Call me Russ L

Lots Of Things To See And Do In The West Midlands – June 2017

Posted in Books, Films, Food, LOTTSADITWM, Modern Living, Music, Stage, Well, it passes the time by Russ L on 31 May, 2017

I struggled to get this one done and it may show, but here we are! Three months running! June is all about (but not only about) Supersonic, which is looking like it’s going to be even more amazing than usual this year.

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 (although, happily, no-one ever does this anymore).

Thursday the 1st and Friday the 2nd – “Scorch” (Prime Cut Productions) @ The Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham – ‘A story of first love through the eyes of a gender-curious teen’ but apparently based in recent court cases, so this might not be the most happy and joyful on plays.

Thursday the 1st – “The Day Of Czech Culture” @ various venues in Birmingham, I think – There’s an exhibition at the library and a film night at the Gunmaker’s Arms and presumably other things, although it seems hard to find out precisely what.

Thursday the 1st – Jasper Carrott’s “Stand Up And Rock” @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – He used to be a folky, then a comedian, and apparently now he’s a rocker. One is reminded of Dylan going electric.

Friday the 2nd – Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – I’ve often thought that ‘Jah Wobble’ is a perfect name for a bass player. And only just now thought that this is probably why he uses it.

Friday the 2nd – Fofoulah @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – West-African-influenced jazz/mix-of-allsorts. Young Pilgrims are also on the bill, because There Must Be Sousaphone.

Friday the 2nd – “Transmission” @ Vivid Projects, Digbeth, Birmingham – Sound art pieces about the ‘deprecation’ of FM Radio broadcasts. That’s an interesting choice of word. Religious overtones and such.

Sunday the 4th – “From Legends To Light Years” family day @ Warwick Arts Centre, near Coventry – From The Tales Of Birbal to The First Hippo On The Moon. From a distance the theme for this seems more like “not a theme at all”, but I daresay it’ll all make sense on the day.

Monday the 5th till Saturday the 10th – “The Crucible” (Selladoor) @ The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham – Witch please.

Tuesday the 6th till Friday the 30th – Wolverhampton Artsfest @ various venues in Wolverhampton – Loads and loads of stuff, although I suspect some of it is “things that would’ve happened anyway kicked under this festival banner”. Which is very Brum-esque, but there we go. You have Lego, pink elephants, an Angela Carter documentary, Reynard The Fox, and naughty muppets.

Tuesday the 6th – Thea Gilmore @ The MAC (theatre), Edgbaston, Birmingham – On her 18th album! That’s mad, for someone who started in my times. She truly has been a Thea Gil-more and not a Thea Gil-less.

Tuesday the 6th – An evening with Arundhati Roy @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Until recently I has always assumed that the author of “The God Of Small Things” was a man. It may be the ‘Roy’ having some subconscious affect or (more likely) it may just be that I’m very stupid.

Thursday the 8th – Martha Tilston @ The Kitchen Garden Cafe, Kings Heath, Birmingham – I’ve already seen Steve this year, so I’ll be able to do The Tilston Double. Last year I did The Tilston Double-Double, by seeing them both twice. (In addition: I initially got the impression that this was happening at the Kitchen Garden Caff, then found out that it was at the Hare & Hounds, and have since had an email saying that it was no longer at the H&H and was actually at the KGC. I’m going to bet that it’s probably happening somewhere on that road in Kings Heath, but I wouldn’t really want to specify where).

Thursday the 8th – Beth Rowley @ The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham – I thought she was fare more famous than this sort of venue-size would suggest. But then again I am always bad at judging these things.

Thursday the 8th – “Idle Women Of The Wartime Waterways” (Alarum Theatre) @ Centrala, Digbeth, Birmingham – During the war[/Albert], so-called ‘idle’ women started working on the canals. This is about that.

Friday the 9th – “What If The Place Falls Out Of The Sky?” (Idiot Child) @ The MAC (Foyle Studio), Edgbaston, Birmingham – “What if how I feel at 4am is the truth?”, they ask. At 4am I normally feel the cat making a nuisance of herself, so I don’t know.

Friday the 9th – “Carmen Fire And Fate” (Cervantes Theatre) @ Warwick Arts Centre (studio), near Coventry – “Carmen” from the perspective of Carmen. Which is a good thing to do, I think. Actually I think someone should create something where she and a cured Violetta meet and live happily together. Sod all those men.

Saturday the 10th – “Apollo et Hyacinthus” (Classical Opera) @ The Town Hall, Birmingham – Mozart’s cautionary tale about frisbee safety.

Sunday the 11th – “Power Folk 4” @ The Spotted Dog, Digbeth, Birmingham – Mainly-folky (but also a bit jazzy and a bit indie-y) alldayer and barbeque in the beer garden, headlined by the wonderful Conservatoire Folk Ensemble.

Monday the 12th till Tuesday the 20th – Monkathon @ various different venues across Birmingham – Every piece from Thelonious Monk’s repertoire, performed over several gigs. Thelonious Monk is still the best name that anyone has ever had or is ever likely to have. Not bad at the piano, either.

Tuesday the 13th – Kraftwerk @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Touring their new album “The Computer Is A Mayor Now”.

Thursday the 15th till Sunday the 18th – The BBC Good Food Show @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – [Insert usual joke about the ‘good’ seemingly being redundant]

Thursday the 15th till Saturday the 17th – “The Beggar’s Opera” (students of Birmingham Conservatoire) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – True but not particularly interesting story: up until just now, I’ve always thought it was “The Beggars’ Opera” (plural).

Thursday the 15th till Saturday the 17th – “The Little Mermaid Jr” (Birmingham Youth Theatre) @ The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham – An adaptation of the Disney one, so no dying at the end. Now that I think about it, she should go and hang out with Carmen and Violetta.

Thursday the 15th – Gwen Dickey / Odyssey / Heatwave @ The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – Car washes, boogie nights, return journeys to roots, etc.

Friday the 16th till Sunday the 18th – Supersonic Festival @ various venues in Birmingham – Oh mercy me. Supersonic is always fantastic, but this one looks particularly good even by its own high standards. There’s Richard Dawson, whom I guarantee will blow your socks off (he always does). There’s Jenny Hval, whose most recent album is her best. There’s Xylouris White, who played the best live set I saw all last year. Anna Von Hauswolff is being given free reign with the big organ in the Town Hall. Broadrick & Martin are back together. I can’t believe I’m going to be seeing The Space Lady! I’m really looking forward to seeing Colin Stetson (really now, get a load of this)! There are reliable turns like Melt Banana (also playing for the kiddies), Big Joanie and Zu, and there’s always a load of ancillary arty stuff/exhibitions/installations. This is going to be bosting.

Friday the 16th – “A Black Country Fairytale… Ay It” (Fizzog Productions) @The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – Important missionary work, heading into That Birmingham to spake to the baywindered folk.

Saturday the 17th and Sunday the 18th – “Summer In Southside” @ around the Hippodrome/Hurst Street/Arcadian Centre etc, Birmingham – Saying ‘southside’ is like brushing your teeth with a stick, obviously, but this seems to be themed around having a country show in the city and it’s all free. And there are sheep! I love sheep. Also dogs! And ducks! And Destroyers!

Saturday the 17th – Warwound / Police Bastard @ The Castle & Falcon, Balsall Heath, Birmingham – An evening of incredibly heavy crusty punk.

Saturday the 17th – Shy FX @ The Kasbah, Coventry – “Original Nuttah” was actually about me. Did you know that?

Sunday the 18th – Otis Gibbs @ The Hare & Hounds, Kings Heath, Birmingham – Otus the Songwrotus (of a lefty folksy-rootsy sort). He also does a really good music history podcast.

Sunday the 18th till Tuesday the 20th – “Sarah And Duck’s Big Top Birthday” (Polka Theatre) @ The MAC (theatre space), Edgbaston, Birmingham – I like the theme song to Sarah And Duck.

Monday the 19th – Mark Lanegan @ The Institute 2, Digbeth, Birmingham – The (comparatively) forgotten/actually interesting one from all of your grunge malarkey.

Monday the 19th – Idina Menzel @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – LET IT GOOOOOOOO! LET IT GOOOOOOOO!

Thursday the 22nd till Saturday the 24th – “Phedra” (Birmingham School Of Acting) @ The Crescent Theatre, Birmingham – Euripedes trousers etc etc. Although this is Racine.

Thursday the 22nd – The Giant Balloon Show @ Penn Hall School, Wolverhampton – Bloonz~! Giant ones.

Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th – “Uncle Ben” (theatre company…?) @ The Old Rep Theatre, Birmingham – Either the popular local comedy or some packet rice. One of the two.

Friday the 23rd – YolanDa Brown @ The MAC (theatre), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Saxomophoooonnnne.

Saturday the 24th and up until the 23rd of August – “Dinosaurs In The Wild” @ The NEC, Marston Green, Birmingham – The blurb promises ‘living’ dinosaurs (no really, it does). I’m not sure if they’re the same dinosaurs that ate the botanical gardens last month.

Saturday the 24th – “Idomeneo” (CBSO & chorus) @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Wolfy’s finest opera, I think (well… admittedly there are loads I haven’t heard).

Saturday the 24th – Revolt @ The Tin Music& Arts, Coventry – Coventry’s periodic feminist gig/club night. All the ones I’ve been to have been ace. This time with Dispute Settlement Mechanism, Nim Chimpsky, Brutalistas and others.

Monday the 26th – Beverley Knight @ Symphony Hall, Birmingham – Our Bev.

Tuesday the 27th till Saturday the 1st – The Welsh National Opera @ The Hippodrome, Birmingham – No theme to this season, as far as I can tell, but there’s a new production of Der Rosenkavalier and revivals of Madam Butterfly and Die Fledermaus.

Tuesday the 27th – Pam & David Humphries’ “A Virtual Tour Of The Outer Circle” @ The Gunmaker’s Arms, Birmingham – A talk on the subject of the Number 11 Bus. Seems like a good moment to link this.

Wednesday the 28th – Flogging Molly @ The Institute, Digbeth, Birmingham – Faith and begorrah, it’s yer auld Irish-American folk-punk. Really good live.

Wednesday the 28th – “Octopus” (Paper Tiger Productions/Greenwich Theatre) @ The MAC (Foyle Studio), Edgbaston, Birmingham – Three women, who all look very different, have to prove how British they are. Also promised is The Power Of Punk.

Wednesday the 28th – Rainbow / The Sweet @ The Genting Arena, Marston Green, Birmingham – “Not obvious bedfellows” I thought at first, but on reflection I can see it. Ritchie Blackmore, of course, remains the most Spinal Tap-esque real person to ever have lived.

Thursday the 29th – Madball @ Mama Roux’s, Digbeth, Birmingham – New York Hardcore from a bunch of fellas that you wouldn’t want to run into down a dark alley. I initially got confused and somehow had the idea that this gig was at Scruffy’s. That would’ve been mental.

Thursday the 29th – Sebastian H-W’s “Chokolatul” @ The Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton – I try to avoid just quoting from the blurbs for this, but this one says that it’s “part live cooking show, part one-man-stand-up, part confessional live art, part twisted Phil Colins tribute act”. Make of that whatever you will.

Friday the 30th – Fred Thomas’ Polyphonic Jazz Band @ The Red Lion, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham – Jazz standards done through Baroque-style counterpoint. A good idea that seems so natural now that someone has thought of it.

Friday the 30th – “Dial Medicine For Murder” (dunno the theatre company) @ The MAC (theatre), Edgbaston, Birmingham – About murderous physicians. Of particular note now I write this, given that ‘orrible surgeon has just been convicted.

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One Response

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  1. Russ L said, on 20 June, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Most of the time I leave these posts addendom-free, but I have discovered that I missed the fact that Ani DiFranco is playing at Brum Town Hall on the 30th. I do not know how the flippity-flip I missed this, but there are still some tickets.


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