Sunday, 10 August 2008

Henry Rollins Spoken Word - an engaging, enraging traveller

Sandwagon skidded across mud to the Indoor Stage at the Summer Sundae weekend fringe festival, (De Montfort Hall, Leicester, UK), where a two thousand-strong audience was treated to a Rollins' spoken word performance of the highest order.

America's outspoken singer-songwriter, actor, writer and prolific traveller took us on a journey through US politics and then across the world to, amongst other places, Cambodia. Rollins shared details of the hideous history of torture, death and human debris he witnessed there, in the rooms of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (previously Security Prison 21), and also at the edges of a Killing Field.

Littered with laughs yet rising and flowing from one despicable global catastrophe to the next, Rollins' brutally honest and powerful performance steeled me to travel for the sake of seeing, as he has, and for telling, as he does, to combat ignorance. It was a powerful reminder that the myriad opportunities that we have to travel shouldn't be wasted in fun, games and total self-indulgence.

He closed his set by asking the audience to make each others acquaintance, then to exchange email addresses and experiences - because lasting change can only be achieved through global citizenship, not via the next newly elected Prime Minister or President, as too many of us still believe.

Books based on Rollins' travel journals include:
Do I Come Here Often? (1998); Smile, You're Traveling(2000)

I recommend catching a performance and making up your own mind about Rollins' style and the substance of his performances.

Henry Rollins Spoken Word Tour 2008 dates:
Aug 10 - Glee Club - Birmingham, UK
Aug 11 - Glee Club - Cardiff, UK
Aug 12 - IndigO2 London, UK
Aug 13 - Komedia Brighton, UK
Aug 14 - Pukkelop - Hasselt, Belgium
Aug 15 - Biddinghuizen - Lowlands, The Netherlands
Aug 16 - Highfield Festival - Erfurt, Germany
Aug 18 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 19 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 20 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 21 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 22 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 23 - Leeds Festival (13.30)- Leeds, UK
Aug 24 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 24 - Reading Festival (13.30) - Reading, UK
Aug 25 - The Gilded Balloon 'Edinburgh Festival' (22.45-00.00)- Edinburgh, UK
Aug 27 - Junction 2 - Cambridge, UK
Aug 28 - Academy - Oxford, UK
Aug 29 - The Assembly in Leamington Spa
Aug 30 - Academy - Liverpool, IL
Aug 31 - Stradbally Manor 'Electric Picnic' - Portlaoise, Ireland

Recountdown Tour 2008

Henry’s hitting the road with a brand new election time talking tour. See Rollins' official website for dates and details.