Highlights from 2018

Building the Imaginary Millions night has been the most fun I've had this year. The main team behind this night are Joy Warmann and myself. We'll meet after each night and we talk about all the different elements. There are so many elements that are in flux that we consider. Do we improvise our sets, how long do we play for, how do we find flow, who do we get to DJ the night, how do we advertise, what happens when someone is hogging the mike (only happens super rarely). How do we break even (that's for another post)?

And, we've happened upon something. A feeling that is hard to describe and that is perhaps only best experienced. The most important question for me is: as we continue to grow in the next year, how do maintain the Imaginary Millions vibe?

1. Growth

When we started out this year we might have anywhere from 12-30 people in the room. At the start of the November gig we had a solid 80-100 people in the room and then cats kept piling in. But it's not about numbers; it's about the quality of the peeps that are in the room. I would judge that 40-50% of the room had the potential to get up on stage. That's so exciting.

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2. Learning How To Holding Space

At the start of year I would stay behind the keyboard and host from there. If you've been to a few nights over you'll know that I've started getting from behind the keyboard leaning into the crowd. That's meant that I get to play with things like The Imaginary Millions Choir (one of my favourite moments), dancing and leaning into the embodiment of what's going on.

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3. Experiencing Flow

There was one gig this year where both the drummer Adam and the bassist Dave weren't available. That's never happened before. I got Ben Appiah (from Steam Down) number and called up one of my favourite up-and-coming bassists Rosetta Carr (from Franc Moody).

I was so nervous the morning of that gig.

The 3 of us had never played together before and we did a 2 hour improvised set finding flow with the singers, poets and rappers as we normally do. I'm not sure I've ever listened as hard as I did that night.

What's possible from here?

And then there were all the people who shared their talent: Amina Jama, Salma El-Wardany, Chima Anya, Sad Eagle, Yassmin Abdel Magied, Vicky O’Neon, Muta Solace, Stacey Silvertongue, Repeat Beat Poet, Ali Hussain, Marena, Ella Jean, Tasty Lopez, Otty Warmann, Niki Igbaroola, that random dancer, all the other brave souls.

And then Poetcurious (as captured by Repeat Beat). See you all next year.

Rob Major