Matt Abbott is a performance poet and musician who is making his Fringe debut this year. The show (Skint & Demoralised) takes its name from Abbott’s old indie band, which in turn took its name from a line in a Reverend & The Makers track. Indie music and an indie approach to poetry is very much apparent in Matt’s work. There is a depth and warmth to his words and an independent attitude to his performance. He definitely is a poet who believes in what he says and lives in the world that his poems inhabit.
Matt begins the show with a poem about himself and his background. He appears on stage with a pint in his hand and sets the pace with punchy rhymes and comedic, but topical verses. John Cooper Clarke is an obvious influence, but Matt definitely has his own voice and this is not just because he is a Yorkshire lad. Topics for his poems include politics, working class Britain, seaside holidays and football. As he performs, fireworks from Edinburgh Castle can be heard in the background, but the poetry on stage is just as explosive and attention grabbing.
Sweet Grassmarket does not have much spoken word in it’s programme this year, so Skint & Demoralised does feel a bit out of place at the venue. However, this did not stifle the performer’s ability to connect with the audience and deliver words and poetry with style, heart and honesty. Matt is only in Edinburgh for a week and will hopefully be back next year with a full Fringe run of shows that showcase his explosive poetry.