Down a dark street in Hyde Park, through a door lit with fairy lights, across a quaint tiled kitchen and down into a room of red walls. Welcome to Sheif’s House. This is the private venue in Hyde Park where Scribe Magazine is hosting their new poetry and spoken word open mic night.
This has to be the most bohemian basement in Leeds. If you’re lucky you’ll grab a cushion, as the crowd more than fills the room. The stage is a chalky blackboard corner with ripped pages from two Oxford World Classics stuck to it.
Read from phones, printed pages, and knackered notebooks, were finished and still-in-progress poems. We were also treated to a fantastic reading of Tony Harrison’s ‘Them and [uz]’. There were poems and spoken word pieces about Leeds buses, disability, love and politics. Being a Fresher got a few mentions too. We were treated to some excellent original songs, a few covers and some very energetic performances.
It is neither a quiet nor an early night. It’s a bring your own wine and stay past 1am kind of evening, listening to diverse and immensely creative writing. You can go to perform or simply just to watch, there’s no pressure. It was a great first night and we can’t wait for The Basement Sessions to become a regular event in the social calendar.
This is a welcoming, inclusive, enjoyable way to spend an evening.