The Public Realm EP was a reaction last year to the council’s attempt to silence buskers in the centre of Birmingham, claiming that their amplified noise was distracting to shopkeepers, office workers and flat dwellers. The EP would see me wondering around the city recording the noises that I encountered and sharing them on this blog and possibly later bandcamp and/or soundcloud.
When I performed at The Anchor Gallery as overseen by Rachel Mayfield on Saturday 23rd, I got talking to a man called James Kerr, instantly yabbering on to him about folk horror and hauntology as if we’d just caught up after seven years away. When it was time to go, after stirling sets from Carys Matic, Pip Barlow and Sue Nicholls amongst others, James approached me to buy one of the books, which the intention of reading some extracts on his radio show on Regal Radio. Last Thursday, he did that very thing…
This Saturday I will be performing a showcase spoken word slot at The Anchor Gallery at Buddies 232 Cafe, on Moseley Street in Digbeth. The Anchor Gallery has been created by artist Rachel Mayfield, and the event is part of her first installation ‘Show Me Your Birmingham’, a collaborative venture that features artists who she has met and made friends with since returning to her native Birmingham last year.
It’s never been the most celebrated of thoroughfares, this arcade that joins High Street to Union Street. Apart from memories of the busker who used to bash a tambourine with no jingles around the early 90s, and the time where a group of Hare Krishnas led a procession in and out of the passage, nothing really has stuck in the mind about it.
On the 26th of June the Adrian Boult Hall building played its last gig, before that area is levelled for preparation of Phase 3 of Paradise. I took a walk around the area surrounding the entrance, taking photos for posteriority/posterity, and to remember the times of the Library Theatre, the shopping mall and its gardens, and the Brutalist designs of the Hall leading onto the Birmingham Central Library.
On Thursday 29 I went up to The Edge, owned by the wonderful Friction Arts yesterday to pick up my computer lead which I’d left there on Sunday. The Edge is located on Cheapside in Digbeth, an area which really kick-started by love of derives and psychogeography, being a maze of industrial units, derelict warehouses street art, backstreet pubs and incongruous new-builds. Walking up there yesterday on a thrillingly wet and blustery day, I was able to look at the new build that is going to be its neighbour for the foreseeable future.