Tag Archives: Jo Po

M20 Pop-Up @ Antwerp Mansion: Integrated arts festival fundraiser

This Friday, M20 Collective hits Antwerp Mansion with a line-up of some of the best young creative talent that Manchester has to offer. There’ll be music, live art, spoken word, fashion, food, a raffle and loads more fun and games to enjoy – including, as ever at M20 events, chances to get involved and create something for yourself!

antwerp mansion

This integrated arts festival will be a massive celebration of all the amazing groups and individuals we’ve worked with over the last year and a bit. But it’s also a fundraiser to help M20 work with and develop creative community projects around the city. The funds raised from ticket sales will be put into the M20 Collective Community Fund – this will be used to support a whole array of different local community projects including the Fallowfield Secret Garden Project, M20 Collective’s own youth/collaboration focussed creative project and our goal of creating a creative hub in the M20 area. So come down, show support for your fellow creators and help us create something for our community!!

secret garden

This year, our theme is nature in an urban environment and when you get there you’ll find out loads about a number of exciting urban gardening projects happening in the city – all of which you can get involved in.

Buy tickets via Skiddle website [http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/Antwerp-Mansion/M20-Pop-Up-/12204196/]

So as we start the countdown, let us give you a taster of some of the amazing things that are going down on the night…

on the stage

The inimitable 8 Gold Rings have been bringing jazzy hip hop vibes and a mad roster of guest singers and MCs (including everyone from Skittles to Jenna G) to all kinds of stages across the city [In The Loop, I Love Live, Play Doubt]. They kill it every time.




Ape Cult are an alternative hip hop collective of Manchester’s best lyrical talent – Black Josh, Metrodome, Lyricalligraphy, Dyslexis, Mr Smee, Truthos Mufasa. Deep content and high energy – check them out in the Mouse Outfit Studio!!


Johnny Sly are a beautiful folky four(ish)some made of sugar, spice and everything endearing. That harp, those angelic faces and voices – hearts will melt.

https://www.facebook.com/johnnyslymusic • https://soundcloud.com/johnnysly

Happy to welcome Kolo Tamam (‘everything’s cool’ in Arabic incase you were wondering). After last month’s appearance at Solomon Grundy’s, this will be their first gig as a full band! Chilled, electronic beats and beautiful male harmonies – Bon Iver meets Bonobo.

https://www.facebook.com/k.tamam • https://soundcloud.com/kolotamam

If you’ve recently swung by Indigo of a Wednesday night and been unable to stop dancing, chances are you’ve seen some of the Salutation Dub Collective clan jamming on stage. Formidable, whiskey-laced, bluesy vocals Tina Turner would be proud of and tight reggae-jazz-funk arrangements from the instrumentalists in the outfit.

https://www.facebook.com/salutationdubcollective • https://soundcloud.com/salutation-dub

on the decks

DJ Marquee will be spinning 50s rock n roll, funky soul, rhythm and blues and motown sounds whilst So Flute veteran DJ Yadava will be bringing us an eclectic mix of jazz, afrobeats and funk from around the world.


in the blue room – acoustic and spoken word

Get down early to make sure you get a space in the most intimate room of the festival! Acoustic vibes and guitar wizardry from sweet-voiced, mean strumming Andy Adams, while John Ainsworth conjures haunting and brilliantly technical melodies on a 12-string guitar. 


Contact Theatre’s Young Identity crew Inna Voice are a spoken word collective of MCs, beatboxers, poets, singers and producers, and have shared a stage with the likes of fellow wordsmiths Kate Tempest and Amiri Baraka. Catch them performing live, and be sure to hear some performance poetry from the lovely Jo Po – check her out on ETV in an interview she did for M20.



The beautiful miss Zara Khalique will have a stall selling clothes and artwork from her positivity and creativity focussed label and lifestyle movement, keep it brightand get your hands on some one-off vintage pieces from the folks at Hot Mess Vintage. Messy Make Up will also be onsite giving tribal facepaint makeovers to help you get into the natural theme…


Check out the footage from our last Pop-Up festival in NQ with Shudehill Studio – the NQ Pop-Up!

essential info

WHERE? Antwerp Mansion, Rusholme Grove [just off the curry mile], Rusholme, M14 5AG

WHEN? Friday 11th July 2014

TIME: 7pm till 3.30am

PRICE: £5 in advance, MOTD [buy tickets from Skiddle: http://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Manchester/Antwerp-Mansion/M20-Pop-Up-/12204196/]

*** All proceeds go towards the M20 Collective Community Fund to support artists in the local community***

Gonna be a big night, look forward to seeing you there!!

Love, M20 x

Interview | Jo Po and the Manchester Arts Scene

Alex Webb speaks with poet and performer Jo Po about her life, her work and inspirations in Manchester…

When I sat down with Jo Po, a Wythenshawe-born artist, it was obvious just how passionate she is about what she does. Jo Po is a lover of lyricism be it through spoken word, music – however you want to express yourself with words. Space for self-expression, and the ability to utilise it, is something very important to Jo.

When I asked her what advice she would give someone who is looking to enter the Manchester spoken word scene, she replied that if you’re already writing – embrace it! Work with your style and make it your own because spoken word is about putting out messages in interesting, individual ways. YouTube is a good place to start just to get a general idea of what spoken word is and Jo Po recommended the Manchester-based channel ETV to see how vast the talent in our city really is.

“Work with your style and make it your own”


Her spoken word career started just over a year ago at a One Mic Stand night and from there she carried on doing it because it gave her a way to express her thoughts. Passion is a commanding force in spoken word for Jo, who thinks without passion, any kind of art comes across as very two-dimensional and fails to get the attention it could deserve.

In terms of her writing, Jo Po addresses a lot of different ideas as her writing style and content changes with her emotions. However, she said that politics is a big focus of her work: coming from a working class background Jo Po is very concerned with addressing social difference and challenging unnecessarily negative views people hold in order to make a change.

A lot of her inspiration comes from her creative friends who all make content and put it out there with a message behind it. However, Jo Po notes that even for her the message of her work isn’t always clear, stating that she enjoys the cryptic nature of some of her pieces. “I can have two different people come up to me quoting the same line with completely different interpretations” Jo told me, saying this was one of the best things about her life as an artist.

“A lot of her inspiration comes from her creative friends”

In terms of what she is trying to achieve with her work, Jo spoke for her friends saying that they are looking to break the image people have of the young and the working class; something Manchester-born talent is very concerned with. Deprived areas often have an unjustifiably negative representation in media and her friends are looking to show just how inaccurate this really is. Some of the Manchester-based talent Jo suggested I check out were collectives such as Mothership Connection and acts like Levelz, Lyricalligraphy, Room2 and 8 Gold Rings. The latter’s name is a tribute to Salford John who very sadly passed away this year, showing just how personal all kinds of art can be. Jo Po cited her very talented friends as her motivation to carry on improving. She takes some of her inspiration from musicians and club nights as opposed to other spoken word artists and this shows in her very distinct style of work. Some nights that were recommended to me were Ballin On A Budget, Hit&Run and Project 13, all giving talented acts a platform to get their content out into the world.

Aside from her writing, Jo is an inspiration and possibly one of the most hardworking people I’ve met. I only spent a short amount of time with her but it was obvious just how motivated she was in life and in her work. When I asked her where she sees herself in a few years’ time she said that she’d love to be carrying on with her spoken word and was interested in collaborating with other artists, especially getting music involved in her pieces (something that she has started to experiment with recently). Jo isn’t trying to become “big and famous”. She just wants to have her voice heard and enjoys the responses her work receives. It is this that Jo Po and so many Manchester spoken word artists love most about what they do, and is just one of the reasons this artist is one to watch in the coming years.


For a taster of what Jo Po has to offer check out this video: ETV – Spoken Word – Jo Po (Session 3)


I asked Jo Po to give me some people to check out. She recommends these guys to anyone who is interested in Manchester-based acts and is looking for something new both musically and poetically.

Nights: Ballin On A Budget, Hit and Run, Swing Ting, Levelz, Red Eye Hi Fi, Project 13.

Artists: Mothership Connection, Lyricalligraphy, Skittles, Fox, Sparkz,Dubbul O, Kathika, Reuben, Bluntskins, Room2 Records, Bricky Mortar, 8 Gold Rings, The Mouse Outfit.

Subscribe to ETVs Youtube channel for a huge variety of Manchester artists: https://www.youtube.com/user/ETVMCR



– Alex Webb