Area Guide Winter 2018/19

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Your handy pocket guide to the West Midlands

S& ART URE, T CUL DRINK D& to FOO ur guide 9 yo er 18/1 t Win e West in th lands Mid

Editors: | @kerryfused | @davefused Writers: Laura Creavan, Alex Evans, David O’Coy, Kerry O’Coy Front Cover image: Verity Milligan read more on pages 8-12.

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AREA Culture Guide tel: 01384 837 362 @areaguide / @fusedmagazine This guide is produced by Fused Media DISCLAIMER Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. We cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. While we aim to make sure all listings are correct we can not be held responsible for any incorrect entries. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. This is a Fused Publication © Fused 2018 © Area Culture Guide 2018.


Marion Tait: Internationally-renowned ballerina. Artwork by Amy Evans.


Joye Beckett: Festival Arts Founder. Artwork by Chein Shyan Lee. Kit de Waal: Birmingham-born novelist. Artwork by Jan Bowman. Raj Holness: Domestic abuse survivor who set up Breaking The Silence. Artwork by Saadia Hipkiss.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN BIRMINGHAM: WOMEN WHO DARED TO DREAM When Birmingham City Council were looking for a way to commemorate the centenary of the first women to get the vote they approached Writing West Midlands to commission a book to celebrate as many amazing (and yet unknown) women and their achievements as possible. Writer Louise Palfreyman was tasked with the role and worked with local female-run publisher The Emma Press and a team of female illustrators, to produce Once Upon a Time in Birmingham: Women Who Dared to Dream. Rather than a traditional ‘local history’ book, Once Upon a Time in Birmingham aims to inspire the city’s next generation of female achievers to continue to blaze the trail. Louise tells us more…


How did you choose the women to include? The intention was always that this should be a book about, by and for Birmingham women. We asked for public nominations, and they came flooding in via a social media campaign #BhamRemembers. More than 130 women’s names were put forward across a wide range of disciplines, all of whom either had a fantastic history or an inspiring story to tell. As a result, we had to bring in some real experts – a group of young female writers from Spark Young Writers representing the book’s target audience (11-16-year-olds) for a special nominations session. They worked in groups to pick the 30 women featured in this book. Can you give us a few highlights of some of the women’s achievements? There are so many. We have a female engineer, Asha Devi, who designed some of Birmingham’s most wellknown landmarks. She also volunteered in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attack at Ground Zero in New York. There’s Raj Holness, a survivor of domestic abuse who went on to launch a project to help other women in a similar situation. We have women from the 06

Bertha Ryland: A suffragette. Artwork by Yasmin Bryan.

Jessie Eden: Trade unionist. Artwork by Michelle Turton.

arts, like author Kit de Waal and ballerina Marion Tait, and prominent sportswomen and scientists, too. We have many firsts: Mary Lee Berners-Lee, an early pioneer of computer programming; Jessie Eden, who fought for women’s rights in the workplace; Lisa Clayton, who sailed single-handed and non-stop around the world… There are also ordinary, everyday women like Joye Beckett, who ran a drama group for teenagers, and Clare Rowland, who works in the city centre with young people experiencing mental health issues. How did you go about writing each piece for the book? Every entry required careful research and the help of a whole army of people with connections to each of our chosen women. I sought guidance from friends and family, colleagues past and present, academics and historians, and I must give a special mention to the archive service at the Library of Birmingham. What I found as a writer was that story was key – it was paramount to bring each woman to life and go beyond merely listing her achievements to really capturing her essence: the qualities she possessed, what drove her, and who contributed in her formative years to make her so determined to succeed. Was there one woman in particular you identify with or were happy to find in the book? This book isn’t about one, single achievement. Rather, it’s about the

collective achievements of women both well-known and unsung, women we hope our readership will enjoy discovering. The book is aimed at young women, what messages are you trying to give them? There’s a section at the back of the book where our panel of young writers give their responses to the stories within… here’s what they had to say: The women we have chosen are all, without exception, worthy of their place in this book. They’ve fought, often against discrimination or prejudice, to achieve things that have earned them a place between these pages but, even more so, a place in our hearts. Eve Connor, Aged 14 All of the women in this book are true pioneers and excellent role models. We wanted to help promote the achievements of women and how much of an influence they are on our daily lives. Milja Stevenson, Aged 13 Many of these women are unsung heroes. I was astounded by how few I had heard of before. It seems that few care to acknowledge the achievements of women; to remedy this, we need to celebrate women’s attainments, past and present. Maryam Altamane, Aged 15 The book is £14.99 and available from Foyles, Waterstones, Amazon and


VERITY MILLIGAN Verity Milligan has become one of Birmingham’s go-to photographers and it is easy to see why. Her atmospheric cityscapes capture a different perspective of the city and her annual calendar has become a fixture on the walls of many a proud Brummie’s home.


With your photographer’s eye if you were telling a first-time visitor places in the city to head to where would you suggest? The canal systems around the city centre would be a good place to start. They’re tranquil and you get to see a different side of the city, plus there are plenty of excellent bars and restaurants on the waterfront where you can stop for a tasty beverage or a hearty meal. From there I would recommend a trip to the Library of Birmingham and head up to the secret garden at the top for a superb view out over the city. From there, a trip to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery would be the perfect end to the excursion. You’ve got a new calendar featuring your images of Birmingham - how does the city inspire your work? When I moved to Birmingham permanently in 2012 (after bouncing back and forth between Brum and other cities for many years before) I struggled with the idea of living in such a big city rather than somewhere more rural. To counter this I began exploring what Birmingham had to offer, starting with the canal systems near my house in Acocks Green, and eventually I began to capture the city in the same manner as I would a rural landscape. The more I explored Birmingham, the more I found there was lots to enjoy


about the city. I’m inspired by the juxtaposition of the architecture, where the old sit next to the new, as well as the constant evolution of the city. Over the last five years the face of Birmingham has changed, and each time I go back to photograph something else, it’s guaranteed something will be different. I also enjoy the challenge of capturing the city in a positive light. Birmingham is constantly maligned as an ‘ugly’ city, but there is plenty of beauty if you’re willing to explore. There seems to have been a wealth of photographic activity in the city over the past few years, why do you think that is? I think people, photographers especially, are taking ownership of the city and its reputation and this has fostered a brilliant community of creatives. Social media accounts such as IgersBirmingham, Brumpic, and Independent Birmingham have helped to share and elevate the city, continuing the work of such outlets as Fused Magazine. There’s also a sense that there is a disconnect between some of the more traditional photographic organisations and those who found their voice on social media and this has meant a grassroots movement has grown up to foster support in the community. It’s amazing to see and be part of that movement and I’m excited to see where it goes next.


Outside of the city where do you like to go for inspiration? There are plenty of parkland just outside the city where you can immerse yourself in the natural world. One of my favourites is Sutton Park. There is a diversity of landscape within the park itself that is akin to the moorlands and woodlands of the Peak District. I’ve had some of my best mornings of photography here, especially in autumn and winter. One of my images of a silver birch in the mist and frost was commended in last year’s Landscape Photographer of the Year which demonstrates you don’t need to go far to find inspiration. I would also recommend a visit out to the Lickey Hills, as well as braving the M40 to explore parts 012

of Warwickshire, especially along the River Avon in the early morning as there’s always the possibility of mist. What would be your perfect commission? I think something where I’m asked to show off the natural beauty of wherever I’m shooting, whether that be a city or somewhere more rural. I have to say, I’m very lucky because I get to do lots of commissions that run along these lines, so hopefully, that will continue. You can order Verity’s 2019 calendar, The Beauty of Birmingham, for £10 directly from her website

Small change, one story at a time... “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” - J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye. When I first heard about The Pound Project, I was travelling back to Birmingham on a train from Glasgow. I’d been staying in rural South Lanarkshire in the central Lowlands of Scotland, having spent a few days in the mountains with my partner and six-year-old son. A message on my phone popped up - ‘Is a good story worth something? We believe it is.’ 014

This rhetorical question piqued my curiosity, so I opened the link.

worth something. Even if it is just a pound - it matters.”

The message was from JP Watson, founder of The Pound Project, an innovative independent publishing company, campaigning to get the nation thinking about the value of reading and writing for everyone, regardless of who you are.

JP founded the company earlier this year, writing the first story, King Harry; a mesmerising tale about a little girl who fosters an unlikely friendship with a goldfinch. I couldn’t put the book down until I had finished reading every last word. It was extremely compelling, and a rather melancholic ending left me yearning to find out what happened next. The power of the short story is that which can leave you wanting more. The second book I found equally captivating. Written by the late Paul Murphy, this coming of age story took me down memory lane, recalling similar encounters with narrow minds, and the effects that this can have on you.

Producing one short story, by one writer at a time, The Pound Project runs through Kickstarter, enabling backers to read the latest story for as little as a pound. The play on ‘small change, one story at a time’ used in the branding is surprisingly effective, with ‘The Quid’, then moving up to ‘The Fiver’, where you can get your hands on a beautifully printed copy of the book, delivered straight to your front door. Each element of the concept has been carefully crafted, and authors have their own unique stories, making the whole process even more spellbinding for readers. “People are scared of projects asking for thousands of pounds on crowdfunders. That doubt gets in the way of the most important thing - creativity. So we’ve started this company to help people see that their money can make a difference in getting work out there”. Comments JP. “We want to make people realise that good content and writers are

If you’re a budding author, The Pound Project has got your back. Welcoming new talent, there are opportunities for budding writers to take part in writers workshops. If you are looking to take your writing to the next level, there’s even one-toone feedback and support with top tips on how to take your writing to the next stage. The Pound Project are passionate about representing Birmingham authors and as such are based out of studios in Digbeth. To find out more, or to back the latest campaign, visit Words: Alex Evans 015

George Shaw, The Painted Wall, 2017. Humbrol enamel on canvas, 92 x 121cm. Š George Shaw. Courtesy of the artist and Maruani Mercier, Brussels.

THE ANOMIE REVIEW OF CONTEMPORARY BRITISH PAINTING Birmingham-born publisher and writer Matt Price has just produced a major new anthology about contemporary British painters, and with more than a few connections to the West Midlands in the publication, we thought we’d catch up with him to find out more… 017

Rose Wylie, Irreverent Anatomy Drawing, 2017. Oil on canvas, 182 × 165cm. © Rose Wylie. Private collection. Courtesy of David Zwirner, London, and Choi & Lager, Cologne.

What’s the idea behind this new book, Matt? Well, I wanted to make an anthology of contemporary British painting to reflect some of the great work that’s been made over the last couple of years by artists born or living in Britain. Thinking through different ideas for how to approach the selection of artists, I thought a useful way would be to only invite artists who staged solo exhibitions last year. I wanted it to be a snapshot of what’s going on now, so documenting and discussing solo exhibitions by the artists seemed a good way to show that. Can you tell us about some of the artists featured who’ve had exhibitions in British museums and galleries? One that instantly springs to mind is Raqib Shaw’s sparkling solo show at The Whitworth, University of Manchester, which brought together a number of the intricate and often quite challenging paintings by the Calcutta-born, Peckhambased artist along with some beautiful objects and works of art he selected from the collections of Manchester Museums. The artist even designed some wallpapers that were used in the exhibition design, and the installation photographs are just incredible. Another greatly anticipated exhibition was Rose Wylie’s ‘Quack Quack’ at Serpentine Galleries, which opened at the end of last year and ran through until February this year. She’s such an intriguing character and a completely uninhibited painter – her works can be very funny at the same time as offering a really thought-provoking commentary on modern life. You’re originally from Birmingham – is the West Midlands well represented in terms of painting? Yes, there’s certainly some great painting coming out of the West Midlands. Some artists featured in the anthology studied in Birmingham, such as Kaye Donachie and Anne Ryan, both of whom are now London-based. Others were born in the region, such as the always brilliant George Shaw, whom many people will know for his depictions in Humbrol paint of housing estates in Tile Hill in Coventry, where he grew up; and I believe Justin Mortimer was actually born in Shropshire while his parents were stationed at the RAF base in Cosford, not that he’d remember much 019

about that or his experiences of being rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital. And a couple of the featured artists live and work in the West Midlands – Clare Woods and Sally Payen are both based in Herefordshire. Woods had a beautiful solo exhibition at DCA in Dundee, and Payen presented a fascinating exhibition at mac Birmingham relating to the women’s peace camp at Greenham Common in opposition to the American nuclear weapons base there. The protest began in the early 1980s and ran until long after the base was closed in 1992, and Payen’s paintings really capture the deeply bleak landscape of the place along with the unbreakable spirit of the women protesting. Many of the artists sound pretty well established in the art world – are there any up-and-coming artists featured in the anthology? Yes, there are quite a few. The intention was to present artists at a variety of stages of their careers, from the most celebrated, highprofile figures right the way through to rising stars such as Nairobi-born, London-based Michael Armitage, whose beautiful yet challenging exhibition ‘The Chapel’ at the South London Gallery, inspired by topical religious, political and cultural subjects in Kenya, was definitely a highlight of last year. Then there’s Caroline Walker, the London-based Scottish artist whose fascinating

Lubaina Himid, Le Rodeur: The Cabin, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 183 x 244cm. Courtesy of the artist, Hollybush Gardens and Collection Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Photo: Stephan Baumann.

and beautiful series of paintings of women working in or visiting nail bars, was a sell-out success in Gwacheon, South Korea, in spring last year. There are also a small number of artists who are only very recently out of college, such as the highly promising Jadé Fadojutimi, who graduated from the Slade School of Art just a few weeks before her debut exhibition ‘Heliophobia’ with Pippy Houldsworth. She is bringing a real energy to abstract painting and is certainly one to watch. We noticed there are more female artists than male in the anthology – was that a conscious decision? This only really became apparent when the list of artists to invite was finalised, and I’m really pleased it’s worked out that way. It would be nice to think we’ve reached a watershed moment in terms of gender equality in British painting, or at least have entered a new phase in which more women have a genuine chance of becoming as prominent and as successful as their male counterparts. It just seems inconceivable that this is still an issue that needs to be fought for in this day and age – surely that battle should have been won and consigned to history by now. There’s still quite some way to go before it’s a level playing field, but it’s really great to see so many British women painters winning prizes, being offered solo exhibitions, being signed up by gallery representatives, and able to sustain successful careers from their work, so things are certainly looking up and heading in the right direction. The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting, compiled and written by Matt Price, is published by Anomie and costs £30 from 021


ScreenBrum is live on every other Friday 12-2pm.

ScreenBrum is a fortnightly show on Brum Radio hosted by Blake, Tim and Lucy, who grew up in cinemas and learned everything they know from screens. During each show they talk about and share our passion for the screen, exploring different themes and topics, often with experts and special guests. For a guide to film in the region, team ScreenBrum were the obvious people to ask. What are your highlight events on the film calendar in the city? Birmingham has been delivering amazing film festivals going back to the Birmingham International Film Festival in the naughties. Flatpack Film Festival is one of the highlights of the year. Lucy has been volunteering with them for four years now and loves every moment of it. They have such a wealth of excellent experiences to dive into throughout their programme. From art installations to short films, director Q&As, live performances, workshops, and far more. The Shock and Gore festival also deserves a shout out, taking place at The Electric Cinema every summer, as well as presenting horror films year round. Other great events across the city include the Screening Rights Film Festival, the Birmingham Indian Film Festival (BIFF), Cine-Excess, Shout!, Journey Film Club and the cinematic time machine seasons at the Electric Cinema. All of which host a brilliantly eclectic bill. 022

Where do you head to see a movie? Lucy: The Electric Cinema has practically been my second home for years. I love everything about it; its varied programme, comfort, style, history and its wonderful staff. They hold very special screenings from filmmaker introductions, to tastealongs with the Conjurer’s Kitchen, to my personal festive favourite, showing It’s A Wonderful Life at Birmingham Cathedral. I also recommend mac as a great venue for film as well. Blake: I also love The Mockingbird in the Custard Factory, a lovely cinema in a lovely setting with great food. Tim: I have been a card holder immersing myself in bottomless cinematic gumph at an unnamed local cineplex since 2001 and frequenting The Electric, The Mockingbird and the mac for the truest smells of celluloid joy. The comfy sofas at the Electric are a true luxury. What are your 5 must-see Brummie film tips? The Flatpack Festival is one of the highlights of the annual film calendar. Flatpack also puts on events throughout the year, and we particularly love the outdoor horror shows they put on at Dudley Castle which always provide a great atmosphere. Take advantage of the opportunity to experience film in a new environment and see Birmingham in the most cinematic way possible such as an old warehouse or factory, on a canal side or in a tunnel and explore new parts of Birmingham in the most cinematic way.

If you are a fan of short films keep an eye out for Neighborhood Shorts, showing handpicked shorts from around the world. Also check out Yellow Wednesdays at Impact Hub. Sign up to the FilmWire newsletter. You will get a regular update of film events going on in the Birmingham and Midlands area. Support the city’s amazing independent venues such as The Electric, The Mockingbird and mac who all deserve our love. What are you most excited about that is coming up film-wise in the city? There is so much! We have featured some fabulous up and coming filmmakers on the show and know just how much talent there is in the city. And the proposed new studio from Steven Knight (creator of Peaky Blinders) could lift film production to a whole new level. In the lead up Christmas, be sure to lap up the films and one-off showings whether at The Electric or a nearby church or cathedral. This is always a magical time to huddle together in the pursuit of celluloid magnificence, even if we get to argue (again!) about Die Hard being the quintessential Christmas film. We also have some very exciting special events on the horizon for ScreenBrum, so be sure to keep an eye out for updates. To find out more visit brumradio. com/screenbrum/. 023

UNSELFISH LOVER Brazilian-turned-Brummie Priscila Baker is on a creative roll with her garage rock band Cherry Pickles alongside magazine fashion styling and a newly launched illustration brand, Unselfish Lover. We caught up with the adopted Kings Heathen to get the low-down on her latest project… Tell us a bit about Unselfish Lover? I started the brand about six months ago. I’ve been illustrating for a while, doing little exhibitions in Birmingham and selling prints. At the same time, I was studying to be a stylist, so to make t-shirts with my illustrations seemed like a natural progression. My first one was hand drawn with fabric pens that I made for myself. After that, a few friends started to ask me to make t-shirts for them too, so I thought, ‘no, I will sell you one instead’.




We LOVE your illustration style how would you describe it? Thank you! Initially, I was very inspired by a traditional type of Brazilian folk art, named Cordel. They are very simple woodcut booklets with poems or songs inside. It’s amazing how they talk about difficult themes in a very funny way. I’m also a fan of many forms of outsider art. So that probably subconsciously leaked into my process too. What’s the ethos of the brand? I love the idea of when you find a vintage t-shirt in a thrift store and it has a design that you don’t know the origin or what it is, so you come up with your own ideas in your mind. This sort of ambiguity, it’s what I had in mind for the brand. Your t-shirt designs are a little cheeky, how do you come up with the ideas? The ideas come from all over. Lyrics of music that I like, movies, a vintage slogan I might see on something, it varies. I love spending time looking at vintage 70’s t-shirts online. There are some crazy ones. That definitely inspires me too.

You’re in a band, Cherry Pickles, and regularly DJ, how does it all this fit together for you? It’s very natural because for me they are all types of art that complete each other. The band is especially connected as a big part of it is how we dress and the artwork. You’ve made Birmingham your home - what’s your favourite thing/s about the city? Well, I’m from Brasilia, Brasil, which is a city that is unlike the rest of the country. It was entirely built in the 60s, and so like Birmingham, it’s not very big on natural beauty but both have some incredible architecture that I like. But what I notice about places like that is normally the people are much more interesting than the actual place itself. Like, sometimes when I go to London, I feel very overpowered by the city, it’s easy to be lost in the sea of voices. Here, the best experiences have always been the amazing people and the community. And also the curry houses, of course.

Where do you hope the brand might go in the future or what are your plans for it? Hopefully, I will eventually be able to open a small physical store and branch out making other types of clothing as well. That’s the dream.


Argentea Gallery

The Hive


Barber Institute

mac at Cannon Hill Park

Brumpic celebrates the culture and heritage of Birmingham through their popular social media account and website and in 2017 launched the city’s first Culture Card. The discount card gives members exclusive offers and discounts across many of the region’s arts and culture venues. The man behind Brumpic, Dave Oram, talks us through his favourite cultural spaces and hangouts. Favourite culture spaces in the city... A very unoriginal first choice I’m afraid, but my first port of call would be the Jewellery Quarter. Equally suitable for an afternoon’s lazy gallery browsing or a Friday night out. The Jewellery Quarter is rich with gems like Argentea Gallery, 1000 Trades, St Paul’s Gallery, The Hive, The Lord Clifden, The Red Lion and much much more, hidden amongst the Georgian squares and winding postindustrial streets. I love a lazy Sunday afternoon in Cannon Hill Park, a great place to stroll around and escape the city madness and there’s always something great to see at mac Birmingham. First time visitor suggestions... An army marches on its stomach so my first port of call would be The Plough 028

in Harborne (my local) for one of their amazing breakfasts. From there I’d make the short walk to the University of Birmingham to catch the train into the city, not before I’d paid a flying visit to the Barber Institute and the Lapworth Museum on campus. These are two magnificent hidden gems, both right in the heart of the campus and free to enter for all (you don’t need to be a student or a staff member to visit). A short hop into town and next up would be Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, always something amazing to see and again, like Cannon Hill Park, a lovely tranquil space in the heart of the city. Then it’s on to the Coffin Works, a fascinating place to visit. It’s a real step back in time and every Brummie should visit once, plus the staff are the nicest people you could ever wish to meet. Maybe a quick pint and an onion bhaji scotch egg in The Pint Shop on Bennetts Hill before catching a film at the country’s oldest working cinema, The Electric on Station Street; a beautiful Art Deco cinema right next to New Street Station that shows so much more than the run of the mill Hollywood blockbusters. From there a mooch around Chinatown. There’s always a real buzz in Southside. The final stop off would be at the cities latest cocktail bar 18/81 on Thorp Street. Events i’m looking forward to in the next few months... Very much looking forward to seeing Mogwai at The Mill on the 23rd

November. I saw them over the summer at Cactus Festival in Bruges and they were stunning. Birmingham favourite Joe Lycett, comes to Symphony Hall at the end of November, i’m really looking forward to that. An exhibition of photographs by the brilliant Barbara Gibson will be at Argentea Gallery early in the new year, I love her work. You know Christmas has truly arrived when we make our annual visit to the panto at the Hippodrome and this year will be no exception. Annual cultural events I always try to take in... I always like to pay a visit to the Birmingham Weekender and Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival and we’re massive fans of the Flatpack Festival. What’s next for Brumpic... We are currently working on a further collection of Phyllis Nicklin images. We scanned and exhibited the Birmingham images a couple of years ago, but in the filing cabinet with the Birmingham images were a load of never before seen images of Greater Birmingham. I am currently scanning images of Dudley in the 50s and 60s and we hope to start showing the collection around spring 2019. FInd out more @Brumpic and You can buy the culture card for £12.95 (or 2 for £20) from the website. 029



Dave Hill was born in a castle in Devon and moved with his parents to Wolverhampton when he was a year old. With his time in Slade he went on to have 23 Top 20 hits and six number one singles and in the 1970s, Slade were the biggest band in the UK with three singles entering the chart at number one (an accomplishment that even sidestepped the Beatles). Released in 1973, Merry Xmas Everybody went on to sell a million copies and has charted every year since. With his outlandish costumes, hairstyles, shoes and makeup Dave made Slade one of the most visually defining groups of the Glam era. After the break-up of the original line-up of the band, Dave eventually reformed Slade with Don Powell. Twenty-six years later, he is still regularly touring the world, playing to hundreds of thousands of fans. He still lives in Wolverhampton. I’m loyal to the Black Country... The people and the memories of my childhood. I still walk past the old council house where I grew up and reflect on those memories. The song that sums up the Black Country for me is... ‘Take Me Back Ome’ would sum up the Black Country for me. You always need to


return to where you started… that’s the reason you are who you are. The people, the factories, dance halls, youth centres, schools, shops and the cinema… it’s all here. Noel Gallagher looked up to Slade as working-class heroes... Slade were always working-class guys who were post-war babies in ration book UK. Not much money but a lot of love to give. I believe Noel relates to that. Nothing comes easy, you work hard for it and for me that’s the best way. “You write ’em, and I’ll sell ’em…” I think showmanship has always been in me, like the old entertainers from music halls of the past. There does seem to be a lack of flamboyant entertainers - I mean I’ve always believed in making a show and make them smile, and we need to have a lot more of that these days. The inspiration for my image... I noticed that the entertainers from the past always wore flash outfits, like Max Miller and his jackets. So I used to buy odd things, and wear funny hats, and take a walk through the Woolworths store in Wolverhampton to see if people noticed me, and they did. I liked it so much that I started spraying silver car paint on my clothes, and of course my hairstyle was so different to anybody else’s.

Merry Xmas Everybody! I never get sick of that song! It’s part of people’s memories and of course mine – that’s why I called my autobiography ‘So Here It Is’. It was a great lift for the nation in 1973 and continues to be a lift every Christmas. We played the Falklands some years ago and were taken by helicopter to the mountain base, and as we were landing, all the troops were lined up in costumes looking like us with stacked platforms boots, belting it out. They were so pleased to see us – they’d been up there for months, it was a truly MAGICAL DAY. When you meet people who have had an influence on you... You tend to act as cool as possible. When I met Hank Marvin (who’s a lovely man) all I could think about was APACHE! Best lie I’ve told during an interview... Don’t recall lying, but then again I might be lying now… haha! Best rumour I ever heard about Slade... That we were the best live band in the world. I liked that rumour… Dave Hill’s autobiography So Here It Is is out now in paperback (Unbound, £8.99). 031


BP PORTRAIT AWARD 2018 Wolverhampton Art Gallery Until 30 November 2018

WOMEN POWER PROTEST Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery 10 Nov 18 - 31 Mar19

OUT OF THE WOODS OF THOUGHT Argentea Gallery 2 Nov - 21 Dec 2018

The exhibition is an annual celebration of contemporary painted portraiture by artists of all ages from across the world and one of the most important platforms for portrait painters. This year, 2667 entries were received from artists in 88 countries. Judged anonymously the list was gradually reduced to just 48 exceptional portraits for the exhibition. Highlights include portraits by, Felicia Forte and Zhu Tongyao, as well as the First Prize winner, Miriam Escofet, whose enigmatic work An Angel At My Table shows the artist’s elderly mother sitting at her kitchen table surrounded by tea crockery.

Feminist artists who have explored protest, social commentary, and identity in their work, will be showcased in this major new contemporary exhibition. In the anniversary year for women’s suffrage, this exhibition asks just how much has changed for women? Women Power Protest includes bold contemporary artworks from over 55 artists drawn largely from the Arts Council Collection, along with pieces from Birmingham’s collection and looks at the experiences of becoming and progressing as a woman amongst varying degrees of opportunity and oppression in relation to race, class, geography and sexuality.

Out of the Woods of Thought is an exploration of the natural world through a series of highly atmospheric works by some of the UK’s most exciting landscape photographers. The exhibition, curated by the photography collective ‘Inside the Outside’, features work by its founding members Al Brydon, Rob Hudson, Stephen Segasby and Joseph Wright whose collective philosophy hinges on a number of interconnected questions about how we relate to the landscape and the way in which this informs their representation of it in photographic form.


MAHTAB HUSSAIN MITTI KA GHAR New Art Gallery Walsall Until 24 March 2019

ELIZABETH MAGILL New Art Gallery Walsall Until 20 January 2019

In September 2016, Mahtab Hussain travelled to Kashmir; to the place where his parents had once called home. He was able to meet members of his family for the first time, including his great grandmother, and to witness the kind of life he may have lived, had history taken a different turn. Inspired by traditional Kashmiri mud houses that can still be found in parts of the region, the artist has been working with local communities to construct, furnish and decorate a house within the gallery and to explore ideas of home.

Elizabeth Magill is one of her generation’s leading painters and this exhibition she presents a body of new work. Although predominately living and working in London, Magill’s work is redolent of place – and in particular, drawing from her early beginnings in the North of Ireland. Her approach to image making is always experimental, allowing for previous attempts to give way to newer ones to form an unfolding openness.

SARAH TAYLOR SILVERWOOD New Art Gallery Walsall 19 Jan - 12 May 2019

Sarah Taylor Silverwood uses drawing and language as material to produce publications, animation and installation works. Daphne considers the relationship between women and language, taking the ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo as a focus. This early story, which traces Apollo’s pursuit of Daphne and her transformation into a laurel tree, has been retold over centuries in many different art forms. Through hand-drawn animation, objects and drawing, Taylor In Conversation interprets Thursday 17 January, Silverwood key motifs within the 6.30-8pm. Join the artist for a talk story and considers how we consume these about her work. £3 to book on 01922 narratives. 654400.


LUCY ORTA PROCESSION BANNERS Ikon off-site at Medicine Bakery & Gallery Until 20 January 2019 Early this year Lucy Orta began collaborating with HMP Downview residents as part of the programme as part of the HerStories campaign, the group designed 30 banners to mark 100 years since British women won the vote. In 2016, many residents were transferred to HMP Downview after the closure of HMP Holloway, then the largest all-women prison in Europe, where over 1,000 suffragettes had been imprisoned during their struggle for the vote. Through workshops Orta collected testimonies about what it means to be a woman today, the power of the vote and our shared future. 034

IN THE WINGS: NEW PERSPECTIVE Hippodrome Gallery Space in the Foyer Until 31 Jan 2019

THE FACE OF SUFFRAGE Hippodrome Gallery Space in the Foyer Until 31 Jan 2019

Birmingham Royal Ballet’s autumn exhibition offers a new and unique perspective from in the wings at some of their most iconic performances.

Celebrating 100 years since women were first allowed the vote, this exhibition of photographs showcases some of the faces of the Suffrage movement. The display complements the Face of Suffrage, a unique art installation created by artist Helen Marshall which will be on view at Birmingham New Street Station Thu 15 Nov – Fri 14 Dec 2018. The Face of Suffrage is coproduced by GRAIN.

In The Wings: New Perspective shares moments captured by two of the Company’s dancers turned photographers (Tyrone Singleton and Lachlan Monaghan) of preparation, performance and camaraderie as these world-class performers delight and entertain audiences around the UK.

3 GREAT PLACES TO DRINK WHISKY IN BIRMINGHAM Amy Seton, the city’s knowledge on whisky and owner of The Birmingham Whisky Club, recommends the best new places to drink whisky this Christmas season, and says that even if you’re not a whisky fan there are other options for people who might like to start their journey into the ‘water of life’.

Great for: Range of whiskies, tasting events, knowledgeable staff, welcoming relaxed environment.


THE BIRMINGHAM WHISKY CLUB 75-80 Vyse St, Jewellery Quarter Obviously, I have to start with my own new gaff! Opened in January 2018 and shares the same Grade-2 listed building as the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, we’ve now almost made it to the one-year mark. We sell 300 whiskies, from around 12 producing countries and stock a large core range to get you started; some really high-end, aged and unusual whiskies, and everything in-between. We have many people coming in who have not drunk whisky before and we have knowledgeable staff to help guide people to make an informed choice. We also have a 16-strong whisky cocktail list, which has been great for people who don’t like whisky as we’ve been able to introduce them to the drink in a way that has surprised them. We’ve created a lounge style environment which encourages people to relax and take their time over drinks. We have a large open bar area for people to sit and chat to us. Our mantra is to create a home-fromhome environment for whisky lovers. Anyone is welcome and you don’t have to be a member to visit. We have numerous other drinks on offer as well. 037

THE VANGUARD AT 1000 TRADES 16 Fredrick Street, Jewellery Quarter

Great for: Excellent service, unique drinks, friendliness, expertise, cool environment.

I love this hidden gem of a place which is best known for its broad range of cocktails and specialty Mead selection. It also has a good whisky offering served by bar owner, Sam Boulton. Sam’s knowledge is vast and he’s well-known around Birmingham for his cocktail-making skills and has won many a competition. He understands the importance of having a wide selection of interesting drinks and so as part of his menu has included a number of interesting whiskies, chosen “because he liked them” and knew his punters would too. A lovely, shabby chic environment, set within a beautiful old Victorian workshop full of rustic, industrial charm and an opulent service style makes The Vanguard a must-visit. Along-side many other spirits and drinks, The Vanguard’s menu features roughly 35 whiskies and two whisky-cocktails. Sam also adapts his menu on a regular basis to keep things fresh and interesting for his clientele. To find the bar, go into 1000 Trades and up the stairs to your left, then the next flight and you’ll see the bar!


18/81 Thorpe Street, Chinatown

Great for: Unique environment, impressing your friends, use of alcohol, vision and craft of the cocktails.

Another place for me to be a bit of a fan-girl about. I love the way Rob and his team curate their menus. He really goes into depth into the provenance of the drink so each is its own story and learning experience. Rob’s knowledge is incredible and it’s always a pleasure to prop up the bar and talk booze. 18/81 is his new project and is getting known for its innovative cocktails, and his careful and thoughtful approach in crafting a cocktail list. Whisky has been a long-held passion of his and it’s interesting to see how he’s used it in his menu knowing a lot of people find whisky a difficult drink. He has four whisky creations on the menu – I don’t want to call them cocktails as they are much more than that. Secret Life Of Barrels is what caught my eye which looks into the life of barrels once distilleries are finished using them. For anyone who understands the whisky world will know how important wood is to the process. Rob using a drink to convey this journey is a great way to bring people into the exciting world of whisky. To find the bar, go to Thorpe Street and look for the sign.


The Brum Beer Babs

DRINKING WITH THE BRUM BEER BABS With the amount of new bars, brew houses, tap rooms and bottle shops opening in the region we’re finding it hard to get around them all, so in an effort to stop our increasingly growing waistlines, and to get the lowdown on the best places for a pint, we asked fan of all things hops, Catherine Webber of the Brum Beer Babs, to help us out with some tips‌


Tell us about Brum Beer Babs… Brum Beer Babs started in April 2017. I’d been inspired by other ladies’ beer groups from around the country (such as Ladies that Beer, Crafty Beer Girls, Helles Belles, etc) and thought I’d see if Birmingham would be interested. I’ve been drinking beer for many years and often come across ladies who would like to know more about beer and drink it in a safe and welcoming environment. When I started the group I was very clear that although it is aimed at ladies, everyone is welcome – we want everyone to be able to enjoy beer. We meet once a month at rotating locations around the city. We sometimes attend specific events like tap takeovers or meet the brewers as well as just meeting for a beer and a chat. We’ve also recently had a crafting evening with Deborette Creative and earlier this year we were lucky enough to be able to brew our own beer at Twisted Barrel in Coventry. The best setting/surroundings for a Beer in Birmingham... The beer scene in Birmingham has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years. There are so many great, independent places to drink now around the city. The Babs always try to support independent business (bars, breweries, craftspeople) so we’re never short of places to meet. Our ‘spiritual home’ is The Wolf as this is where we had our very first meet up as well as where we

celebrated our first birthday earlier this year. Cherry Reds is also a favourite of ours. Jen’s bar is a very welcoming, comfy place for a beer plus they have awesome cake. We always have our Christmas meet up at Tilt – such a great place to hang out with beer, coffee, tea and pinball (oh and cake again). The range of beers from around the world they get in there is a unique experience in the city. Clink (in the Custard Factory), were kind enough to host us last year for a single hop beer tasting – we definitely plan to go back there as well as their sister venue Paper Duck in Harborne. Both places have a stripped back, chilled vibe and are always happy to help with recommendations. With the opening of Head of Steam, Pint Shop and the imminent arrival of Thornbridge/Pivovar we’ll have plenty more choice in the year ahead. Best locally brewed beers... The West Midlands has always had a history of brewing and it’s great to see so many independent breweries operating in the region now. Within the Jewellery Quarter, we have two very different but equally great breweries. Rock and Roll tucked away on Regent Place brew cask beer in a very unusual setting. One of my favourites there is Voodoo Mild – a spot on iteration of a classic Midlands style. Just 10 minutes’ walk away you’ll find Burning Soul (Mott Street). Started just over two years ago Chris and Richard have

gone from strength to strength – they’ve won awards from Rate Beer and at the Indyman Beer Convention in Manchester. Brewing modern keg beers they have a wide range from pales right up to barrel aged porters. I always gravitate back to their original beer O.C.T a zingy IPA. Just a short train ride from the city centre we have two more great breweries – Fixed Wheel (Blackheath) and Green Duck (Stourbridge Junction). Both breweries have cask and keg beers in really welcoming tap rooms. At Fixed Wheel the Through and Off (on both cask and keg) is delicious and I’m a big fan of the Ricochet at Green Duck – I even have an empty can holding pens on my desk at work. My final recommendation is Twisted Barrel in Coventry. Last year they moved into a much bigger unit in Fargo Village which allows them to have a larger tap room with both cask and keg (24 taps). They have lots of events in the brewery and now have Vegan Grindhouse as their in-house food which means you can enjoy great vegan beer and food together. Best new bar... For me this year the top opening has been Kilder in Shaw’s Passage. This cool, Scandi design bar is much more than a waiting room for Original Patty Men, who are next door. They have a great range of beers on tap as well as natural wine. In addition the food menu is small but perfectly formed with some of 042

Kilder in Digbeth

The Wolf

the best cheese toasties I’ve ever had. They also host some great tap takeover and have film nights coming up too. Most anticipated opening... There are two openings that are really getting me excited for the coming months. First up a bar - Cork & Cage, opening on the Pershore Road hopefully before the end of the year. Brought to us by Richard Sadler one of the owners of Clink and Paper Duck. The bar will have 10 taps with three dedicated to wonderful gueze and lambic beers as well as a tasty bottle list to drink in. They’re planning Turkish mezze too to complement the beers. The second opening will be the taproom for Glasshouse Beer Co. in Waterside Business Park. The brewery, which started in brewer Josh’s greenhouse (hence the name) just over two years ago, recently moved to a full brewhouse and they plan to get a taproom open to share some of their super juicy beers in the freshest way possible very soon. In the meantime look out for their beers in bars around the city these guys are going to be big.

Fixed Wheel, Blackheath

How to get involved... The best way to see what we are up to is to follow us on Twitter @BrumBeerBabs. We tweet our meet up dates and locations there as well as photos of what we’ve been up to. The meet-ups are open to everyone and there’s no obligation to come every month, it’s all about having fun with some likeminded people and getting to try some great beers around the city and beyond. We’re a very friendly, welcoming group who want to share and learn about beers together - why not give it a go? 043


Whether you’re a foodie, a beer-hound or a muso, girl about town and Night Owl DJ Mazzy Snape has got the places for you with her top list of the hottest places in town right now.

THE JUKE @thejukebars York Road, Kings Heath The Juke is an intimate new bar and eatery in Kings Heath. The focal point is a vintage Rock-Ola Jukebox and they specialise in locally produced craft beers with regular kitchen ‘pop-ups’ which have so far featured Pietanic, House of Hen and Ba-Ha. This hip new joint is the perfect addition to the already achingly cool, yet warm and welcoming York Road.

APOCALYPSE COW @apocalypse_cow Based at Ghetto Golf, Digbeth Apocalypse Cow is an amazing place to get casual eats. Tucked away inside Ghetto Golf in Digbeth, and they are ALL about the meat. They do veggie and vegan options (of course, this is 2018), but this is the place to go if you have a meat craving. Beef brisket, pulled pork, burnt brisket ends, juicy burgers, salt n pepper chicken… this list goes ON. They also do the most amazing loaded fries - another level to anything you may have experienced before. *Pictured left. GRACE & JAMES York Road, Kings Heath Grace & James is a wine bar and shop, situated opposite the Juke on York Road, and the perfect accompaniment for your York Road bar crawl. They serve natural wine, which might not sound that special, but it tastes delicious and the hangover just doesn’t seem as bad as with regular wine. They also have fabulous cheese and meat platters available. So just to reiterate, that’s delicious wine, cheese and meats. Heaven.

Apocalypse Cow

THE PINT SHOP 38 Bennetts Hill The Pint Shop recently opened in the centre of town and is on the fancier end of casual dining. Their specialty being scotch eggs. In particular, the Onion Bhaji scotch egg which is suitably spicy for the Brummie palette. They’ve got a quality yet reasonably priced menu and a cool vibe about the place. Right by Sun On The Hill too so you can continue the drinking and partying after. 045

THE REBEL CHICKEN The Rebel Chicken 5, 19 Pitsford Street, Jewellery Quarter The Rebel Chicken opened a few months ago in the Jewellery Quarter specialising in rotisserie chicken; really, really good rotisserie chicken. More recently they’ve spread their *ahem* wings and have released a range of ‘Rebel Burgers’. Of course, there are some pretty tasty chicken options but also some amazing beef and veggie selections. I’m pretty sure they do the best chips in Birmingham outside of Dad’s Lane too. *Picture right. NOCTURNAL ANIMALS 20 Bennetts Hill Nocturnal Animals is a bar and restaurant that before even opening was being hailed as the place to be. Quite possibly because it’s evolved from the brains of the geniuses behind The Wilderness. First glimpses show a pretty amazing looking space and the teases of inspiration coming from 80s pop culture. Cocktails are curated by the renowned James Bowker which is enough reason alone to head down and check things out during their soft launch sessions this November. THE MILL 29 Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth It’s not all about food and drink in Birmingham right now. Everyone is talking about the brand new 046

live music and club venue, The Mill, which opened its doors in October. Based on the hip Lower Trinity Street in Digbeth, just a few steps away from The Night Owl and Digbeth Dining Club, the new venue has weekly club nights and touring live bands such as Gentleman’s Dub Club, Mogwai, Hinds, Napalm Death and many more. Another place to watch cool bands and dance all night? Yes please! DIGBETH ARTS SPACE Zellig, Gibb Street, Digbeth Digbeth Arts Space is situated in Zellig and is a brand-new gallery curated by Digbeth Arts Market. The gallery launched in September with a Collage vs Print exhibition featuring three local artists. Currently exhibiting is artist Chunxx with lots more planned, keep your eyes peeled. THE CLEAN KILO 1 Gibb Street, Digbeth So, this list might be slightly skewed towards Digbeth, but to be fair it is the only place in Birmingham to have a zero-waste supermarket. The Clean Kilo invites customers to bring their own containers which can be filled with all manner of goods from chickpeas to cereals to coffee and chocolate - you can even get zero-waste toiletries. The staff inside are keen to help and offer advice so don’t be scared, get stuck in. 047

BIRMINGHAM COCKTAIL GUIDE For fans of a good Old Fashioned or lovers of a perfect Espresso Martini, the Birmingham Cocktail Weekend has to be on your radar. In 2019 the event turns five so with this milestone in mind we asked founder Alex Nicholson-Evans for her top tips on where you should head for the best cocktails in the city. The best place to sit back and order a cocktail... We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to bars in Brum and I truly believe there is a setting for everyone. For those looking for a touch of luxe, Harvey Nichols’ plush bar never disappoints; similarly, if you like to sip with a skyline, there’s nowhere better to head for than Marco Pierre White’s. Another bar I love is Lost & Found. It always was a gorgeous venue but since it’s been refurbished, it’s even more beautiful. One of Birmingham’s absolute hidden gems is the Edwardian Tearooms. Located in the heart of Birmingham Museum & Art 048

Gallery this space really does have the wow factor, plus the booths feature Birmingham’s only ‘Press for Champagne’ buzzers, so you can literally get champagne cocktails to your table at the push of a button. Best new cocktail bar in Brum... 2018 has seen some of the most prominent players explode onto the scene. It’s hard to pick the best newcomers, but the impressive 18/81 has to make the list; headed by the dream-duo Rob Wood and Joe Schuppler, the bar has turned the world of pre-batched cocktails on its head in a way that is really exciting. Special mentions also

the winners have been Be At One’s ‘Coco in Acapulco’ Reyka Vodka creation and ‘The Somerville Spritz’ featuring Edinburgh Gin, by Harvey Nichols: both excellent choices.

have to go to The Vanguard @ 1000 Trades, boasting a unique mead-focused menu in a quirky attic setting; and The Birmingham Whisky Club, which neighbours the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. Whilst it almost certainly has the best list of whiskeys in the city, don’t let the name deter you if you’re not a dramfan: the team serves up non-whisky alternatives and the cocktails are on point. What’s the most-loved cocktail at BCW? Every year, Malmaison Birmingham goes above and beyond to create something fantastic: to this day people still reminisce about their 2016 signature cocktail, Malicane (pictured above), so that has to feature in this list. 2018 saw The Victoria get a lot of love for doing something a little different with its Highland Park Whisky cocktail: it was applauded by many, and rightly so. For the last two years, we’ve also asked BCW wristband-wearers to vote for their top tipples. So far,

What’s in store for BCW2019? 2019 is going to be a huge year for us because Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is turning five. To mark the occasion, we’re extending the festival fun, starting on Thursday 11 July and running all the way through until Sunday 14 July. We’re bringing you a whole extra day of exclusive events, signature cocktails, and the city’s best venues, and we cannot wait! Wristbands will still be only £10, but we already anticipate that they will be snapped up quickly; if you want to join the BCW2019 fun, keep an eye on the website for when they go live. If Cocktails aren’t for you, or you can’t wait until July, why not check out Birmingham Wine Weekend from 22 - 24 March:


BREAKING BREAD Breaking Bread (@PodcastBread) is a new foodie Podcast that will be coming to your ears very soon. Produced by lover of good gourmet and self-confessed, Liam Haughey, along with food obsessive friend Carl, they’ll be interviewing, dining and sampling their way through the West Midlands food landscape and beyond all in the name of good taste. What made you decide to start the podcast? I’m obsessed with food and I talk way too much. I really want to peel away the curtain and reveal the people and their stories of those responsible for driving our foodie scene and making it flourish. Being a big podcast addict I really enjoy the no rush conversational style of interview usually used in a podcast. It gives the guest an opportunity to go more in depth and tell more of their story which I think really makes the listener invest more into what the guests have to say. Why do you think now is right? Podcasts are very popular at the moment, and the foodie scene in the UK, and Birmingham in particular, is flying. Every month a new exciting bar, restaurant, coffee shop or street food vendor opens, it’s hard to keep up and try them all. The sole purpose of the podcast is to provide a platform for all of the

incredible chefs, restaurateurs and food producers who have turned the UK into a food lovers paradise and to share their stories. Who would be your ideal guests? Our dream guest would be the Yummie Brummie himself: Glynn Purnell. Probably the first person people think of when you talk about quality food in Brum. His book Cracking Yolks is one of the first books I’ve read that gives a tiny glimpse into some of the shenanigans that go on in a top class kitchen. Another idol of mine would be Alex Claridge, owner of my favourite restaurant The Wilderness and new bar Nocturnal Animals. I admire Alex for sticking to his guns and persisting in the braveness of being unique when taking the traditional route would have been far easier. Are there any burning issues you’re hoping to get to the bottom of in the foodie scene? Birmingham is often represented in such a negative way. I often hear a national story which paints Birmingham as some no-go war zone and think ‘are they talking about the same place I know and love?’ I would like the podcast to truly reflect how fantastic our city is and why you should come to Brum for some of the best food in the country.

Maison Mayci

BREAKING BREAD’S TOP TIPS FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH AND DINNER BREAKFAST The Stables, Hockley Heath - One of the best fry-ups around. Top quality bacon and sausages in a warm and cosy restaurant. Boston Tea Party - Pancakes to die for. Maison Mayci, Moseley - Heavenly croissants and first class coffee.


Original Patty Men

Digbeth Dining Club

LUNCH Yorks, Birmingham City Centre Crispy chicken, smoked bacon, sweet buttery waffles and maple syrup. Loaf, Stirchley - Artisan breads made in their bakery provide the base for the best sandwiches. Original Patty Men, Digbeth - Easily the best burger I’ve ever eaten. Go lunchtime to avoid the queues (if you’re lucky). DINNER The Wilderness, Jewellery Quarter - A truly brilliant unique experience. Purnells, Birmingham City Centre Michelin starred restaurant owned by Glynn Purnell. Wows all with his take on Brummie tapas. Adam’s, Birmingham - Not just one of the best restaurants in Birmingham, but one of the best in all of the UK. The atmosphere and service are only bettered by the standard of food. Digbeth Dining Club - I could not give Birmingham based dinner recommendations, without mentioning the street food phenomenon that is DDC! Outstanding restaurant quality food served from vintage vans and stalls.



SUPER STIRCHLEY On first glance, you’d be forgiven for overlooking Stirchley. An area which sits between chocolate-box Bournville, and Kings Heath and Moseley, the high street is littered with furniture shops, estate agents and fast food joints. But dig a little closer and you’ll find some real gems. To save you some time Laura Creaven of Full to the Brum picks a few of the places worth exploring.


FOOD AND DRINK FIT FOR A QUEEN Starting out in the house of its founder, workers’ co-operative Loaf ( is now a bakery and cookery school in Stirchley and responsible for bringing real bread to Birmingham. Their croissants are well worth waking up early on a Saturday morning for, but be prepared to queue as the bakery is popular on Saturdays as Stirchley residents know what side their bread is buttered on. Their cookery classes bring forgotten food skills and real food back to kitchens and provide attendees with a lot of knowledge - and food to take home. And if that has whet your appetite for cooking, J&H Wards Greengrocers on the corner of the high street and Charlotte Rd is open seven days a week and sells loose veg, including stuff that’s fresh and actually ripe.

Can Eat Cafe

Born from the ashes of a food popup, Can Eat Cafe ( is the spot for breakfast, lunch or cake and coffee. The seven-minute eggs with gochujang mayo on toast is endlessly instagrammable but also utterly delicious - actually, everything on their menu is. Cafe Eat’s neighbours Isherwood & Co ( are a

Isherwood & Co

wonderland of indoor plants and whilst you can’t eat them, they do make the best presents, either for your friends or yourself - check out their #brumhouseplantclub on twitter for some great inspiration. And a few doors down is Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse (, an independent Artisan sourdough pizzeria which started off delivering from a mystery location to those in the know before they opened a pizzeria. Whilst technically not a cafe, Artefact ( is a community-focused art gallery and workspace, where you can get a great cup of coffee or a beer whilst enjoying their fantastic programme of free exhibitions, workshops and talks. Look out for their hilarious pub quizzes, as well as gig nights and films viewings too. And of course there are a number of curry houses, check out The Cottage and Akram’s. 053

BREWTOPIA Stirchley is rapidly becoming the beer epicentre of Birmingham. With some of the best places to buy, brew and drink beer, if the amber nectar is your thing, you’ll love Stirchley. The award-winning Stirchley Wines ( is confusingly one of the best places to buy beer in the country (along with the equally confusing named Cotteridge Wines up the road). If you prefer to sit in and enjoy a drink, local tap-house, The Wildcat Tap (, serves cask, keg and bottled / canned beers, and is due to move to bigger premises due to demand. Keep an eye out for Cork & Cage (@corkncage) too, a neighbourhood bar and eatery from part of the team that brought you Clink Beer in Digbeth and The Paper Duck in Harborne.

Birmingham Brewing Company

There’s also a number of breweries that have made a home in Stirchley. Birmingham Brewing Company ( on the Stirchley Trading Estate, who make a range of Brummie beers, including Pale, Bitter and Gold Brummie beer. Originally hailing from Kings Heath, Glasshouse Beer Co (@GlassHouseBeers), have moved to Stirchley, with most of their beers unfined, unfiltered and for the most part vegan. New kids on the block, Attic Brew Co (@atticbrewco) who are brewing up craft beer and a taproom are tantalising close to being open (and they may be by the time you read this). 054

SWIMMING IN COMMUNITY SPIRIT Whilst the Grade II listed Stirchley Baths ( may no longer be open as a swimming pool the centre reopened as a community centre, after an extensive refurbishment, having been closed for almost 30 years. The centre now

Birmingham Bike Foundry

I LIKE TO RIDE MY BICYCLE With all that good food and drink in the area to consume, residents need to be able to work off their excesses and thankfully they’re well served by two excellent bicycle shops. Venture Bikes (, owned and run by Ben Froggatt, trained to the highest level offered by the Association of Cycle Traders, offers friendly and supportive service. Completing a trinity of co-operatives in the area is the Birmingham Bike Foundry (birminghambikefoundry. org), who moved to the area in 2011, and offer cycle maintenance training and a tool club for members to use their workshop. The Bike Foundry also team up with fellow co-operative Loaf for a series of Breakfast Club rides, which combine the best of breakfast and a group rides.

Stirchley Community Market at Stirchley Baths

runs a number of regular events, including a local history group, ladies community choir and exercise classes - check out Another Space Yoga ( classes which take place on Mondays and Thursdays. Perhaps the most well known event at Stirchley Baths, and for good reason, is the Stirchley Community Market (stirchleycommunitymarket., which takes place on the first Tuesday of each month and sees local stallholders selling everything from artwork to cakes, coffee, children’s books and handcrafted bags, macrame and more.


THE REBEL WOMAN’S CLUB IS A NEW, INCLUSIVE AND EMPOWERING PLATFORM GIVING WOMEN THE FREEDOM AND CONFIDENCE TO BE THEMSELVES AND TO LIVE LIFE ON THEIR OWN TERMS. It’s the brainchild of Allison Sadler (co-owner of Kings Heath’s much-loved store The People shop) and off the back of counter-intuitive self-help books like ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’ we’re proud that it is this Brummie who is taking the Bull(ring) by the horns. Why is The Rebel Woman’s Club needed? I started the club because I’ve been mentoring women for years, through my online platforms, workshops and one-to-one sessions and at the core of every conversation is that thing called ‘confidence’ or lack of it. Women every day are struggling to keep up with the pressures of a society that scrutinises us for everything. From the way we look, speak and behave, to how we choose to live our lives. Well TRWC is calling b*llshit on that, we’ve had enough and we want women everywhere to have the confidence to rebel and break free from those oppressive social norms. No rules, just permission to give a few less f*cks. 056

You have called it a ‘platform giving you the freedom & confidence to be fearlessly you’ how do you see this working on a practical level? A platform feels like a positive and uplifting space to help women rise up. We want to empower our members to reach a higher place of self-acceptance and to encourage them to embrace who they really are as individuals. We hope that TRWC will give women the support they need to be brave and fearless together. What or how do you hope people will use the platform? Well, there’s currently no signing up fee or membership cards, so women from ALL walks of life are free to get involved. It’s as easy as following along on the insta account (@therebelwomansclub) and joining in the conversations. This is a place where everyone is welcome regardless of background, race, age, sexuality, culture, size, class and ability. We want to celebrate womanhood of EVERY kind by sharing a diverse and uninhibited body of work and mix of personal stories. And if people really love what we represent, they can buy the Rebel merch and help spread the message too. Your ‘Make it Sewcial’ platform and hashtag was really successful - you’re a bit of an Instagram whizz - what do you put your success down to?

Haha! I love to make people feel included and good about themselves. Social media can often feel like a fickle and cliquey place to hang out. Not where you see my name. I’m all about the loving vibes and community, I treat my followers like good friends, virtual hugs and chat on tap. We all LOVE People Shop and you’ve become a Kings Heath institution - what plans do you have for the store? The People shop, oh yeah, my other business! I’ve been neglecting it a bit lately, to start a mini-revolution. Luckily it’s a family thing, so my husband Christian and son Milo have been taking care of things while I’ve been busy with my new venture. Our bricks and mortar store has been trading for 18 years now, so it’s well established but we have plans to increase our online offering too. We currently only stock a small range of our designs at www. and our customer base is worldwide, so it’s only fair we keep them happy by giving them access to the full collection. 2019 will hopefully be the year this happens. We’re all about giving a few less F*cks - what have you learned to let go of? I give a whole lot less f*cks about the stuff that doesn’t matter, saving my real f*cks for the stuff I’m deeply passionate about and the good things in life that make me happy. 057

GET FESTIVE... BIRMINGHAM’S FRANKFURT CHRISTMAS MARKET 15 Nov-23 Dec Birmingham City Centre Free Christmas can officially start as soon as Birmingham’s popular Frankfurt Christmas Market returns. The market offers a large range of traditional goods and gifts, such as handcrafted decorations, toys, jewellery and more. A selection of tempting food and drink. Pretzels, schnitzels, bratwursts, and roasted almonds will tempt your taste buds, and can be washed down with glühwein, weissbeer, or hot chocolate. COVENTRY’S CRAFT & FLEA 17 Nov, 11am-5pm Coventry Cathedral, Priory Street, CV1 5FB £2 entry all day Filling the cathedral inside and out, it’s the best of the city’s local produce and makers served up with street food and flea market stalls offering vintage and collectables.

PAPERDOLLS MARKET 17 Nov, 11-5pm Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth A contemporary marketplace, carefully curated to bring you a unique and creative shopping experience. Showcasing a diverse and unique hand-picked selection of arts and crafts by UK makers and designers. They also run workshops during the market, as well as a pop-up cake shop and live music.

LUDLOW MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS FAYRE 24-25 Nov, 10am-5pm Ludlow Castle Jesters, entertainers, archery, historical reenactments create a medieval atmosphere for your Christmas shopping. You can buy all sorts of goodies for your christmas stocking at Ludlow Castle Medieval Fayre from over eighty stalls presented by traders from across the UK as well as popular Ludlow traders, all dressed in medieval costumes.

THE PENKRIDGE VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS MARKET 25 Nov, 1pm-7pm Penkridge Market is situated off the A449 in Penkridge, postcode ST19 5AS Free entry 90 stalls selling all kinds of Christmas gifts, food and decorations. Entertainment includes carol singers, Punch & Judy, magic shows, stilt walker, fire juggler, Santa, classic cars, and more. ETSY MADE LOCAL - BIRMINGHAM DIGBETH 30 Nov, 12pm-8pm & 1 Dec, 11am-5pm The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth IDEAS Birmingham are back for their fourth annual Etsy Made Local Event at the newly refurbished Market Hall.

BIRMINGHAM ORIGINALS WINTER MAKERS MARKET 1 Dec, 10am-6pm & 2 Dec, 11am-5pm Banqueting Suite, The Council House, Victoria Square Enjoy locally made artist and designer maker goods to ensure your xmas giving is original and inspiring, as well as INDEPENDENTLY sourced. CHRISTMAS AT HALFPENNY AIRPORT 1, 2 & 8 Dec, 10.30am4pm Halfpenny Antique & Vintage Centre, 27a Halfpenny Green Airport, DY7 5DY Enclosed Individual market stalls in front of the Antique centre with specially selected stalls with a Christmas vibe.

A range of stalls with a broad selection of quality handmade products including ceramics, jewellery, paintings, and craft items. HARBORNE HANDMADE CHRISTMAS MARKET 9 Dec 9, 10am-4pm Moor Pool Hall, 37 The Circle Harborne A showcase of the very best local craftspeople and artisans across 24 craft stalls selling unique handmade products, Lil’s Parlour will be serving hot drinks and delicious cakes from a pop-up tea room.

SANTA’S LITTLE MAKERS MARKET 14 Dec, 5pm-10pm FarGo Village Coventry, Far Gosford Street, CV1 5ED CHRISTMAS ARTS Get some fab MARKET independent gifts for 1 & 2, 8 & 9 Dec, all those hard to buy 11am-5pm for friends and family mac Birmingham, with live performances, Cannon Hill Park delicious street food, Expect jewellery, textiles, mulled wine and 30 woodwork, stationery, of the best designers, gifts and cards in the artists and crafters the city’s top Christmas Midlands have to offer. craft destination. 059


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DIGBETH APRES SKI 7th December 6pm-midnight 8th December 12pm-5pm 8th December 6pm-midnight 9th December 12pm-5pm The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth 10 Early Bird, £12 Standard Tickets:

This year will see the return of numerous bars in an authentic Alpine lodge with beers, wines, spirits, cocktails and Prosecco as well as mulled wine, mulled cider and rum spiked hot chocolates. For food: platters of cheese fondue, artisan breads, cured meats, pickles, smoked sausages, vegetables and potatoes. Throughout the evening there will be a full line-up of entertainment from DJs, and live music from The Heavy Beat Brass Bands. They’ll be a best dressed competition for wishing to don their vintage ski wear, strap on their salopettes and hit the slopes in style. 060


MAGICAL LANTERN FESTIVAL 23 November - 1 January Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Tickets: The Magical Lantern Festival returns to light up the ponds, woodland, gardens and pathways at the Botanical Gardens. The illuminating family show is a celebration of art, heritage and culture. The spectacular display of artistic sculptures features both traditional Chinese and festive-themed Christmas designs. Guests will enter through a giant lantern entrance, before continuing their journey through the mesmerising festival of light and illumination. There will be life size and larger-than-life lanterns in all shapes and forms; from reindeers and Chinese pandas, to a magnificent recreation of a gingerbread house.

WIN a family ticket (for the day of your choice). Just email competitions@ and tell us your name, number and address by the 20th November. T&Cs are at



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01. Black Country by Liz Berry 12. 02. Birmingham Monopoly, BM&G 03. Mug by moorlandpottery. 04. Women Who Dared to Dream, 05. Bird’s Custard Mug from BM&G 06. Desi Pub Book, 07. Ryan Gosling Brooch from 08. The Anomie Review of Contemporary British Painting, from 09. Alright Bab necklace, from Working Clasp (via 10.Tote, providebirmingham. com 11. Print from MadeByMrsM (via 12. BT Tower by 13. City Scape by 14. Concrete Rotunda Sculpture, providebirmingham. com 15. Acme Thunderer Whistle from 16. The Beauty of Birmingham Calendar from 17. Joe Lycett: Parsnips Buttered book from Ikon Gallery 18. Modernist Framed Print from houseofprintsshop (via




Struggling for ideas on what to buy your favourite West Midlander this Christmas? Then here’s some ideas to get you started.





Game of Thrones ltd ed. Johnnie Walker Whisky £34

Baileys Chocolat Luxe £18

Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin £16.50


Personalised Beer Advent Calendar £99.99

Jo Malone, White Moss & Snowdrop £96

Perricone MD Essental FX collection facial skin care, from £79 at

How Not to Wear Black £16.99,

Jeremyville CSA Daily Desktop Calendar 2019, $15


Jo Malone Xmas Ornament £22

Look & See by Anthony Burill £25

‘I Pretend to Work’ by Andy Smith. Ltd ed. of 50. £90

Yankee Candle Holiday Sparkle Advent Calendar £24.99

Kodak Printomatic £89.99




Leather case for iPhone, €49.90

Books by

Corkcicle Canteen £35

Personalised Tea Advent Calendar £49.95

Customised pet cushion £29.99


VENUE DIRECTORY ARENA THEATRE Wulfruna Street, WV1 1SE 01902 321321 @Arena_Theatre ARGENTEA GALLERY 28 St Paul’s Square, Birmingham B3 1RB @argenteagallery BARBER INSTITUTE University of Birmingham, B15 2TS @BarberInstitute BANTOCK HOUSE Museum & Park Finchfield Road, WV3 9LQ uk/visit/bantock/ @BantockHouse BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME Hurst Street 0844 338 5000 @brumhippodrome BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH 066

birminghammuseums. @BM_AG BIRMINGHAM REPERTORY THEATRE Broad St, Birmingham, B1 2EP 0121 236 4455 @BirminghamRep BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL Victoria Square @THSHBirmingham CENTRALA Unit 4 Minerva Works, 158 Fazeley St, B5 5RT @Centrala_Space THE CRAFTS COLLECTIVE 53a Frederick Street, Jewellery Quarter @CraftsThe THE CUSTARD FACTORY Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA @CustardFactory

EASTSIDE PROJECTS 86 Heath Mill Lane, B9 4AR @eprjcts THE ELECTRIC CINEMA 47-49 Station St, Birmingham B5 4DY @ElectricBham GLEE CLUB Hurst Street, B5 4TD @GleeClubBham GRAND UNION Fazeley Street, B5 5RS @grandunionltd HARE & HOUNDS 106 High Street, B14 7JZ @hareandhounds HERBERT Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP 024 7683 2386 @The_Herbert

IKON GALLERY Oozells Square, B1 2HS @ikongallery LIGHT HOUSE MEDIA CENTRE The Chubb Buildings, Fryer St, W-ton WV1 1HT @lighthousemedia MAC BIRMINGHAM Cannon Hill Park @mac_birmingham MEAD GALLERY University of Warwick Gibbet Hill Road, Coventry CV4 7AL

NEW ART GALLERY WALSALL Gallery Square, Walsall, WS2 8LG thenewartgallerywalsall. @NewArtGallery NEWHAMPTON ARTS CENTRE Dunkley St, Wolverhampton WV1 4AN @Newhampton RBSA 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA 0121 236 4353 @rbsagallery

MEDICINE BAKERY (Ikon Off-site) 71 New St, Birmingham B2 4DU @medicinebrum

RSC Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB @TheRSC

THE MOCKINGBIRD The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA mockingbirdcinema. com @mockingbirdcinema

SLADE ROOMS Broad St, Wolverhampton WV1 1HP @wolvescivic

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM Edgbaston Birmingham B15 2TT WOLVERHAMPTON ART GALLERY Lichfield St, WV1 1DU wolverhamptonart. @WolvArtGallery