Call me Russ L

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

Going Deaf For A Fortnight 2007 looms alarmingly large. Take up thy cross and follow.

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 1st to Saturday the 6th – Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – A staged version of episodes that have been deleted from the archives, which is a nifty idea. Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring and suchforth.

Wednesday the 3rd to Sunday the 7th – Horse Of The Year Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – Abbreviated to HOYS, which is a bit like an Ulsterman saying ‘hoss.’ I therefore predict that a Northern Irish ‘oss will win whatever the biggest prize is.

Wednesday the 3rd – “Thomas Telford: His Life And Works” @ The Thinktank Theatre in Millennium Point, Digbeth, Birmingham – “A talk by Roger Cragg for the Newcomen Society in association with the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Highways and Transportation.” The Colossus Of Roads himself. I do think that nickname has to be one of the best puns in the history of mankind.

Thursday the 4th – ‘Hallelujah!’ @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Ruby Turner, The BBC Big Band and various others will be performing Duke Ellington’s arrangement of Handel’s Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker to mark the re-opening of Birmingham Town Hall. Reprised on Saturday the 20th.

Friday the 5th to Sunday the 14th of October – Birmingham Comedy Festival @ Various venues throughout the city – Featuring some comedy. If the name is to be believed.

Saturday the 6th – ‘Wallop Mrs Cox’ @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – “The Birmingham Musical”~!

Sunday the 7th – ‘Carnival Afternoon’ @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Featuring Andy Hamilton’s “potted history of the journey of reggae” and the MIGHTY MIGHTY MIGHTY The Destroyers.

Sunday the 7th – Heavy Trash / Copter / Swampmeat @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Lots and lots of rock and/or roll, all in the same place at once.

Monday the 8th to Wednesday the 10th – Lenny Henry @ The Town Hall, Dudley – A homecoming. Up the yam-yams.

Monday the 8th – Thomas Dolby @ The Academy 2, Birmingham – Prepare to be Blinded With Science. The best bits are the bits where someone you imagine would have Einsteinesque mad-professor hair shouts “Science!” in the background.

Monday the 8th – Boxing (Pat Cowdell) @ The Burlington Hotel, Birmingham – I saw John Ruddock when he fought Matty Hough. He couldn’t seem to remember if it was boxing or Judo. (Edit: I mean the first time, natch).

Tuesday the 9th – Underworld @ The Academy, Birmingham – Lager, lager, lager.

Wednesday the 10th – Seth Lakeman @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Precisely when did ‘Seth’ become a fashionable name for anyone under the age of 78, anyway? Craziness. At least this one is a folk artist, so I suppose it makes a distant bit of sense.

Wednesday the 10th – “Hysteria” (Inspector Sands And Stamping Ground Theatre) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Highly-regarded three-hander using a dinner date to look at how close humour and hysteria can be. Also at The MAC in Edgbaston on the 12th.

Thursday the 11th to Sunday the 21st – Birmingham Book Festival @ Various places across the city – Allsorts o’ literary gubbins a-happening.

Thursday the 11th – The Guillemots with the CBSO @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – I’m told that previous Guillemots gigs have included onstage light-sabre battles, which fills me with hope for the possibility of a light-sabre vs conducter’s baton skirmish. Sold out/returns only, though.

Thursday the 11th – Just Jack @ The Academy, Birmingham – All at once, the thing that had been nagging at the back of my mind struck me. All of his songs sound like French And Saunders parodies of his songs. I still think he isn’t bad, though.

Friday the 12th – ‘Best Of British Urban’ @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Including the very fabby likes of Terri Walker and Ty, amongst others.

Friday the 12th – Happy Mondays @ The Academy, Birmingham – I saw them a couple of years ago and no-one even fell off the stage or anything.

Saturday the 13th – Editors @ The Academy, Birmingham – Of course it’s bloody sold out, don’t ask stupid questions.

Saturday the 13th – Angrrr Management’s “Unlucky For Some” (MMA) @ The Glades Leisure Centre, Kidderminster – There’s plenty of time yet for 381 pull-outs, but at the time of writing this is a big card. Marc Goddard vs Ivan Serrati, Ross Mason vs Henrique Santana, and Andy Costello vs Tony Bentley, amongst other fights. Plenty of pummelling and twisting for all.

Sunday the 14th – The Coral @ The Academy, Birmingham – Alright la, we’re gunna do a gig an that. While we’re playin, likhe, our Terry’ll keep the eye an our Barry’ll nip round the backh and have their hubcaps away an that. Likhe.

Sunday the 14th – Lethal Bizzle @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – POW POW. Bring some beef you lose some teef. Part of the NME “Rock ‘n’ Roll Riot” tour, but I don’t know any of the other bands. Also at The Academy in Brum on the 21st.

Sunday the 14th – Ex Cathedra’s “Spirit Of The Age” @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Ex Cathedra performing works by living composers, including one by Fyfe Dangerfield of The Guillemots.

Monday the 15th – Pram / Modified Toy Orchestra @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Great stuff, a bill with two of the best electronic-y acts not just locally but from anywhere.

Monday the 15th – SWV @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Insert customary “Blimey, they’re still alive, whodathunkit?” here.

Tuesday the 16th – The Proclaimers @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – I would walk five hundred miles to send a letter to America. I would. It’d get there quicker if I was closer, y’see.

Wednesday the 17th – Unsane @ The Medicine Bar in The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – I’ve wanted to see Unsane for years. This one also features Bee Stung Lips, who (justifiably) seem to be everyone’s favourites of late.

Thursday the 18th – Billy Ocean @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – I question the sanity of anyone who doesn’t want to go to this.

Friday the 19th – Capdown @ The Barfly, Digbeth, Birmingham – I’ve just found out this is part of their last tour before splitting up. Not an emo band.

Friday the 19th till Saturday the 27th – The International Mask Festival @ The Glasshouse Arts Centre and The Town Hall, Stourbridge – I hope there aren’t any of those scary magic ones that start to control you when you put them on. Organisers, please don’t let there be any of those scary magic ones that start to control you when you put them on.

Sunday the 21st – Kling Klang / Calvados Beam Trio / Mike In Mono @ The hare And Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – The fact that Calvados Beam Trio have gone and got themselves a MySpace page really is a shame. For so long they were the last line of defence.

Sunday the 21st – Los Campesinos! @ The Medicine Bar in The Custard Factory, Digbeth, Birmingham – Every blogger’s favourite band, plus their attendant exclamation mark.

Sunday the 21st – Mahler’s 2nd (‘Resurrection’) Symphony @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – One of the most widely feted orchestras in the world playing one of my absolute favourite symphonies. You couldn’t possible lose.

Tuesday the 23rd – Warning @ The Bristol Pear, Selly Oak, Birmingham – Doooooooooooom. If you’re especially interested in your proper metal type of thing, those Reanimator sorts in charge of this also have a death metal night at the same venue on the 13th.

Wednesday the 24th – “The Convent” (Jo Strømgren Kompani) @ The MAC, Edgbaston, Birmingham – Described by The Guardian as a mix between Big Brother and The Sound Of Music, this uses dance and acapella song to represent the doubts and fears of three nuns in a remote convent. Oh, those Norwegians.

Thursday the 25th – The Twang @ The Academy, Birmingham – See comment for the Editors gig.

Thursday the 25th – Boxing (PJ Promotions) @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Including, amongst other fights, Darren McDermott vs TBA for the ‘International Masters’ title (no, me neither). Pray for Elcock to win this Friday, so we can have the big local derby when Macca eventually gets his British title shot.

Friday the 26th – Julie McNamara’s “Pig Tales” @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – The story of a female child raised as male, told via the children’s rhyme “This Little Piggy Went To Market.” Sounds interesting.

Saturday the 27th – Boredoms @ The Barfly, Digbeth, Birmingham – The large pleasure where other than the music experiencing of usual Japan it is by. If you do not know, you cannot understand under any condition. All times proceed by improve my Engrish to greater amount.

Saturday the 27th – “Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames” Rollerderby @ Cocksmoor Woods Leisure centre, Kings Heath, Birmingham – I’m still not fully sure I understand what’s going on here.

Tuesday the 30th – “Minor Spectacular” (Plested And Brown) @ The Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton – Man who fixes washing machines as superhero. I like that.

Tuesday the 30th – Taint @ Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham – Taint are a band I managed to completely fail to see for about six or seven years. Then, earlier this year, I saw them. A happy story.


18 Responses

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  1. throughsilver said, on 25 September, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Unsane are really good live; saw them in early ’98. Damn, how fucking old am I? Iron Monkey opened, I missed them (they played downstairs while I listened to the ‘premiere’ of the crummy Soulfly debut), and was stupid enough not to care at that time. Some woman said they were rubbish, which we took solace in, but in hindsight I doubt her.

    Still, Unsane are good.

  2. Chris C said, on 25 September, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    “Horse Of The Year Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – Abbreviated to HOYS”

    surely HOTYS?

    there probably will be a few people there who think horses are hotties.

  3. Russ L said, on 25 September, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    Chris – Post here more often, please.

    Thrillsouver – I know what you mean. I remember saying “I saw Agnostic Front in 1998” in 2001 and feeling old then. By this point in time we are obviously both positively Methusalahtastic.

    I’m looking forward to Unsane, though.

  4. Tom Podmore said, on 26 September, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    Chris Rice and Ross Mason, both from where i live now (Redditch), are fighting on the Angrrr Management 13: Unlucky For Some card. I’ve done a bit of sparring with both – used to outbox Chris for fun about the time he made his pro boxing debut – and will be going to cheer the boys on.

    Chris is fighting an American called Christian Smith.

  5. Russ L said, on 26 September, 2007 at 4:29 pm

    I’m a big fan of Ross Mason, he always has exciting fights. Hopefully he can get back to winning ways with this one.

    That wouldn’t be Christian Smith from Tap Or Snap, would it? I didn’t realise he was American.

  6. someone said, on 27 September, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    You missed out Broken Social Scene on the 17th at Academy 2

  7. Tom Podmore said, on 27 September, 2007 at 6:01 pm

    Russ, it isn’t the team ‘Tap or Snap’ Christian Smith. This one, as i’ve already alluded to, is American and has a 1-2 professional MMA record. He was knocked out by punches in the first in his last fight.

    Chris is confident as he can bang with his right hand.

  8. throughsilver said, on 27 September, 2007 at 6:51 pm

    I thought Broken Social Scene had split up. Good band anyway.

  9. Ben said, on 27 September, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    Not 100% convinced by either of the last two Broken Social Scene records, despite some people claiming they’re amazing – but live was a different matter. Best band I saw last year.

  10. Russ L said, on 27 September, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    They’ve prompted a few comments, and hence the social scene is less broken than one might have thought. HahahadidjaseewhatIdidthere?

    Tom – Sorry, I get confused easily. Just say “Shut up you silly twat” when I’m being a silly twat. These fighters should have different names, though. I think they do it on purpose to annoy me.

    If you happen to read this again before tomorrow night – do you know what time the first fight is scheduled to start in Cov?

  11. Tom Podmore said, on 28 September, 2007 at 7:10 am

    The first fight, likely to be Matty Hough-John Ruddock, should be at eight o’clock. The doors open at seven.

  12. Russ L said, on 28 September, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Cheers guv. Not long to go now, then.

    I’m looking forward to this. I haven’t been to The Skydome (or Coventry at all, for that matter) since CageWarriors used to put on MMA cards there.

  13. throughsilver said, on 30 September, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Oh yeah. Re the Billy Ocean: I heard ‘Red Light Spells Danger’ the other day and it’s remarkable. It’s like a 70s version of ‘Crazy’ (Gnarls), down to the cautionary tale of the lyric and even the bassline.

  14. Russ L said, on 1 October, 2007 at 5:45 am

    I love that song but I’d never seen that parallel before. It’s a good one, though. I like your thinking there.

    I’m not being silly with this, I really do think that Billy Ocean is one of the best pop-soul singers the world has yet seen.

  15. throughsilver said, on 1 October, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Well I’m seriously gonna have to check out some more of his stuff. I was never that enamoured with the likes of ‘When the Going Gets Tough’ or ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’ (not that they’re not good – they are – but I wasn’t that enamoured. When I was about eight I deemed him Lionel Richie-lite for some reason), but I have the feeling that dragging the waters might yield results.

    What would you recommend?

  16. Russ L said, on 2 October, 2007 at 5:48 am

    I wouldn’t say Lionel Ritchie was an entirely unreasonable comparison as such (80s gloss-orama), just the ‘lite’ part (Billy-Boy has a lot more fire in his belly, I believe). Given that, though, as an album I’d recommend his first/self-titled one -from 1975 so lacking the shiny 80s production, and containing “Love Really Hurts Without You” (my favourite of his).

    He does suffer from inconsistancy over the course of whole albums, sadly. I’m much more of a highlight-listener-to-er when it comes to him. The highlights are just so darn wonderful.


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