusively
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And all in aid of charity, too! How, you might ask?
Well, if you read this here interview that Kris took time out to conduct
with Steve RuddRead more...