Page 1


Inside this Month


Hajj 2012 Page 7

Albums, Personalised Poetry and Festive Fair tickets to be won! Pages 3, 8, 18, 22

Swish is coming to Stoke-On-Trent See Page 9 for full information THE HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR

First look at the Christmas lines from Marks and Spencer See Page 27

Birmingham in Style

Check out the pictures from the fashion events on page 30

To Advertise call 0121 250 3535

See Pages 28-29

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The Phoenix–October 2012


New Heights for Kingstanding residents


ew Heights, a community-focussed organisation based in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham, recently ran its ‘strategic planning’ event in a bid to highlight the vital services it offers the residents of the Kingstanding ward, and to establish a means of moving forward. The aim of the organisation is to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged members of the Kingstanding community, and to help bring about social cohesion. In 2003 a group of individuals from Christ the King Parish established the New Heights Community Project, under the guidance of Father Michael White. They recognised the need for change in Kingstanding. Since then, the original idea has significantly taken shape form-

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ing a vital part of community relations in the area. Based at the St Johns Centre, the community project plays facilitator to service providers who offer key provisions in the form of over 30 clubs and groups such as the ‘Silver Surfers’; a group aimed at the elderly to gain IT skills. John McCarthy, the chair of governers at New Heights, accordingly set the theme of the day as ‘helping each other’: “New Heights wishes to help people; that is what we are here for. A lot of people in Kingstanding need our help.” He said. “Last year, up to 40,000 people used a service at New Heights; this demonstrates what an important provision we are to this community”. John Mole, the district support officer for Kingstanding, commended New Heights as a ‘groundbreaking accomplishment’. In an area which is amongst the most deprived in the city, New Heights has stepped up to the mark and accepted the challenge to tackle issues like youth unemployment and anti social behaviour, by working in partnership with organisations like Y.I.P, despite vital funding cuts within the City Council. “Third sector groups like New Heights are what we need in the community” said John Mole “with such drastic cuts in fund-

World famous art comes to Walsall


ing in this district due to the recession, we need to think about what we can do differently and sustainably”. “Local people know what local people need” added Karen Spence, one of the original group of people to recognise the need for a community service in Kingstanding. As an external funding advisor, Karen was also able to provide the service providers present with information about funding opportunities. The answer quite simply is “to work together”. Doreen Mooney, the community development worker at New Heights added, “it is up to us, as local organisations and as a community to come together to ensure we continue to provide this vital service”.

conic works by internationally renowned artist Damien Hirst will be on show at The New Art Gallery Walsall this month. The gallery will be presenting work from Hirst, who became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde, from October 6th for a full year. He is the most prominent artist to have emerged from the British art scene in the 1990s and his influence on the development of contemporary art has been hugely significant, winning the Turner Prize in 1995. The gallery was selected to present the very first year-long display of key works by Hirst as part of ‘Artist Rooms,’ a collection of modern and contemporary art acquired jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland for the nation through the generosity of Anthony d'Offay, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. Councillor Anthony Harris, cabinet member for Leisure and Culture at Walsall Council, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news that Hirst’s work is going to be displayed at The New Art Gallery.

By Thaiba Ishtiaq

The Phoenix

Find your nearest clothes bank

The focus of this Month’s Phoenix is its representation in Greek Mythology dotus of Halicarnassus further explains the Greek myth of the Phoenix to be very much like the Egyptian version of the story. Amongst the differences between the Egyptian and Greek myth is that it was believed that the Phoenix resided in Phoenicia, Lebanon near a cool well. It is said that as the Phoenix would rise at dawn to bathe in the water of the well, the Greek sun god Apollo would stop his chariot to listen the bird’s song. Many Greek historians wrote about the Phoenix and whether or not it was a real creature. Some said it originated in India, others in Arabia, but all agreed that it returned to Heliopolis in Egypt to bury its predecessor after the ritual of bursting into flames and being reborn. The fascination with the immortal bird led to many stories about its origin amongst Greek and subsequently Roman historians. The bird thus became symbolic in religious contexts too…


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he Greek mythology surrounding the Phoenix bird overlaps considerably with the stories from other cultures, however, like all the interpretations, there are slight variations. The word ‘Phoenix’ itself is of Greek origin, meaning the colour purple-red or crimson, referring to the colour of the immortal bird’s feathers. Its physical characteristics resemble a peacock or an eagle, by virtue of its beautiful plumage and feathers. The Greek poet Hesiod was the first to mention the phoenix. In his works ‘The precepts of Chiron’, Hesiod stresses the longevity of the phoenix to be almost 100,000 years! “A chattering crow lives out nine generations of aged men, but a stag’s life is four time a crow’s, and a raven’s life makes three stags old, while the phoenix outlives nine ravens” The Greek researcher Hero-

It really is an opportunity to put the New Art Gallery and Walsall on the map – both nationally and internationally. Art enthusiasts from across the globe will be visiting the exhibition here in Walsall but it also presents a chance for local people here in Walsall to view art which is normally only on display in London.” Sir Jacob Epstein, the artist at the core of the Garman Ryan Collection, like Hirst, attracted controversy throughout his career. Both are now widely regarded as highly inventive and groundbreaking artists who have worked across a wide range of media. The display offers visitors the opportunity to consider Hirst’s practice in depth, whilst providing a contemporary insight into historic works from the gallery’s Collection. The Artist Rooms display will be accompanied by a series of inspired satellite exhibitions and events throughout the course of the year as well as a rich and varied education programme providing opportunities for visitors of all ages with a specific programme set up for children and young people. The Artist Rooms tour is showing at 17 museums and galleries across the UK.

The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 3


Edgbaston 100 for 4 saving lives with Cure Leukaemia

Grow your tenner


irmingham and Black Country Community Foundation (BBCCF) in partnership with, UK’s leading website dedicated to supporting small charities and voluntary groups, launches its ‘Grow Your Tenner’ campaign aimed at generating over a million pounds for community and voluntary groups in England. Localgiving will match up to £10 of every donation made to a community group that is set up on the website, so, when you give a tenner, Localgiving will match it - £10 becomes £20. If you commit to give a regular monthly amount to a local charity, Localgiving will match up to £10 for the first three months. So, as you continue to donate, your local community group/charity will be able to plan ahead knowing funds will be available. And if we all do it, then £10 can very soon turn into £1,000,000!! To sign up email localgiving@ or visit www.bbccf. for more information.

The Festive Gift Fair


head of the NatWest t20 International between England and South Africa, Edgbaston Stadium welcomed a very special guest with Tony de Grey visiting the venue that raised £100,000 for charitable partner Cure Leukaemia, to fund the work that has saved his life. The money raised so far by Edgbaston is the equivalent to the cost of employing four new research nurses for the Cure Leukaemia. Father of three Tony – aged 52 from Quinton – was diagnosed with Acute Myloid Leukaemia and given just days to live in January after he collapsed following dental treatment to have a tooth removed. However, thanks to the work of the charity – which funds research nurses to deliver potentially lifesaving drugs and treatments to patients that they would not normally receive through the NHS – Tony was able to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant and is now recovering. “After being told that I only had days to live, it’s amazing to think that I’m still alive and well today. But Cure Leukaemia is doing some amazing work and just imagine what could be possible for patients in 10 years’ time if it continues to receive such amazing donations,” he said. Tony continued: “Every penny that’s raised for Cure Leukaemia goes directly into saving the lives of patients like me, so I’m eter-

T l Colin Povey, Chief Executive of Edgbaston, with Tony de Grey nally gratefully to Edgbaston for its support for the charity.” Edgbaston’s £100,000 donation has come through ticketing initiatives for this year’s Investec Test Match between England and the West Indies as well as last year’s Test between England and India. Colin Povey, Chief Executive of Edgbaston, said: “Cure Leukaemia is our lead charitable partner and we have been working together since 2005 when Ashley Giles nominated it for his Benefit Year; he subsequently became a patron.

Since becoming an official partner of Edgbaston, several members of the Warwickshire C.C.C. playing and coaching team have taken part in fundraising initiatives for the charity, including Assistant Coach Dougie Brown running the London Marathon, opening batsman Varun Chopra displaying the charity’s logo on his bat, and a group of players and coaches visiting recovering patients in Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital last season.

he Festive Gift Fair, the biggest and best Christmas shopping fair in the Midlands, will be returning to the NEC from 22-25 November, just in time to buy all of your gifts before the big day. As fun as it is to receive presents, half the fun of Christmas is finding the perfect presents to give your loved ones. If you like a lot of choice and particularly like to find something a little different, then this is the Fair for you! The Festive Gift Fair ensures that there are brilliant show offers, fabulous ideas and affordable presents for

everyone. This takes all of the hard work out of present-buying, bringing together a great mix of 325 stalls, brimming over with thousands of clever gifts for all ages and tastes. You’ll see all your favourites as well as over 100 NEW companies at this year’s bumper Fair. The phrase ‘shop til you drop’ doesn’t need to apply at the Fair, as there is a Present Crèche where you are able to leave any purchases to collect when you want to leave, so that you can either continue shopping or stop for a bite to eat. There will even be some great Christmas musical entertainment – from live bands, choirs and brass bands, to enjoy. It’s no wonder this is one of the most popular events at the NEC!


We’ve got 2 pairs of tickets to the Festive Gift Fair to give away, All you need to do is answer this simple question!

Where can you leave your purchases at the fair to collect later? To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer along with your full name, address and telephone number to Competition closes at 23.59 on 25th October 2012.

The first 2 names drawn will get a copy of the album. There is no cash alternative. Winners will be contacted in week commencing 29th October 2012.

Page 4

The Phoenix–October 2012


MoneyGram Ambassador and Cricket Legend Alec Stewart


Paul Harrison of PK Media, Alec Stewart, and the Managing Editor of the Phoenix

eading global money transfer company, MoneyGram International, recently announced their new and exciting campaign to get young people from ‘Classroom to Field’. As the official money Senior Regional Director , Mark Perryman transfer partners of the International Cricket Council, and sponsors of the ICC World Twenty20 2012 International Championship, MoneyGram announced Cricket legend Alec Stewart as the ambassador for the events leading up to the sponsorship. Four schools from across the UK will have the chance to win a once in a lifetime experience of being coached by Alec Stewart at the Oval

Cricket Ground. “Children everywhere look up to their sports heroes in awe, but very few have the opportunity to play with an all-time great,” said Juan Agualimpia, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer, MoneyGram “Cricket fandom begins as a child, and this contest will bring students closer to their dreams of being an England cricketer than they ever thought possible.” The Phoenix was specially invited, courtesy of media tycoon Paul Harrison of PK Media, to be amongst the world media at the Oval press conference, which followed an exclusive coaching session with Stewart and fellow coaches.

Marketing Executive, Sapna Khunkhun

MoneyGram At The Oval The session touched on the basis of cricket playing and was enjoyed by all present, cricket enthusiasts and nonenthusiasts alike. The press conference gave us an insight into the aim behind the campaign which is to support grassroots sports and encourage cohesion within communities. “I’m excited to share my love of cricket through upcoming events sponsored

by MoneyGram across England” said Stewart “I want young people to develop an interest in the sport, and give them the ticket to a professional cricket career”. The application procedure involves the submission of a 500 word essay as to why the school should be chosen as one of the final four, and can be made online at www.

Paul Harrison of PK Media and the Managing Editor of The Phoenix

Lloyd Leon - Former Mayor of Lambeth, the Managing Editor of The Phoenix and Paul Harrison of PK Media

Marketing Director, Richard Levy

The MoneyGram team

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Council says “You’re Hired” to 15 young apprentices


ifteen apprentices have started work with Wolverhampton City Council as part of the drive to create more job opportunities for young people taking on a range of roles from play work to fitness instruction and ICT support to marketing. The council’s Apprenticeship Programme will see 30 young apprentices recruited during each year giving them real life experience of the world of work. Councillor Phil Page, Wolverhampton’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning, said: “I am delighted to welcome the apprentices to the city council. Apprenticeships offer young people a positive first step onto the career ladder and the chance to do a job while gaining nationallyrecognised training and qualifications. These work-based training programmes give employers access to enthusiastic, motivated individuals who are eager to learn the skills that their business really needs. In

return, the apprentice gets practical experience, qualifications and a wage.” The scheme, aimed at 16 to 18-year-olds, offers a one-year fixed term contract at a wage of £150 per week. Tim Westwood, Wolverhampton City Council’s Assistant Director for Schools, Skills and Learning said: “As one of the largest employers in the city, we recognise the business benefits that apprenticeships have to offer and we know that the young people of Wolverhampton are of the right calibre to deliver those benefits. These youngsters are being given a life-changing chance through a scheme that demonstrates our commitment to providing opportunities for young people in a really tangible way. By setting this example, we also hope that we will be able to promote the benefits of apprenticeships to other employers in Wolverhampton.”

The Phoenix–October 2012

Reduce hours not staff says Chamber


usiness leaders welcomed news that unemployment figures have fallen in the West Midlands and applaud the fact that the region has and is outperforming the rest of the UK. Michael Ward, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce said: “Manufacturing, the industrial heritage of the West Midlands, is what is driving West Midland employment opportunities upwards. It is these companies that use a lot of part time workers and recognise the importance of keeping skilled staff by reducing hours. Cutting hours and keeping staff are key to being able to meet new demand and grow quickly when the economy picks up. We are in a fragile and unpredictable economy with a great deal of over-capacity

and we welcome the foresight of businesses which are retaining skilled staff by cutting hours and offering part-time work. During the deep recession of the 1980s, firms were too quick to cut staff. As a result, when the economy picked up, many businesses were unable to meet new demand and grow as quickly as they should have. Reducing hours will keep skilled staff, contacts and experience in-house. Mike Ashton, spokesman for the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce, said: “The West Midlands is well placed to become an engine of growth and job creation in the UK. Our businesses are increasingly export driven and are breaking into emerging markets which is translating into strong growth and job creation at home.”

l Mike Ashton

l Michael Ward


Councillor Phil Page, Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Learning and Councillor Susan Constable, Cabinet Member for Children and Families with apprentice Holly Francis with the other 14 apprentices in the back-


Ammo’s Big Up Birmingham – Blake, Bolt, Billboards, Blogs and Businesses


pic night – epic quote! But what was the wisdom behind the world’s fastest men giving shout-outs to the second city all those months ago? If you saw the clip – you’ll know I’m talking about the post-race interview after the 200m final. The Lightning Bolt had already said his piece and was merging into the background. So it was the Yohan Blake who first let us know he had left his heart in Brum. “I just want to say big-up, Birmingham," spat the Beast, "Birmingham people, you guys took care of us. We have to give you all the respect, Birmingham.” And then Bolt bounced back into shot – “Birmingham people: when we were at camp, they were extremely great to us. They showed us a lot of love and thank you guys.” Two days later, Bolt was giving another big-up Birmingham interview. So what was it we actually did? Most of the props were

going out to Birmingham University, who took special care of the Jamaican team, and even brought in a chef so yard-style food was always on hand. They got some bigger beds in, too – seven footers. But we know that the JA team liked the city’s amenities too: shopping at M&S and watching ‘The Lorax’ on Broad Street. But there was nothing forced, unnatural or in any way political about their words of thanks, which made them so special and unique. In fact, you can’t buy a celebrity endorsement like that. Really. A superstar calls out your name and there’s millions of people all glued to their seats. It’s Madonna dancing the half-time Superbowl show with your name written on their undies. But could this be a game changer for all of us who’ve been working to earn respect for Birmingham from the nation’s media. And how are we going to capitalise on this? How are we planning to monetize a shout-

out? What are the city council doing?– and the arm’s length agencies that exist to promote Birmingham – planning to do this month, and this year, to instil confidence and foster opportunities for Birmingham businesses in the wake of this amazing Olympic windfall? And we have heard a rumours that the city is lobbying members of the Jamaican team to come back to the city of love in October Birmingham’s new leadership must now build on the strength, the business acumen and the goodwill mobilised in 2012 by the Jamaican Community. At the very least there needs to be a permanent annual Caribbean festival, in the city centre, that mirrors the Frankfurt Christmas market. Posters and blogs and words – even ones like these – are all very well up to a point. But it’s time for action. This must be more than just a hashtag!! Ammo Talwar MBE

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The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 7


Hajj 2012


uslims worldwide are travelling to the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia this month to observe the annual Islamic pilgrimage of Hajj. As one of the largest pilgrimages in the world, and one of the most important dates in the Islamic calendar, the Hajj attracts over 3 million Muslims who gather in solidarity and submission to God (Allah). This fifth pillar of Islam must be carried out at least once in the life of every able-bodied Muslim, who can afford to do so. The pilgrim-

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age occurs during the final month of the Islamic calendar; from the 8th – 12th day of Dhu Al Hijjah which translates to mean ‘Possessor of the Pilgrimage’. The ritual of the pilgrimage to Makkah stretches back thousands of years, with elements of the Hajj being present before being officially established as a pillar of Islam through the revelations of Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that the Prophet Abraham was originally ordained and entrusted with the building of the Kaaba (literally ‘The Cube’) in Makkah, around which muslims

perform the important ritual of Tawaf; the act of walking seven times counter-clockwise around the Kaaba. The Hajj and the celebration of Eid ul Adha which follows it, is a time for Muslims to remember and commemorate the trials and triumphs of the Prophet Abraham. One of Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He had shown that

his love for his Lord superseded all others that he would lay down his own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God. Abraham instead sacrificed a ram in place of his son. As part of the many rituals of the Hajj, Muslims also sacrifice an animal, symbolising the mercy God showed to Abraham by having him sacrifice a ram in place of his only son. Eid ul Adha, also known as ‘the greater Eid’, will be celebrated in the UK on Friday 26th October 2012.

By Thaiba Ishtiaq

Page 8

The Phoenix–October 2012



elcome to the new exciting Street Cred Magazine entertainment and lifestyle section to be featured every month in the Phoenix Newspaper. Myself and assistant editor Daniel Riley will bring you the most funky and glamorous news in the Fashion world, weighty news in the music industry and keeping you in the know with what’s

really hot in gadgets. Street Cred brings to you what we see as the in thing. We are very excited about our collaboration with The Phoenix as we are able to reach more readers every month and of course these pages are only a teaser from our 100 page digital edition which you can view online at our website above. SC is always cutting edge bright and devoted to bringing

Check out the newest edition of Street Cred coming soon! Mark Dwayne

positive news to our readers. We also accept editorial contributions and ideas you may have for our section. Street Cred entertainment is one of the biggest and most credible features you will ever find in a newspaper. We are a 15 year established name brand so what we will bring to you will be the very best international news.

On the 110th anniversary of composer Richard Rodger’s birth, EMI Classics was delighted to announce the release of Rodgers & Hammerstein: At The Movies, a new album from world renowned conductor and arranger John Wilson and the John Wilson Orchestra. Rodgers & Hammerstein: At The Movies showcases music from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘big five’; their best loved musicals, including You’ll Never Walk Alone (Carousel), Oh,

Daniel Riley Ian McLaughlin

What A Beautiful Mornin’! (Oklahoma) and I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair (South Pacific), brought to life by soloists Sierra Boggess, Anna-Jane Casey, Joyce DiDonato, Maria Ewing, Julian Ovenden, David Pittsinger, and the Maida Vale Singers.

We’ve got 5 copies of new album to give away, All you need to do is answer this simple question!

Rodgers & Hammerstein: At The Movies is available now, and you can catch live performances through October, including the Symphony Hall on 20th October.

To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer along with your full name, address and telephone number to Competition closes at 23.59 on 25th October 2012.


The album was announced on the 110th anniversary of which composers birth?

The first 5 names drawn will get a copy of the album. There is no cash alternative. Winners will be contacted in week commencing 29th October 2012.

to blaze city in live showcase


-Factor winner, Matt Cardle will be blazing his way into Birmingham, this month, when he will be showcases the hit tunes from his new album, ‘The Fire.’ Matt, who blew away all before him in the 2010 finals, announced his autumn tour dates recently, which includes the Birmingham Institute, on the 21st. Following the success of his debut album, the platinum selling ‘Letters,’ ‘The Fire’ will be his first release since leaving SyCo/Columbia and joining up with the So What Recordings label. “I want my music to sound more raw and edgy,” said an excited Cardle. ”So it was the

right time for me to take more control,” he continued. The album, which Matt co-wrote in London, Toronto and Los Angeles, and also played most of the instruments on, was also produced by the very amiable 29-year-old. He’s made massive waives in the industry, ever since that breathtaking performance of ‘Unfaithful,’ with pop mega-star, Rihanna, in the memorable live finals, something that’s not lost on him: “It was an unbelievable night. To duet with someone as big as Rhianna was breathtaking. I felt like the luckiest man in the world,” he mused. The Fire features ten new songs including lead single 'It's Only Love' and a new interpretation of Roberta Flack classic; 'The

First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.' He’s so looking forward to playing Birmingham again, reminiscing: “It’ll be my third time in Birmingham and it’s definitely one of the best places I’ve played. The crowd here are so receptive and knowledgeable when it comes to music. I know the Institute will be a fantastic ‘blast,’ for everyone. I’m so looking forward to it.” ‘The Fire’ really sees Cardle come into his own. The genuine article. Matt is playing at the HMV Institue in Birmingham on 21st October, and his second album, The Fire goes on sale on 29th October.

By S. Williams

To advertise call 0121 250 3536

The Phoenix–October 2012

The dance company creating a Jamaican mix


he National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica made their mark on the country’s 50thAnniversary of Independence with a stunning performance at Birmingham’s New Alexandra Theatre as part of their stunning nationwide tour. It’s their first time in Britain for some 10 years and how audiences throughout the land showed their full appreciation of their presence here. Described as one of the world’s most innovative dance companies, the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, celebrating their own 50th anniversary, unique blend of traditional Caribbean, Asian, African South American and European influences created an explosive, diverse fusion of dance, which, as they say, represents the history and mix of today’s Jamaican.


October 11 Hot Chip Disclosure 11 Foreign Beggars 12 Ren Harvieu The Sundowners 13 Hugh Cornwell 14 The Midnight Beast 15 Impericon Never Say Die! 15 Bloc Party 15 We Came From Wolves 16 Fearless Vampire Killers 17 Gallows Feed The Rhino 17 The Piratones 18 Newton Faulkner 18 Rick Astley 19 The Jim Jones Revue 20 Manifest Live 20 The Gaslight Anthem 20 The Ex Senators 21 Reverend and the Makers 21 Gaz Coombes 22 Labrinth D’Banj 22 ahab The Hummingbirds 23 Little Comets General Fiasco 23 The Ordeal 24 Bowling for Soup 24 Dog is Dead Beans on Toast 25 Evile + Wolf 25 Space Chris Wallbank And The Cowards 26 The Enemy 26 Dakota Beats 26 Man Without Country 27 Mindless Self Indulgence 27 Euroblast Tour 28 Shinedown Redlight King 29 Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap Tour 30 Tyler Hilton 31 alt-J Stealing Sheep November 02 The Next Big Thing Competition 03 Twin Atlantic 03 3oh!3

BIRMINGHAM HMV INSTITUTE October 11 John Cale 12 Lianne La Havas 12 The Parlotones 14 Turbowolf 17 Trivium 17 Bastille 17 Mark Tremonti 18 Islands 19 Scouting For Girls 20 Down 20 Toy 21 Delilah 21 Matt Cardle 22 NME Next Generation 23 Sparks 24 Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs 25 D.O.T. 26 Owl City 26 Lucy Rose 27 No Lights At Lockdown 27 The Walkmen 27 Halloween 29 Katzenjammer 30 Dry The River November 01 Bat For Lashes 01 Terra Naomi 02 Frank & Walters

Founded in 1962 by Professor Rex Nettleford and Eddie Thomas, the Kingston-based company, made up of volunteer dancers, singers and musicians, has been attracting people of all ages and walks of life all over Jamaica. Director, Barry Moncrieffe, a teacher by profession, has been with the company, since its conception and today, well into his 70s, he’s the very active and agile, guiding light for the present influx of performers which, to date, numbers well into the thirty plus. They’ve just finished a hugely successful UK tour, which took in a packed night at the city’s New Alexandra Theatre, leaving Moncrieffe concluding: “We are very happy, all round, because our aim is to spread the true


October 9th ESO 12 SPiT LiKE THiS 13 Of Mice & Men 19 SHARDBORNE 20 Morgue Orgy 26 A Loss For Words 28 SHY..A Tribute to Steve Harris November 01 Sparzanza 02 Eureka Machines + Drag


October 11 John Cooper Clarke 12 Ex Cathedra: A Time to Dance 13 Catch A Fire 14 Rising Stars 15 Lunchtime Organ Concert Thomas Trotter 17 Tamsin Waley-Cohen plays Mozart 17 Adventures of a Waterboy 19 BBC Big Band: The Atomic Mr Basie 20 Ian Hunter 21 Central England Ensemble 22 China Crisis 30th Anniversary 25 Seth Lakeman in Concert 26 Kevin Bloody Wilson 27 Raymond Froggatt 28 Singalong with Ex Cathedra at Town Hall 29 Lunchtime Organ Concert Thomas Trotter 29 An Evening with Sir Chris Bonington 30 The Old Dance School 31 Halloween Movie Special: Der Golem


October 12 Free Jazz Gigs: Richard Foote and Adam Jackson 12 Katie Melua: Secret Symphony Tour 13 Musical Picnic: Mango Spice 13 Ray Davies 14 Joshua Bell plays Bruch and Beethoven 15 An Evening with Neil Sedaka 16 Joan Rivers 18 Folk for Free: Mellow Peaches 18 An Acoustic Evening with Mary Chapin Carpenter 19 Free Jazz Gigs: John Turville Trio 19 Deacon Blue 20 Mid-day Mantra: Rekesh Chauhan 20 The John Wilson Orchestra 21 RAF in Concert 2012 22 Level 42 24 CBSO Sunlight and Shadows 25 Beyond Classical 25 Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra 26 Free Jazz Gigs: Steve Clayton Blues Band 26 Joan Armatrading 27 Don McLean 28 CBSO Youth Orchestra November 01 CBSO Leonskaja plays Grieg 02 Free Jazz Gigs: Phil Bond Quartet 02 Organ Gala - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

spirit of Jamaica across the world and, subsequently, giving our performers the opportunity to widen their horizons as human beings. This year, with the Olympics and Jamaica’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations, tied in with our own halfcentury made things extra special., especially for me.” A great year, for a great representation of the Caribbean, here’s to the next 50-years of the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica.


October 12-14 Grand Designs Live Birmingham 16-21 The Motorhome and Caravan Show 20-21 The Telegraph CRUISE Show - Birmingham 2012 25-28 Top Gear Live 26-28 British Ski + Board Show 27-28 Dive 2012 28-29 The Independent Retail Show 2012 November 03 Young Driver


October 09 Slash 11-13 John Bishop 18 An Evening with Jeff Stelling and the Sky Sports Presenters 24 Disney On Ice

Page 9



irmingham played host to New York 9-piece band, Red Baraat, as the city’s summer season of musical festivals reached a crescendo at the year’s Mandala showcase. The free outdoor event, a collaboration between Sampad, the Asian arts & dance company and arts & technology company, Seeper, saw the group, a truly multicultural tour de force, bring their own eclectic fusion of Bhangra, rhythms, Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop and full-blown energy for a magical musical performance which lit up Birmingham’s Town Hall exterior. The Brooklyn-based Dhol ‘n’ Brass band were the headline performers on a day of outstanding music, dance and laser-technology, with dhol drummer, Sunny Jain, describing the types of musical influences which has led him and his band to its position as one of the world’s greatest: “Being exposed to music from

Red Baraat wows Mandala showcase

Del La Soul to Miles Davis, Depeche Mode to New Order and fusing it together with the Northern Indian music of Raj Kapur, which was a staple diet as I grew up, was the ideal composition to create our

own style. The line-up of the band was the best wat to represent what we are all about.” Mandala, the fusion of international and Asian music, was directed by Kully Thiarai.

Newton Faulkner


ewton Faulkner is bringing his Write It On Your Skin tour to Birmingham this month. If you’ve not heard the album, it’s a return to the form of Hand Built By Robots, and excels past it. Newton is in Birmingham on October 18th and the album is out now.


October 12 Al Murray (Civic) 12 Young Guns (Wulfrun) 13 Danny Bhoy (Wulfrun) 15 Gordon Smith - Psychic Barber (Wulfrun) 19 Paul Chowdhry (Wulfrun) 19 Organ Concert (Civic) 20 August Burns Red (Wulfrun) 21 UK Wrestling (Wulfrun) 21 Tenacious D (Civic) 23 Lacuna Coil (Wulfrun) 24 Alexei Sayle (Wulfrun) 25 Jim Jefferies (Wulfrun) 25 Alice Cooper’s Halloween Night Of Fear III (Civic) 26 David Essex - The Rock Tour (Civic) 26 John Lee´s Barclay James Harvest (Wulfrun) 27 Vegan Festival (Wulfrun) 27 Vegan Festival (Civic) 30 Dara O Briain Craic Dealer (Civic) November 01 Lostprophets (Civic) 01 Frisky & Mannish (Wulfrun) 02 Sabaton (Wulfrun) 02 60s Gold (Civic) 03 Organ Concert (Civic) 04 Hairy Bikers - Larger Than Live (Civic)



October 11 Terrorvision 12 Field Music 13 Definitely Mightbe 14 Andi Osho 16 The Boy with Tape on his Face 17 Fearless Vampire Killers 18 Lee Hurst 20 A TRIBUTE TO PUNK 21 Jettblack 22 Dingus Khan 24 Daniel Sloss 30 Everytime I Die 31 Pop-Punk Halloween November 01 Totol Foreigner 02 Matt Green 03 Quadrant Park Reunion

CALL FOR GUESTLIST 07947 913 641

Page 10

The Phoenix–October 2012


The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine

BIGScreen Edited by Ian McLaughlin


Preview : Robocop

ast month, Metro-GoldwynMayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ have started production of RoboCop, directed by Jose Padilha. The film stars Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson and Marianne Jean-Baptiste. The screenplay is by Josh Zetumer and Nick Schenk, based on the 1987 motion picture written by Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner. The film will be released August 2013. In RoboCop, the year is 2028 and multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology. Their drones are winning American wars around the globe and now they want to bring this technology to the home front. Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is a loving husband, father

and good cop doing his best to stem the tide of crime and corruption in Detroit. After he is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp utilizes their remarkable science of robotics to save Alex’s life. He returns to the streets of his beloved city with amazing new abilities, but with issues a regular man has never had to face before. Jose Padilha said, “It’s exciting to think that we’re actually gone into production on RoboCop. I have a dream cast and an incredibly creative production team, and we are all supremely dedicated, working together to make a movie that will not only live alongside the first film but also break new ground, be relevant for modern audiences, and stand on its own.”

LOOPER (15) ***** Written and directed by Rian Johnson Starring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt


he best sci-fi movies aren’t defined by their sci-fi elements. Hover cars, cool guns, time travel and other sci-fi tropes are merely used to put a unique spin and visual style on a story with themes universal to almost any genre. And, if it does that by blowing your mind with some cool stuff? Then all the better! Looper is very much in that vein. A time-travelling, sci-fi movie to be sure, ultimately the film features very unexpected, yet welcome, fundamental themes. It almost becomes something that feels out of place in a world of time-travelling assassins and hover bikes which, of course, is exactly the point. This movie hooks you with big action and reels you in for bigger ideas and that’s why Looper is so damn good. The film’s title, Looper, is also a job title in the near future. 2044 to be exact. At that time, time travel has yet to be invented, but it soon will be, and once that happens it will be criminalized. In fact, the only people who use it are organized crime bosses who send their enemies back to 2044 to be killed and disposed of by assassins called Loopers. They’re called that because eventually these killers will likely “close their loop” by killing their older self. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Joe,


a brash young looper living the good life, until the day he’s forced to close his loop. His older self, Bruce Willis, returns to 2044, escapes, and wreaks havoc on Joe’s world, forcing him to question everything he’s seen and believed. That’s all I’ll say about the plot. Looper is unique in that each of its acts could almost be their own short film. The first act sets up the story and includes most everything you’ve seen in the trailer. The second act takes things in an exciting direction featuring brand new time-travel ideas we’ve never seen before, and by the third act, you feel like you’re watching a whole new movie with a different tone and pacing that feels both singular yet completely related and informed by the first two acts. There’s a surprise at every turn. The violence in the film’s action scenes are actually few and far between but make no mistake, this is a drama with action elements, not the other way around. Ultimately we buy that drama

because Johnson doesn’t boggle the mind too much with the idea of time travel. Whenever a character begins to question the logistical loop holes and details of the idea, the inquiry is instantly squashed. That will certainly lead to some healthy debate about several major plot points, but it’s all in service of the story and the characters. Looper is one of my favorite films this year and it lives up to every expectation I’ve had of it. It’s a classic drama in a sci-fi action mold with plenty of each to go around.

and '3:10 to Yuma') is directing this movie from a script by 'The Usual Suspects' writer Christopher McQuarrie, so it could be a real classic in the making and hopefully miles better than the first movie.

The Wolverine is scheduled to be released by 20th Century Fox on July 26, 2013.

First Look : The Wolverine

‘ House At The End Of The Street

House At The End Of The Street (15)** Directed by Mark Tonderai. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue and Max Thieriot.

A mother and daughter move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over.” ‘House At The End Of The Street’ is like an undeclared college freshman. The guy might be fun and make some interesting points in conversation, but he’s still young, confused and unsure of himself. He doesn’t know what major to take or what he wants to be and so he spends most of his first semester attending parties and meeting new people.House at the End Whatever (sorry, this film’s title is terrible) is just like undeclared dude because it’s not a failure but it also never succeeds. It’s inventive in its storytelling and plot points but gravely suffers from both typical horror tropes and overall lack of direction. I’ll be honest, I didn’t sit down to

this movie with high hopes. Every version of the trailer I watched for this film became more confusing and generic. I got a big sense of ‘Hey Teens! You need something to do this weekend so come see this piece of garbage!” In reality, the film’s plot is a little bit clearer than the promotional material made it out to be. Jennifer Lawrence is Elissa, an independent teenager moving with her often-absent mother Sarah (Elisabeth Shue) from Chicago to a much more rural PA. She’s easy to like because she’s normal, self-confident and has a good head on her shoulders. The movie basically follows Elissa and her friendship with an outcast neighbor named Ryan (Max Thieriot) – a slightly older boy that still lives in the empty house where his parents were murdered by his sister. Totally normal. The film surprisingly starts off pretty strong tonally. There is a certain gloss and over-produced style to the story’s exposition that sits well and intrigues. But as House progresses and we are treated to more characters and plot points, the thread of curiosity starts to unravel. While the drive to solve things never left me, the tension did. The movie attempts to

break new ground from scene to scene and in doing so it becomes difficult as a view to understand what they are supposed to feel. The tonal shifts make the movie feel very disjointed, as if an amateur was behind the camera lens. Fortunately for the film, there is still enough speculation from the viewers to keep them invested. I don’t think ‘House At The End Of The Street’ is well made, but I was entertained enough for it’s running time. Besides issues with tone & construction, the movie falls victim to classic horror tropes. Anything fresh or interesting the film has going for it is completely offset by silly choices made by characters. It’s especially noticeable when those decisions completely contradict their previous characterizations. For example, our likable lead is painted to be a curious yet clever individual, but she fails to notice obvious inconsistencies and big ole’ clues when it’s time to GTFO. Too many problems wind up in the movie to make it a solid watch. If this ever pops up on Netflix, well, maybe it’s worth a peek.

The Wolverine’ has had a long and storied production history. It’s had changes of shooting locations, changes of directors, and probably a handful of other stumbling blocks. But work on the film has finally been underway for a while now, and some real progress is being made. So, how does it look? It looks like what one would expect. It’s long been understood that this new Wolverine adventure will take the character to the land of the rising sun and this first pic features Hugh Jackman looking jacked, sporting Wolverine’s adamantium claws and scruffy facial hair, and standing in front of an out-of-focus shrine that looks vaguely Eastern religion-y. That pretty much nails the whole checklist for advertising a Wolverine in Japan movie. Intended to be the sixth installment in the X-Men film series and a stand-alone sequel to the 2009 film ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Jackman is once again starring as the iconic Marvel Comics character. The story is based on the famous 1982 limited series ‘Wolverine’ by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, that features Logan, the eternal warrior and outsider, in Japan. There, samurai steel will clash with adamantium claw as Logan confronts a mysterious figure from his past in an epic battle that will leave him forever changed. Director James Mangold (who did a stellar job on 'Walk the Line'

The Phoenix–October 2012


The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine SPARKLE (15) ** Directed by Salim Akil Starring Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter


reaking into the entertainment business can be a very difficult thing to accomplish these days. You have to have desire, faith and the right connections. Four or five decades ago, breaking into the entertainment industry was probably even harder. That’s because you needed all of those things that I mentioned, but you also needed a little something called talent. In the movie Sparkle, three girls think they have talent to go out and succeed. Now all they have to do is get their foot in the door. Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Dolores (Tika Sumpter) are sisters who all share the aspiration of making it into the world of music. Whether it’s going out to do small gigs, sneaking out of the house to perform or finding revealing (for that time) outfits for their lead singer to wear, they’ll do whatever it takes to make it to the big time. They’ve even met a manager (Derek Luke) who’s willing to take them on. He’s only an upstart, but he has that desire to succeed. He also has the desire to get with one of the three lovely young ladies. All of this sounds good to everyone except the overbearing and controlling mother of the three girls. She wants none of this and plans

on keeping her daughters away from a lifestyle and profession that she’s weary of. She keeps a watchful eye on them with the hopes of making sure they don’t follow their dreams of becoming singers. What she doesn’t know is that these women are dead set on their goal and it will be difficult to stop them, especially if they manage to keep most of it a secret from her. I guess you can look at Whitney Houston’s role as being a inhibitor of sorts to the plans that some of these people have, but I wouldn’t call her a villain. If anyone can be classified as a villain in Sparkle, it would be Satin, the character played by Mike Epps. Satin is a comedian who’s essentially an Uncle Tom. He earns his wealth from making disparaging and disrespectful remarks about Black people in his comedy routines that are geared specifically toward entertaining a White audience. He has no issue selling out his people and making them look stupid for a buck. He’s not well liked by many of the people in the film, because of this and a few of his other nasty habits.


Epps is asked to put this on display, but he’s also asked to do other things as well. He’s asked to be funny on some occasions and highly negative in others. There are even enough scenes where he’s asked to do both at the same time. In my opinion, he was probably the best performer in the film and I never thought of him having this kind of range. He plays Satin as someone who is classless on his own and a complete buzz kill when he’s around others. His performance is great here and he certainly added a large hunk of the entertainment for me in this particular film.

Maybe not me, but most of the people who are going to see Sparkle are probably going to see it because of the singing and the music. There’s plenty of both here and it’s consistently a part of the film from beginning to end. It shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say that most of it is really good and easy on the ears. That’s because you have people like Jordin Sparks, Cee Lo Green and the late musical great Whitney Houston bursting out into song over the course of the film. The rest of the film is hit or miss at times in my eyes. It starts off getting everything set as the audience

Page 11

is being introduced to the characters and the stories that make the movie Sparkle. The chance to watch this beautiful trio of sisters develop into this girl group and seeing all that goes with it is entertaining and might be the part of the story that I enjoyed the most. That’s nice to watch, but everything hits a bit of a lull somewhere after all that needs to be established is established. That’s primarily due to the script resorting to cliché after cliché when attempting to create some of the heavy and more dramatic sequences for this musical drama. It’s noticeable and at least for me, it cheapens the movie a bit. Whether it’s the mother being against the girls singing or certain characters finding love or whatever, there were already enough clichés to go around and I don’t think they needed anymore. Sparkle was moving in a positive direction at this point and just keeping it somewhat on the same path would have worked best in my opinion. After the film’s journey through a host of clichés, it does pick up again and stabilizes to an extent. It’s

not as funny as it was before and it’s not as entertaining as a whole, but it does show improvements. In general, there’s nothing that’s really that bad in this movie. Even Jordin Sparks’ acting wasn’t as bad as I thought it could have been. She was wooden at times, but she was solid overall, especially since this is her first feature length film. If she continues to work at it, I’m sure she’ll continue to get better. I can see her (and Sumpter for that matter) succeeding if she wants to continue her young career in acting. She already has the looks, she just needs a little more polish. I was originally going to skip this movie altogether, because I really didn’t want to watch another movie about Black people singing. A lot of us are good at it and I respect that, but I just want to see Black films diversify more and expand into other aspects of life. We’re a talented people and we’ve shown that over the years in other walks of life, but for some reason, we can’t grow and develop in the world of film. Hopefully that changes sooner or later. As far as Sparkle is concerned, this is not entirely geared toward me anyway. It’s mainly geared toward Black women, people who love movies about music and fans of a legendary singer who just want to see, hear and witness her very last performance. If you fit into any of these categories, you won’t be disappointed and there’s no reason not to check it out. Sparkle probably offers most of what you’re looking for.

Page 12

The Phoenix–October 2012


The Cosmopolitan Cutting Edge Entertainment Magazine A,)22,3.),?&A*R2&S&'4F4J)+&9& :T<=<<& M2/4N%M2**F%O%9-7+'>2*%(-:F/@)% ,+';-@%3-7%/90-@*J/9-(%& Make some serious shapes with the Nanodot Magnets. These small balls of magnetic force can be constructed to make any shape your imagination can conjure. £29.99


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For further information, please contact: or call 020 7234 9150 !"#$%

With three competitions running last month, the competitions inbox was bombarded with entries for the great prizes on offer! We gave away vouchers for manicures at Mint, Birmingham International Tattoo tickets, and packs of Dizolve. Congratulations to the winners: Dizolve Competition

Mint Competition

CALL FOR GUESTLIST 07947 913 641

Jennifer Hughes (Birmingham) Naomi Cunningham (Birmingham) Amanda Sykes (Wiltshire) Jacky Jackson (Birmingham) Neesha Ubhi (Birmingham

Laura Jones (Ledbury) Tim Leakey (St Leonards On Sea) Nicola Jones (Norfolk) Leah Finch (Shropshire) Charles Gilbert (Derbyshire) Emily Hutchinson (North Yorkshire) Arabella Bazley (Waterlooville) Lesley Ann Doodnath (London) Angela Bugden (Birmingham) Antonio Sola (London)

Birmingham Military Tattoo Competition

Anthony Pearson (Birmingham) Andy Morris (Birmingham) Jacky Jackson (Birmingham)

The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 13


Number of British Diabetes sufferers hit 2.9million


recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that 2.9 million Britons have Type 2 diabetes, 24,000 die from it every year and the cost to the NHS is a staggering £11.9 billion a year. The study, funded by The Wellcome Trust and British Heart Foundation, stated that "The key (to managing obesity and in turn preventing Type 2 diabetes) is prevention, early intervention and treatment". The NHS' solution to our "toxic" lifestyle is to recommend a physically active lifestyle and


toptober, the first ever mass quit attempt for smokers has been launched today by Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies. The innovative campaign comes as smoking remains the biggest killer in England with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from smoking related diseases.

a healthy diet, low in fat with plenty of green vegetables. However, Andrew West founder of the Obsidian Health Retreat, which specialises in weight loss and the reversal of Type 2 diabetes says that huge savings could be made to the NHS if doctors, rather than prescribe medication alone, provided patients with a structured plant-based diet to follow which is proven to reverse the condition. West said, "Diabetes is primarily a dietary condition. If you clean up your diet with lots of high nutritious meals and juices,lots of water and gentle exercise you don't need medication. The medication

is for the food they are eating, it is not for the condition they have been diagnosed with. I am a firm believer that there are thousands of people out there who are simply medicating their food!" The typical diet in the UK today is high in fat, animal products and sugary foods and low in complex carbohydrates. This is contributing not only to high levels of obesity but is increasing the risk of diabetes and associated complications, such as heart disease and raised cholesterol.

Stoptober which started on October 1 and is backed by Cancer Research UK and British Heart Foundation is the first 28 day quit attempt of its kind to encourage the nation’s eight million smokers to make the step towards a smokefree future. Smokers will receive support and encouragement through TV and radio advertising campaigns plus a daily messaging service

and roadshows around the Birmingham and the West Midlands. The professor said: “Smoking is still the biggest cause of premature death in England, taking more than 100,000 lives in the UK every year. This is the first time we have launched a mass quit attempt like Stoptober. I would encourage people who want to quit to get involved.”


ear it pink in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign, Britain’s biggest, pinkest fundraising day, returns on Friday 26 October and this year the event celebrates its 10th anniversary! Breast Cancer Campaign be-

lieves that everyone who joins the fight is a superhero – from those affected by breast cancer to our scientists and fundraisers. In 2011, hundreds of thousands of supporters from across the UK and Ireland got together, pulled on something pink and raised more than £2.2 million to fund research into breast cancer.

Rebecca Stone, Senior wear it pink Manager says: “Sadly, one in eight women will face their own battle against breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s why we need everyone to join in this year, wear it pink and raise as much as possible – because together we have the power to be part of the cure.” Breast Cancer Campaign has set its sights on raising £2 million, which will take the total raised by wear it pink, to a whopping £25 million! This year Vanish is joining the fight against breast cancer, and wants to celebrate the extraordinary things ordinary people do for each other every day. Nominate the superhero in your life at and give them the chance to win an amazing weekend for two full of pampering and luxury in London. Save the day by wearing pink to work, to school, or at home. Register and find out more by visiting

Get Smart For Hearts with Alfa Romeo charity pocket squares Alfa Romeo has launched a new campaign in aid of Heart Research UK, encouraging the fashion conscious to 'Get Smart For Hearts' by wearing one of six specially designed pocket squares in the fight against heart disease. With design contributions from people like Dragons Den’s Peter Jones CBE and long jumper Chris Tomlinson, together with fashion label PPQ and 2012 Alfa Romeo Young Designer of the Year Janine Clark, the limited edition handmade silk, Italian designed pocket squares cost just £14.99. The fashion accessory à la mode has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity thanks to the likes of dapper Brit style icons such as actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith, plus musician Tinie Tempah. Major fashion labels including Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes and Louis Vuitton have all produced pocket squares as part of their recent collections. Just 6,000 Alfa Romeo pocket squares are available online in participating Alfa Romeo showrooms. "This is a great project to be part of and I'm delighted with how my

design has turned out. They are beautifully made, stylish, sophisticated and benefit a fantastic charity. So show some heart for this great causes," says Peter Jones. Damien Dally, Head of Brand, Alfa Romeo UK says: "Alfa's

strap-line is 'Without heart, we would be mere machines,' a poignant message for this campaign. We're delighted to support Heart Research UK's important cause, so ‘Get Smart’ and wear a pocket square with pride this year."

Are you looking for a business opportunity, or looking for Mary Kay products to purchase? Call Mary on 07834 517 097

Page 14

The Phoenix–October 2012


Uplands Auto Centre


plands Auto Centre is more than just a garage. Established 10 years ago in 2002, the motor centre was based at Oxhill Road in Handsworth, but has since relocated to larger premises in Hospital Street, Newtown. It was in 2006, when owners Kenneth Ivey and Derek Wilson jointly won the 3B ‘Business Excellence’ Award for ‘Best Businessman of the Year’. The achievement resulted in them wanting to give something back to the community, which has sup-

ported their business venture over the years. “We began joining various community organisations” says Ken “we joined The Descendants to help spread health awareness amongst the ethnic communities of Birmingham, working closely with the Jamaican Diaspora group”. Realising the support needed for young people, particularly in the black community, Ken founded G2P; Gateway to Potential, to mould the youth into budding entrepreneurs. “The youth of today should

be thinking business. They should get together, exchange ideas and move forward. They must invest in themselves.” He added. 5 years ago the duo at Uplands also began to give back to the senior citizens of the community. Partnering with other Birmingham businesses to establish the BBCI; Black Business Community Initiative (featured in The Phoenix September edition), has created that all important link between the younger and older generations, to ‘make a tangible difference in the community’. The elders are

l Athelston Sealey OBE, Kenneth Ivey, Derek Wilson and Bishop Derek Webley MBE. the key to the future of the youth, and, according to Ken; “there is so much to learn from them”. But the vision doesn’t just end there. Ken tells of his ‘weird and wonderful’ idea to build a primary school in Jeffrey Town, St. Mary, Jamaica “I want to sow back to our roots too, and give those children a chance at a better education”. In 2010, Ken himself was awarded the Council of Black-led Churches’ ‘Life

Changing Leadership’ award for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and has since continued to work to make a difference to the lives of the youth in the community. As Jamaica celebrated its 50th anniversary and Olympic fever gripped the nation, Uplands was also part of the team that brought the Jamaican athletics team to train in Birmingham, helping to merge these two great events of the year. “This year has embraced

the true meaning of community. The Jamaican community, and the Birmingham community as a whole, has come together to do such positive things. The feeling throughout has been one of success with a feel good factor that our youth has so much potential and so much to offer this beautiful city” reflected Ken “ we as a people have showcased diversity to its fullest form”.

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Page 16

The Phoenix–October 2012


African Cultural Awareness Day By Thaiba Ishtiaq


s part of the annual African Cultural Awareness Week, the Birmingham Ungano African Club, Kingstanding (BUACK) organised a free event for all to attend in Kingstanding’s St. Johns Centre, hosted by the New Heights community project. BUACK was founded to support the needs of the local community. As African immigrants began populating the area, networking and supporting families became key factors of integration. Professor Harry Matley from Birmingham City University was a special guest of honour and key note speaker at the event. Also in attendance was Councillor Anita Ward, the deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, and MP Jack Dromey. The dignitaries and upstanding members of the community were given honorary traditional African ‘Chief’ titles and awards for their hard work and support. The awards involved the presenting of a fly switch, a necklace, and a bracelet made from beads of African origin, along with a signed framed certificate.

Men, women and children dressed in brightly coloured clothes, reflecting the diversity of their African heritage, were present to enjoy the day. Background music was supplied by a DJ with musicians also playing live instruments throughout the proceedings. A dance group of dancers then performed a unique show, captivating the audience with rhythmic moves, punctuated with beats from the drums. Elders placed money on each dancer allowing it to fall on the floor as part of the ritual of this dance. After the formal ceremonies were complete, all were invited to taste a range of African food. With appetites subdued the audience continued with networking with the fellow guests. The fact that Birmingham has a rich diverse cultural population that is consistently increasing reflects the need for all to embrace and engage with each other, integration is key to successful communities, something which Birmingham has achieved in abundance.

Message from Sir Albert Bore

"Birmingham City Council is proud to support Black History Month, a month that celebrates the accomplishments, struggles and contributions of Britain’s Black communities to society.

"It is important that Birmingham, as a multi-cultural city,

celebrates its renowned diversity with communal events that include everyone in society." Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council

The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 17





INCE it opened its doors, in 2008, some of the greatest names in music have been through the doors of Unit 6 and with a reputation for creating the tightest, highest quality production that it does; it’s understandable why the big names in the industry decide to use them.

“Nothing but the best use here,” says bullish co-founder Managing Director and chief engineer, Senesi. “At Unit 6, we concern our time to the elite, people who are as committed to their art as we are to them. We package bands for the big festivals and carnivals in Britain and abroad.”

the city.”

A who’s who of reggae history has used Unit 6 Production, from Musical Youth-the very first band to use the studios in Digbeth, the queens of British Lovers Rock, Janet Kay and Carol Thompson, international stars like Dennis Bovel, Macca B, Barry Biggs,Vivien Jones and Steel Pulse legend, Amlak Tafari, plus other bands like the Naturalites and present stable stalwarts, Abelwell Foundation, Friendly Fire and Emmanuelites (they insist that they wouldn’t use anywhere else).

London-born Sensi is passionate about Birmingham and passionate about Unit 6, which he set up with business partner, Bertram Worrell: “We started this business in 2008 to put Birmingham back at the top of the world for reggae. The passion for that will always remain, especially as Bertram sadly passed away within that first year.

LA Productions, an offshoot of Unit 6, put on shows to predominantly headline the studio’s bands, but to also provide a platform for other acts looking for that window of opportunity.

Our aim was always to centralize and organize the music scene in Birmingham. In his memory Unit 6 is the central hub for the vast variety of music we have in

Prime example of that, is all-round musical outfit, Twist and the rise to prominence of another of the bands on the Unit 6 Productions rota, rock band, Playback, who are making a big name for themselves on the scene.

One of which being ‘The Magic of Old Skool Classics’ showcase, at the city’s Drum Arts Centre, which honoured some of the soul, Mowtown and reggae legends whose chart-topping hits had the world singing and dancing for the past five decades.

Sensi, a former member of Birmingham reggae band, Just Us, is a man of today, with an eye on the future. He’s in the process of expanding the studio facilities to cater for the new generation of Birmingham’s musical heritage, allowing bands and individuals space to rehearse full shows, which often include full-on dance routines. Creating a legacy for the next generation, he’s approaching the likes of Topps Tiles and B&Q to sponsor the refurbishment. Unit 6 Productions is the number one music studio for number one productions. The biggest names in the industry will vouch for that.

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The Phoenix–October 2012


Abelwell is creating the right Foundation


ince the turn of this century they’ve been the biggest sound to come out of the West Midlands, make no mistake. Abelwell Foundation have been producing beautifully crafted sounds that have wowed a massive and loyal following throughout the length and breadth of Britain. Outlining and defining their cultural and spiritual experiences through their music, they have, to date, crafted two of the finest reggae albums fusing their individual love of roots, ska, steppers, jazz and lovers rock in a way that is distinctively Abelwell. Hailing from Wolverhampton and Birmingham, the band comprises of five musicians and two vocalists, with Toppa G, Peter Vibe and ESterling the name stay of the band

since its formation. They’ve taken their gospel inspired music to a level that gives you articulated lyrics to complement the perfectly crafted harmonies that’s just a dream to listen to. The guys have played some of the biggest shows and events on the UK calendar, from playing Glastonbury to appearing on stage with

legendary reggae star, Beres Hammond. They already boast a list of major venues at which they have performed and international stars

they’ve toured with, the likes of which will give you good enough reason to put them up there as one of the country’s biggest band only because: “We live for our music,” says lead vocalist, Toppa-G. Abelwell Foundation’s second album, ‘Fine Incense,’ is out now, propagating the message of love for all regardless of race colour and

gender. They’ve drawn the attention of the likes of Radio1 DJs, Trevor Nelson and Chris Goldfinger who, respectively, describe their sound as authentic and appealing to everybody: “Their sound is one that appeals to a wide audience,” said an enthused Nelson, with Goldfinger adding: “Their vibe is authentic Their summer highlight included

appearing at the Jamaican 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Wolverhampton’s Weston Park as well as the massive Reggae Sunsplash showcase, in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Abelwell Foundation has long taken the reggae world by storm and there’s no stopping them any time soon.


Abelwell Foundation have kindly given us copies of their album to give away to 10 lucky readers! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to answer this question:

Which two cities do the members of Abelwell Foundation come from?

Track One

To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer along with your full name, address and telephone number to Competition closes at 23.59 on 25th October 2012. The first 10 names drawn will get a copy of the album. There is no cash alternative. Winners will be contacted in week commencing 29th October 2012.

Look out for Simeon, music’s next ‘Big Thing’


Kaya Who’s at Unit 6

Reggae Divas Twizt

ighly commended for its creative level of production, Unit 6 Productions is as mindful of the hugely skilled workforce behind the glass twiddling the knobs and flicking the switches as they are of the great levels of the bands who make the music and the reputations. Noted for giving youth a chance, one of the br i g h t e s t sparks at the tight-nit production company is 22-year-old Simeon. A fast-learning sound engineer, for the past 6-years he has been taking on as many aspects of the music business as he possibly could and whilst doing so accumulated a level of musical knowledge

that would leave some in the industry very envious indeed. “Music is my heartbeat,” says an enthusiastic Simeon and as such, will do just about whatever it takes for him to gather as much as it takes to cover every angle of music. He understudies for The Emmanulites’ keyboardist, Vinny-T and is also learning to play the guitar. With his skills on the ‘ivories’ established and still developing, the ever evolving musical wiz-kid is also keen to keep ‘real music’ alive by connecting with as many people as possible and keeping hold of what he calls ‘natural music;’ “Music is the gateway to the

soul, so I want to express its power by showcasing just how great it is to play an instrument. It separates real music from the too much fraud that’s out there.” Simeon is a facilitator, musical genius and a role-mode, especially to child and young person looking to create their own mark in an industry which is always looking for that next, unique, big thing. For Simeon, in particular and Unit 6 Productions, in general, it’s their raisin d’être.

The Phoenix–October 2012



ike a phoenix rising from the ashes, Playback is a Rock and Blues band based in Birmingham at Unit 6 Productions in Digbeth. Initially formed around 2004, the group bounced back after some difficult times to form a band of five members including Michael Watts on bass guitar, Mickey King on drums & percussion, Tony Hart on vocals and harmonica, and Panagiotis Andrikopoulos (Panos) and Pat Plains on guitar. As one of the founding members of the band, Michael learnt to play bass at the age of 17, heavily influenced by music from the early 1970s. Like the other band members, he has never received any formal music training. After rehearsing with a band in the 1980s, Michael met with guitarist Colin Stewart who was to become the mastermind behind the original formation of Playback. The duo took to their separate ways over the years with Michael continuing with other bands and Colin pursuing his interest in Falconry. It all changed after 2000, when Colin suggested that they form a band of their own. “Colin phoned me and wondered if I would be interested in starting a band” says Michael, “I told him “No way!” This was because the last band I was in; we all fell out, and I decided at that point that I was NEVER going to play in a band again. Been there got the

T shirt etc.” “It took Colin four years to change my mind!” he added. And so it began, in Colin’s garden shed, along with the other band members; Tony and Mickey and also Alan Higgins on the guitar. After a year or two of having to lug all their music gear to local venues to rehearse, the band began to use the excellent facilities at Unit 6. Sensi, of Unit 6 Productions, became a voice of calm and guidance for the group “Sensi’s opinions carry a lot of weight with all of us. We think of him of the sixth member of the band” says Michael. For the following six years the line up remained the same, continuing the ethos of playing for fun .In 2008 however, Colin was unfortunately diagnosed with stomach cancer. After an eighteen month battle he passed away leaving his devastated group of friends with an uncertain future for the band. Although it was decided that Colin’s wish would be for the band to continue, Alan decided to call it a day, and for a while it seemed like the band had come to an end. The various auditions and disappointments encountered during the attempts to bring the band back on the scene made it seem like it was all over, until Michael found an advert for a guitarist. With his impressive previous form, Panagiotis Andrikopoulos, or Panos as he is known, fitted

Page 19


into the band perfectly. He was quickly followed by Pat Plains to fill the other slot on the guitar. Playback was once again officially on the scene. Over the past 8 years, the band has donated their time for free to raise well over £25,000 for charities. Most recently, they helped raise £11,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Acorn’s Hospice and Warwickshire Air Ambu-

lance as part of ‘Party in the Barn’ “The Party in the Barn event was so successful that we are planning a mini festival with the organisers in a couple of years, so watch this space!” says Michael “We are also back to gigging now and we always have a good time. We all agree that when it stops being fun that is when we stop doing it!”

The band would like to pay tribute to their bandmate and friend, Colin Stewart. RIP

Live Band

Page 20

The Phoenix–October 2012


< < < < <

Musical Youth as you might remember them! <<<<<<< And as they are now!

Musical Youth

“This Generation Rules the nation with version”


he year was 1982 and with these triumphant words, five school kids from Birmingham named Dennis, Michael, Kelvin, Patrick and Junior launched themselves on an unsuspecting public and into pop and reggae history as ‘Pass the Dutchie’ surged to number 1 in the UK within two weeks of release and went on to sell over 5 million copies around the world. ‘Pass the Dutchie’ even went as far as reaching the Billboard 100 topping out at number 10 in the US chart, becoming reggae music’s first top 10 hit in that country. For the next three years the hits kept on coming as the boys brought reggae out of the ghettos and into pop mainstream with

singles like ‘The Youth of Today’, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’, ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘007’, ‘Tell Me Why’, and ‘Sixteen’ as well as two albums The Youth of Today’ and ‘Different Style’. They toured throughout the world, exchanging numbers with Michael Jackson, and Motown legend Stevie Wonder wrote a song especially for them, Irene Carra (Flashdance) and Jody Wotley (Shalamar) both sang on Sixteen, whilst also duetting with Latoya Jackson. The band went on to record a fantastic song, ‘Unconditional Love’, with disco diva Donna Summer and also headlined at the world famous Montreaux Jazz Festival and Reggae Sunsplash. Indeed, Musical Youth became the symbol of achievement, hope and pride for many other youths of all ages, creeds, nationalities and colour around the world as their com-

Roots, rock, reggae; The Emmanuel-ites are leading lights


ormerly known as the Israel Movement, Birmingham reggae band Emmanuel-ites has been keeping the spirit of roots, rock and reggae alive and kicking to their huge band of loyal fans and supporters, plus an ever growing number of new followers, both here and abroad. Based at the Unit 6 Productions studio in Birmingham, the group, under both guises, have been touring and performing since the 1980’s and all these years on, like other top, well renowned bands, has shown the kind of love of their craft and determination to keep their message alive and shared with as many people as they can possible come in contact with. The Emmanuel-ites have been touring festivals and concert

tours at the likes of Glastonbury and W.O.M.A.D festivals plus countries like Spain, Holland, France and Morocco. The band-lead guitarist/vocalist, Alos Dread, Skippa Ranking drummer and vocalist, Fada Don on bass, rhythm guitarist and lead singer, Mellow Moves and Vinnie-T on keyboard-have gone the original route to the top of their craft, touring Europe in the old, traditional transit van, busking throughout as they did. They recently supported the legendary Skattalites, one of the first bands that the great Bob Marley supported, at the O2 Academy and are looking forward to some great things in the very near future. You’d do well to catch The Emmanuel-ites for that original feel of roots, rock and reggae.

bined talent and hard work reaped its reward and won them respect, culminating in being nominated for a Grammy award as best newcomers in 1984. 2012 represents 30 years since the release of ‘Pass The Dutchie’ and Musical Youth is now a duo in the form of Dennis Seaton (Vocals) and Michael Grant (Keyboards). They plan to celebrate this milestone with the release of a new album entitled ‘When Reggae Was King’ a collection of reggae songs, which inspired their generation and is also a celebration of reggae music throughout the world. Dennis and Michael are looking forward to seeing all Musical Youth fans around the globe to celebrate the immortal words of ‘Pass The Dutchie’

“This Generation Rules the nation with version”

Call Now To book your session at Unit 6 Productions! Contact Sensi 07943129922 or email sweetsensemilia@

The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 21


Acknowledging Birmingham’s Senior Citizens


n this month of Black history, it’s the acknowledgement of senior citizens, especially those of African and Caribbean dissent, who hold the keys to the best way for all communities to move forward with a better understanding of self and each other.

Having made massive contributions to shaping the city and country of today, for well over 50-years, the impact they have made on everyday life, in work, rest and play, deserves, in no uncertain terms, to be recognised, by all communities and generations hence. By laying foundations

for fields such as business, medicine, education, catering, sports and others, it is vitally important to highlight the ‘doors’ which they opened-sometime break down- to make life so much easier to live today. With the BBCI (Black Business Community Initiative) a leading light in

acknowledging their appreciation of the contribution today’s senior citizens made in their own lives, in their own way, a simple ‘thank you’ is all they need, in any individual’s own way, especially in this, Black History Month.

Page 22

The Phoenix–October 2012


Colin Babb : They Gave The Crowd Plenty Fun They Gave The Crowd Plenty Fun is an articulate study of the impact of West Indies cricket on people of Caribbean origin in Britain. The Empire Windrush sailed from Jamaica to Britain in 1948, and with it brought 400 Caribbean migrants in search of a new future. Author Colin Babb describes himself as a ‘BBC’; a British Born Caribbean. Having lived in Balham and Tooting all his life, the former radio and online content producer and journalist for the BBC, reflects on the social impact that cricket has had on British Caribbean communities since

A new forecast means a bright future for Weatherman Alex

l (L-R) Luciano, Bongo and close friend Father Blue.

Father Bongo is so proud


ATHER BONGO! Everybody who’s anybody knows him, because, wherever you are, north, south, east, or west, with the fountain of knowledge he so regularly exudes, he’s the go-to guy for the pearls of wisdom and advice whether it be the regular man or woman in the street, or some of the biggest stars about. For him, Black History Month is an acknowledgement of the in-


tegral part he and his generation made to society in Birmingham and the West Midlands. At 78-years-old he’s seen enough, especially during his 40 or so years here, to guide any an aspiring individual to the greatest heights: “I’ve seen many changes here in Britain, and it’s great to see many people of a younger generation, reap the rewards of the seeds my generation set,” he said. “A lot of people have learned from what

we went through,” he continued. Jamaican-born Bongo is proud of what he’s achieved and the connections and relationships he’s developed, with all the city’s communities, over the years. He’s mindful of what his history means to him and the importance of sharing it with as many people as possible. He says: “We have to learn of our history, to then be able to move forward and learn the history of others.”

ply the public with unique personalised poems for their loved ones “I have always been good at writing poems, but never took it seriously until recently” says Dave. ‘Just Divine’ has been set up to help Dave branch out with his skills. The name; inspired by Dave’s 12 year old daughter Jaydei, refers to the type of service Dave supplies from his home in Great Barr. Each poem so uniquely put together is ‘just divine’ for your nearest and dearest. From special occasions such as birthdays and weddings to poems recognising the hard work of an employee; Dave personalises fun rhymes to suit everyone. Just bullet point 4-5 things about the special person, pick a paper design and coloured frame to suit, and submit the enquiry form online. With a quick turnaround of 48 hours, you can’t go wrong, even with last minute gifts! It isn’t all about fun and rhymes though. Dave has a vision to use his talent to help others in the community too. He hopes to organise workshops for young children

with behavioural problems, giving them the platform to express themselves in a positive way. In addition to the work he hopes to do within the community, Dave has recently been asked by All Saints Home Care to accompany visits to the elderly senior citizens n the area, and give them a chance to partake in creating their own pieces of poetry. Orders for Just Divine can be made via www.4realpromotions. or by calling Dave on 07896787235.

Just Divine

hidden talent is something which should always be pursued to the fullest. Whether it is singing, dancing, acting, or writing, the talent you have been blessed with is something you should utilise and share amongst those around you. Dave Wilkes, director of 4 Real Promotions; a supplier of limousine and music management services, harbours a hidden natural talent that he has finally decided to pursue. Writing poetry from as long as 15 years ago, Dave is now taking this life-long hobby to the next stage, using his skills to sup-

the West Indian cricket team first beat England at Lords in 1950. The win, for cricket fans and non cricket fans alike, provided a source of self-esteem, confidence, and a key opportunity to express a sense of collective identity. Colin traces the history of the relationship between cricket and the Caribbean Diaspora in a thoughtful, warm and understanding approach. The links between West Indian cricket, migration, identity and presence in Britain is something Colin explores in depth, focusing on key personalities and events that helped shape the face of cricket in a social context.


Dave has offered to write 3 personalised framed poems for The Phoenix readers! All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is to answer this question:

Who is the name “Just Divine” inspired by? To be in with a chance of winning, email your answer along with your full name, address and telephone number to Competition closes at 23.59 on 25th October 2012. The first 3 names drawn will get a copy of the album. There is no cash alternative. Winners will be contacted in week commencing 29th October 2012.


ne of the bright new faces bringing some sunshine into our colder and drearier days is ITV Weather forecaster, Alex Beresford. Formerly with ITV West, you can see the 32-year-old regularly getting the nation into gear for the day(s) ahead, after the national news. As well as that, with the nation already taking him to their hearts, he also appeared occasionally on ITV Breakfast programme, Daybreak. Alex also runs a Diversity School Tour Project where he visits inner city schools to talk about media

careers. He was also chosen for the National Black Role Model Programme which was launched by fellow Labour MP, Hazel Blears. He also donated a toy truck to the Evening Post Christmas Toy Appeal, saying: "It is important that every child has something to open on Christmas Day, big or small and I think helping this appeal is very important this year. If people can afford to, they should donate." With the days getting ever cold and the nights even more so, Alex Beresford is the one inspirational, shining light to keep the nation ward, literally and metaphorically.

l Alex Beresford presenting the ITV Weather

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Page 24

The Phoenix–October 2012


Walsall College launches dream careers events


alsall College has launched a series of careers evenings to help prospective students currently considering their options, find the right career path to suit them. The first careers event is taking place on Monday 8th October, from 6.30-8pm at the college’s Wisemore Campus, and will focus on how to get into the hair and beauty industry. The evening will feature talks from leading industry figures including Frank Dellicompagni, founder of Francesco Group, one of the largest, award winning hairdressing companies in the UK. The guest speakers will also be on hand to answer questions from students and there will be an opportunity to take part in have-a-go activities to gain a real insight into the industry. This event will be followed by an evening focusing on careers in

the ICT and Science sectors on Monday 15th October. The college will also be holding a series of events for careers in sectors including health and social care, construction, creative arts, sport, travel, business, hospitality, public services and automotive, on Monday evenings from 6.30-8pm between November and February. Director of Student Journey at Walsall College, June Morrow said: “Students are faced with a difficult decision when they leave school, as choosing which course to enrol on also means they are deciding which career they want to pursue. With the reduction of independent careers advisors in schools, students now have less information to help them with this important decision. “These free events are a fantas-

tic opportunity and have been designed to help prospective students interested in enrolling on a course, find out which careers it could lead to. Students and parents can gain a first-hand understanding about an industry and the career opportunities available from an expert in the field, before making the decision if it’s the right route for them. The events are aimed at Year 11 pupils considering their post GCSE options, but anyone looking for a change in careers is also welcome to attend. For more information about the careers evenings or to book your place, please call 01922 688852 or email

Infuse 360 CIC

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nfuse 360 CIC is a non profit community organisation dedicated to supporting primary and secondary school pupils to attain higher grades in education. Although the pilot project began two years ago, Infuse 360 ran its first summer school programme at Broadway School and Community Centre, Perry Barr, in 2012. The programme was a huge success with 370 children funded by Broadway School and Community Centre to attend the classes, further highlighting the need for such an initiative within the local area. Humayun Ahmed, a Business and ICT teacher and founder of Infuse 360, recognised the need for improvement in education, all around Birmingham, where many students require extra support “The students we work with are often special needs and learning English as a second language. We work very closely with them.” he says. Humayun himself has worked with young people throughout his career, from teaching at Broadway School and Community Centre to undertaking youth work in the local area; he has the true dedication of someone wanting to help turn lives around for the better. Infuse 360 is his way of supporting the new generation to achieve their

potential. The Broadway Tuition Centre is just one product of Infuse 360. Based at Broadway School and Community Centre, 4 qualified teachers, male and female, work with groups of no more than 6 students. Each student is individually assessed and then taught depending on their particular needs. The smaller groups guarantee 1-2-1 interaction, so that any weaknesses identified in assessment can be worked upon. Students have found the sessions extremely helpful, something which is apparent in the increasing improvement of school grades for many of them. The majority have reported an improvement of two levels or grades as well as an overall progress in attainment.

Tuition takes students on a gradual journey from recognising their weaknesses to learning how to counteract them. Infuse 360 is there to help them on this journey, and equip them with the ability to accomplish what they need to improve their grades. Humayun is hoping to expand the services to include sports projects involving coaching in different sports, adult education, mentoring and youth work. As with Broadway School and Community Centre, it is hoped that the programme will be able to similarly ‘infuse’ into other schools and educational establishments. At the moment, classes are available on weekends only. The project at Broadway School and Community Centre is funded solely by the community it serves, who pay an affordable fee £25 for weekend sessions of 2 hours per day, which helps to cover costs of resources and rent. “As a non-profit organisation and a Community Interest Company, we make no profit and receive no additional funding to help run the classes. Any support from organisations or individuals will therefore be greatly appreciated” adds Humayun “we are here to support our community and the youth”.

The Phoenix–October 2012

Page 25


Experience Rio Carnival like never before


ne of the world’s wildest and most famous celebrations, the Rio Carnival is fast approaching, which means it’s time that the whole of Brazil stops doing everything just to dance and enjoy life. All starting on Friday and ends on Ash Wednesday, in most of the cities, it is easy to find parties and music all day and night. While Carnival is celebrated throughout the country-all with their individual local flavor-the experience in Rio is still unparalleled.

The music and energy of Carnival in Rio are contagious, with the famous parades happening in a place called Sambadrome, lasting a full three days. The Sambadrome, a wide avenue with stadium seats placed on each of its sidewalks, allows the best samba schools in Rio de Janeiro to parade and show off the best of what they have to offer. All of the parades begin at night, going on, continuously, until dawn, with each school having one hour into the parade to impress the judges. And, because of that, each

year is more exuberant than the last. Watching from the grandstands or cabins, everyone gets a good view of the entertainment in front of them. You can describe the samba schools like football teams, in that they train all year long and since it is a competition, they set out to win. A spectacle of music and colour, pretty much most who visit the Rio Carnival make an effort to return.

London Hilton Hotel


oasting stunning views of London from all guest rooms, the only hotel in London to offer this, the London Hilton on Park Lane is famed for its unparalleled five star luxury and prestigious location on Park Lane. Soaring high above the city streets in the heart of Mayfair, the hotel is close to all that London has to offer, whether it’s musicals and theatres or world famous landmarks like Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. With 453 spacious guest rooms, including 56 suites, there is something to suit every taste. All executive rooms and suites offer executive lounge access with complimentary food and beverage served throughout the day. Connecting rooms are guaranteed when requested, perfect for families and friends. The Grand Ballroom, one of the largest in London, hosts as many as 1,250 guests, while the 8 meeting rooms on the 4th floor are ideal for smaller meetings for up to 50 guests. Their five bars and restaurants remain destinations in themselves, offering something for every taste. Enjoy 360° views of the city from the 28th floor, Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows restaurant. Sample the famous Chocolate Afternoon Tea in Podium, enjoy cocktails in POP Bar, experience island life at Trader Vic’s or spend a stylish evening in the hotel’s nightclub, Whisky Mist at Zeta.

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Page 26

The Phoenix–October 2012


Coventry University students Peace help rejuvenate schools in Jordan Building


ourteen Coventry University students recently took part in a once in a lifetime trip to help improve one of Jordan’s most deprived schools. The Majid AlSadi Changing Lives Programme involved enterprising students working to rejuvenate the physical, educational and cultural experience for the Jordanian children. The programme has been fully funded by Dr Majid AlSadi, Chairman and CEO of investment company Eastern Holding and one of Coventry University highest achieving alumnus. During an action packed week, the students who were chosen from a broad range of courses, worked in Makhraba Community School in Jordan’s second city, Irbid. They delivered workshops in art and craft; the promotion of democracy; sports and exercise; and music. In addition to this, the group also improved the general appearance of the school by painting classrooms and enhancing the exterior with fresh imagery. Dr Majid AlSadi said: “I am a great believer in all aspects of education and in providing life changing opportunities to young people. In a sense we are helping to put a smile on the faces of both children and their parents. We are fostering hope among the students to further their education and to


Y l Coventry University student Louise de Pinna and a young Jordanian school child improve economic conditions and quality of life for the community as a whole”. Disaster reconstruction and development student, Venetia Smith said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to make a positive difference to children’s lives and I feel really privileged to have been part of such an important initiative. There are many children across the world who do not have access to education like we do in the UK. During my time in Jordan I helped to create a safe, creative and inspiring learning environment. I also shared my experiences with the children and showed them that anything is possible - that they can achieve their dreams.”

The Majid AlSadi Changing Lives Programme is a partnership between Coventry University, Eastern Holding and Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s initiative ’Madrasati’, which aims to improve public schools across Jordan. The students were also lucky enough to meet the Queen, who personally thanked them for their contribution and support. People like Dr AlSadi are keen to give back to the University and support the next generation of students through philanthropy. This particular project also brings with it the chance to create a profound legacy by improving the lives of the children of Jordan.

outh can play a crucial role in positively transforming conflict situations and contribute in building peaceful societies; This was the crux of a workshop on peace building for youth, jointly organised by Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Pakistan, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) and DANIDA International. Acknowledging youth as agents of peace, the speakers at the workshop emphasised upon involving and partnering with young people for positive change, rather than considering them as a problem, aggressors or victims during the conflicts. Titled “Young Leaders For Peace”, the 5-day training workshop held in Islamabad provided an opportunity for young community leaders coming from 25 districts of Pakistan, to discuss understand, and reflect upon the issues of extremism, conflicts, intolerance and peace building in Pakistan. The workshop imparted knowledge of consensus building and dialogue skills to youth and encouraged them to analyse conflicts

l Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI. in their respective communities, identify potential solutions and develop joint action plans. Participants of the workshop would later be facilitated to work closely with local leaders and decision makers to implement local initiatives to build peace in their communities. Speaking at the concluding session, Ammara Durrani, Country Director, SFCG Pakistan highlighted the importance of dialogue: “Every positive social change depends upon our dialogue with self and with each other. Dialogue based on respect and reconciliation and is the most effective to transform and resolve conflict.” “Peace is all about understanding each other’s perceptions and one of the purpose of this training was to build synergies and understand

each other’s perceptions,” concluded Dr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI.

The Phoenix–October 2012

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he Phoenix was invited down to London to attend a Christmas Press Show. But this wasn’t just any Christmas show, it was a Marks and Spencer Christmas show!

Although it was the beginning of October, and we didn’t feel particularly christmassy just yet, our hosts certainly made sure we felt it by the time we left. Marks and Spencer had most of their Christmas selection on show, across all of their departments. They have a fantastic range of Christmas party food, including a list of their top 10 Food Innovations. We were fortunate to try a number of their canapés, which as per usual for M&S, were truly scrumptious.

Kidswear & Toys

To accompany our finger food, we were treated to cocktails, the tastiest of which was a Rhubarb and Custard cocktail, containing Rhubarb Vodka, Lemon Curd Liqour and Cream Soda. All of which will be on sale in Marks and Spencer together for recreating at home!

Fashion & Beauty

The gifts and decorations were beautiful, and reasonably priced, ensuring M&S will have their fair share of the Christmas shopping market. Mens, Womens and Kidswear was all on display, providing a tantalising glimpse into the Autumn/ Winter and Christmas lines on offer at the store. A huge thanks to Marks and Spencer for inviting us to their show, and if this is what “an M&S Christmas” is, then we can’t wait to sample more of it!


Decorations & Gifts Food, Drink & Hampers

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The Phoenix–October 2012


Hotel General Manager Maria Camacho, Sales Executive, Matthew Bond and F&B Manager, Franklyn D’Costa

Hotel General Manager Maria Camacho

The Phoenix goes to The Marriott

T Sales Executive Matthew Bond and Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing, Sara Nurse

Mr and Mrs Surinder Jakhu from

he Phoenix was recently invited to sample the delights of Birmingham’s Marriott Hotel. Located in the heart of the city at Five Ways, this majestic building provides 4 star luxury accommodation, in addition to being one of the only hotels in the West Midlands offering full leisure and conference facilities to both guests and non-guests alike. Friendly hotel staff were present to greet us at the foyer, promptly offering us refreshments as we waited to be escorted to the West 12 Bar and Grill. The hotel’s general manager Maria Camacho, Cluster Director of Sales & Marketing Sara Nurse and Sales Executive Matthew Bond outlined the evening’s events as an array of colourful cocktails was lined up before us. A chef came out to greet us with a selection of canapés, talking us through the ingredients used in each recipe. We were then taken on a tour of the hotel. The basement of the hotel houses the leisure facilities complete with a heated swimming

pool and whirlpool, a steam room, a fitness centre and the West 12 Health and Beauty Salon. The five floors hold 104 luxury guest rooms complete with luxury designer bedding, en-suite bathrooms, hair drying and ironing facilities, a mini bar, and a laptop safe. The décor is a blend of fresh natural colours, creating a soothing ambience throughout the hotel. Natural daylight pours through the floor to ceiling windows adding to the remarkably peaceful and quiet atmosphere, despite the building being surrounded by the busy city centre routes. Each guest room also had a trio of individually hand-decorated cupcakes laid out for the prospective guest, as a welcome to the hotel. Flat screen TVs are available in all the rooms along with highspeed internet and Wi-Fi availability throughout the building. The onsite parking facilities are an additional bonus. The next stage of our tour took us into an example of the Marriott’s conference and meeting facilities.

The largest room available seats up to 90 and can also be booked for private functions and weddings. A retractable screen complete with projector and IT ports caters for the Marriott’s corporate clients’ business needs. A display of fresh flowers, fruit, and canapés adorned the side tables. A different corporate menu is prepared each day to ensure that guests get a variety of refreshments over the course of their stay. The evening followed with a spectacular variety of freshly prepared dishes from the Marriott’s dining menu. The head chef introduced each dish to us with great passion taking us on a journey from sourcing the ingredients to presentation. Steak, fish, duck, chicken, and vegetarian options were all on offer for each of us to sample. As we finished eating to our fill, we were invited to another room and were pleasantly surprised with a beautiful display of different brews and towers of open sandwiches, pastries, cakes and scones. This was a chance for us to sample Marriott’s new addition to the

menu; Afternoon Tea! Somewhere along the line, we let slip that our Managing Editor was celebrating her birthday. In the style of truly hospitable hosts, Marriott staff presented us with a bottle of champagne and a cake worded ‘Happy Birthday’ in piped icing, much to the surprise and delight of our group. Impeccably demonstrated was the fact that the staff of the Marriott worked closely together as a team, taking care to ensure that their guests were comfortable and their needs met with great attention to detail. Going that extra mile counts and makes a huge difference, especially with the strong competition and recession still biting. One thing is for sure though, once you experience the Marriott you will want to go back! A major player in global hospitality, Birmingham Marriott has a gift for making their guests truly welcome and special. The Marriott is currently taking bookings for Christmas with a 15% discount if you book before the end of October.

The Phoenix–October 2012

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he internationally renowned Marriott chain of hotels has led the way in the hospitality industry for over 80 years. Marriott International has 17 brands and over 3,700 properties in 73 countries worldwide. Whilst remaining true to fundamental values, Marriott paves the way for innovation and excellence in the business of hospitality. As it grows globally, it reaches out to different cultural communities and includes the diversity of the world in its ethos. The founder of Marriott International, J.W Marriott, first went into business for himself at the age of 13, raising lettuce on a few acres of farm at his family home in Utah. He continued to prove himself throughout his adolescent years. However, it was in 1927, after working his way through college, that he secured the A&W root beer franchise and opened the nine-stool root beer stand in Washington, D.C. In the very same year he married Alice Sheets, his partner in both life and business. The tiny root beer stand subsequently

evolved into the ‘Hot Shoppes’ restaurant chain. For the next 58 years, until his death in 1985, J.W Marriott built and expanded the Marriott brand on a foundation of guiding principles that remain embedded in the company’s culture today. J. W Marriott‘s original goal for his business was “good food and good service at a fair price”, something which the expanding Marriott has always adhered to. Another keystone of the company’s culture is the quality of customer service; "Take care of your employees and they'll take care of your customers" advised J.W Marriott consistently, voicing a deeply held belief which remains a keystone of Marriott International’s success. Marriott International sets the bar for the hospitality industry, with a portfolio that is the most powerful in the world. The strength to succeed lies in Marriott’s unique heritage. From the small nine-stool beer stand to an international chain of brands, the core values remain the same: put people first, pursue excellence, embrace change, act with integrity, and serve the world.

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The Phoenix–October 2012



utumn fashion allows one to try different glamorous trends and who best to introduce the various styles to the Birmingham Fashionistas than the not-for-profit organisation called Retail Birmingham. They are the organisers of Style Birmingham Live and have been organising quality fashion shows for the past four years. The industry style catwalk show returned this year with a brand new host; the newly wedded actress and singer Martine McCutcheon. This year’s show which was held on the 29th of September at The Mailbox had overwhelming support from a variety of the city’s top designers. The event was aimed at showcasing the latest autumn winter collections and styles. With shows running intermittently from 10.00am to 5pm there was no chance to miss this one of a kind style celebration. Retail Birmingham has made it a tradition to not only bring fresh fashion styles every year but to also promote the various fun spots in Birmingham, highlighting places people can go to shop and have fun. The show was fashion packed as there was a lot of shopping inspira-

tion for the 250,000 shoppers that trooped into the city centre with numerous offers in store. Joining the models on the catwalk was Team GB’s Olympic Gold Medallist Greg Rutherford. He made his debut appearance by opening the Harvey Nichols ‘Hide and Chic’ Scene. Models wearing designs from Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Christian Lou-

boutin, and more followed him on the catwalk. Other themes included ‘Country Days’, ‘City Nights’ and ‘Very Berry’ by House of Fraser, ‘Heritage’ by M & S, ‘Drama & Decadence’ by The Mailbox and ‘Japanese Oriental Florals’ by the Bullring. Selfridges was not left out of the line up as models show-

cased designs under the ‘Futuristic Glamour’ theme. Following the catwalk scenes, celebrity stylist Bradley Taylor was on hand for the audience to enjoy a style Question and Answer session on how to work the looks featured on the catwalk show. The audience were treated to a time out with Olympian Greg Rutherford to meet, greet and take pictures with. VIP ticket holders were also treated to a complimentary drink at the Harvey Nichols bar at the venue. There were also goody bags for the visitors and style presentations at the Birmingham House of Fraser store. The day was not just about the catwalk. The audience also had the chance to take part in the Mailbox ‘Style Search’. All visitors in the Mailbox had their pictures taken by professional photographers to find the most stylish person!

Lydia Bright hosts the magical AW12 fashion show at Bullring


he 29th of September 2012 was a fantastic day for fashion lovers as Lydia Bright hosted The Show: Enchanted on the ground floor of the Iconic Bullring. As you would have anticipated thousands of shoppers were packed in the mall to watch the free show which showcased the very core Autumn Winter collections from shops like Bank, Monsoon, Next, Warehouse, Topman, River Island and a lot of other brands that surrounds the gigantic shopping mall. The Show took the audience on a fairy tale journey of the season’s latest trends like Brocade, regal purples, lace, faux fur and leather.

The show also pointed out the fact that shoppers can get featured trend in the shops in the Bullring. A total of eight models brought to life the various trends for the season with themes like Twilight Goth style which focused on lace, leather, faux fur and feathers. Another very fascinating theme on the day was the Power Quest look which was favoured by Victoria Beckham and it featured strong tailoring and panelling. The whole day was so much fun and a great eye opener for the shoppers present as they learnt about how they can work various trendy looks for this season without looking gloomy and less fashionable. The event which was a two day showcase also allowed visitors to take advantage of the various exclusive offers and discounts in the mall’s shops

and restaurants. The modelled trends and pieces were also available in stores to ensure shoppers get involved in the season and they embrace the latest trends. Lydia Bright who only appeared on the 29th had so much fun with the crowd and she had this to say about her whole experience. “It’s been such an exciting day at Bullring and I’ve loved being a part of the Show: Enchanted. Birmingham has so much to offer in terms of fashion and shopping and after seeing all AW12 trends I can’t wait to hit the shops”. The Show: Enchanted did cast a spell of autumn winter on every one present including yours truly. I must say it was so needed by the city and the event was totally magical. Here are some pictures of what went down.


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The Phoenix–October 2012


FACE OF Face of COLOUR Colour : Afro Hair & Beauty


reating a buzz in Birmingham, Face of Colour is here to get people to communicate through fashion!

Established in 2004, the organisation is dedicated to raising the profile of models from multicultural backgrounds, providing educational opportunities as well as maintaining a representation of upcoming talent. Using fashion as a much needed communication tool, owner Bianca Newton organises events and exhibitions, mentors young talent, and creates promotion opportunities for those wanting exposure in the fashion industry. This month, Face of Colour is bringing the renowned Afro Hair and Beauty Expo to Birmingham. In celebration of Black History Month, the event will draw people from all over the country. Featuring hair and beauty industry related workshops and seminars, as well as exhibitors exhibiting products from across the globe, the expo is set to “put Birmingham on the fashion map’” says Bianca. Fashion shows, showcasing the latest work of Birmingham and London based designers, from African prints to European wear, will be displayed along the catwalk by none other than Face of Colour’s very own models. Providing a platform for these models to show just what they are capable of is what Face of Colour is all about, “there isn’t a platform, particularly in Birmingham, for models of

colour to showcase their talent” adds Bianca “Events like this one provide that much needed exposure”. As part of the expo, Face of colour will be running competitions for best hairstyle/stylist, in addition to the final of the Face of Colour Beauty Pageant. Local bands will perform live music alongside dancing groups, guaranteeing a day of entertainment for all. The event will be a great

opportunity for professionals and the general public alike to experience the best of the hair, beauty and fashion industry. Its coinciding with Black History Month means it will also be a celebration of the fabulous diversity of cultures we have here in the Midlands, and also a chance to ‘enjoy the natural beauty of mankind’, regardless of colour, as the motto of Face of Colour is so fittingly articulated - ‘Beauty has no colour’.

The event will take place at The Public in West Bromwich on 13th October 2012. Fashion and hair shows will take place from 10am till 6pm, with the Face of Colour Beauty Pageant at 7pm till 11pm. Followed by an after-party. Contact Bianca on either 07447511964 or email her at For more information:



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The Phoenix–October 2012



‘Get On’ 2 Wheels

he Motorcycle Industry’s national Get On campaign brought its Free Ride Road Show to Dudley recently. Get On ‘On The Road’ was at The Merry Hill Shopping Centre where visitors enjoyed a completely free introductory session on a motorbike, before receiving all the expert advice needed to understand the benefits of life on two wheels. The Phoenix reporters were on the scene for first hand experience of life on two wheels! Get On is a nationwide campaign set up by the Motorcycle Industry Association in 2009 to highlight all


Mel Nixon and Gary Bagshaw

the advantages of motorcycling. In the current climate of increasing fuel and road tax prices, high insurance premiums for younger drivers, heavily congested roads and increased environmental concern, riding a motorcycle or scooter offers a very real solution. On a 125cc motorcycle, riders can benefit from 150+mpg fuel economy and pay just £16 a year for road tax. Insurance premiums for younger riders are often less than half those for a car and many manufacturers offer discounted rates for new bike buyers too. And for the price of a 5 year old second hand car, you could easily buy a brand new 125cc bike or scooter with a three year manufacturer backed warranty. Other benefits include quicker journey times, reduced delays, and generally much lower CO2 emissions than the average car. Chris Knowles was there to greet us at the ‘Get On’ stand in Merry Hill: “We are taking people who have never ridden before and giving them a safe place to try it out” says Chris “we team up with motorcycle manufacturers and training schools to get more people on bikes. The campaign in Dudley is supported by StreetBike in Mucklow Hill” To date over 70,000 people have taken advantage of a free session, with approximately 80% of those

going on to complete further training. Olympic legend Dame Kelly Holmes and ex England Cricketing hero Darren Gough are just two of the many famous personalities to have been introduced to biking through a Get On free ride. Qualified instructors Gary Bagshaw and Mel Nixon were on hand on the day, ensuring a safe, but fun-filled hour long session! We were fitted out with all the necessary safety gear and briefed. Once we learnt about how to use the gears and throttle, we were on our bikes! Despite the rain, the campaign at Merry Hill attracted a fair few people; some had never ridden before, others just needed a little more

training. All in all the rain didn’t dampen spirits, and we all left with a thorough sense of enjoyment and feeling of accomplishment after trying something we had never done before! The friendly instructors make you feel completely comfortable, adjusting each one-to-one session to an individual’s abilities to ensure you get the most out of your session. Don’t worry if you have missed the chance at Merry Hill, you can claim your free hour at your nearest training centre online at; you will not be disappointed!


On yer bike! The Phoenix’s Thaiba Ishtiaq (above) and Max Marriott (left) had a go.

The Stig to star in Epic Grudge Matches


series of epic ‘Grudge Matches’ will provide fans with some memorable edge-of-the-seat entertainment as cars compete head-to-head during this month’s four-day Top Gear Live extravaganza at the NEC, Birmingham (25-28 October). The Grudge Match action forms an integral part of the thrilling Track Performance, one of three major attractions at Top Gear Live. It is staged alongside the Arena Show – basically a live version of Top Gear hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May but with the added excitement of stunts and special effects plus an interactive Exhibition featuring a host of familiar props from the Top Gear studio. Grudge Matches will kick off with a duel between former F1 driver Tiff Needell and the legendary Stig, Top Gear’s tame racing driver. When the dust settles, Needell will join fellow TV motoring show presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson to co-host the on-going show which will feature a host of regular BBC Top Gear favourites and an impressive line-up of A-list stars all driving the ‘Reasonably Priced Car’. After the dramatic opening shoot-out a series of other Grudges Matches will follow. The cream of the world’s latest generation of hot hatchbacks will be pitched into battles –competing pocket rockets include the new Vauxhall Astra VXR, Ford Focus ST, VW Golf GTI 35, RenaultSport Megane 265

Cup; Skoda Fabia vRS and the Citroen DS3 Racing. As television viewers will know, the Citroen is a confirmed Top Gear champion and was whizzed around the Monte Carlo Grand Prix track by Jeremy Clarkson. The crowd pleasing Japspeed Drift Team returns for another of these Grudge Matches with former Boyzone star Shane Lynch taking on the newly crowned British Drift Champion Paul Smith. A mouth-watering selection of rally cars will be recreating many of the sport’s Grudge Matches from the 1990s, an era when British champions Colin McRae and Richard Burns ruled the world. Flame-spitting turbo cars confirmed include Escort Cosworths, Subaru Legacies and Imprezas, Toyota Corollas and Lancia Integrales. “Last year we introduced a longer in-door track to allow us to brew up some faster and more dramatic action. Now we’ve made the track slightly wider so, for the very first time, we can set up these side-byside Grudge Matches,” explained Jim Wiseman, Top Gear Live

Track Producer. “The Stig will set the scene taking on Tiff – not a man who likes to be beaten – and what follows will be every bit as spectacular with lots more massive reputations at stake.” Other highlights of the Track Performance are power laps by The Stig in supercars, a special half-car race plus an elimination race between a grid of two-third scale NASCAR racers where the last car across the finishing line the at the end of every lap is knocked out until there’s only one winner left standing. “The elimination cycle races during the Omnium at the Olympics were a real hit and now we’re going to generate the same kind of fun and games, only this time with cars,” continued Wiseman. “Adding to the frenzy, all the cars will be painted in special liveries to rev up support among the crowds. We’re not saying exactly what these colours will be just yet but the idea is to get everyone involved and cheering for their own particular favourite.”

The Phoenix–October 2012

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Villa hero running for charity in Bupa Half Marathon

T Here’s to Warwickshire - County Champions


HERE is no more beautiful place in world cricket than New Road, Worcester, on a lovely sunny day and yesterday it provided the perfect setting for a day which Warwickshire’s coaches, players and supporters will long remember. Worcestershire’s idyllic New Road ground proved the apt venue for local rivals, Warwickshire, as they secured cricket’s championship title last month. For the Bears, the picturesque surroundings augured perfectly well to pick up a trophy that was

much-missed from their cabinet. For the home side, it was a bit to ‘stomach,’ though sporting they remained throughout, as their neighbours’ deservedly basked in celebrating their first title in eight years. Captain at Edgbaston, Jim Troughton, was quick to flag up the back-room set-up, especially Director of Cricket Ashley Giles and Bowling Coach, Graeme Welch, saying: “It was about everybody pulling together in the same direction, that’s us on the field, Ash, who dragged us up by the bootlaces when we were at our

lowest ebb and ‘Pop’ Welch, who has been brilliant with the bowlers ever since he took them under his wings. He has the knack of seeing potential in young lads and making them into championship.” Despite Warwickshire losing to Hampshire in the CB40 Finals, at Lords, shortly after, there’s no taking away from the tumultuous season the team have had which is credit to each and every one of the staff at Edgbaston. Here’s to a great season, Warwickshire County Cricket Club.

HIS MONTH will find out who is the fittest and fastest in the business when18,000 runners taking part in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run. Among those taking part in this year’s half marathon on October 21 will include former Aston Villa and England star, Mark Walters. The former Holte End hero will be pounding the streets and pavements of the second city as he goes all out to raise much-needed monies for one of the major charities that he supports; Sickle Cell Anaemia. Although very much conscientiously fit, the ex-Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers man has made sure he’s up to the task ahead, saying: “Sickle Cell is a very debilitating disease which touches the lives of many people throughout the world and I’m doing my very best in helping to put an eventual stop to it.this is a challenge for me, but, if a challenge doesn’t frighten you you’re not thinking big enough. For the Bupa half marathon I’m ‘frightened.’ Mindful of seeing the effect of sickle cell anaemia, I’m doing my best to help the charity.” A total of 18,000 runners are taking part in the half marathon and Jamie Still, race director of event organiser Nova, said: “The

l Former Villa star Mark Walters during his time at Villa response rate this year has been better than ever because 2012 has definitely been the year of sport for the UK. “If there is anyone else wishing to sign up, then now is the time. We are urging people not to leave it too late, as they may be disappointed.” The 48-year-old Walters, an FA coach, is still looking for your pledges to support such a worthy cause and you can still do that by login onto www. to pledge as much as you can.

For Mark, he’s looking for the overwhelming level of support he received from the Holte End, during Villa’s halcyon cup-winning glory days of the 1980s and 90s.









Four week9:00am trial starts Saturday 3rd November, Four week trial starts Saturday 3rd November, Four week trial9:00am starts Saturday 3rd November, 9:00am

If interested call Paul on: If interested call Paul on: If interested call Paul on: 0121 523 7260 or 0788 1420121 0375523 7260 or 0788 142 0375 0121 523 7260 or 0788 142 0375 35 Nursery Road Hockley B’ham B192XN 35 Nursery Road Hockley B’ham B192XN Further details can be found at

Further details can be found at

35 Nursery Road Hockley B’ham B192XN Further details can be found at

Villa hero running for charity - Inside Back

A message from Lord Herman Ouseley


s Kick It Out's One Game, One Community weeks of action begins in two weeks, we touched base with the campaign's Chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, who hopes after the Terry/Suarez affairs, lessons are learned and the initiative drives the agenda forward rather than hampers the undoubted progress that’s been made. "The One Game, One Community weeks of action is shining a light on the positive work being doing, at all levels, to make football accessible to all. The belief, held by some in positions of power and resource, that racism in football was no longer a concern was abruptly exposed, ironically this time last year, as two incidents in the space of a week with elements comprising of racism, sexism, misogyny and homophobia, set the tone for an intense period of activity and scrutiny for Kick It Out which still exists today. There is still much to do. That is an undeniable fact. However there has been a demonstrable positive

response. Actions, coupled with strong anti discrimination leadership among many in powerful positions in the game have generated confidence that football can face up successfull. In this, the 19th year of Kick It Out's existence, we take satisfaction in making a positive contribution in football, for players and spectators. From the national ‘Kick It Out Cup,’ in conjunction with Powerleague, to a panel debate on the rise of social media in football and an education event on anti-Semitism, the weeks of action demonstrates the scope and scale of work Kick It Out is involved in across the UK. On behalf of everyone connected to the campaign, I express warm appreciation and huge thanks to fans, funders, partner organisations, ambassadors, volunteers, clubs and players for their demonstrable commitment to helping football's image and creating a fair and equal society with enhanced community cohesion. Let’s make the weeks of action the best yet.”

Home-grown talent to head Mets


ritish basketball has made tremendous strides in the last seven years but faces an uncertain future. Great Britain won just one game at the Basketball Arena, the men beating China, although arguably they should have also claimed the scalps of European champions Spain and

Australia. It is said that unless massive improvements investments are made it is highly there’s a great chance that, well, the men’s team that is will not book their place at the Rio Games, in 2016. With that in mind, Birmingham Mets, the city’s premier basketball team have geared up to make a full assault on the new United Kingdom-EBL D2 season and put basketball back on the agenda of major sport again. With the full England Basketball League Division 2 season just beginning, Head Coach Steve Barnes is keen to perform well in the Patrons Cup – a division 2 start-of-season round robin competition, and an early chance for silverware: “The Pa-

trons Cup is a competition that we can do well in. It will certainly be a good litmus test to see where we’re at ahead of the regular season,” he said. The Birmingham Mets are based at the Sutton Coldfield college campus and from there, work hard in the community to promote the sport, as well as address social issues amongst young people in Birmingham. The big issue is where British

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basketball is going after London 2012. In Birmingham, the Mets are leading the way, both short term and long.

The Phoenix Newspaper - October 2012  

The Phoenix Newspaper - October 2012