David Bowie: Constructing The Self

When: Friday 3rd June, 19:00-21:00
Where: Vivid Projects, 16 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley Street, Digbeth, B5 5RS

Digbeth First Friday returns this week with a host of events and entertainment to get your teeth into, and Vivid Projects are supporting Cancer Research UK with their latest offering.

David Bowie: Constructing The Self is an event of new art works, music and audience participation, led by the Black Hole Club in celebration of the creative life of David Bowie. Put on your red shoes and dance the blues and explore Bowie’s world.

Artists include:

  • Kate Spence – Put On Your Red Shoes
    This is an invitation to dance in a communal celebration of the man who raised the bar; 150 pairs of red shoes will be available.
  • John Bradburn – The Mountain of Dead Selves
    A six panel video work explores the psychic states at play in the construction of Bowie’s 1976 album, Station to Station.
  • Jaime Jackson & David Checkley – This way or no way. You know I’ll be free, Just like that bluebird. Now, ain’t that just like me?
    The duo are evolving an installation using Chroma blue, responding to Bowie’s use of the colour blue as a metaphor in his song writing.
  • Ollie Macdonald-Brown – In An Attempt To Realise the Starman
    An observation and interaction with the fluid nature of David Bowie and his multiple and interchanging personae.
  • David Poole – Starman (Waiting In The Sky)
    A video projection and installation, which remixes appropriated audio-visual material from the 1969 moon landing with the album Space Oddity.

For more information about the event, see the Vivid Projects website here.

Posted in Art, culture and that, Creative places and spaces | Tagged , , ,

Live Music Round Up

See more live music at the Live Brum website.
Click here for gig listings for the Irish Centre Birmingham

Sunday 29th May
Sunday Xpress at Friction Arts
78-81 Cheapside, B12 0QH
18:00
Free entry

Church of Elvis
Citizen X
Balaban & the Bald Illegals

Sunday 29th May
The Rainbow Courtyard
19:00
£7 OTD

Punks Alive Present
Long Holiday

Monday 30th May
The Spotted Dog
20:30
Free Entry

Birmingham’s biggest and best Traditional Irish Jam Session. All musicians welcome to participate.

Tuesday 31st May
Fizzle at The Lamp Tavern, B5 6AH
19:30
Free Entry

Chris Mapp, Percy Pursglove, Paul Dunmall, and Mark Sanders

Tuesday 31st May
The Spotted Dog
20:30
Free Entry

Jazz Tuesdays

Thursday 2nd June
Suki10c
20:00
Free Entry

Twisted Thursdays

Thursday 2nd June
The Spotted Dog
20:00
Free Entry

Blues Thursdays

Sunday 5th June
The Spotted Dog
13:00
£7 (£5 student discount)

Joe Broughton’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble
Back at The Spotted Dog for their annual knees up, the legendary 46-piece folk ensemble from the Birmingham Conservatoire promose to give you an afternoon of entertainment to remember. Make sure to arrive early to get a seat!

Posted in Rainbow, Spotted Dog, The sound of music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Celebrity Seal of Approval for Recovery Central

Recovery Central opened in Digbeth the other week, hoping to help more than 300 people beat their addiction to alcohol and/or drugs every year.

Part of Changes UK, Recovery Central will make Birmingham one of the most progressive locations in the country for recovery, housing Friends café/restaurant, a dry bar, 100-seat conference venue and incubation space for services users moving into self-employment.

The organisation may seem ambitious, but it has already received widespread backing from the community, local authorities and a number of well-known celebrities, including Jimmy Somerville, Duran Duran’s John Taylor and Russell Brand, who spoke at the launch event.

For more information about Recovery Central, visit their website here.

Posted in Local Life | Tagged ,

Birmingham Big Art Project

Exhibition opens: Saturday 4 June 2016, 12:00
Exhibition continues: until 31 August 2016
Where: Second Floor, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Digbeth, B4 7XG

The Birmingham Big Art Foundation is commissioning a major new work of public art for the city. In the running are five artists: Brian Griffiths; Roger Hiorns; Heather and Ivan Morison; Susan Philipsz; and, Keith Wilson.

This is the first in a series of public exhibitions of the artists’ proposals, one of which will be invited to take the commission in January 2017, with the completed artwork unveiled in May 2018.

For more information about the Birmingham Big Art Project, for which Eastside Projects is acting as commissioning agent, please click here.

Posted in Art, culture and that, Creative places and spaces | Tagged , ,

Cool Runnings at The Old Crown

When: Saturday 28 May, 19:00-01:00
Where: The Old Crown, 188 High Street, Digbeth, B12 0LD
Tickets: from £12 (available online here)

This weekend, The Travelling Cinema Company and The Old Crown are joining forces to bring a piece of the Caribbean to Digbeth.

With the first glimpses of summer finally upon us, the plan is to transform The Old Crown into an outdoor cinematic paradise, and what better film to show than Cool Runnings?!

Expect lots of rum, cocktails, a smokin’ BBQ drum, steel pans and some reggae beats for afters! Tickets and further information are available here, or check out the Facebook event page.

Feel the Rhythm! Feel the Rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!

Posted in Art, culture and that, Pubwatch | Tagged , ,

Support SIFA Fireside

When: Monday 6 – Friday 10 June, 09:00-16:00
Where: Avoca Court, 23 Moseley Road, Digbeth, B12 0HJ

iSE are there to support all social enterprises in Digbeth, and starting in June, for the first week of every month, they will be operating as a collection point for donations for Birmingham’s homeless.

See below for more information about how you can support SIFA Fireside by donating useful items, food and clothing to be distributed among those more needy than ourselves.

Thank you.

Posted in Local Life | Tagged , , ,

Digbeth’s Little Italy

Series three of Peaky Blinders is steaming ahead (don’t worry – there are no spoilers here!), and after fighting off the competition, the Shelby family move into the territory of Birmingham’s Italian mobsters.

But where was Little Italy? It’s no real surprise that our Italian cousins, like many waves of migrants, settled in Digbeth, and decided to call the area around Fazeley Street, Bordesley Street, Bartholomew Street and New Canal Street, home.

Many Italian traders came to the Midlands for business before returning home, but increasing numbers chose to stay in Birmingham during the 19th century. Many of the families who did settle here are thought to have come from villages within a 30-mile radius of the Comino Valley in the Lazio area around Rome.

The 1861 census showed 358 people in the West Midlands were born in Italy, but less than 20% were female. By the 1891 census, there were 53 people either born in Italy or of Italian parentage living in Bordesley Street, Bartholomew Street and New Canal Street.

Of those 21 were musicians, 19 were organ grinders (many staying in a hostel in Bartholomew Street), and 12 sold ice cream. Author of Bella Brum, Doreen Hopwood, said: “On the streets at the time were brightly painted ice cream carts, pushed to the cries of “Gelati! Ecco un poco” (‘taste a little’), which earned the sellers the title of ‘Hokey-Pokey Men’, whilst the music of the barrel organs (hurdy-gurdies) attracted the crowds.”

St Michael’s Catholic Church, opposite Moor Street station, was popular with the largely Catholic, Italian community; Verrechia was one of the largest families in the area at the time. Other common names included Cavolure, Campadimico and Demiglio.

However, most of the housing in Little Italy was knocked down in the 1930s, and as a result, the families dispersed. The Birmingham Evening Mail reported in October 30, 1934: “They cling together in a compact community, held close by race, language and religion, but not clannish, and continually introducing into their midst English wives and husbands.”

[Edit, courtesy of Joe Holyoak] The last survivors of the Italian Quarter were the family that ran Rosa’s Cafe on Curzon Street, forcibly removed from their buildings by the Compulsory Purchase Order to make way for Eastside City Park.

Peaky Blinders continues on Thursday at 21:00 on BBC2.

Adapted from this Birmingham Mail article (19.05.16)

Posted in Local Life, Voices from the motherland | Tagged , , , , ,

Brasilian Street Carnival

When: Saturday 4th June, 15:00-06:00
Where: Club PST, 71 Lombard Street, Digbeth, B12 0QU
Tickets from £5 (children under 16 free)

Vivia Brazil and Club PST present Birmingham’s first Brasilian Street Carnival – and where else would it take place but Digbeth?!

Featuring interactive workshops in dance and percussion, Brazilian cinema screenings, capoeira, samba performance, and some of the city’s best DJs, this promises to be a great day out. And with live samba music from The Bandidos, Brazilian and Jamaican streetfood, and face painting – it’s perfect for all the family!

For more information, see the poster below or the Facebook page.

Viva Brasil!

Posted in Creative places and spaces, The sound of music | Tagged , , , , ,

Live Music Round Up

See more live music at the Live Brum website.
Click here for gig listings for the Irish Centre Birmingham

Tuesday 24th May
The Spotted Dog
20:30
Free Entry

Jazz Tuesdays

Thursday 26th May
Suki10c
20:00
Free Entry

Twisted Thursdays

Thursday 26th May
The Spotted Dog
20:00
Free Entry

Blues Thursdays

Friday 27th May
The Wagon and Horses
19:00
£5 OTD

Punks Alive Present
Garden Gang

Sunday 29th May
Sunday Xpress at Friction Arts
78-81 Cheapside, B12 0QH
18:00
Free entry

Church of Elvis
Citizen X
Balaban & the Bald Illegals

Sunday 29th May
The Rainbow Courtyard
19:00
£7 OTD

Punks Alive Present
Long Holiday

Posted in Rainbow, Spotted Dog, The sound of music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Live at The Spotted Dog

Regular readers will know all about The Spotted Dog Bros Richard and Jonathan, but apart from running the best jazz night in Birmingham, the guys are planning a much bigger project…

Live at The Spotted Dog will be the Bros’ second compilation CD, recorded and filmed live directly from the incredible Tuesday night sessions at everyone’s favourite jazz-hosting Irish pub!

However, to make the Digbeth-produced CD a reality, the guys need your help in their crowdfunding efforts. With pledges starting from just £5, and some great rewards for helping out, this is a project that is really worthy of your support.

Not only will Live at… celebrate the breadth of talent and music seen at The Spotted Dog over the last five years, but it will also help support jazz in Birmingham as a whole.

For more information about the campaign, visit the Kickstarter page here. Learn more about Jazz at The Spotted Dog on their website here.

Posted in Spotted Dog, The sound of music | Tagged , , , ,