Bob Dylan – It Must Be Santa
Destiny’s Child – 8 Days Of Christmas
Let’s get some acquisitiveness going on up in this isht. It is Christmas after all.
The Muppets – Sleigh Ride (from “A Muppet Family Christmas”)
For the most part I’m not going to be giving any spoilers, but I feel the need to reassure you at this point – this is not the last that we’ll see of The Muppets.
Hard Skin – Ding Dong Merrily Oi! Oi!
James Brown – Santa Claus Go Straight To The Ghetto
Layers – It Feels Like Christmas (Now)
Frank Sidebottom – Christmas Is Really Fantastic
In fact, I’m going to hide this behind a ‘Read More’ link (if you’re reading from the main page or the RSS feed), just to make sure no-one gets unintentionally spoiled.
I have managed three of these in a row! Hooray!
Standard disclaimers: I can’t ensure that these events will go ahead, that they’ll be good, or that I will be going to them. This is just a list of things I found that looked like they might be interesting, so please do not contact me to ask for your event to be included. That’s not the way it works.
Friday the 1st till Saturday the 16th – “Tartuffe” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Molière, played in this instance by Peterson/We Wanna Be Tergevva. Apparently he was in Harry Potter too, if you must.
Friday the 1st till Thursday the 14th – The Coventry Peace Festival @ various venues in Coventry – I can already imagine the tedious jokes that some will make about there never being any peace in Coventry. Lots of things are happening so clickedy-click for the line-up.
Friday he 1st till Saturday the 9th – “Bedlam: A Festival of Mad Ideas” @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – A series of mental-health-themed events, with both theatre and practical talks/workshops. [Rare moment of non-flippancy]I’m always happy to see any sort of awareness-raising like this[/Rare moment of non-flippancy].
Friday the 1st – “The Tell-Tale Heart” (Little Earthquake Theatre) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Thump-thump, thump-thump. Can’t say I’ve ever had a problem with the body parts I’ve put under the floor myself, but it takes all sorts.
Friday the 1st – The Full English @ The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – A supergroup (if you feel like you’re in a position where you, in point of fact, will) of folksy sorts with Martin Simpson (see also the 27th ), Seth Lakeman, and loads of others. They’ll be performing bits from the Full English, which is apparently a new digital archive of traditional music.
Friday the 1st – Slade / The Sweet @ Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – Glam! Maybe possibly a few original members!
Friday the 1st – “Dinosaur Zoo” (Erth Visual & Physical Inc.) @ Warwick Arts Centre (theatre space), near Coventry – Is it just me or do there seem to be loads of dinosaur shows for kids lately? Not that it’s a problem. Kids love dinosaurs.
Saturday the 2nd and Sunday the 3rd – Peaky Blinders-themed walking tours around Digbeth @ starting outside The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham – I got bored and gave up halfway through the telly series (visually spectacular, of course, but then that is the most boring sense), but I suspect that this’ll be very interesting.
Saturday the 2nd – Youngblood Brass Band @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – SOU. SA. PHONE. (Chant with me now). SOU. SA. PHONE.
Saturday the 2nd – Paul Merton’s Impro Chums @ The Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – Ian Hislop isn’t a chum, presumably. Nor Boris.
Saturday the 2nd – Charlemagne Palestine, Rhys Chatham, and The Ex Easter Island Head Large Guitar Ensemble @ The Library Of Birmingham (studio theatre), Birmingham – The only chance in the UK to see/hear this Charlemagne Palestine collaboration. I suppose you would need a large guitar if you were a massive stone head.
Saturday the 2nd – English Dogs @ The Adam & Eve, Digbeth, Birmingham – Proper punk. I’m still not entirely clear whether they became Janus Stark for a few years or whether that was actually a different band.
Sunday the 3rd – Eddie Reader @ The Glee Club, Birmingham – What she doesn’t want is a half-heated love affair. At the very least, three-fifths of a heart will be required.
Sunday the 3rd – Mark Lanegan @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – You have to wonder what he did to the poor trees.
Sunday the 3rd – The Stylistics @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – On the off-chance that there are any original members left, they’d probably love you to make them fell brand new.
Tuesday the 5th – “The Ghost Ship” (Rumpus Theatre Company) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolvehampton – Is it me or are a lot of Joseph Conrad things getting adapted for stage just lately?
Tuesday the 5th – Enablers @ The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham – Post/indie-rock poetry , and an amazing live band.
Tuesday the 5th – Xhumed/Dead Good (not sure which of those is meant to be the name of the event) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – Six people give speeches as six (late) people from history – J.B. Priestley, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, Erasmus Darwin, Andrew Carnegie, Geraldine Cadbury, Matthew Boulton, and John Baskerville. There seems to be something of a local slant there.
Thursday the 7th till Saturday the 9th – “The Anatomy Of Melancholy” (Stan’s Cafe) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – As I always say when it comes to anything regarding them, it’s Stan’s Cafe and so it’ll be brilliant. I actually read Robert Burton’s “The Anatomy Of Melancholy” this year. I genuinely have no idea how they’re going to turn the blighter into a stage work, but that just makes it more exciting.
Friday the 8th – The Hollies @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – All they need is the air that they breath, food, water and shelter.
Friday the 8th – Billy Joel @ The LG Arena, Marston Green, Birmingham – I like him (nuts to you), but he seems to protest too much sometimes. He didn’t start the fire, he says. He’s an innocent man, he says.
Saturday the 9th – Esoteric @ The Asylum, Hockley, Birmingham – The doom band from Birmingham called Esoteric, rather than any of the other bands from elsewhere called Esoteric. They’re good but when I saw them the singer completely failed to make use of the Madonna-styled headset mic. No dance moves at all.
Saturday the 9th – “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” (Tutti Frutti Productions) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Inspired by, but not actually, the Aesop fable.
Sunday the 10th – “Down The Rabbit Hole” (Companis) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – A “five course sensory mobile meal”, taking place around the library and involving readings and sensory deprivation. I don’t know if any of the courses actually are rabbit.
Monday the 11th and Tuesday the 12th – operas courtesy of Ellen Kent International @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – “La Boheme” on the 11th and “Aida” on the 12th (and they’re also doing that one at Warwick Arts Centre on the 21st). If you fancy an opera-themed week, this could be usefully combined with…
Tuesday the 12th till Monday the 18th – Welsh National Opera coming around these parts @ The Hippodrome, Birmingham and this time also at The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Right, so, you have the “The Tudors” season at The Hippo, which sees Donizetti’s Anna Bolena on the 13th, Maria Stuarda on the 14th, and Roberto Devereux on the 15th. Alongside that, there’s also Tosca at The Hippo on the 12th and 16th, and on the 18th at The Mac there’s the new “I Had An Angel” by John O’Hara.
Tuesday the 12th and Wednesday the 13th – “Peppa Pig’s Big Splash” @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – I don’t know much about Peppa Pig other than that she’s really cute, but she is really cute.
Tuesday the 12th – Bellowhead @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Bands with a double-figures number of members are always good live. That’s a maxim that will never fail you.
Wednesday the 13th till Saturday the 16th – “Road” (Warwick University Drama Society) @ Warwick Arts Centre (Studio Theatre), near Coventry – Add stock (albeit true) comment here about this play probably being just as fitting now as it was in the mid eighties.
Wednesday the 13th – Flatpack Festival’s “Miners’ Hymns” @ The Town Hall, Bilston – A screening of Bill Morrison’s “The Miners’ Hymns” (which sounds brilliant), as well as additional related local archive footage.
Thursday the 14th – Cockney Rejects @ The Robin 2, Bilston – England belongs to them. Quite a big claim, when you think about it.
Friday the 15th till Sunday the 17th – This Is Tmrw’s “All Year’s Leaving” festival @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Thr nght fstval t th Hr & Hnds, brght t y by Brm prmters Ths s TMRW nd nvlvng Dstph, Bt T Rw, Sky Lrkn, Vctrs t S, nd lds f thrs. S, ‘m ll cl lk th yng pple wth n vwls.
Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th “Zhe: [Noun] Undefined” (Collective Artistes) @ The Rep, Birmingham – A play exploring the identity & sexuality of two British Africans. ‘Zhe’ is a gender-neutral pronoun, although it isn’t clear to me in which language. That may or may not be part of the point.
Friday the 15th – Mahler’s 7th symphony (Philharmonia Orchestra) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – As conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, who is never not described as charismatic.
Friday the 15th – Soul II Soul @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Back to life, back to the Town Hall.
Saturday the 16th – Mozart’s “Requiem” (Orchestra Of The Swan) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – They’re playing the overture of “The Marriage Of Figaro” too, which is great fun.
Saturday the 16th – Editors @ The Academy, Birmingham – A band I’d forgotten about. Perhaps we should become re-acquainted.
Saturday the 16th – Boxing (Errol Johnson promotions) @ The Town Hall, Walsall – Fight fight fight
Tuesday the 19th – “The Events” (Actors Touring Company, Schauspielhaus Wien, Brageteatret, and the Young Vic) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – David Greig’s play, looking at ideas of community and using local choirs wherever it goes. I still can’t help thinking of this, though.
Tuesday the 19th – Gary Numan @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Right-wing-rockstars in Wolverhampton on the 19th #1: The “I only voted Tory once, honest” division.
Tuesday the 19th – Motorhead @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Right-wing rockstars in Wolverhampton on the 19th #2: The “I only dress up like a silly arse, I’m not one really, honest” division.
Tuesday the 19th – So Solid Crew @ The Institute (library room), Digbeth, Birmingham – Rescheduled from last month. Whether that eats into their allotted 21 seconds or not is something that I don’t know.
Wednesday the 20th till Saturday the 23rd (and I think there may be more yet to come) – Capital Theatre Festival 2013 @ The MAC (Foyle Studio), Edgbaston, Birmingham – “The Disappearance Of Sadie Jones” updates Strindberg’s “A Dream Play”, and “Ugly, Duck” sees an ordinary fella from Stoke become a nude model. It would seem that there are also further plays yet to be announced.
Thursday the 21st till Saturday the 24th – Festive Gift Fair 2013 @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – All I want for Christmas is either A) you, or B) me two front teeth. Christmas~!
Thursday the 21st till Saturday the 23rd – “Josef K” (can’t seem to see the theatre company) @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham – Inspired by, but not actually, “The Trial”.
Thursday the 21st – Adrian Edmondson & The Bad Shepherds @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Eddiiieee! Eddie-ee-ee!
Thursday the 21st – Go Kart Mozart @ The Academy 3, Birmingham – Them what did that “Selfish And Lazy And Greedy” song. It seems that the fella was in some other bands that a lot of people seem to like, too, but I don’t know about any of all that.
Friday the 22nd – Benjamin Britten Centenary Concert (CBSO Chorus) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – I do hope that people aren’t getting bored of Britten due to over-exposure, just lately. The recent (amazing) “Peter Grimes” at Symphony hall was quite sparsely attended.
Saturday the 23rd – The Supreme Cat Show @ The NEC, Maston Green, Birmingham – Every cat is The Supreme Cat if you ask it, of course.
Sunday the 24th – Billy Bragg @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Just because I’m lazy, doesn’t mean you’re better than me (that’s my version and I’m sticking to it).
Sunday the 24th – Sham 69 @ The Roadhouse, Stirchley, Birmingham – Weeeeeeee’re gowin’ dahn tha pab…
Sunday the 24th – Akala @ The Academy 3, Birmingham – Braggy, Sham 69 and Akala all in Brum on the same evening. Revolution a-brew, ah reckons.
Sunday the 24th – Terry Riley’s “In C” (Adrian Utley’s Guitar Orchestra) @ The Library Of Birmingham, Birmingham – The one you always forget from Portishead’s new ensemble, performing the influential minimalist piece. (Ooh I’ve just seen that Pram will be playing as well, so that’s cool).
Sunday the 24th – Goodnight Lenin @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – Supporting Stornoway, who I thought were pretty dull when I saw them, but still. G’Lenin are ace.
Monday the 25th till Wednesday the 27th – “Beauty And The Beast” (One Of Us Productions/Improbable Theatre) @ Warwick Arts Centre (studio theatre), near Coventry – An adult version. Hopefully not that definition of ‘adult’ that just means ‘childish’.
Monday the 25th – Shellac @ The Rainbow Warehouse, Digbeth, Birmingham – … Of North America.
Tuesday the 26th till Saturday the 30th – “Cabaret” (Bill Kenwright Ltd.) @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – With Will Young as the Emcee. For some reason.
Tuesday the 26th – Om / Ore @ The Rainbow Warehouse, Digbeth, Birmingham – I didn’t really like drone-doom types Om that much when I see them, but people always manage to make them sound good when describing them so maybe I should have another go someday. Also, tubah monstahs Ore are playing.
Wednesday the 27th until the 4th of January – “A Christmas Carol” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – This must be the single thing I’ve seen the most different versions of, between book/stage/screen. Christmas~!
Wednesday the 27th till Sunday the 1st of December – The BBC Winter Good Food Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – I’d be interested to see the BBC bad food show as well.
Thursday the 28th – John Cooper Clarke @ Warwick Arts Centre (Butterworth Hall), near Coventry – The flipping train is flipping late, you flipping wait you flipping wait.
Friday the 29th – Five @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Aw, I always liked Five. This is the boyband Five, not the metal band 5ive.
Friday the 29th – “Bring Your Own Beamer” @ Vivid Projects, Digbeth, Birmingham – In this context ‘beamer’ apparently means a digital overhead projector, rather than sim sim simma who got the keys to my etc. Those participating are to project their responses to the last eight months of revolution/protest-themed material displayed at Vivid.
Saturday the 30th till Sunday the 29th of December – “Room On The Broom” @ Warwick Arts Centre (theatre space), near Coventry – I like the cat, although I expect everyone says that.
Saturday the 30th – Crystal Fighters @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – Spanish folk meets bangin’ dance choons. As I believe the young people say.
Saturday the 30th – various bits of J.S. Bach, John Adams and Steve Reich (CBSO) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Unlikely bedfellows, you might think.
Even without Supersonic, October is still a big festival month (although every month is a festival month in Birmingham). This is a particularly gig-heavy edition of “Lots…” (even though they’re always gig-heavy). The theme, therefore, is “Yes, only more so”.
Standard disclaimers: I can’t ensure that these events will go ahead, that they’ll be good, or that I will be going to them. This is just a list of things I found that looked like they might be interesting, so please do not contact me to ask for your event to be included. That’s not the way it works.
Wednesday the 2nd – “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Radio Show Live” @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – Given that I think that “Hitchhiker’s” is in with good shout for being the high point of human cultural creation so far (really), you can imagine that I’m quite looking forward to this.
Thursday the 3rd till Saturday the 12th – Birmingham Literature Festival @ various venues in Birmingham but mainly the new library – The erstwhile Birmingham Book Festival. There’s loads of written-word-related fun – I have my tickets for Will Self and Catherine O’Flynn, but there’s also Carol Ann Duffy, Benjamin Zephaniah, Germaine Greer, you name ‘em.
Thursday the 3rd till Sunday the 6th – Sounding The River @ starting at The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – A walk down the Rea with added lights and music and such. I bet this’ll be really pretty.
Thursday the 3rd – So Solid Crew @ The Institute (Library Room), Digbeth, Birmingham – It makes you feel old when acts from your late teens/early twenties are doing nostalgia re-union tours.
Friday the 4th till Saturday the 2nd of November – “The Morgue Live” @ on Hurst Street, Birmingham – A live horror maze, it sez. It promises that you’ll confront your worst horrors, but God knows how they’ve managed to get Kilroy-Silk back into a position of influence.
Friday the 4th till Saturday the 19th – “Twelve Angry Men” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – A realistic theatrical representation of jury duty would just make you sit in the foyer for ages, and only very occasionally let you into the auditorium to see anything.
Friday the 4th till Sunday the 13th – Birmingham Comedy Festival @ varius venues in Birmingham – Hyuck hyuck hyuck guffaw and snigger. This is stymied for me by my complete lack of a sense of humour, but the highlight looks to me to be The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre at The Old Joint Stock on Friday the 11th (I do very much enjoy their predictions of what TuckerDoctor will be like).
Friday the 4th till Sunday the 6th – Fierce Festival @ various venues in Birmingham – The fifteenth anniversary of the arts festival, both performed and displayed. Things that caught my eye include a feast and an argument that goes on all afternoon.
Friday the 4th till Saturday the 6th – “Fearfest” @ The Asylum, Hockley, Birmingham – This is a real stop-press thing, as I really wasn’t aware of this at all until right before I was about to post this post. The line-up looks great if you’re into your distorted guitar larks (including, for old/out-of-touch me, a ton of “oh they’re still going/going again? Cool” names), though – Police Bastard, POA, Freebase, Selfless, Mothertrucker, and loads more.
Friday the 4th – Mark-Anthony Turnage’s “Greek” (Music Theatre Wales) @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Turnage’s operatic version of Berkoff’s “Greek, which is of course a modernised version of Sophocles’ “Oedipus The King”. Nothing new under the sun etc etc etc.
Saturday the 5th till Saturday the 12th – “The Constant Wife” (Crescent Theatre Company) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – W. Somerset Maugham. He’s not quite W. Axl Rose in the “rarely-used ‘W’ initials” stakes, but he’s definitely in the field.
Saturday the 5th – Giuseppe Verdi’s “Aida” (Ellen Kent International Productions) @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – Surprisingly, the Triumphal March is actually quite difficult to transcribe in my usual dah-de-dahs.
Saturday the 5th – Zoe Rahman @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Bangladeshi-Irish jazz, which is not a combination you hear every day. I don’t know what the Arena will be like for gigs, but perhaps this could be the time to find out.
Satuday the 5th – “Haden Hill Dog Awareness Day” @ Haden Hill Park, Cradley Heath – Not just for those unaware of the existence of dogs. There is a “Dog most like its owner” class, and I do hope that’ll be as good as it promises to be.
Sunday the 6th – Crosby, Stills & Nash @ The NIA, Birmingham – Almost cut my hair. (Disclaimer: not really).
Sunday the 6th – “The Last Sheep” @ The New Art Gallery, Walsall – Go and make your own sheep memento. It seems to be for kiddies, which is a shame. I love sheep.
Sunday the 6th – R.M. Hubbert @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Flamenco-influenced guitarist from Glasgow. Flamengow, if you will.
Tuesday the 8th – Nadine Shah @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Goth-jazz-folk, possibly? It’s hard to describe a disparate artist on just the basis of a few YouTube videos that you’ve enjoyed, sometimes. She’s at The Slade Rooms in Wolves the following night, too.
Tuesday the 8th till Saturday the 12th – “The Secret Agent” (Theatre O) @ Warwick Arts Centre (Theatre Space), near Coventry – A stage version of Joseph Conrad’s really quite astonishingly prescient novella. Apparently the performance style has a lot to do with music hall and early cinema.
Tuesday the 8th – Laura Mvula @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – You’ve already stuffed your chances to see her in small venues. This might be your last chance to see her in any venues that aren’t actually arenas.
Wednesday the 9th till Saturday the 13th – The Horse Of The Year Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – I gather we’re actually in the year of the horse, so there should be a strong line-up this time.
Wednesday the 9th till Friday the 11th – “A Clockwork Orange” (Birmingham School Of Acting) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – I don’t normally like to quote an event’s own blurb here (that seems far too lazy), but in this case I’m not going to top it: “Ludwig Van Beethoven with knives in it.”
Wednesday the 9th – “Best Of The BE Festival” (Birmingham European Theatre Festival) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Three half-hour plays from the BE Festival (I like the sound of three buffoons building a tower), and food is included in your ticket price.
Thursday the 10th and Saturday the 12th – “Twilightofthefreakinggods” (Stan’s Cafe) @ A.E. Harris, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham – In honour of the ensmallening (it’s a perfectly cromulent word) of A.E. Harris, Stan’s Cafe are doing “Götterdämmerung” with all the music replaced. Absolutely everything that the Stan’s Cafe people do is always clever and funny and visually inventive. I keep telling you that.
Friday the 11th – Charles Bradley @ The Hare And Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Southern soul, and I ain’t talking about Croydon.
Saturday the 12th – Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis” (CBSO & Ex-Cathedra) – Symphony Hall, Birmingham – This’ll be the Ludwig Van Beethoven without knives in it.
Sunday the 13th – The Will Pound Band @ Warwick Arts Centre (Studio Space), near Coventry – Haaaaaaaaaaarmonica. A good instrument. I’d maybe consider allowing a harmonica into my sousaphone band.
Sunday the 13th – Cara Dillon @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – I do hope her fiddle player tells the “bit scared” story. That was hilarious.
Sunday the 13th – Acid Mothers Temple @ The Flapper, Birmingham – Heh, Acid Mothers Temple playing on a Sunday night. Comical. They should be finished by about Wednesday.
Monday the 14th till Saturday the 2nd of November – “Yumm-A-Yukk-A-Boo” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company/Neighbourhood Rep) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Tales of international foods for young’ins.
Monday the 14th – Tunng @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Catching bullets with their teeth. Now with more Iceland.
Tuesday the 15th till Saturday the 19th – “1984” (Headlong Theatre) @ Warwick Arts Centre (Theatre Space), near Coventry – I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re already familiar with the gist of this one.
Tuesday the 15th – Seth Lakeman @ The Robin 2, Bilston – It may seem like a minor thing, but I’m really pleased that his website’s giglist has “BILSTON Robin”, and not “Wolverhampton” as you tend to see from most of these nationally famous artists trying to glom onto that Wulfrunian big-city glamour. Using the real place names – that’s proper Folk.
Tuesday the 15th – Deep Purple @ The NIA, Birmingham – *Hums THE RIFF*
Wednesday the 16th till Saturday the 19th – “Europa” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company, Teatr Polski, Bydgoszcz, Staatsschauspiel Dresden, and the Zagreb Youth Theatre) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Various theatre companies from across Europe have combined to create this work in which various individuals across Europe try to get to grips with changes in national identities. I’m picturing “Going For Gold”.
Wednesday the 16th – The Orb @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – The Slade Rooms might have quite a high ceiling, but I doubt that any Little Fluffy Clouds will form.
Wednesday the 16th – Stuart Maconie’s “The People’s Songs” @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – The story of post-war Britain, apparently, told through 50 popular music singles. Could be fun or could be exactly the type of ‘history’ that I hate. If you’re into Macaronie, note that he’s at the book festival too.
Thursday the 17th – The Drifters @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – In some sort of spatial/directional relationship with the boardwalk.
Thursday the 17th – Half Man Half Biscuit @The Academy 2, Birmingham – God speed the trial, to cite my childish kicks.
Friday the 18th – The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown @ The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham – He brings you one of the elements. I forget which, precisely.
Saturday the 19th and Saturday the 26th, then Monday the 28th till Saturday the 2nd – “Bank On It” @ a secret location in Coventry but you sort it out via Warwick Arts Centre – Children of five and over (and the adults they’re taking for a walk) can wonder through a bank and try to work out what is actually going on. I’m genuinely not sure what the ratio of satire-to-innocent-fun is.
Saturday the 19th – Baroness @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – I thought that all the band members had died in a car crash or something. If they did and they’re still going then that is proper Metal.
Saturday the 19th – Chris Wood @ The Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton – It was only at Moseley Folk recently that I realised how much yer current king o’folk looks like yer late previous king o’folk.
Saturday the 19th – The Mighty Diamonds @ The Institute (Library room), Digbeth, Birmingham – Proper, proper reggae. I have often thought that many boring “The Nouns”-style band names could be improved by sticking the word “Mighty” in the middle.
Saturday the 19th – Caribbean-Style Domino Tournament @ The New Art Gallery, Walsall – The thought occurs that you can probably get this all over the place all the time in places other than an art gallery, but still. It’s here if you want it.
Sunday the 20th – Public Image Ltd / The Selecter @ The Academy, Birmingham – Interesting combination, actually. The two bands seem to make perfect sense together and no sense at all together, at the same time.
Sunday the 20th – Roachford @ The Glee Club, Birmingham – More cuddly toy than “The Generation Game”.
Sunday the 20th – VV Brown @ The Institute (Temple room), Digbeth, Birmingham – Crikey, I hadn’t known that she was still going but I am glad to hear that she is. The gig of hers that I saw a few years ago was fun for various reasons, not least because she couldn’t remember what city she was in. And also not least because I saw what I feel I can fairly and accurately describe as “The Most Middle Class Non-Verbal Gesture Ever Made” from another audience member.
Monday the 21st – Ghostpoet @ The Glee Club, Birmingham – Comedown-y hip-hop-ery trip-hop-ery. Amazing at MOJFAS last year.
Tuesday the 22nd till Wednesday the 30th – “Open House” (Birmingham Rep Theatre Company) @ The Rep Theatre, Birmingham – An installation (?) house for 0-2 years olds to wander around. When I was little I used to love going to the ‘pretend house’ (showroom-type-thing) at a big interiors/DIY shop, so I expect I’d have loved this.
Tuesday the 22nd till Saturday the 26th – Gaetano Donizetti’s “The Elixir Of Love” (Midlands Opera) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – Re-set in a spiffing tea-on-the-village green type of 1939 English village. There’s tonnes of Donizetti going on next month too, if you like that sort of thing.
Monday the 21st – Gabby Young & Other Animals @ The Yardbird, Birmingham – Balkan-jazz-swing, perhaps? As I said above, it’s hard to describe a disparate artist on the basis of a few YouTube videos that you’ve enjoyed sometimes.
Tuesday the 22nd – AlunaGeorge @ The Institute (Library Room), Digbeth, Birmingham – I was really disproportionately pleased when I read that their names are actually Aluna and George.
Wednesday the 23rd – “Monkey Bars” (Chris Goode & Company) @ The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Various kids were interviewed, and here their words are delivered by adult actors. Adult actors are probably disillusioned enough to work for less.
Wednesday the 23rd – Wizz Jones @ Katie Fitzgerald’s, Stourbridge – Finger lickin’ finger pickin’ folk’n’blues guitar.
Friday the 25th till Sunday the 27th – Capsule’s “Bring To Light” @ The Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth & the new Central Library, Birmingham – Or “Bring To (Supersonic-)Light”, if you will. You have Shangaan Electro, Deafheaven, Laurence Hunt, a bloke in a rabbit costume, and loads more. Speaking of “Light”…
Friday the 25th till Sunday the 27th – “Illuminations” @ I’m not going to say “Southside” because that’s just very very stupid, but around Hurst Street/The Hippodrome/The Arcadian etc, Birmingham – Available information seems light (didjaseewhatIdidthere) at the moment, but there are three days of optical-related festivities, including a “360 degree film igloo” and The Lanterns Of The Terracotta Warriors.
Friday the 25th – Goodnight Lenin @ The Prince Of Wales, Moseley, Birmingham – I swear there’s some sort of contractual obligation that obliges everyone in a band in Birmingham to say that the Moseley Prince Of Wales is their favourite pub. It is a very good one, of course. Gets so busy, though. Anyway, if you like G’Lenin then see also the 31st.
Saturday the 26th till Saturday the 30th – Big Fun Festival @ Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham – A string of musical and other events aimed at kiddies/families (although absent, as far as I can tell, the most obvious bit of music). There are pigs, there are dinosaurs, Soweto is having a picnic and Neil Cowley is somehow involved with a gorilla.
Saturday the 26th – Travis @ The Academy, Birmingham – Yeah, that’s right, Travis. Want a fight about it?
Sunday the 27th – Dick Gaughan @ The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Helping you mind Thomas Muir of Huntershill.
Wednesday the 30th – Alexei Sayle @ Warwick Arts Centre (Theatre Space), near Coventry – I’ve not always been mad, y’know. I was actually driven mad by the indifference of architecture and council planners.
Thursday the 31st – “Russian Masters” (CBSO) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”, Schostakovich’s 1st, and Rachmaninov’s “The Bells”. They’re going for a campanological theme, it seems.
Thursday the 31st – John Fell @ The Symphony Hall foyer in The ICC, Birmingham – Yer man from Goodnight Lenin doing the Folk For Free bit. Not sure whether this will consist entirely of GL songs or some that are just his own or what.
Thursday the 31st – F.W. Murnau’s “Nosferatu” @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – With appropriately halloween-ish pipe organ accompaniment.