Bostin T-Shirts

Bostin T’s are fast earning themselves a revered reputation around the country with their brand of tongue-in-cheek T-shirt designs. Thanks partly to the recent spate of famous Brummies sporting their goods, from soul sensation Beverley Knight to the ITV’s Adrian Chiles, Bostin T’s are popping up all over the place.

Started a decade ago, the brand is the brainchild of by Donato Esposito who loved the positive nature of the word ‘bostin’ so much that he decided to create a T-shirt company that reflected the feel good ethos the name inspires. The brand has seen a rapid growth in sales due to its diverse range and innovative self-deprecating humour, playing on many of the stereotypes of Brummies throughout the region. During the recent election campaign they threw their political hat into the ring with a series of satirical T’s comprising the Election Collection.

The expansion of the brand includes brilliant Black Country observations ‘Oss’ (Horse), Yam-Yam, and our personal favourite – a take on the iconic I ‘heart’ NYC to I ‘Heart’ Tipton. Bostin is currently working with the team behind Birmingham’s City of Culture bid by creating a T-Shirt that embodies what people believe defines Birmingham as a city of culture.

World Cup 2010 – Your guide to where to watch the matches

World Cup 2010 kicks off in just 2 weeks time and while we’d all love to be sunning ourselves and cheering on the boys in South Africa, the chances are we’re probably not. So before you pull on your England shirt and head down to your local, check out our top Birmingham venues to take in the action.

Continue reading

Area Culture Guide Issue 09 – The Festival edition

Welcome to the all new June edition of the Area Culture Guide. This issue is focused on FESTIVALS with our rundown of what to spend your money on this year.
Check inside for your chance of winning in festival tickets to Summer Sundae, L.E.D., and loads more in our SPOT THE CUBE competition.
We’ll be announcing ticket competitions on Twitter and Facebook too so keep em peeled.


The Destroyers by Pete Ashton

It looks like The Destroyers will be one of the hardest working bands this summer with a host of festival appearances to keep them busy. To kick it all off they launch their 2010 UK and Ireland tour with a night of fiery bohemian revelry at brand new Digbeth venue The Crossing on 4 June. Continue reading

Review: Tenny Ten, Tiny Tempah and Mr Hudson – The Rainbow Warehouse 12th May 2010

tenny pic

One of the biggest nights of the year thus far for the Rainbow Warehouse, took place on Wednesday with a host of talent nurtured in Birmingham invading the stage. Former Handsworth resident Mr Hudson, along with Wolverhampton’s own rising star Tenny Ten and newly crowned number one artist Tiny Templar, brought some flavour to mid week Birmingham. Continue reading

Mrs Barbara Nice – Hiya and Higher

Mrs Barbara Nice
The Old Joint Stock Pub, Birmingham
23 May

Compere and comedienne, Mrs Barbara Nice (Janice Connolly), is on home turf in Birmingham for her ‘Hiya and Higher’ tour. After storming Comedy Week she will be bringing cheer and chat to The Old Joint Stock Pub in her latest show.
Barbara started her compere career when she was inspired to look for a part-time job because of a debt with Grattons catalogue, and she hasn’t looked back since. Barbara took a job at the infamous Gag Club, where she quickly won the hearts of audiences.
When not decked out in the finest of catalogue fashions Janice Connolly is also an award winning freelance writer, director and actress in her own right. During her career she has introduced some of the country’s best stand-ups whilst working on her own unique comic style.
Success on the small screen has included parts as Holy Mary on Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights and as Norris’s assistant in Coronation Street’s Cabin. However Birmingham audiences will be delighted to have her back on centre-stage to entertain with her ‘agony aunt’ persona.
Expect lots of laughs, to get thoroughly involved and a raffle!
Words: Katie Pinner

REVIEW: Willie Russell’s Blood Brothers

Willie Russell’s Blood Brothers
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
10th-22nd May

The iconic Blood Brothers returns to Wolverhampton in this sublime interpretation guaranteed to have you laughing hysterically one minute and in floods of tears minutes the next. Surrounding the exploits of the Johnstone twins Mickey and Edward who, when separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks in tough Liverpool. Despite Edward enjoying all the advantages of wealth while Mickey has struggled in depression hit Liverpool, the two strike up an unlikely friendship, forging a blood pact. As the poison of the secret increases the ‘mother’ of Edward descends into madness fearing the truth will be revealed. Ultimately the friendship of the two brothers proves disastrous. Sufficed to say this is not one for those who enjoy a happy ending! Continue reading

Two World Premieres from Stan’s Cafe

Internationally acclaimed theatre company Stan’s Cafe return  to the Midlands Arts Centre (mac) tonight to present their new show Tuning Out with Radio Z.

The show follows the fortunes of two presenters as they broadcast an extraordinary late-night radio show. That radio show will be webcast live from the mac to audience members at home and played through the venue’s public address system. Following two hours of radio-only performance the theatre doors will open and the show intensifies to become a powerful piece of improvised theatre running for a further four hours.

For the show’s duration audience members both live and online are invited to help write the show as it is performed, by submitting text via SMS, email or True Night Owls should visit on Friday when the theatre doors open at 9pm and the show runs through until 1am on Saturday.

If that isn’t enough for Stan’s Cafe fans then their second World Premiere at mac is May is I See With My Eyes Closed, a collaboration with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) and composer Michael Wolters. The piece is cloaked in secrecy but will be somewhere between a theatre show and a concert.

James Yarker, Artistic Director of Stan’s Cafe said:

“We’ve always had a close relationship with mac so it’s great to have the venue back. That they’ve been prepared to take these two quite radical shows from us suggests that the audience should be in for an exciting ride.”

Tuning Out With Radio Z – 13 – 15 May 2010
Thursday 13 and Saturday 15 May –  17.00 – 23.00 – (17.00 – 19.00 Webcast Only)
Friday 14 May – 21.00 – 01.00 – (19.00 – 21.00 Webcast Only)
Tickets £12 Full Price, £9 Concessions

I See With My Eyes Closed – Monday 24 May 2010, 7.30pm
Tickets £14 Full Price, £8 Concessions
This performance will be preceded by Families@4 from 4pm, a bite-sized interactive concert by Michael Wolters for young people aged 7 and above and their families. Tickets for Families@4 are free for under 16s and just £4 for adults.

More information and tickets for both performances can be obtained from
mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Sales and Information: 0121 446 3232

Two heads are better than one

CSI: The Exhibition
Old Borders Store, Bullring

As CSI: The Experience heads into the final period of its tenure in the Bullring, it is offering budding sleuths their last chance to catch this exciting exhibition. With their 2-4-1 offer, you and a friend can have a go at cracking a case.

It means doubling your chances of catching a crook, finding a killer and bringing the bad guy to justice. Chalk full of cutting edge technology used in the field by real CSI’s, the installation has enjoyed immense success and is scheduled to move to mainland Europe at the end of the month.

So whether you’re a fan of the show or a potential CSI yourself, head down to the exhibit this month and test your skills. Who knows you may even be the next Gill Grissom!

Tickets: £9.75 (£7 for up to the age of 17)