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TetraSonik The Birmingham Issue

Introductions W

e are TetraSonik and this is Echo, the online magazine that explores the music and entertainment scene of Britain’s cities. We’ve walked from Broad Street to the Chinese quarter to bring you the Birmingham Issue.

Hannah Illustrator & Editor

Josh Illustrator, Animator & Photographer

Matt Illustrator & Interviewer

Micah Illustrator

Contents Pages 2 - 7 The Bull’s Buskers Pages 8 - 9 The Friday Night Gig Pages 10 - 13 Interview with Paradub DJ Mayan Pages 15 - 23 Broad Spectrum Pages 26 - 27 Swan Lake Review

The Bull's Buskers


treet performing or Busking, dates back from the 1860’s, deriving originally from the Spanish word for seeking fame. Though there has always been a continuing variety of styles or techniques for street performers to master and perform to the public, self expression via a traditional hand-carried instrument has always been the most popular method to earn both recognition from onlookers and potential clients, but also a reasonable amount of income for a days pay.

“I do not speak English.�


The ‘Bongo’ player in the subway (viaduct) didn’t appear to have a collection hat or pot for any passers-by to throw in their spare change, and when approached signaled a cheerful, polite but positive “no thanks” to us when we tried. When asked why? He stated it was being done for the sound, the great acoustics that the location’s particular pitch gave his bongos. He did play earlier in the year, within the centenary square, but had been moved on due to the Christmas market, and had by chance, come across the low wall in the subway/viaduct. The improvements in sound had increased his enjoyability, and in turn his joy in playing the instrument. His family, originating from Jamaica, all lived in Birmingham, with himself being the only musician. I was told that music always filled the house, but was from traditionally loud Reggae CD’s. He had been attempting to convince other street musicians around Birmingham Centre to form a band, and has felt there to be positive, even enthusiastic feedback. Before we departed on our way, the man pointed us in the direction of other worthy buskers that may be performing that afternoon.



The familiar sound of a Bob Dylan classic echoed around the bustling German market on New Street. A middle-aged man, wrapped up for warmth against the freezing evening air, played on a well-worn acoustic guitar. After giving me consent to take his photograph, he told me his name; Tony Scott. Tony had been busking regularly for around 5 years presently, earning between ÂŁ60 (in summer) and ÂŁ100 (during Christmas) per day. Although standing in the cold was arduous, it also had its benefits. Tony enjoyed meeting new people; and most people he met were generous, giving him not only money, but also items of clothing and food. Busking also allows him to gain enough attention to get bookings at clubs and gigs, drawing attention to his Facebook page.




King Charles Presenting



The Friday Night Gig: Propaganda, o22 Academy

his week’s Friday Night Gig took

The alternative folk-pop singer who toured with

place at Propaganda, the UK’s

Mumford and Sons in 2012, performed a total

biggest Indie night, every Friday at the O2

of eight songs, seven from his 2012


album Loveblood and he definitely

Countless bands and artists have performed on

left the crowd wanting more.

this stage, whether they’re just getting started

I genuinely couldn’t hear a thing

in the music industry, or if they already have a

for hours later. Best

recognised name.

Friday Night

As a fan of the singer/songwriter myself, I

Gig I’ve

secured my place right at the front at least an


hour before he was due to come on, and as I

to in

looked around, I was somewhat dismayed at the


turnout. The doors had opened at 10.30 but by the time King Charles stepped on stage wearing a large black fur coat at 12.30, to my relief, the crowd had formed like an ocean on the dancefloor. Hemmed in and pressed right up against the safety railings, I felt that tingle of trepidation you always seem to feel before an artist you admire starts to sing live; what if they’re not as amazing in real life? What if they can’t actually sing at all? But I can safely assure you that King Charles was even more incredible in real life. The energy from the stage and the crowd was overwhelming, and being so close to the front, I felt every strum of his guitar and every syllable of his award winning words. By the time he’d finished, his signature dreads were lopsided.

King Charles returns to Birmingham in April 2013, at the HMV Institute Follow King Charles on twitter at @KingCharlesUK for updates on gigs and events



e’re here with the mighty MAYAN from Paradub to share his insights and stories with us about his DJ-ing career. So Cameron, What made you want to become a DJ? - “Well, I’ve always had a love for electronic music such as drum and bass, house, garage and all that from a very young age and after hearing it being played and mixed at events and parties and seeing the effect it has on the crowd, I just thought, yeah I want that to be me.” How does one simply learn to DJ? I imagine its not that simple to pick up - “Its a bit of a strange story really; when I was 14, I was ill with peritonitis so I had a lot of time off school so I just looked up tutorial over tutorial and with the money that I was generously given by my health insurance, I was able to buy my first desks.” So what genre of music do your mixes generally consist of? - “For me, I really love a good bit of dark drum and bass but recently I’ve developed an interest in garage and house music so it all depends really on what kind of event or crowd that I’m playing to.” So who are your biggest influences? - “Hmm, well I recently meet Enei and I really admire and love his style of dark drum and bass and I’ve also meet Andy C who I also think is another incredible DJ.” Have you seen any big names in Birmingham then? - “Well, funny you’d say that; I’ve actually seen both Andy C and Enei live in Birmingham

and a lot of other big DJ’s such as Dub Phizix, Redlight, Rudamental, Spectrasoul and loads more. Birmingham has a really great club and rave scene which has probably helped me grow and get a name for myself here.” What clubs and events have you played at? - “I played my first proper set at the Rainbow Warehouse here in Birmingham and I’ve played there a good few times now since then and I now run a beats and bass society that I created through all the friends I know here who also share the same interest and we’ve now got a good team of DJ’s and we host events at a number of places and we’re getting our name out there.” 11

So , why Paradub? What made you want to start your own beats and bass society? - Well it all started like everything does; as an idea, which then quickly escalated into a much bigger idea as I found out that other student groups had started running nights and how its become so suddently popular so I thought with a bit of passion and determination I could make it happen along with my flat mates who were also keen on the idea and loved to DJ and be a part of it too, so the more we looked into it all and started putting it togehter then after we ran our first couple of nights we learnt to make sure that we got our names out there and for people to find out and know all about the nights we run them through advertising we have started to really grow a much bigger fanbase and we have just progressed from there like hireing big names and things its just all about getting your name out there and advertise the hell out of it basically.


Lastly, what do you see then for Paradub in the future? - In the future, well I’d like to see many things but we’ll see what happens. I’m hopefully going to be on the big stage at Outlook festival this summer which is definitely the sign of something big and I’d like to see Paradub eventually having its own night club where we would run events of own in our own club with a whole new set of querky, fun packed events to really put a new and existing spin on the club scene altogether.



Opposite: With 4 rooms of music including House, RnB, Alternative and MashUp every Saturday, 9 bars and a maximum capacity of over 2,400 people, Gatecrasher is one of Birmingham’s most popular and successful clubs. Regularly hosting events and gigs, Gatecrasher is voted as Birmingham’s biggest Saturday night out.

“A warm welcome, and a cold beer” O’ Neill’s bar boasts great value, tasty food and a traditional Irish pub atmosphere. The Irish grill menu is open until 10pm every night of the week and the weekend starts on a Friday night with live Irish music. O’ Neill’s also has a function room with a capacity of 300 people with a bar and DJ equipment for private parties.




Revolution claims that its famous Vodka Bar is the only place to party on a Saturday night. Revolution prides itself on its premium collection of vodkas and engaging atmosphere, while the resident DJ tears up the decks with music ranging from Mainstream, House and RnB.

Birmingham Walkabout captures the “Awesome” home spirit of Australia with a warm welcome and a party atmosphere. Watch Live sports and dine on Australian and New Zealand cuisine, or one of their famous handmade burgers. DJ’s play throughout the week, ranging from Commercial, Old Skool Dance, Pop and RnB.

With 6 rooms and 7 bars, Bar Risa is designed with every occassion in mind, bringing a range of different music and entertainment styles to Broad Street. On Wednesday, Risa is described as Birmingham’s biggest and best student night, open until 4am and playing a variety of music including Pop, Dance and RnB. Saturday’s “Airport” events span over 6 rooms and stilt walkers, performers and a huge production ensure that Bar Risa is the place to be on Saturday night.


HHHHH - Daily Telegraph

A journey to the heart of fabulous





Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham March 2013


Birmingham R


hursday 4th October, 7.30pm. Birmingham Hippodrome. Stalls. Row T. Seat 41. The people in the row in front were short. I had a perfect view of the stage. The seats around me were filling up, and the thought of ice cream at the interval was almost as exciting as the prospect of the performance itself. As I’ve grown up in the world of ballet and performance, you’d think I would be somewhat indifferent to seeing Swan Lake, but there will always be a sense of anxiety felt by those who appreciate the sheer effort and hard work that ballet requires. I’m not in any way implying that I am some sort of ballerina extraordinaire, but I’ve wobbled about en pointe long enough to know that it requires super strong core

muscles and years and years of practice. When you think of ballet, Swan Lake is arguably one of the first classical performances that springs to mind. Love, magic and timeless music all pulled together in four acts to tell the classic story of mistaken identities, a broken vow, and frankly, an idiot Prince. As ballets go, Swan Lake is one of the most pleasing to watch, as the storyline is beautifully basic and the choreography couldn’t be further from the realms of easy. One of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s principal dancers Nao Sakuma enchanted the audience as Odette, the cursed swan Princess and Chi Cao played opposite her in his portrayal of Prince Siegfried. There is of course an added struggle for the

n Lake

Royal Ballet

principle female; the most iconic element of Swan Lake is the idea of using the same dancer for the parts of the White Swan and the Black Swan. She must embody the sweet innocence of the cursed Princess as well as the cunning and seductive nature of the Black Swan. Nao Sakuma enticed the audience as both, and for anyone who was unaware of her double casting, she might well have been two completely different dancers. Swan Lake is without a doubt one of the most visually stunning ballets, and Birmingham Royal Ballet really went the extra mile this year. The curtains opened on an especially beautiful scene for the third act; imagine two foot of dry ice, hovering eerily over the entire

stage, and as the music starts up, a gasp from the audience echoes around the theatre as the graceful white arms of the chorus dancers glide up from the smoke. I hope, for anyone who has yet to see Swan Lake, that BRB will consider bringing it back within a few years. Next up is Cinderella, starting from November 21st until December 3rd. I advise you to grab your tickets quickly, and prepare to be enchanted.


King Charles’ album LoveBlood is now available to purchase and download from iTunes


Tetrasonik - The Birmingham Issue

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