BASS Festival 2011
The BASS festival hits its sixth year running in the city, housing a line-up that is sure to educate and blow the minds of the Birmingham masses. The UK’s only month-long celebration of black music and art, the BASS Festival (British Arts and Street Sounds) runs throughout June offering a feast of urban culture. Following the theme of Revolution, the festival brings together a multitude of mediums all under one banner; from grime and dubstep performances to street dance, spoken word poetry and fashion events, all celebrating the revolution of urban culture.
With so many amazing events taking place let Area be your guide to just a small selection of what’s happening and what you can’t afford to miss…
Ghostpoet, RoxXxan and Sherrazi
9 June, 8pm
Launching the festivities are three of the most talked about and upcoming acts that showcase the very best Birmingham has to offer. Starting things off is Coventry-born Ghostpoet who has won acclaim from critics, most notably Radio 1’s foremost taste-maker Gilles Peterson, for his soft-spoken, zany and innovative electronica musings on modern life.
Following from Ghostpoet and not to be outdone is Birmingham-born RoxXxan who is currently one of the most in-demand MCs on the circuit. With her ballsy lyrics and ‘don’t give a shit’ attitude, she quickly came to the attention of Polydor Records who signed her in 2010 following the release of her ‘Heavyweight’ single.
Last but not least of the opening trio is Handsworth-based trio Sherrazi; winners of the prestigious BASS Talent Award in 2010. Under the tutelage of the BASS organiser Ammo Talwar and his record label Punch Records, 2011 looks set to be a great year for the trio, whose outstanding melodies and exceptional vocals promise a bright future.
10 June, 8pm
£3 on the door
BASS proudly presents one of the most influential and inspiring black women of our generation, Pauline Black. With 30 years’ experience in the music business, Black has seen and done it all and will be on hand to share her experiences in this intimate venue. After being a key cog in Two Tone outfit The Selector, a jazz singer, part of the acclaimed Soul Britannia and an actress, Black will take to the stage to discuss her past, including her battles with racism and sexism, and her new book Black by Design and share some new tracks from her latest album along with a few golden oldies.
Hare & Hounds
11 June, 10pm
£5 early bird, £7 advance
Playing at one of our favourite venues, the Hare & Hounds, Benji B is revered in the music scene for his distinctive style and his revolutionary selections. Seamlessly drawing on a plethora of genres, Benji B takes you on a ride like no other, mixing cutting-edge house, dubstep, funk, soul and disco to leave you feeling like Alice in Wonderland emerging from the tunnel.
Illustrate – Create
13-18 June, 11am-4pm daily
For one week only, artist Leon Sparkes and illustrator Deborah Brogden will be residents at mac creating an installation that combines sound, video, illustration, and comic-book imagery. The narrative of the piece is change and a revolution of our thinking towards the subject, in the hope of promoting creative and responsible solutions to the problems of today. There will be a workshop on the 18th June for children, allowing them to meet the artists and work on special projects.
Hip Hop Revolution featuring Turbo from Sky 1’s Got To Dance
25 June all day
Free performance 2pm,
Hip Hop Revolution is an entire day celebrating the hip hop genre and the culture it has developed. The day’s events and workshops will include tuition in dance, graffiti, DJing, MCing and t-shirt design, and will culminate with a special group dance performance that the public will be invited to get involved in and will be led by Sky 1’s Turbo from Got To Dance. If that’s not enough, for the first time ever underground dance event Throwdown will venture out of London to host a street dance battle, finishing off a packed day.