The Bristol Slam, Jesters, 142 Cheltenham Rd, Bristol (info: 0117 941-2104) pounds 3.50, 8pm

For the last three and a half years, the monthly "Bristol Slam" has been showing another side to the hallowed "Bristol Sound". Instead of speaker- shattering pop experimentation, a steady pulse of word-music has been emanating from assorted local pub venues - the cris de coeur of bards brave enough to step out in front of an audience and battle for the highest approval rating of a trusty clapometer. The concept, which originated in the USA, has been so successfully implanted by hosts Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson that other slam nights have since sprung up across the UK, resulting in regular inter-city showdowns. Though competitive in format, the spirit is fiercely democratic - no person is too poor, no rhyme too rich; you too can be Murray Lachlan Young (above) for a day. Obviously, there has been some questionable material aired in that time, as a new anthology testifies, but the sheer raucous pleasure of the evening should not be sniffed at. As Carmichael and Williamson pack up to devote time to other projects, tonight sees the end of an ear-a.