The Vassal and the Fool

Great entertainment from The King’s Will and Jack Dean

I spotted the ad for the show way back in the summer, bought my ticket and waited patiently. Yesterday it was finally the day; the day I’d been so excited about; The King’s Will were performing at my local theatre. Billed as “electrifying drum and bass, soulful singing and powerful poetry” it sounded like an essential performance. I love a bit of poetry, though my own efforts at writing leave a lot to be desired, and it’s been over a year since I saw any performed live; that was the legendary John Cooper Clarke who appeared at the George Hotel in South Molton in a great, great show. Yes, there is more to North Devon than surfing, folks!

Due to some last minute hitches, the performance space was changed to the bar area, where a glossy grand piano stood, but this added to the intimate atmosphere.

Jack Dean

A small but very friendly and enthusiastic crowd was gathering and there was a palpable buzz of anticipation in the air. First up was Jack Dean, a local lad, very young but immensely talented. He gave a twenty minute performance of hip hop poetry which had us all in stitches, interspersed with the odd singalong. We were transported from the schoolroom to the psychoanalyst’s couch with several other interludes, punctuated with plenty of laughter. It was a brilliant and hugely confident piece which showed off Jack’s acting skills as well as his rhyming. This is definitely someone to look out for in the future. Here’s a link to his website where you can see some video clips and more.

Musa and Giles

After a short break it was time for The King’s Will. We were to have the acoustic show which would be Musa (The Fool) who is the poet and the voice, and Giles (The Vassal) the pianist. After spending the previous half hour in the audience and giving probably the most vocal support of us all to Jack Dean, these two tall and very charismatic men took their places behind mic and piano and gave us a performance of great passion, power, insight and a healthy serving of  humour. Giles’ wonderful and lyrical playing was the perfect foil to Musa’s vocals which ranged from a softly melodic delivery to an almost Shakespearean monologue, with all the furious power of a King Lear. Musa told us how he’d worked in the city as a lawyer for some years, and had one day decided it was all wrong and chucked it in to be a poet. The opening number “Pig City” is about the moral degeneration of our society; a rather dark and sinister nursery rhyme depicting the often obscured murkier side of life in the digital age. Other poems were about Musa’s experience of civil war in Uganda, his country of birth, family betrayal, his younger sister and memories of his father. The lyrics were often of a very personal nature and I for one felt privileged to have been allowed to share in this very emotional out-pouring.

Click on this link for an interview with The Kings Will by Lisa Jenkins, and this link to the group’s website.

I bought a CD for £5 at the end of the evening. Entitled “Acoustic” it includes most of the set from the show:-

1.Pig City


3.Human After All


5.So Leopard



Tracks can be downloaded from the website (click on link above).


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