Call me Russ L

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

Posted in Combat Sports, LOTTSADITWM, Modern Living, Music, Stage, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 26 February, 2007

March. Huh. Where do the months go?

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.

Monday the 26th of February to Saturday the 3rd – “Acorn Antiques: The Musical” @ The Hippodrome, Birmingham – “I’d better go and find that king-size thermos. Looking at animals can be thirsty work.”

Thursday the 1st of March – “The Black Country Laughter Show” @ Library Theatre, Bloxwich – Featuring Lizzie Wiggins and Giggetty. Mentioned with apologies for the lack of anything in the way of a useful link.

Friday the 2nd of March – Los Campesinos!/Sky Larkin/Johnny Foreigner/KateGoes @ The Barfly, Digbeth, Birmingham – A nicely varied selection of indie-pop, here. Boo sucks to and/or down with exclamation marks in band names, but if we can force ourselves past the distaste then your Welsh headliners have had many good notices from Bizzen and the supporting cast seem pretty interesting all-round too.

Friday the 2nd of March – Boxing (Shakespeare Promotions) @ Coventry Sport Centre, Coventry – Headlined by Stourbridge’s Robert Norton in a tilt for the vacant English cruiserweight belt against Tommy Eastwood.

Monday the 5th – The Twang @ The Little Civic, Wolverhampton – Unsurprisingly sold out, with them being famous now. In some ways they’re the perfect band to get support from the NME, since the inevitable backlash-to-come is practically built in (c’mon, are you telling me you can’t see Johnny NME-scribe and Jilly NME-Reader liking them now while they’re on their way up but then turning against “That bunch of chavs” once they’re fully established? You’re a lot less cynical than me if you can’t). I think they’re ace, whichever way up. They’re also at The Academy 2 on Thursday the 22nd, but that’s sold out as well.

Tuesday the 6th – Trans Am @ The Medicine Bar, Digbeth, Birmingham – Synth pop, post-rock, krautrock, if you can name it then Trans Am have had a stab at it at some point. Excellent local squiggly instrumental nutbars The Arm are on the bill, too.

Thursday the 8th to Sunday the 11th – Crufts @ The NEC, Birmingham – Just imagine if you went to this by car and got parking space K-9. How fulsomely would you laugh? ‘Very fulsomely’ would be my guess.

Friday the 9th – “The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond Of Matches” (Impetuous Kinship) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – The Arena has a good programme this month, it appears. This one is Marcia Carr’s adaptation of Gaetan Soucy’s novel. Sounds like it’ll be heavy-going but very interesting.

Sunday the 11th of March – ‘Parkology’ @ Edgbaston reservoir, Edgbaston, Birmingham – “Come and find out how science could help parks in the future. Have ago at designing your own park.” Educational stuff for the liccle yoot dem. Sounds fun.

Monday the 12th – An Evening With The Birmingham Poet Laureate: Spoz @ Hall Green Library, Hall Green, Birmingham – I didn’t realise that the post was only held for a year. I thought it was still Dreadlockalien.

Wednesday the 14th & Thursday the 15th – Ricky Gervais’ “Fame” @ the NIA, Birmingham – Sold out, obviously. I mean, be serious.

Thursday the 15th – Celtic Frost / Kreator @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Pioneers in the field of graaaghmetal and 80s German thrash veterans. A perfect opportunity to wear that denim jacket with the arms ripped off that you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Thursday the 15th to Monday the 18th – New Art Birmingham Market @ Curzon Street Station, Digbeth, Birmingham – The building is gorgeous from the outside, and apparently there’s a petrified cat in there. Wow! Plus, on these days, there’s an art market courtesy of New Art Birmingham. Party, bonus.

Thursday the 15th to Saturday the 31st – ‘The Little Mermaid’ @ The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Awww. I bet this will be so sweet. It’s in the Cinema part of the MAC, apparently, but seems to be a play nonetheless.

Friday the 16th – ‘Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames” Launch Party @ The Barfly, Digbeth, Birmingham – Erm… I’ve no solid idea whether this is meant to be wholesome or pervy or what, but it more-or-less seems to be the former. There’s a launch party at The Barfly, anyway, with Dragster and The Mobsters playing, and apparently a demonstration of the sport. In The Barfly. Yes.

Saturday the 17th – Angrrr Management’s “Wired” (MMA) @ The Glades Leisure Centre, Kidderminster – Topped by Marc Goddard’s comeback match against the always entertaining Tipton Tony Bentley, and the much-anticipated rematch between Danny Batten and Kyotaro Nakao. The card also features Ross Mason, Matt Ewin etc, and there’s always a good atmosphere at these Angrrr Management ones.

Saturday the 17th – Ringside Promotions’ Corporate Boxing Dinner @ The ICC, Birmingham – More fighting, fighting, fighting the world on the 17th. Elcock vs Lord knows who for the vacant WBF middleweight belt, a three course meal, musical entertainment, and bingo! Lord oh mercy. Whether the ‘corporate’ means it’s only open to companies buying large quantities of tickets is something I do not know. (Edit: I don’t think Elcock is fighting on this one anymore, but apparently some current version of The Temptations are performing as part of the festivities…)

Saturday the 17th – The Destroyers @ Rooti Frooti in The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – Yes, yes. You know by now.

Sunday the 18th – Mothertrucker @ The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham – With what looks like an unusually varied supporting line-up. I approve of that.

Wednesday the 21st – “You Don’t Need To Know That…” (Gonzo Moose) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – A ‘collision of comedy, drama, slapstick and puppetry’ inspired by Kafka’s “The Trial.”

Friday the 23rd – “Mutton” (Mutton Productions) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – An onstage sketch show centred on ladies of a certain age. Hot flushes or power surges?

Saturday the 24th – Lemar @ The NIA, Birmingham – More or less the only person of lasting worth to have come from any of these Pop Idol type programmes. As such he should be treasured.

Saturday the 24th – Boxing (Coventry Sporting Club) @ The Leofric Hotel, Coventry – Yet another decision match for a vacant title, this time Baz Carey against Billy Smith for the Midlands Area lightweight.

Sarurday the 24th – The Destoyers @ The Epic Skate Park, Moseley, Birmingham – I’m assuming this will be an indoor sort of thing. I hope so, anyway, at this time of year.

Tuesday the 27th – Keiran Hebden & Steve Reid @ The Medicine Bar in The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – One of your geezers from Four Tet alongside your man there who played drums on “Dancing In The Street” (the proper one) as well as having hit things for James Brown, Chaka Khan, Sun Ra and squillions of others. Intriguing. This gig features an opening set from Calvados Beam Trio, too, and they always bring the super-duper.

Tuesday the 27th – Just Jack @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Like a posher version of The Streets. I should probably find a more enticing tagline than that.

Wednesday the 28th – Dolly Parton @ The NEC Arena, Birmingham – I’m not completely convinced she does know all that much about working nine-till-five these days. I doubt she’s had the practice. Maybe you should go and ask her.

Thursday the 29th – David Benson’s “To Be Frank” @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Good ol’ Davey-Boy Benson’s show about Frankie Howerd. Shut yer face.

Saturday the 31st – Thea Gilmore @ The Little Civic, Wolverhampton – Gutsy and gritty folk-rock singer-songwriter. I can’t help but feel that Ani DiFranco is a cheap comparison, but I can’t think of a better one.

~ Russ L, remembering to tilde/sign-off for the first time in a while.


19 Responses

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  1. Jez said, on 27 February, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Kirsten Hirsch at the Glee Club, Nine Inch Nails at the Academy. Irritatingly, both on the 4th.

  2. Russ L said, on 27 February, 2007 at 6:46 am

    I’ve spent half my life being baffled about how Nine Inch Nails have managed to convince so many otherwise intelligent people that they’re something other than a particularly cack-handed and clumsy teen-angst-orama. In that sense their gig might fit the ‘interesting thing to see and/or do’ rubric as a sociological observation thing, I suppose. I don’t personally happen to think it does in any other way.

    Whichever way up, NIN are on at The Civic in Wolves on the 12th as well if you really insist on persisting.



    Friday the 30th – The Beat and (Neville Staple’s current version of) The Specials @ The Academy 2 – Skaskaskaska…

    Saturday the 31st – Your Life Is A Grave @ The Market Tavern – Reformed local hardcore band who were hailed as being amongst the greatest ever first time around. Not by people who I’d normally go to for opinions about music, but still. They are meant to be really good live.

  3. Jez said, on 27 February, 2007 at 9:49 am

    This isn’t really the place to go into it, but NIN made some of the “music that changed my life”. For triangulation purposes others would include Toyah, Martin Carthy, Godflesh, Bob Mould, Pearl Jam, and Jean Michel Jarre.

    Did I mention I grew up in the country?

  4. Russ L said, on 27 February, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Is having to like Nine Inch Nails and Pearl Jam the trade-off for nice scenery?

    Having always lived in urbania, Godflesh always sounded completely natural to me.

  5. Jez said, on 27 February, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Who said anything about nice scenery?

  6. Russ L said, on 27 February, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    I was just trying to make you feel better.

  7. Jez said, on 27 February, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Bless you, young master.

  8. Russ L said, on 27 February, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    Next I will attempt to teach you to refrain from chewing on straw, yokel.

    (Ta for the link).

  9. Ben said, on 28 February, 2007 at 1:23 am

    Yes, I know – I’m Los Campesinos!’s unpaid pimp! I only hope that those who go and see them on Friday (including Dead Kenny of Parallax View) aren’t disappointed…

  10. throughsilver said, on 1 March, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    Dissing NIN? Can’t say I’m surprised actually. Anyway, listen to ‘La Mer’ and ‘Pilgrimage’ for Reznor being neither cack-handed nor teen angsty.

    I think Maynard was on to something back in 2000 when he said The Fragile was going to be a ‘great, lost album’.

  11. Russ L said, on 2 March, 2007 at 6:33 am

    ThruniorSilva – People have tried the “If you listen to these individual songs you’ll start to understand NIN” approach with me before and it hasn’t generally worked. At least you haven’t picked ‘Hurt,’ though. That’s a good start. I will investigate.

    Isn’t a ‘lost’ album generally held to be one that doesn’t sell 381 squillion copies?

    Jez – it seems you’ve got three chances to see them locally this month: They’re doing both the 4th and 5th at The Aca (both sold out, but you’re a resourceful man) and then the 12th at The Civic (not sold out yet). Gig-clashery need not be applicable.

    Ben – I only t’other day realised that I won’t be going to see Los Campesinos, ‘cos my long-since booked ticket for ‘Acorn Antiques’ is for tonight. Ah well, back to the drawing board.

  12. throughsilver said, on 2 March, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Never said you’d start to ‘understand’ NIN, Russcat. Those songs are notable for their sounding like no other NIN trax ever, so I wouldn’t be so assuming as to suggest any accompanying epiphany. More of an impressed ‘these aren’t bad’ kind of nod.

    And I think the MJK thing was in reference to the initially chilly reception the album received. In terms of sale comparisons, though, The Downward Spiral went 4x platinum in four years. The Fragile, though blatantly not a flop, has gone 2x platinum since its release over seven years ago.

  13. Russ L said, on 4 March, 2007 at 7:25 pm

    380 squillion rather than 381 squillion, then. Whichever way up, that’s a strange way for him to use the term ‘lost.’

    Aaaanyway, I have got around to listening to said tunes. I have heard the odd NIN song before that I’ve thought wasn’t so bad, so that wouldn’t be brand new; I’d even go as far as saying I quite (only ‘quite’) like the earlier more synth-pop-ish stuff. I don’t think they’re the worst band in the world, just not an especially good one on the whole; the thing that particularly baffles me is (as mentioned) the fact that they seem to be seen as a serious/’genuine’ band by so many, rather than an affair squarely aimed at kiddies who hate their parents and teachers (I don’t think it matters, it wouldn’t change my opinion of them/him either way. It just baffles me).

    Although ‘Pilgrimage’ may sound like no other NIN track ever (no idea myself, but I believe you), it definitely strikes me as exactly the sort of thing I would expect them to use as an interlude. Maybe not the specific use of a brass fanfare, but that slots in neatly without altering the tone of the whole thing. It sounds like it would fit nicely as an interlude on Maz Manson’s “Antichrist Superstar,” in fact (or how I remember that album sounding, at least, I haven’t heard it for years), so that could be why it sounds Reznor-esque to me. ‘La Mer’ I quite like, it builds nicely.

    Read all that in the most non-confrontational tone your imagination can muster, if you would. I know what you’re like.

  14. Iva Issues said, on 5 March, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Hey! Thanks for the mention! Just to confirm, it will be a bit more pervy than wholesome so leave the kiddies at home.

    Support your local rollergirls (or else!)


  15. Russ L said, on 5 March, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Oh right, I see. So (assuming you ever look at this again) is this an actual sport that you’re using a bit of titillation to help sell, or just simply sauciness by another name?

    Elsewhere on the 16th at The Palace Theatre in Redditch: An Audience With Jimmy Greaves. It’s a game of two halves, I’m told.

  16. Laura said, on 7 March, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    The NIN gigs have been cancelled, apparently… rescheduled for august or something silly like that.

  17. Russ L said, on 8 March, 2007 at 8:21 am

    School holidays, y’see.

  18. Hadouken said, on 8 March, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Glad your lookin forward to mothertrucker and io on march 18

    some local people or rather 1 in particular is saying any and all instrumental metal bands are sh*t before he even listens to them

    small minded and petty *sshole. wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t the one with the biggest mouth

  19. Russ L said, on 8 March, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Heh heh heh. I have a feeling I know who you mean…


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