There are 24 posts in total.
Have the police lost control of the city centre streets of Birmingham?
- 2018-10-03, 14:20:57
A couple of weeks ago when I was walking from work to the railway station along Dale End / High Street in Birmingham I commented that just about every evening when I walk that way there's some kind of blue light incident going on in the area.
Last night as I was walking along the road I saw that the blue light incident had been levelled up considerably by the entire area being sealed off.
It turned out what had occurred this time was a mass brawl of about 100 youths resulting in three people being stabbed. From eye-witness reports of the lead-up to the incident, it seems that to a certain extent some kind of rumble was already pre-planned:
"I was on the bus going into town[...]In group Birmingham
I've lived in Birmingham for 29 years and never before noticed this clock on the back of the building next to Rackhams.
#birmingham[...]In group Birmingham
Bullring Open Market, 1154-2010, R.I.P.
- 2010-08-31, 14:47:51
Today I officially pronounce the Bullring fruit and vegetable market to be dead.
It had a good innings – nobody can complain about a run of 856 years and it being curtailed; I remember when plans to demolish the 1960′s market and shopping centre area were being consulted on how most of the traders predicted the market wouldn’t survive, but – the soul having been ripped out of the place notwithstanding – most of the stalls made it through that redevelopment.
Then there are the current fears that the move of the Wholesale Markets from right next to the Bullring Market will cause major hassle – Jon Bounds has commented on the silliness of the image of traders wheeling trolleys full of cabbages half way across town half way through the trading day, but there’s the very real concern of how produce will be then transported, coupled with the new uncertainty surrounding when the move[...]In group Birmingham
Zakir Hussein and the Masters of Percussion - Town Hall, 02/07/2008
- 2008-07-02, 14:30:37
Mention the words 'Indian Music' to the man or woman on the Northfield Omnibus, and the chances are the first person who will come into their heads will be Ravi Shankar. Which is understandable really, since it's fair to say he above anybody was chief in popularising Indian classical music to western audiences. However, if you were to find a member of the world music cognoscenti and say those words to them, there's a good chance the thought will come back as tabla player Zakir Hussein.
And rightly so - whereas Ravi Shankar is, as they say, a master, Zakir Hussein is the master. But more to the point, whereas Ravi Shankar in his high profile collaborations with western musicians has largely done his own thing bolted on to the side, Zakir Hussein has very much been much more devlopmental in the field of Indian / western musical fusion, going back as far[...]In group Birmingham
Portishead - Wolverhampton Civic Hall, 13/04/2008
- 2008-04-14, 14:23:35
When Portishead first hit the record shops in the mid-90s, I have to admit I was initially a little underwhelmed. That all changed with the release of Roseland NYC Live (and the accompanying concert video) when I discovered just how artistic their music can be; if you're the kind of person who likes contemporary classical music as might be played by B.E.A.S.T. or the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, or alternatively if the arthouse flicks of the Electric Cinema might make that venue your second home, then Portishead are the band for you.
After a gap of some 10 years since that album, the band have come together at last to release a new studio album, the imaginatively titled Third(released on 28 April 2008), together with a European tour to promote, which reached the West Midlands last night.
Unlike many rock reformations, where it feels like the spark had long gone[...]In group Birmingham
Mahabharata - Alexandra Theatre 26/06/2007
- 2007-06-26, 13:21:46
If I were to use all the superlatives I'm minded to in writing this, you could probably be forgiven for wondering if I was related to a member of the cast.
Mahabharata is, for Hindus at least, the 'Great story of India', at 100,000 verses the longest epic poem in world literature, and dating from at least 500BC one of the oldest. Alongside the Ramayana it forms one of the cornerstones of Hindu scriptures, and its scope is best summarised by one of its beginning passages - "What is found here, may be found elsewhere. What is not found here, will not be found elsewhere".
In essence, the story centres around a family feud between two sets of royal cousins - the Pandava brothers and their common wife Draupadi, led by our hero Arjuna and the Kauravas, headed up by the villain Duryodhana. I say villain -[...]In group Birmingham
misty's big adventure + restless list + kategoes... - jug of ale, moseley, 22/11/2006
- 2006-11-22, 13:15:28
If you like your popular beat combo concerts to feature fresh, genuinely original, and slightly off-the-wall music performed by bands who are accomplished musicians, composers, and songwriters, and where you can tell their reason for performing is the shear joy they feel in playing together and for you (rather than the band being a vehicle for satisfying egos, like so many rock-legend-wannabes), then last night's packed out upper room at the Jug of Alewas certainly for you, and certainly for pretty much everybody there as well. For me it was without doubt the best pub gig of the year, and almost certainly one of the best for a long time.
Normally when reviewing I treat each band individually - and certainly each of these three bands could have made a good show if it was they who were headlining - but in this instance as well as credit to the[...]In group Birmingham
pravda - a fleet street comedy - birmingham repertory theatre, 03/10/2006
- 2006-10-03, 13:09:04
First written and performed in the mid-80s, Howard Brenton & David Hare's Pravda is a newsroom satire, focussing on both the journalists themselves and their newspaper proprietors; it's not hard to see at the front of the authors' minds was the still-relatively-recent takeover by Rupert Murdoch of The Times, and the concerns many had about that of whether he would send it downmarket in the direction of The Sun.
The story proper opens in the editor's office at the Leicester Bystander, with the staff, in the middle of trying to put the paper to bed being sent into turmoil at the news they are about to be bought by South African media magnate Lambert LeRoux (Roger Allam). Our 'hero' Andrew May (Oliver Dimsdale) is immediately promoted to editor, and LeRoux marches onwards.
As a journalist reviewing a satirical play, one almost feels on slightly dangerous ground when the play is a satire on journalists - especially when one of the cameo characters[...]In group Birmingham
chicago - alexandra theatre, 28/09/2006
- 2006-09-28, 13:02:41
Go and stand on New Street holding a clipboard and ask passers-by if they could name any composers of musical, and the chances are, depending on their age, the overwhelming replies would be either 'Rogers & Hammerstein' or 'Andrew Lloyd-Webber'. If they're a discerning shopper they might reply 'Stephen Sondheim', but if they were that discerning they'd be more likely to describe his work as opera rather than musical anyway.
Alternatively, if you asked them to name any musicals themselves you would likely get quite a few saying 'Chicago'. But curiously, if you asked them if they could name any musicals by John Kander and Fred Ebb pretty much most people would just give you a blank look in response. Somehow, despite being responsible for two of the best-known musicals of the late-20th century,Cabaret, and Chicago, the names of Kander and Ebb themselves seem not to trip off the tongue of the Man on[...]In group Birmingham
senser - bar academy, 13/09/2006
- 2006-09-13, 12:57:37
Before there was Cypress Hill, before there was the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, before there wasThe Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, there was - in the UK at least - Senser.
It's probably pushing things a bit to say they invented the genre of angry intelligent hip-hop with a strong musical underpinning, but they were clearly influential in its development.
It was in the atmosphere of Thatcher's Britain that the band formed in the late 80s - the Criminal Justice Acts of the time, the Battle of the Beanfield, the Poll Tax, and raves on the beach and in warehouses. Mass rioting in the streets was common, and even many in 'the establishment' agreed that police violence and corruption was out of hand.
Although Senser disappeared from the mainstream public profile almost as quickly as they entered it, despite some line-up changes they've only really had a few of[...]In group Birmingham