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Funkenteleky VI

  • 79-81 Cheapside Birmingham, England, B12 0QH United Kingdom (map)

As Poetry & Music collaboration night Funkenteleky returns home to The Edge, nothing is quite as it seems… While Funk was on a city break to Verve Festival, rumours have been spreading over Digbeth. Whispers of poems you can’t dance to, tunes allergic to words, and worst of all a prohibition of barely planned shit happening. There can be only one thing behind this… that’s right, we fear this is the work of… FUN-CAN’T-ELEKY!

So, if you fancy helping quash/pacify/empathise-with this newly infamous force (or just having a lovely evening) come on down to Funkenteleky! We’ve amazing Poets and out-of-this-world Musicians making new things together live on stage for one night only. We’ve a Poetry Slam beyond compare. And most of all we’ve you and your love for all this and more (don’t forget it!).


Chris Young

Chris Young is an alto saxophonist and composer based in Birmingham. He is one of the most in-demand players on the scene, fronting his own bands including Orbits, JACKED, and countless dazzling [insert number]-tets. He has played in the award-winning Beats and Pieces big band, and co-promotes Jazz at the Spotted Dog, one of the country’s most well-regarded gigs. Chris is one of the city’s brightest stars – we’re super hyped he’ll be laying it down at Funkenteleky VI! "Lyrical – a real tour-de-force.” London Jazz News

Malaika Kegode

Malaika Kegode is a poet, promoter and workshop facilitator based in Bristol. She has performed at celebrated events around the UK such as Tongue Fu, Out-Spoken at The 100 Club, WOMAD, Boomtown Festival and BBC at the Edinburgh Festival. She was shortlisted for the Out-Spoken Poetry Award 2019 and has acted as tour support for Saul Williams. Malaika works as assistant producer for Blahblahblah at Bristol Old Vic, and is a founder and director of Milk Poetry, a poetry organisation that produces innovative spoken word events in a supportive environment. In 2018, Malaika was included in the The BME Power List, celebrating Bristol’s 100 most influential black & minority ethnic people. Her overall themes of family, mental health, addiction and love always have an undercurrent of optimism and strength. Her performance style has been described as “filmic” and “musical”. Malaika’s debut poetry collection Requite was published by Burning Eye Books in 2017.

Luke Kennard

Luke Kennard is a poet and novelist who lecturers at the University of Birmingham. His last collection, Cain (2016), was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and his first novel, The Transition, was published by 4th Estate in 2017. His latest pamphlet, Truffle Hound, was published by Verve Poetry Press last year. In collaboration with our musicians, Luke will be performing brand new material from a yet-to-be-released work...!

Wuzzamill [Wuzza Razz]

Wuzzamill is an influential poet, songwriter and rapper from Birmingham. He has performed with THSH, supported Suli Breaks on his first UK tour, influenced the Birmingham does Bhangra weekend with Selfridges, channeled his inner Raphaelite working with BMAG; a resident Poetry Jammer, Wuzzamill’s infectious energy has no end. Wuzzamill uses poetry and rhythm to explore the seven deadly sins, although rarely name dropped, it is a constant theme that everyone lives through and understands but only to the extent that they want to understand it. Welcome to Wuzzamillia: a place where you can unapologetically feel, a reminder of what is real.

Jess May Davies

Jess May Davies is an artist from Redditch, and now a part of Birmingham’s poetry community. Jess is the founder of Stirchley Speaks – a monthly spoken word night in Stirchley, a writer and a workshop facilitator. As a self confessed introvert, Jess uses poetry to explore their own identity in relation to mental health, environment and their sexuality.


In a Funkenteleky first, Funk VI will feature improv comedy (in live collaboration with improvised music) from the acclaimed squidheart! A two-person improvised comedy show created and performed by Kate Knight and Suzie Evans. Inspired by a single word from the audience, they create an entire world featuring a range of hilarious characters and compelling stories. The result is a satisfying blend of offbeat comedy and genuine emotional connection. With every scene created moment to moment, each show is a thrilling and unique experience, never to be repeated. Previous audiences have described their show as ‘brilliant’, ‘hilarious’ and 'surreal genius’.

Andrew Woodhead

Andrew Woodhead is an award winning composer and musician working across a wide variety of contexts, taking in jazz, free improvisation, electronica, folk and new music. As well as performing around the UK and abroad with his own and other peoples’ projects, he also curates Fizzle, an Improvised Music concert series. Andrew is co-director of Ideas of Noise festival, which celebrates experimental sounds from the Midlands and beyond.

We think this might be one amazing lineup. Hopes you agree :)



A space for spoken experiments, a chance to try something new, a platform to push the poetry boat out in front of peeps who are already on-board.

If the Funkenteleky Slam is a Pokémon it has evolved… At Funkenteleky VI, there are five slam entries available. Each poet will perform in a live collaboration with one of our musicians, paired together in a live draw on the night. These duos will be ‘assessed’ ‘via’ the time-honoured ‘criteria’ of Jeapoardy, Wha!? and Funkenteleky + an yet to be discovered metric represented by this question mark: ?

Time limit = 5 mins… we chill so no scores docked for going a bit over, but duos dropping an Iliad should be aware they risk ejection from the stage via the Funkblaster Funkthousand (an actual thing).

So excited to announce that our Slam Judges will be: Emily Dickinson, John Coltrane, Maya Angelou & LK.

3 advance entries for poets are available till the day before gig & 2 more on the night. These entrants will be chosen at random if we are oversubscribed. If you’re a musician and want to get involved, get in touch – we may be able to pair you with a poet for a freewheeling wildcard duo.

NOTE – our slam is not an opportunity to take oneself too seriously (seriously) + all breaking of slam conventions is highly encouraged. The winner will receive the coveted Funkenteleky Slam Trophy, endless kudos, and the ultimate mystery prize!


And, after all of the (amazing) above, stick around as Wolva Meme his soulful self spins vinyl floorfillers till whenever you stop dancing.


Funkenteleky VI is at The Edge in Digbeth
Doors open at 7:30pm
Entry = £6 (includes a £Priceless Funkenteleky badge)
There is a bar, there will be snacks – both are cash only.

All door takings go to pay our performers for their mad skills - and this is our biggest ever lineup! If you’re super skint, though, no worries – we really can empathise with that – if you wouldn’t mind dropping us a message a day or two in advance to get PAYF entry :) All are welcome to the funk.


SATELLITE COMMUNICATION RECEIVED: Please send help STOP Fun-Can’t-Teleky invasion STOP crept up on me when sleeping in sousaphone STOP it’s everywhere STOP it says it wants answers STOP says uncertainty has to STOP my collaboration systems are failing STOP magic 8 ball reads ‘unfunky’ STOP ability to get down fading STOP please arrive soon STOP or at least by May 4th STOP arrgghhh STOP All the best, STOP Funkenteleky


Earlier Event: May 4
Tongues of Fire Writing Workshop 3
Later Event: May 5
Yes, We Cant