Call me Russ L

2009 in Listmania form

Posted in Books, Combat Sports, Films, Modern Living, Music, Stage, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 12 January, 2010

That’s our lot for 2009, then (by nearly a couple of weeks now). I was really quite spectacularly feeble on the blogging front throughout: 37 posts in total (I’m actually surprised it’s that many, I’d have guessed at twenty-odd), and obviously most of the important and exciting events I’ve been to this year have gone un-written-about. I’ve been intending to write the catch-up-post-to-end-all-catch-up-posts for ages, but I suppose I’m going to have to be realistic and acknowledge that it’s never going to happen.

I’m still going to have to list them, though. If it isn’t documented on the internet, it didn’t actually happen.

I’ll list things divided by “the sort of things I like and tend to do”, then, and provide links to the odds and ends I’ve already written about. Everything else will remain un-about-written. This stings and burns, but I’ll have to put up with it.

Pop music gigs

This is easy as pie, given that I keep an onrunning list anyway. Just click that, in the extremely unlikely event that you’re interested. For further details (such as are available), try:

~ Here for a catch-up posting extending back into 2008 that includes whatever I wrote about Buzzcocks/The Lurkers at The Wulfrun on 22/1/9, Gregor Samsa/Dream Dreams The Dreamer at The Rainbow on 26/1/9, and Judas Priest/Megadeth/Testament at The NEC on 14/2/9.
~ Here for The Destroyers playing at Birmingham Town Hall in front of some old timey fillums on 11/3/9.
~ Here for the feeble attempt at an open-air St Paddy’s concert in Digbeth on 15/3/9.
~ Here for Tunng and Tinariwen at The Rainbow Warehouse on 28/3/9.
~ Here for Baroness/Alabaster Suns at The Hare & Hounds on 10/4/9 and Unearthly Trance/Ramesses/Mothertrucker at Busk on 18/4/9.
~ Here for the Supersonic Festival, 24/7/9 – 26/7/9.
~ Here for the day of the Moseley Folk Festival I went to, on 6/9/9.
~ Here for Massive Attack/Martina Topley-Bird at the new Academy, 23/9/9.

Best set of the year, incidentally, was Billy Bragg at The Civic on 18/6/9 (the fourth time I’ve seen him, and the best so far).

Theatre and theatrics (including opera)

~ “Of Mice And Men” at The Crescent in Birmingham on 24/1/9.
~ “Look Back In Anger” at The Old Joint Stock theatre in Brum on 30/1/9.
~ “An Inspector Calls” at The Rep in Brum on 6/2/9.
~ “These Four Streets” at The Rep Door on 13/2/9.
(All four of those above ar briefly spoken of in the catch-up here)
~ The “Terrorism” series at The Crescent Theatre in Birmingham – “Terrorism” on 20/3/9, “The Bus” on 21/3/9, and “Talking To Terrorists” on 3/4/9.
~ “Home of The Wriggler” at The A.E. Harris Building in the Jewellery Quarter on 24/4/9.
~ “Serious Money” at The Rep on 18/5/9.
~ “Masquerade: A Selection Of Songs From The Musicals” at The Prince Of Wales Centre in Cannock on 20/5/9.
~ “For You” (AKA that opera that Ian McEwan wrote the libretto for) at The Rep on 4/7/9.
~ Artsfest around Brum on 12/9/9, which I’m going to put under this heading as a result of us seeing: “Pink Tape” and “Opportunity Crashes” at The Old Joint Stock theatre, an kiddie version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at The Library Theatre, “Giant Steps” (a do-it-yourself play of sorts) at A.E. Harris, Leanne Stoddart’s “Tongue Tied” at The Rep Door, an excerpt from “Patrick And Bernadine” at The Rep Door, and “Classical Fantasia” on the big stage in Centenary Square (including opera and ballet and thus qualifying as “theatre and theatrics”.
~ “The Revenger’s Tragedy” at The Arena Theatre in Wolverhampton on 16/10/9.
~ “The Grapes Of Wrath” at The Rep on… erm, I think it was probably 21/10/9.
~ Birmingham Opera Company’s “Othello” at The Argyle Works in Bordesley on 5/12/9.


Not many in 2009, and not any at all for months.

~ Boxing at The Tower Ballroom in Edgbaston on 1/2/9 (a Warrior Promotions do headlined by Max Maxwell vs Tony Randell for the Midlands middleweight title, written about alongside the customary other things here).
~ MMA at the 02 Arena in London’s Docklands on 21/2/9 (UFC95, headlined by Diego Sanchez vs Joe Stevenson).
~ Boxing at the NIA in Birmingham on 28/2/9 (Frizank, headlined by Matt Skelton vs Martin Rogan for the Commonwealth heavyweight title).
~ Boxing at the Villa Leisure Centre (Aston Events Centre nowadays, apparently) on 14/3/9 (Hennessy Sports, headlined by Matthew Macklin vs Wayne Elcock for the British middleweight title).

A poor showing in general, and (even with that as a given) I didn’t actually go to see any domestic MMA cards in 2009. That’s particularly disgraceful.

I read a book once. It was green

I’ve read the following books this year, more or less in this order (not precisely, but more or less):

~ “Ben in The World” by Doris Lessing (started the previous year)
~“Last Night A DJ Saved My Life” by Bill Brewster & Frank Broughton (started the previous year)
~ “The Pyjama Game – A Journey into Judo” by Mark Law
~ “War Baby” by Kevin Mitchell
~ “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro
~ “I’m A Little Special – A Muhammed Ali Reader” edited by Gerald Early
~ “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre
~ “The Universe In A Nutshell” by Stephen Hawking
~ “Hands Of Stone – The Life And Legend of Roberto Duran” by Christian Giudice
~ “Fighting For Acceptance – Mixed Martial Arts And Violence In American Society” by Donald T. Mayeda and David E. Ching
~ “The Steep Approach To Garbadale” by Iain Banks
~ “The Bridge” by Iain Banks (re-read)
~ “History Of Western Philosophy” by Bertrand Russell
~ “Second Variety” by Philip k. Dick
~ “The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick
~ “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman
~ “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace
~ “Netherland” by Joseph O’Neill
~ “Monstrous Regiment” by Terry Pratchett
~ “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism” by Naomi Klein
~ “The Savage Detectives” by Roberto Bolaño
~ “Oryx And Crake” by Margaret Atwood
~ “Total MMA” by Jonathan Snowden
~ “Paul Merton’s History Of The Twentieth Century” by Paul Merton
~ “Estates” by Lynsey Hanley (very brief words here)
~ “’Tis” by Frank McCourt
~ “Frantic Planet: Volume 2” by Stuart Millard
~ “Image Music Text” by Roland Barthes
~ “Beautiful Sheep” by Kathryn Dun
~ “The Wee Free Men” by Terry Pratchett

Then, of course, I started “A Fighter’s Heart” by Sam Sheridan and “The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth but finished them after it ticked over into 2010, and I started “American Hardcore – A Tribal History” by Steven Blush and am still reading it.

In literature-related events, we went to a talk about J.B. Priestley’s “English Journey” at (a small room in) The Birmingham Conservatoire on the 23rd of October.

Other curios

~ We actually went to the pictures on 10/1/9 (“Slumdog Millionaire” at The Electric Cinema).
~ Capsule’s “Making Do” do at New Art Gallery in Walsall on 7/5/9 (with more beyond the bands named in the gig list).
~ My first ever day out at Birmingham Pride on 23/5/9.
~ Stan’s Café’s “Scalextric Grand Prix” at A.E. Harris on 13/6/9.
~ A pre-Supersonic outing of art-aplenty in various Brum locations on 25/7/9.
~ A bonfire at The Black Country Museum on 5/11/9.
~ The reindeer parade on Broad Street in Brum on 15/11/9.
~ The “Bodies Revealed” exhibition at Space 2 in The Custard Factory in Digbeth on 9/12/9.


And quite possibly other things I’ve missed. And there were normal trips to the drinker and so forth. And I had to go to work and all that nonsense, too.



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