thu 18/04/2024

Birmingham

This Town, BBC One review - lurid melodrama in Eighties Brummieland

Industrious screenwriter Steven Knight has brought us (among many other things) Peaky Blinders, SAS: Rogue Heroes and even Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, but This Town may not be remembered as one of his finest hours. Here, we find Knight...

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Elijah, LSO, Pappano, Barbican review - vivid declamation powers Old Testament blockbuster

That it would be a vividly operatic kind of oratorio performance was never in doubt. Mendelssohn, who said he wanted to create “a real world, such as you find in every chapter of the Old Testament,” instigates high drama with Elijah’s brass-backed...

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Supersonic Festival 2023, Birmingham review - musical eccentrics battle the odds and come out on top

You’ve got to feel for Lisa Meyer and the team behind Birmingham’s magnificent Supersonic Festival. Just as the live music scene gets to a point where the Covid pandemic is no longer a malign influence on dancing and having fun in a room full of...

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Album: Dexys - The Feminine Divine

In 2012 Dexys returned with their fourth album, and first in 27 years, One Day I’m Going to Soar. It was a concept piece, original and funny, chewing over the volatility of love, containing wonderful set-pieces, most especially a trio of songs at...

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Duran Duran, Utilita Arena, Birmingham review - New Romantic veterans return home

Duran Duran were back in their hometown of Birmingham this weekend for the first time since performing as part of the open ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and were justly forthright in trumpeting their local history. Even Pinner-born Simon...

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The Way Old Friends Do, Park Theatre review - sweet, but flimsy

Is it a good idea to work with your spouse? The Way Old Friends Do, a love letter to ABBA tribute bands – which premiered at the Birmingham Rep last month and now visits the Park Theatre in north London – is a joint venture by actor and...

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'We wanted to emphasise the “ordinariness” of people affected by torture': Sally Beamish on her new work for Ex Cathedra

I was first approached by Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) in 2016 with the idea of a creating a piece of music to raise awareness of torture – its use worldwide, and the terrible damage it does both to victim and to perpetrator....

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DI Ray, ITV review - Parminder Nagra battles killer gangs and cultural stereotypes

Somehow or other, fictional representations of the police have become an off-the-cuff index of changing times and evolving values. Dixon of Dock Green’s cops were stern father figures who knew right from wrong and considered it their duty to give...

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Music Reissues Weekly: The Prefects - Live At The Festival Suite 1978, Un-Scene! Post Punk Birmingham 1978-1982

It was going to be great. Birmingham’s Digbeth Rag Market was hosting 1977’s highest-profile punk festival on 17 July. The Clash were headlining. Also billed were The Heartbreakers, Rich Kids, The Saints, Shagnasty, Stinky Toys, Subway Sect and...

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Album: Electribe 101 - Electribal Soul

There’s a period of British club music that deserves to be much better appreciated. Before hardcore and jungle, before the Underworlds and Leftfields and other arena acts, came a generation who were much closer to the most song-based US house music...

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Music Reissues Weekly: Broadcast - Maida Vale Sessions, Microtronics, Mother Is The Milky Way

In 2000, Broadcast’s first album The Noise Made By People entered the UK’s mainstream Top 100 and claimed the top spot on the dance charts. Three years later, their second album Haha Sound was in the Top Ten of America’s dance/electronic charts. It...

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Album: Napalm Death – Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes

Resentment Is Always Seismic – A Final Throw Of Throes is not so much a brand new album from Napalm Death, but a collection of tunes that were recorded during, but left over from, the sessions for their last disc, Throes Of Joy In The Jaws Of...

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