On an ordinary Wednesday night, out in the farflung exotic destination of Woolwich, something new and exciting was a’brewing. With promises of performance, poetry, music and kitsch, an intrepid force stumbled upon what is set to be the first of many magical evenings.
The brain child of Queen Mary students Sarah Chapleo and Becky Black, ‘Come Gather Round People’ aims to utilise some of the best of the University’s talent to raise money for Mind. Bringing together the whimsical, the ethereal and the really quite talented, this maiden voyage has set the bar high for any further pursuits.
The evening commenced with an acoustic instrumental set from bookseller Will Smith, followed by some highly emotive poetry from Nicole Walsh on the theme of mental health, who was in turn followed by Jo Dunkley; drama student by day, singer-songwriter-guitarist by night. Joshua Benn and Darrel Mayhead also provided some fine musical entertainment; Joshua wowing with his strong and soulful mix of covered classics and original compositions, whilst Darrel brought the night to a close with some smooth jazz guitar.
The plethora of talent on offer was unbelievable, but one act in particularly completely stole the show and exploded everyone’s minds in the process. Edie Edmundson, a drama student who also proved to be a performance poet of almost professional standard, completely blew the crowd away by kicking off the second half of the evening by playing a musical saw. With the slightest look of concentration, Edie seemed to coax out beautifully chilling versions of Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Eidelweiss, seemingly effortlessly.
Whilst the next event, venue or date is yet to be confirmed, keep an eye out for the second Come Gather Round People. If you enjoy a chilled atmosphere, merry people or musical saws you’ll be in for a treat.