fri 04/09/2015

Birmingham

Supersonic Festival, Birmingham

The Supersonic Festival of the weird and the wonderful may now be in its 12th year but it is still more than living up to its long-running tag-line, “For curious audiences”. This year, an eager audience was treated to sets by both the Will Gregory...

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Parsifal, CBSO, Nelsons, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

This was a very "concert" performance indeed. Across the stage music stands stood like sentinels lest any rash singer attempted to stand out and – surely not – act. Such fears were misplaced (or the stands did their job) in the end, as the music was...

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The Subways, Institute, Birmingham

Not unreasonably, anyone might imagine that a band might lose a bit of their usual vigour if they found themselves four albums into their career playing in a room not much bigger than a church hall, miles from home on a cold Monday evening. Not so...

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Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

You might imagine that composers in general would write songs. On my way to the BCMG’s programme of pieces from the songbook assembled by John Woolrich and Mary Wiegold for the Composers’ Ensemble 30-odd years ago, I tried and failed to think of a...

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Julian Cope, Glee Club, Birmingham

While Julian Cope’s albums are usually fairly expansive affairs which employ a vast array of instruments, an audience with the Arch Drude is a more intimate affair these days. There’s no backing band and the man takes to the stage armed only with a...

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Jack and the Beanstalk, Birmingham Hippodrome

Birmingham Hippodrome claims to stage the UK's biggest pantomime – a proud boast that highlights its productions' West End-level of investment. And this year's venture, Jack and the Beanstalk, is certainly glitzy and star-laden, while the sets...

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The Kooks, O2 Academy, Birmingham

Brighton’s guitar pop outfit, the Kooks have been churning out largely pleasant but fairly bland songs since their 2006 debut Inside In/Inside Out. Recent album Listen, however, has suggested that things might be changing. Less evident, but not...

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Peaky Blinders, Series 2, BBC Two

So we're off for another blast of between-the-wars ultraviolence with the Shelby gang from Birmingham, once again soundtracked by incongruous electric blues music. Time has moved on from the immediate aftermath of Great War hostilities and now we're...

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Going to the Dogs, Channel 4

Two years ago Penny Woolcock was at the heart of Birmingham street gangs in her documentary One Mile Way; that one was titled after the fact that two of the city’s competing outfits were separated only by the distance of the film’s title. In Going...

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Les Rendezvous/Dante Sonata/Façade, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Hippodrome

“The touch is light. We like it so,” wrote Ninette de Valois in one of her later poems. You didn’t know the founder of the Royal Ballet wrote poetry? Don’t worry, you’re not missing much – except the occasional phrase which can serve as an epigraph...

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Bo Ningen, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

Tonight Birmingham was treated to a guitar fest of epic proportions, as the Japanese, Hawkwind-esque experience that is Bo Ningen hit town. Prior to the main event, we were treated to the boisterous thrash of The Scenes, who finished their set with...

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Murmur/Inked, Aakash Odedra, Patrick Centre, Birmingham

It might be quite unnerving for a young performer to have the première of a new solo show take place in the same building, at the same time, as Sylvie Guillem is dancing William Forsythe, Mats Ek and Jiří Kylián. But Aakash Odedra, who...

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