Formed just over one year ago, the form has given Birkby’s spoken word artist Mikey a great outlet through which to get things off his chest, while entertaining his audiences along the way.

Putting pen to paper just at the beginning of this year, nothing is left undiscussed through his wry, heartwarming act, which almost relishes in revisiting tragi-comic situations to gain a greater connection with those watching.

“I’d been in several bands while at Huddersfield University but when everyone graduated they all sizzled out so I thought I’d just try go out on my own.

“My friends had joked to me about doing spoken word but then I thought, ‘you know what, why not’, because I’d always found writing lyrics one of the best part of making music.

“I don’t like to take myself too seriously – self mockery seems to find its way into what I do and I don’t want to have any messages hidden within my work, I like to wear my heart on my sleeve because performance poetry is a great opportunity to express yourself.”

Amongst some of the subjects he scrutinised and performed which many others may be much more hesitant to talk about include mention of the first time he had sex, unlucky attempts with girls and not ever having been in love.

“In a way all these experiences are like a muse.

“I’m not embarrassed and it would be nice to think taking part in performance poetry could encourage others to be more open themselves.”

And it is at Mikey’s favourite places to perform, in people’s houses, that he thinks the best connections with those watching can be made.

So far he’s been delighting front room dwellers around the town but also further afield including cities like Nottingham and around Germany during his first mini tour.

Stray Weather, AKA, Mikey Brown

“It brings everyone together on a more personal level-there’s no barrier between yourself and your audience but because of the environment everyone is encouraging.”

First massively popularised during the 1950s through the emergence of USA’s beat generation in smoky basement bars and coffee houses, performance poetry is gracing not only homes but stages and the airwaves around the UK.

It is the possibilities and lack of rules with the form that gets Mikey’s pulse racing.

“The awesome thing is that there are no rules in performance poetry, which I think makes it really accessible.

“Words don’t have to rhyme-the emphasis is on the rhythm the sounds create, which is really important to me because I don’t have backing music, and how they work together when they’re performed.

“I think you can create a greater sense of emotion through speaking your writing out loud in a way that reading words on a page doesn’t always do.

“And unlike songs, I don’t have to think about my lyrics being read by other people, I only write my lyrics down for me to see- its the performance element that counts, which is the part that counts and is what makes it exciting.”

Mikey is also keen to see what new paths he can uncover through his performances.

He recently released his first EP, Epiphany, and is now busy working on more releases and his first concept piece play.

“Another great element to performance poetry is that it’s a perfect way to push and break boundaries.

“One of my influences is Kate Tempest, who combines hip hop, music and plays into what she does.

“I don’t want people to see Stray Weather as one thing- I think it’s good to be a sort of chameleon who can perform in different ways dependent on the situation, or venues, they find themselves in.

“I think performance poetry could find it’s way into many types of art and I think it would be great to know if teachers are encouraging performance poetry in their classes, because I think it’s a form that could encourage more kids into poetry.

“It’s passionate, fun and allows people taking part in it to act, rap, do whatever they feel like- maybe performance poetry will become the literature of choice for a new generation.

“At the end of the day, for everyone who’s got something to get of their chest, having a go at performance poetry will help you just say it.”

To listen to Stray Weather, go to or visit