Bang Said the Gun: A poetry night with a twist


An acclaimed alternative poetry night arrives in Hull this Friday. We spoke with Martin Galton, the poet behind it all, to find out more.

“Daniel Cockrill and I started Bang Said the Gun 19 years ago in a pub in Soho,” explains Martin. “It was an antidote to the boring, dull poetry nights that were being organised.”

Dubbed ‘poetry for the people who don’t like poetry’, the loud, energetic, party-like standup show has become increasingly popular since its inception two decades ago.

Audiences, who might not ordinarily be interested in spending a night listening to poetry, have flocked to intimate venues across the country to experience the magic.

“Hundreds of years ago, most people could recite poetry off by heart. Then, the intellectuals got involved and turned it into some sort of unfathomable conundrum,” the wordsmith explains.

“Regular people were turned off by this. We’re trying to make poetry simple, fun, easy and entertaining.”

Martin quotes much-loved poet and writer, Adrian Mitchell, and his famous remark ‘Most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people’.

“Everyone will get something out of our night. The themes are totally relatable, from happy, sad and funny, to serious, heartbreaking and rude. Some of it is pure filth!”

The evening is set up like a comedy night, but, as Martin explains, spoken word is a lot different to standup.

“We’ll take you on a roller coaster of emotions. We can go a lot deeper into subjects that standup comedians can. It’s a much richer experience.”

Martin will be performing alongside Dan Cockrill, Laurie Bolger and Rob Auton, as well as some very special guests.

“There’s a real party atmosphere. It gets pretty loud and noisy. But, as soon as someone starts speaking, silence falls. It’s magical,” he enthuses.

Past shows have featured comedian Phill Jupitus, former UK Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and BBC Radio 4’s Roger McGough.

“We talk about anything and everything. It’s totally relatable and understandable,” he explains. “Plus, if you don’t quite like a particular poet, the fast-paced nature of the evening means that within ten minutes they’ll be gone and there will be someone else to listen to. You don’t have to worry about having a long, tedious night.”

The event is certainly an excellent way to get into poetry if it’s something you’ve not read or listened to since your school days.

“I would say that you’ll definitely enjoy yourselves. Bang Said the Gun is more to do with entertainment than anything else. We play some games and we have a lot of laughs.”

Bang Said the Gun is at Hull Truck Theatre on Friday 28 July.

Sign up for our newsletter

Error loading Partial View script (file: ~/Views/MacroPartials/InsertUmbracoFormWithTheme.cshtml)

KCOM respects your privacy. View our Privacy Notice to learn more.