Call me Russ L

Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands: October 2008

Posted in Books, Combat Sports, Food, LOTTSADITWM, Modern Living, Music, Stage, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 30 September, 2008

Festival~!

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.

Until Sunday the 5th – “Of All The People In All The World” (Stan’s Café) @ A.E. Harris Factory, The Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham – Also known as The Rice Show and acclaimed by many (including me) to be The Actual Best Thing Ever.

Wednesday the 1st till Friday the 24th – Birmingham Book Festival @ various venues in Birmingham – Brum’s annual literary festival (festival~!). There’s lots of interesting stuff a-scheduled – read on down.

Friday the 3rd till Sunday the 12th – Birmingham Comedy Festival @ various venues, Birmingham – The annual comedy festival (festival~!). Some annoying nonsense, but good stuff too – highlights include a Curates Egg do with John Cooper Clarke at The Hare & Hounds on the 3rd, and Mark Steel at The Glee Club on the 8th.

Saturday the 4th – “Space Day” @ Birmingham University, Edgbaston, Birmingham – LOOOST IN SPAAACE! All sorts of extra-planetary physics-based fun.

Saturday the 4th – Van Morrison @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Like the good ol’ strict ‘n’ stern Ulster protestant he is, Van The Man has decreed that no alcohol is to be sold at this gig. I wouldn’t go so far as to proclaim that this heralds the death of personal freedom, though.

Saturday the 4th – Stevie Wonder @ The NIA, Birmingham – Ooh, I’m really looking forward to this one.

Saturday the 4th – “Steve Coogan Is Alan Partridge and Other Less Successful Characters” @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – You’ve got to love that for tour-naming.

Saturday the 4th – The Ting Tings @ The Academy, Birmingham – Already sold out, although we’ve heard that one before from The Ting Tings.

Saturday the 4th – Muay Thai @ The Light Bar, Wolverhampton – Knees knees knees! Wolves’ Firewalker gym vs Leeds’ Bad Company gym.

Wednesday the 5th of October until Thursday the 6th of November – Birmingham Early Music Festival @ Various festivals in Birmingham – A festival (festival~!) of Rites And Revels.

Sunday the 5th – Balti In The Park @ Balsall Heath park, Balsall Heath, Birmingham – Mostly, food. But also live music. And stalls. And face painting. But mostly food.

Tuesday the 7th – Stevie Winwood @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – Still keeping on running, after all this time.

Wednesday the 8th until Saturday the 11th – “The Boy With The Bomb In His Crisps” (Mad Half Hour) @ The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry – A play based on the tales of people who have journeyed to Coventry and Colchester. The story behind the (absolutely magnificent) title is here.

Wednesday the 8th till Sunday the 12th – Horse Of The Year Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – A horse is a horse, of course, of course…

Thursday the 9th – The Streets @ The Academy, Birmingham – Apparently he talks about fields and countryside and such on this new album. Pastoral Streets, what a notion.

Saturday the 11th – Billy Ocean @ The Academy, Birmingham – Aaaaw, he’s just so cuddly.

Monday the 13th till Friday the 17th – “Romeo And Juliet” (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Custard Factory – I have no concrete info, but apparently this may or may not be happening. Matinee performances only though, according to the information Nyki Getgood has acquired over at that link. On weekdays. Fantastic planning, there.

Monday the 13th – Cyndi Lauper @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Just wants to do something-or-other.

Tuesday the 14th – Polarbear: “If I Cover My Nose You Can’t See Me” @ The Rep Door, Birmingham – Hip-hop based storytelling. I’ve heard many good things about this.

Tuesday the 14th – Mark Thomas @ The Conservatoire, Birmingham – Part of the Birmingham Book Festival. This show is based around Mighty Mark’s looking into the ways and doings of Coca-Cola.

Wednesday the 15th – Stephen Stills @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Ah well now you see the thing here was that I was going to go to this and then I wasn’t and now I am again but all the time I thought I’d never heard any of his music outside of Crosby Stills And Nash And/Or Young but it turns out that “Love The One You’re With” which I liked but didn’t know who it was by was actually by him. So that was quite good. Yes.

Wednesday the 15th – Elbow @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – The band that beat Burial in the big national music quiz or whatever it was. Haven’t listened to this new album that they got the honours for, but they were lovely when I last saw/heard them a few years ago.

Wednesday the 15th – Spiritualized @ The Academy, Birmingham – Without the gospel singers this time, if I’m correct, but still bound to be amazing.

Thursday the 16th – Will Self @ The Conservatoire, Birmingham – Why if it ain’t young Billy Self in the best of health. Author, journalist, raconteur, cultural pundit, and Birmingham Book Festival performer.

Friday the 17th – Roots Manuva @ The Academy 2, Birmingham – Summonin’ up the power of Banana Clan.

Friday the 17th – Black Diamond Heavies / The Solomons @ The Dragon Bar, The Barfly, Digbeth, Birmingham – Another night of blues ‘n’ roll brought to you by them Coldrice reprobates.

Saturday the 18th – UFC 89 @ The NIA, Birmingham – Headlined by Mike Bisping vs Chris Leben (Bisping, sub, R2. Yes that’s right I said ‘sub’), and also featuring the UFC debut of longtime fave of mine Dan Hardy (against Akihiro Gono. Hardy by decision). Speaking of longtime faves of mine, Paul ‘The Relentlessly Saddling Yampy Terminator’ Taylor (you know, the one from God’s Chosen Black Country) will also be fighting Chris Lytle (Taylor, decision).

Saturday the 18th – The Creeping Nobodies / The Courtesy Group @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – A Curates Egg night, so quality is assured.

Sunday the 19th – Scorpions @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Whistle whistle, whistle whuh-whuh-whistle-whistle…

Tuesday the 21st – Carol Ann Duffy @ The Conservatoire, Birmingham – Again as part of the Birmingham Book Festival. One of the best contemporary poets, with recent controversy to boot. If you’re really a fan then you can also attend a discussion of her work led by Roz Goddard on the 9th.

Wednesday the 22nd – Eddie Reader @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Your lady there who used to be in the wonderful wonderful wonderful (‘Perfect’, even) Fairground Attraction.

Wednesday the 22nd – Seth Lakeman @ The Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton – More fiddling folking fun with Seff.

Thursday the 23rd until Sunday the 26th – “Hello Digital” @ Various places in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Hereford – The Midlands’ first digital festival (festival~!), apparently, although I don’t myself have any idea at all about precisely what is meant to connect this seemingly disparate string of events. Some of it looks interesting, though, such as the Field Of Light at Millennium Point and Capsule’s Big Up The Metalz thingy at Wolves Art Gallery.

Thursday the 23rd – An Audience With Tony Benn @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – Tony ‘Uncle’ Benn, speaking of the days when Labour was real Labour.

Thursday the 23rd – A. C. Grayling @ The Conservatoire, Birmingham – Another book festival affair. Grayling considers and speaks on the subject of reading, particularly as a “critical, challenging and subversive process”.

Friday the 24th – Capsule Night @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Watch Oxes on boxes, shake your hips to Bee Stung Lips, and do The Bump to Bilge Pump.

Friday the 24th – Boxing (First Team) @ The Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Not sure who will be fighting on this one, but it’ll no doubt include some of our local faves. (EDIT: Seems to be cancelled).

Sunday the 26th – Lau-Gar King Fu National Championships @ Cocks Moor Woods Leisure Centre, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Hai- and indeed –Ya.

Tuesday the 28th – Al Green @ The NIA, Birmingham – The Reverend Al Green, ladies and gentlemen.

Tuesday the 28th – Slayer @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – And if you fancy an arena gig that couldn’t be more different to Al Green, there’s always Slayaaaarrrrgh. (EDIT: Alright, so no an arena gig: it’s been moved to The Civic).

Wednesday the 29th – Feed The Birds @ Woodgate Valley Country Park, Bartley Green, Birmingham – The rangers show you how to make a feeder and feed the birdies properly, for free.

Friday the 31st – Boxing (Sports Network) @ The Aston Events Centre, Aston, Birmingham – Pity poor old Uncle Frankie; Calzaghe’s left him and Khan got splattered across the canvas. Every ticket sale for this event is vital. He might not be able to afford this week’s ivory backscratcher otherwise. Also: Macklin/Broadhurst/Costello etc.

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10 Responses

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  1. […] "acclaimed by many (including me) to be The Actual Best Thing Ever." [link] […]

  2. Nicky Getgood said, on 1 October, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    Hi there. Romeo and Juliet – found this out after actors in the piece rang me up after digs. They told me the details, so my factual correctness really depends on how well-informed they are! Cheers for link, Nicky.

  3. Russ L said, on 4 October, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Ta duck. I’m still stunned by the idea of matinees only during weekdays, though. Stunned.

    ***

    A couple of postscript additions, gang: there’s a hip-hop do at Rooty’s in The Custard Factory on the 9th which includes the awesome Jehst, and a thrash metal do at The Bristol Pear in Selly Oak on the 18th which I mention chiefly because it includes a band called Hospital Of Death. I can’t fault that.

  4. […] Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands: October 2008 Russ L’s ever-useful round-up with loads of stuff happening this month. I’d like to add my own Film Dash 48-hour film challenge to the list (happening 17-19 Oct short film fans!) […]

  5. Russ L said, on 6 October, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Film Dash~!

    (Sorry Chris, enoooormous oversight on my part).

  6. Dave W said, on 6 October, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I actually think Hello Digital looks good fun. Alongside all the events for the everyman, they’ve actually announced a big digital media conference at Millenium Point. They are expecting speakers from Flickr, Bebo, Pixar, 4iP which sounds right up my street to be honest

  7. Russ L said, on 6 October, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    People from the internet talking about talking on the internet. Lovely. I suspect I’m more of an ‘everyman’ type myself, in this particular definition of the scheme of things.

    I’m not saying that Hello Digital sounds bad, though, not by any means. Quite a few of the consituent events do sound interesting, as I said above. It’s just that it seems like A Bit Of A Gigbeth in terms of not having an easily-figure-out-able theme. It says ‘digital festival’ but consists not just of the talks from the guvnors of FlickR that you would expect, but also public light shows, horror film viewings and exhibitions about how The Good ‘Ol Days of heavy metal were just lovely. I’m sure you could come up with a cunning way of connecting all of the things taking place. I just haven’t heard it yet.

    Maybe that’s the new fashion: Birmingham now has so many things calling themselves festivals (Festivals~!) that it’s beginning to seem a bit passé to have a coherent sense of identity for one’s own.

  8. Dave W said, on 6 October, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    Yeh maybe you’re right. Although to me, a ‘Digital Festival’ sounds more appealing than ‘A Broad Ranging Series of Digital Based Events’, even if it may sound slightly puzzling… I think of the theme as a nod to the ‘interactive age’, with online media and gaming imminently taking over the world and all.

    I think that with the conference, the fact is that these speakers ‘from the internet’ will undoubtedly attract a large audience from the the digital and creative industry to Birmingham, which is a huge thing for creative and digital media companies in the area. Screen WM is the first commisioning hub for 4iP, so a lot of dosh is going to be pumped into funding young filmmakers.

    So along with that, 8ft talking Robots, light shows etc. for the ‘everyman'(!), there is something for everyone. I suppose that fits into the job description of a festival.

  9. Russ L said, on 6 October, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I’m really not sure whether you’re responding to me or just making non-connected points about how good it”ll be (which is fair enough, of course, and I have no problem with that. Continue if you so wish) for most of that post, but nevertheless:

    Yeh maybe you’re right. Although to me, a ‘Digital Festival’ sounds more appealing than ‘A Broad Ranging Series of Digital Based Events’, even if it may sound slightly puzzling… I think of the theme as a nod to the ‘interactive age’, with online media and gaming imminently taking over the world and all.

    I still don’t get it. At all. There’s a core of things that this could be said to apply to, then a bunch more things added on that (as far as I can see) it really couldn’t. I suppose some of the films might have been made on digital cameras. Perhaps the directors were on Twitter.

    I think that with the conference, the fact is that these speakers ‘from the internet’ will undoubtedly attract a large audience from the the digital and creative industry to Birmingham, which is a huge thing for creative and digital media companies in the area.

    I am pleased (in a generic sort of way) that people who I don’t know and have nothing at all to do with will do well from this. I’m a well-meaning’ sort, y’see. I still can’t pretend to be in the slightest bit interested in the conference itself.

    Screen WM is the first commisioning hub for 4iP, so a lot of dosh is going to be pumped into funding young filmmakers.

    The second clause of this sentence is a good thing. The first may has well have been written in Dutch for all the sense it made to me. Still, though: generic pleasedness for those benefiting.

    So along with that, 8ft talking Robots, light shows etc. for the ‘everyman’(!), there is something for everyone. I suppose that fits into the job description of a festival.

    Well there’s certainly something for me, and you’ve made it clear enough that there’s something for you too. I wouldn’t disagree with that for a moment (and, indeed, haven’t). I even put it in my list of recommended things to do over the next month.

  10. […] Russ L’s listings are always worth a look too… CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS […]


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