mon 24/01/2022

Birmingham

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Birmingham Hippodrome review - Jason Donovan makes his panto debut

There was a time when UK pantomime was heavily populated by Australian soap stars; rather late in the day Jason Donovan – formerly known as Scott from Neighbours – makes his panto debut, as Count (careful how you pronounce that, Jason) Ramsay of...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Once Upon A Time In The West Midlands - The Bostin’ Sounds of Brumrock 1966-1974

The picture seen above doesn’t have quite the same resonance as Art Kane’s 1958 shot A Great Day in Harlem which brought 57 American jazz musicians in front of his lens, but it is nonetheless significant. Here, in 1971, is an evocative, unique...

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Feng, CBSO, Wilson, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - effortless expression

As the conductor of English National Opera’s 2018 production of Porgy and Bess, there can’t be many maestros in the UK who can currently match John Wilson’s knowledge of that extraordinary score. And there are surely none who can rival Wilson’s...

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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, The Mill, Birmingham review – Geordie rockers blow the roof off

When those cold winter nights start closing in, there is really only two choices for facing up to the unpleasantness that this brings. Stay at home, batten down the hatches, whack up the heating and blow the expense. Or go out and immerse yourself...

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Nu Civilisation Orchestra, What's Going On, Birmingham Town Hall review - bringing a masterpiece to life

With its themes of racism, violence, oppression and climate change, Marvin Gaye's 1971 album, What's Going On, is as pertinent today as it was when it was released 50 years ago. Presented by Tomorrow’s Warriors, Nu Civilisation Orchestra played this...

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The Cunning Little Vixen, CBSO, Gražinytė-Tyla, Symphony Hall Birmingham review - nature, large as life

"Nature is healing," declared the social media meme, back in the early days of lockdown when humanity had temporarily retreated to focus on its banana bread. There were pictures to prove it, apparently. Dolphins sported in the canals of Venice; city...

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Black Pumas, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - bluesy grooves with high octane energy

Having been founded only in 2017 by singer/songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada, Black Pumas have been rapidly rising to fame, with a Grammy award nomination in 2020 and the majority of their current European tour dates sold...

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CBSO Quartet, Hockley Social Club, Birmingham review - unveiling of innovative new partnership

Kicking off a brand new partnership between the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Hockley Social Club, this first ever Symphonic Session saw a string quartet from the CBSO take centre stage at Birmingham’s latest street-food venue, Hockley...

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Karine Polwart, Birmingham Town Hall Review: Expertly crafted modern folk

With a few extra dates to her rescheduled UK tour, Scottish folk legend Karine Polwart returned to Birmingham Town Hall with some tunes from her latest album – Still as You’re Sleeping, an album of just voice and piano recording with jazz pianist...

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Carnac, BCMG, Kemp, Music@Malling Festival - lyrical Turnage frames abstruse fancies

Is there any composer alive who writes more luminously bittersweet elegies than Mark-Anthony Turnage? Taking key lines from memorialising poets through the ages as inspiration, he knows that instrumental phrases must sing, sometimes to invisible...

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Duran Duran, O2 Institute, Birmingham review – an intimate gig for the local megastars

Incredibly it’s now 40 years since the release of Duran Duran’s debut album. To mark this event, the remaining members of the band’s classic line-up decided to return to Birmingham. Not to the NIA or any similar-sized venue, but for a couple of...

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Remembering Graham Vick (1953-2021) - top colleagues on one of the greatest opera directors

Five weeks have passed since the death of opera director Graham Vick from complications due to Covid-19, shocking even to those of us (un)prepared for the worst, and yet so many of us think about him every day. For the musicians, actors, dancers and...

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