Call me Russ L

Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands: January 2007

Posted in LOTTSADITWM, Modern Living, Music, Stage by Russ L on 30 December, 2006

This one is crap, and although that probably is mostly the fault of my cursory research I can’t completely take the blame. It’s January. People’s stomachs are heavy and their wallets are light after Christmas and New Year, and as such less happens. I also think there’s some sort of psychological barrier for promoters and event organisers, where they begin to think “I don’t need to get the adverts out for that just yet, it’s not till next year.” In a couple of weeks time they’ll all go mental. 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. Please do not contact me to ask for your event to be included. That’s not the way it works.

Sunday the 7th – BBC 1’s “The People’s Quiz 2007” open auditions @ The NEC, Birmingham – It says “open auditions” but suggests you contact the organisers (details through that link), so I don’t think it’s “open” in the sense of “just turn up”. The blurb asks if you can tell your Shakira from your Shakespeare and your Rooney from your Romans. I imagine the real questions will be harder.

Friday the 12th – Rush Hour Blues feat. The Destroyers @ The ICC, Birmingham – Rush Hour Blues is a great idea, providing free live music at 5:30pm on Fridays in the foyer of Symphony Hall, for commuters who don’t want to charge headlong into the traffic going out of Birmingham. Sadly, it normally consists of noodly-doodly bands of the type that consider ‘musicianship’ something more than a means to an end. Fools. This time, though, they have The Destroyers playing. There will be dancing, the shouting of “Hey!” at the end of bars and the wearing of silly hats. I’ve seen The Destroyers twice and adored them both times.

Thursday the 18th – Nog @ The Barfly, Birmingham – Hyper-mega-ultra-super-duper technical instrumental thrash metal. Get yourself proper badly Nogulated. Plus some other bands or something.

Saturday the 20th – Moseley Bog Conservation Workday @ Shire Country Park, Moseley, Birmingham – ‘Going to the bog’ puns ahoy! Loudly telling attendees that they ‘can do as much or as little as you like’ doesn’t necessarily strike me as the wisest of moves, but if you want to get yourself elbow-deep in muck in the name of conservation but don’t really know how to go about it then here’s your chance to start. A few such of these workdays are happening over the next few months, so keep your eyes peeled.

Sunday the 21st – Roy Harper @ The Mac, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Billy Bragg once described him as “as powerful and moving as anything I’d heard by The Clash.” Since ol’ Braggy can’t seem to go a full five minutes without saying “I like The Clash, me” that strikes me as high praise indeed.

Tuesday the 23rd – Frank Sidebottom @ The Jug Of Ale, Moseley, Birmingham – Erm… no, honestly. Frank Sidebottom.

Sunday the 28th – Ben Folds @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Someone suggested that I might like to go to this, and vaguely remembering a bit of Ben Folds (both with and without the fraudulent Five) that I’d heard in the past I thought it sounded like a good idea. Listening to him now (as I type this), though, I’m unsure. Something makes me want to like him even though I’m not actually doing so. My internal jury remains out, but with the paucity of stuff I’ve seen for this month I’ll stick this in here anyway.

Monday the 29th – “Comic Capers In Birmingham” by Patrick Baird @ Kings Norton Library, Kings Norton, Birmingham – “A talk with slides by Patrick Baird about Birmingham comedians and music hall stars.” That’s all I’ve got. Could well be interesting, but since it’s at 10:30 (I assume that must be morning, if it’s in a library) on a Monday one presumes it’s aimed at the elderly and/or unemployed.

Tuesday the 30th – Scott Matthews @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – I saw him at The Moseley Folk Festival and quite liked him. Since then (and I’m not surprised) he’s been on the telly and on the radio and all sorts, apparently. Cor. Always nice to see someone local doing well.

Tuesday the 30th – Beethoven’s 9th symphony with The Philharmonia Orchestra & Chorus @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Ooooooooh, you’ve got to love Beethoven’s 9th, in particular the finale. Y’know, the one from “A Clockwork Orange.” There’s a bit of Schoenberg being performed as a warm-up, too, which is a prospect that will always fill Johnny Concert-Goer with a mix of intrigue and anticipatory terror.

~ Russ L, apologising again for the less-than-lots-of-things to see and do.

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