Since 2006 I have been involved with the Sunday Xpress open mic event, a poetry/spoken word/music and performance gig held in Digbeth, Birmingham. It was first held at The Market Tavern on Moseley Street, and when that pub shut in 2008, moved to The Adam and Eve on Bradford Street (see here, me linking me, on a walking map of how to get to the Market Tavern to the Adam and Eve.)
We’ve had many people come and go, but there has been one constant, one man who’s compered every single gig, rain, shine or snow. That man is the Unofficial Poet Laureate of Birmingham, Brendan Higgins (see this old link to a Facebook group I set up for him and a link to his most famous poem.)
We’ve built quite an impressive archive of live performances over the years featuring the wild and wonderful acts who have played with us, and have welcomed film-makers within our ranks and outside to film the event. Some of the film-makers who have captured the essence of the event include Louis Campbell, PJ Peanutz, Lizzy Piffany and Matthew Harris – the latter making a documentary feature called ‘The World According to Jimmy Fantastik and Friends’ featuring me and my punk-poetry-and-performance alter-ego prattling a load of beautifully filmed psycho-babble shot in lovely black and white, back in the old Market Tavern days.
As I say, people have come and gone, and 2013 need something to keep the event fresh. We’d had the excellent Derrick D and the Back Bones play with us in October, and they were keen to come back for more. I had met a film-maker by the name of Ilvars Veinbergs who had filmed the ruddy excellent Flame of Fervour at one of their Muzikstan gigs (held at the Printworks in Balsall Heath), and I asked him if he’d be interested in filming the Sunday Xpress. He said yes, and, providing him with questions and general help/interference, he came up with this.
The promotional video captures the spirit of the event, and the sheer diversity of the artists who perform. The video starts with an interview with Brendan, then an interview with April’s showcase band who have roots in spoken word – Derrick D and The Backbones, and interviews with three emerging writers and performers, Jodie Rose McLoughlin, Martin Spruce and Andrew Owens, talking about the event, the poetry and spoken word scene, and their aspirations and thoughts. Footage of the day’s event conjure up the event’s atmosphere and adds to the roster of innovative and interesting artists that have performed during the event’s history.
The event is held usually on every last Sunday of the month. The doors are open at 3pm and events usually start around 4/4.30. Next events for 2013 are June 2nd, June 30th, July 28th, September 1st, September 29th, October 27th and November 24th. The event also has a Facebook page ‘Sunday Xpress’ and anyone who wants to come and perform or support should get in contact via the Facebook page or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.