Seething since 2000*
I’m no groupie, despite what anybody says. My idol’s Han Solo. I have to admit, however, that deep down I have always been a secret Babble groupie. Ever since moving to Melbourne, I mean, before which I had never even heard of this loony Melbourne institution, originally a weekly spoken word night held in Fitzroy. While Babble’s now held on the first Wednesday of every month, it still packs a punch, word-wise. Its fortunes do swing erratically in the shifting breezes of the Melbourne scene: a special hip-hop Babble in January drew a crowd of over one hundred, while February’s Plainsong and Enya Babble drew less than thirty. Luckily, last night’s Rock and Roll Babble hit a happy medium, with two feature poets instead of the traditional one and a strong Babble Open Mike section afterwards. Hosted as ever by the dynamic, funky and legtastic Sean M. Whelan, the mood throughout was electric. DJ Rag Doll, returning once again from Berlin to spin some garage tunes, got the proceedings started, followed by features Amelia Walker (who outed herself as the co-author of a poem attributed to Maralyn Spears-Malley in Cordite’s Children of Malley issue) and Ben Pobjie (whose rapid-fire delivery and sharp wit elevated the mood in the room). Highlights of the Open Mike were alicia sometimes playing air bass before and during her poem, Chloe Jackson channelling the spirit of a girl at a rock concert, perennial staple Eddie reminiscing about Bill Haley, and the new Irish sensation Neil (who will be featuring next month) providing a rapper’s (or apricot) delight. Strangelights were Crazy Elf leading the crowd in a singalong whose chorus went something like “When you kill Jesus/ he turns into chocolate eggs” and pretty much everyone else who read. Oh, Quinn’s story was good. Klare Lanson lent me her sunglasses for a short time. I only drank lemonade.