Culture Guide September Issue

The September edition of the Culture Guide is awaiting your perusal so take a look through, enter fab competitions (JD Birthday Set tix with travel and accommodation to London, Style Birmingham Live tix, and more), seek out new experiences and go to places you’ve never been to before. Most of all go pick up your handy little pocket guide and enjoy. You know it feels better in the flesh. Flick through here…

MONSTER JAM Competition

Monster Jam, the monster truck show, will be hitting Birmingham as part of its tour this September.  It is one of the biggest entertainment events in the US running about 250 shows and selling 2.3 million tickets annually.

Monster trucks provide some high octane entertainment, reaching speeds of 100 miles per hour despite being 11 feet tall and weighing at least 9,000 pounds.  Monster Jam features some of the world’s best drivers pushing the monster trucks to compete in freestyle Motorcross and do some crazy stunts.

To be in with a chance of winning one of 3 family tickets (for 4 people) to see Monster Jam at The NIA, Birmingham on Friday 17 September, just answer this question:

Complete the name of this famous Monster truck, Grave ……..?

Send your answer along with your name, address and telephone number to competitions [at] putting ‘Monster Jam’ in the subject box. Deadline for entries is: 10/09/10.

Monster Jam 17 – 19 September
Tickets are £15 – £24

This weekend at Vivid

Join VIVID this Saturday (14th August) at 2pm when local historian Chris Upton and Birmingham-based writer and winner of the Costa First Novel Award 2007, Catherine O’Flynn, make a personal response to Karin Kihlberg & Reuben Henry’s video installation Inbindable Volume.

Filmed in Birmingham’s iconic Central Library Inbindable Volume is an ambitious new multi-screen video installation exploring the journey between conception and materialization – both in architecture and books – and what becomes of ideologies after they have been realised in material form.

OxjamBrum Speed Dating Event- Top 40 Singles

Are you sexy, single and ready to mingle?

The people behind the OxjamBrum Takeover festival are looking for 20 male and 20 female music lovers, also known as the Top 40 Singles, to come along to their charitable and cheeky new speed dating event on Thursday 26th August 2010. With each guest having provided details of their favourite son prior to arrival, participants will have the duration of one romantic tune to get to know their designated date before moving on to the next. Ensuring a diverse mixture of music and offering many an opportunity to find love, this night at the Cafe Blend will be one worth getting your glad rags on for.

Ticket price includes a free drink on entry, reducing the flutter of those first-date butterflies, and all proceeds go toward charity. So far Oxjam’s events have raised over £1million all over the country, proving not only to save lives worldwide but also to be entertaining and unmissable. Check out the OxjamBrum website to buy your tickets, contribute to a worthwhile cause and perhaps live happily ever after, too.

Live from the Fire Room

Musicians and artists who enjoy working with sound and improvisation are invited to take part in an open sound group this August.

Led by Graham Dunning, a sound and visual artist from the Rea Garden in Digbeth, both a collaborative workshop in the Garden’s project space and a subsequent networking opportunity at the Lombard Method (also known as the Fire Room) are on offer to like-minded individuals with curiosity about or interest in collaborating on new, experimental sound projects.

On Friday 20th August, participants will visit the formerly derelict project space at the Rea Garden. Habiting a wealth of unusual objects, the site is home to the remains of an all consuming fire 20 years ago, including pieces of broken shellac from it’s previous time as a record factory. Between 11am-4pm, participants are invited to explore the space and to talk to Graham about his work there.

On Saturday 21st August, and freshly inspired  from the previous day’s discoveries, the creative workshop will take place at the Fire Room from 12pm. Participants are reminded that the session is informal with exploration as the only objective, although efforts will be documented with hopes of perhaps creating some recordings for release. Encouraged to bring items such as sound making equipment, field recordings, effects processors or any other objects that would be of use, it is hoped that those present will collaborate to create new and innovative sound pieces.

Anyone based in Birmingham or with connections to Birmingham is eligible to attend this event. For more information, or to confirm your attendance, please contact Graham Dunning.

07920 004 479

Capsule presents: Tunng

13 August, 7.30pm
mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham
Tickets: £13 (£10)

Tunng, the electro-folk band from East London, form the focus of mac’s August musical calendar headlining the outdoor Arena space and supported by local band, Health and Efficiency.

The eclectic folksters will be performing songs from their album, released earlier this year, ‘… And Then We Saw Land’.  A more folktronic vibe than previous records, it offers listeners a wholesome folk sound, completed with a touch of drums and a bit of acoustic action – that is all rounded off with a synthy twist. Continue reading

Six Summer Saturdays tomorrow at the Hippodrome Piazza

On Saturday 24th July 2010, the Birmingham Hippodrome launched Six Summer Saturdays. Running until Saturday August 28th, the project is aiming to entertain Brummies all over the city by presenting a selection of fantastic outdoor theatre performances in various locations.

Six Summer Saturdays launched in style with the Vogue Ball, encouraging the audience to join the celebrations with the motto, “Step up, step out and release your inner diva!”  Subsequent to this, the following weekend boasted a diverse array of acts, from the quirky Creeping Carnival (all the way from Switzerland) to the raving grannies prowling around the High Street.

This weekend the line up is equally as varied with something eccentric to suit everyone. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:

Mr Lucky’s Party by Avanti Display

Afternoon tea has never been so eventful… A couple begin a celebration in the middle of their tea party, and party hats and cake magically appear. As they tuck into each course of their meal, the weather goes from glorious to gloomy, as do their moods. With only an evocative soundtrack for accompaniment, the piece is described as “meticulous in character” and concludes with a shocking twist that is pure Avanti in style.

Hippodrome Piazza, 1pm and 4pm

Rock a Hula!

Who needs the Bahamas when Birmigham is offering a Hawaiian beach party? Come along and dance to some 50’s tunes whilst perfecting your hula hoop technique.

Hippodrome Piazza, 1.30pm-4pm

The Wheel House by Acrojou

Go on a”cylindrical journey” with two zany travellers and experience the clanking and clutter of their bizarre universe. You are guaranteed to giggle and perhaps to defy gravity too.

Cathedral Gardens, 2pm and 3.30pm

Musical Ruth

To see a lady you’ll never forget, be sure to take a stroll along the High Street and catch a glimpse of Sister Ruth. Driving an electrically powered vehicle that doubles up as a whimsically decorated grand piano, this is one nun that you’ll never quite be able to forget.

High Street, 1pm-4pm

Be sure to visit for more information, competitions and for details about more upcoming events this Summer.

FACE meets Mustachio at Cellar Door

A little over a year ago, the Rainbow – one of the finest music venues in Birmingham – was facing closure, and had been rallying support from music loving friends across the city that eventually reached the echelons of Birmingham City Council and even Westminster. After extensive renovation, a roof was built and a new era of underground clubbing magic dawned with the launch of Cellar Door, its new venue.  The new intimate space has been the talk of the city since it’s opening night and Saturday 24th July saw the collaboration of Face meets Mustachio. Continue reading