“Bongo Clarke push di cart – grass cart.”
“Now that we’ve found herb what are we gonna do with it.”
“Women must be easy; please leave the hardness to me.”
Blending a harmonious, pitch-perfect combo of spoken word, rebel poetry, soulful grooves, guitar riffs, Biblical truisms and gems like those listed above, performance poets NoMaddz elicited screams and requests for “forwards” from the packed Edna Manley Dance studio, which served as the setting for Poetry Str8, a live showcase of some of Jamaica’s most prolific young poets, put on as part of the inaugural Manifesto JA Festival of Art’Ical Empowerment over the weekend.
Needless to say, NoMaddz (comprising Sheldon Shepherd, Everaldo Creary, Chris Gordon and soul brother O’Neil Peart) were in their splendid ackee, unleashing an insistently enthralling performance, dropping humorous punchlines, clever wordplay and impressive accounts of their sexual prowess and exploits, much to the delight of the young women in the house. But what made their set all the more appealing – and utterly fascinating – was the talented performers’ clear understanding of the importance of presenting the complete package, and the power of poetry set to music to entertain.
What’s more, the rude-boy elegance of their well-tailored blazers, shirts and pants, Peter Tosh shades and wild, knotty hair further bolstered the old-school soul and allure of their captivating presentation, which included fresh work and selections from their buzzworthy new album, The Trod.