Hope – 19 April 2020

Our second online jam was on the theme of hope and 10 very special performers filled us with hope and connection through their poetry, music, comedy and live drawings. A silver lining of having to run our shows online is that people are able to join us from further afield and it was fantastic to see people in the chat room from not only the UK but France, Germany, Sweden and Canada as well: What’s Going On In Your Head? went global on 19th April 2020! We also streamed the show on Facebook for the first time.

The show was opened by our host Liz Smith who, accompanied by Imagination’s “Just An Illusion”, took us on a virtual snorkeling trip before opening up “The Bar of Hope” where in Club Tropicana style the virtual drinks were free all night.

Lisa Gornick had her ink and paper on hand throughout the evening and treated us to live drawings inspired by each of the performances. We will be posting images of those on the site soon.

The first act of the night was a poetry double bill from Henry Johnstone accompanied by Huxley, a Jack Russell Mini Dachshund mix who received an immediate outpouring of love in the chat room. As well as being an accomplished spoken word poet Henry is a talented metal worker (he runs metal work retreats, how original is that!) and is the creator of The Deep Peace podcast.

Live Drawing of Henry Johnstone by Lisa Gornick
Live Drawing of Henry Johnstone by Lisa Gornick

For our second act, Steph, one half of the electronic strings duo Immortal Machinery performed an extract from their newly released EP Fragments – an Exploration of Heritage. Steph impressed us all by playing not just one instrument but three: the piano, organ and violin! Fragments is a three part EP in which multi-instrumentalists Mat and Steph unpack their respective musical traditions (Polish, Chinese and Greek) through three diverse multi-instrumental compositions. Part 1, “Gorzkie  Żale Reimagined” is out now and it explores a series of melodies from Poland traditionally sung over Lent and Good Friday, reinterpreting them for a contemporary setting with modern instruments. If you want to support Immortal Machinery and wish to buy their EP it is available for download here.

Act three was a further opportunity for us to hear more poetry from the inspirational Lorna Collins. She performed her poem “Sui Generis”. Lorna is a writer, artist, poet and ‘arts in health researcher’ and you can find out more about her work on her website and follow her on Twitter

Act four came live from a living room in Leeds. Dave Lynch is a singer-songwriter, percussionist and mental health activist and on the night he performed his track Floodgates on the acoustic guitar, a recording of which is below.  You can follow his blog here.


Act five was the eagerly awaited return of the rapid DJ set pioneered by and presented to us by SK Shlomo.

Live drawing of SK Shlomo by Lisa Gornick
Live drawing of SK Shlomo by Lisa Gornick

We danced around our living rooms and on our sofas, and the winner of “who can guess the tracks” competition was Fabian. His prize is to choose the ingredients to go into “the cocktail of hope” that we will be serving up when we get back to performing at live venues again. Here are the tracks that were featured:

  1. I Wish, Skee-Lo
  2. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
  3. Boom! Shake the Room, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
  4. Jump, Kris Kross
  5. U Can’t Touch This, MC Hammer
  6. Boogie Wonderland, Mr Belt & Wezol
  7. Twist and Shout, The Beatles
  8. Do You Love Me, The Contours
  9. I nedd A Dollar, Ed Solo
  10. Carnival Culture, Shy FX

Act six was helmed by Tom Allen with two very special guests, Sméagol and Gollum.

Live Drawing of Tom Allen by Lisa Gornick
Live Drawing of Tom Allen by Lisa Gornick

Tom took us to Middle Earth Mindfulness and treated us to a hilarious comedy sketch. Sméagol and Gollum shared wise words given their experience of being locked away in a cave for over 400 years.

Act seven was a beautiful acapella performance of “Lean On Me” by Katherine Ellis.

Live Drawing of Katherine Ellis by Lisa Gornick
Live Drawing of Katherine Ellis by Lisa Gornick

Katherine is a house music artist and singer songwriter. Her back catalogue includes the huge club hits ‘When you touch me’ with The Freemasons, ‘Lost’ by Roger Sanchez and ‘Dreaming’ by The Ruff Driverz. This show was a career first for her as she had never before performed sat at her computer at home!

Act eight saw the welcome return of poet and rapper, Duke Al Durham. Be sure to follow him on Instagram where he’s posting his work.

The final act of the night was the magnificent Katie Kaboose who gave us a rendition of her song she had previously performed for us to close our live show themed around ‘paranoia’ at London’s hClub. It felt very special having her back again, albeit this time raw and unplugged singing to us from her bedroom.

Live Drawing of Katie Kaboose by Lisa Gornick
Live Drawing of Katie Kaboose by Lisa Gornick

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