mon 22/12/2014

Birmingham

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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6000 Miles Away, Sylvie Guillem, Birmingham Hippodrome

When Sylvie Guillem became, at 19, the youngest person ever to reach the top rank of the Paris Opéra, she gained a job title – étoile (star) – that uncannily captured her essence. Most companies call their top dancers principal or prima ballerina or...

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The Tempest Replica, Kidd Pivot, Birmingham Hippodrome

If, standing on a station platform, your arms want to make shapes in the air; if, walking home, you are mesmerised by the curved toes of your shoes against the pavement; if, in the kitchen, a stray salad leaf on the floor transforms before your eyes...

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Concert Dansé, Symphony Hall, Birmingham

On the back wall of Birmingham Symphony Hall’s great oval space, two musicians are poised on a glass balcony that gives the illusion of not being there at all. A small square of warm light picks them out, vivid against the hall’s darkness. So framed...

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Quatrain/Kin./Les Rendezvous, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Crescent Theatre

It is proof, as if more were needed, of how very right-on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s director David Bintley is, that he chose to open the International Dance Festival currently taking place in that city with two specially commissioned ballets...

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Drenge, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham

Drenge certainly pull in a diverse crowd to their shows these days. Prior to the band coming on stage for this sell-out gig, there was a group of 40-somethings in fairly new-looking leather jackets to my left, talking about Tom Watson MP (who...

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Suzanne Vega, Town Hall, Birmingham

Suzanne Vega clearly likes her new album, Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles. Either that or she’s got this promotional lark down to a fine art. Tonight we were treated to seven of its ten tracks, which is not something you might expect...

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