Review: Opus Club

Sunday, 24th May 2015

Author: .

Michael, Mark Grist, Jasmine – (Credit: Bernard Davis)
Michael, Mark Grist, Jasmine – (Credit: Bernard Davis)

We arrived a little late, to a full room at the Opus Club Spoken Word Speakeasy, and found the last two seats. The Opus Club at Moseley’s Dark Horse is a night organised by Michael Stork and Jasmine Gardosi. Performers delivered a mix of topics, styles and approaches with pieces that were funny, moving, clever and sometimes all three.

Michael said of Opus Club: ‘Personally, I wanted to celebrate the people involved in the poetry scene, both the poets and the audience for caring so much about what people have to say. The liberal speak-easy vibe of the twenties fits in with this freedom of expression but also emphasises the unique togetherness of such an eclectic community.’

Some poets delivered alone, others were backed by musicians. Jasmine, also compere for the night, said: ‘We were pretty lucky to represent such a good chunk of the Birmingham poetry scene. My personal highlight was Alisha Kadir, our first guest musician. The music-backed poetry was completely unrehearsed, ad-libbed, and awesome’.

The headliner Mark Grist was just brilliant. I’d have happily just stayed seated and gone again. He was captivating, charming and genuine. This former teacher was funny and comfortable on stage, a lesson to any of us who have a taste for spoken word. I don’t want to give away his set but I recommend following him, on facebook or something like that but only as a means, to get to see his next gig. If this is the calibre of performer Opus brings to Moseley then we should all be going.

Jasmine said: ‘Mark Grist was on another level, but so was the quality of the open mic. Our next date is Saturday May 30th. Our guests are yet to be confirmed but it’s going to be a gin prohibition special’. In the future, Michael plans to ‘technologically advance into the realms of streaming audio and visual content. The venue is already becoming a hub for artists and we hope to help build into this growing scene’. Follow them online and look out for updates.

Thanks to photographer Bernard Davis and Jasmine Gardosi & Michael Stork for their support of this article