Ed’s… HIGHLIGHTS: Jan ‘12

So, Christmas is over. The crackers are cracked. The fine wine is nothing more than a stain, whilst memories of New Years Eve linger; onerous and unclaimed.

Ah the yuletide crash, you can hear it now. The soft chatter as a city scrapes the bowels of its sofa, desperate for spare change and serotonin. But never fear, dear hearts, only twelve more months to go…

And with that joyous introduction to the year, and its following sarcasm, I give you music for free.  Birmingham Jazz to the rescue, as their Rush Hour Blues promotion lines up weekly treats for gratis in the Symphony Hall Bar;  Steve Ajao Blues Band (Jan 6th), Mitch Perrins Quartet (Jan 13th), Chris Bowden Quartet (Jan 20th) and Nick Jurd Quartet (Jan 27th). If you see either Tony or Mary, give them a hug.

Also being kind to your pockets is the Town Hall itself, putting on Llama (Jan 19th) as part of their Folk For Free events (hugs at your own discretion).

But for those of you who’ve managed to scrooge a few sheckles (slight cross cultural reference), the Hare & Hounds have Kissmet (Jan 13th), Casio Kids (Jan 19th) and The Magic Tombolinos (Jan 25th). A pretty decent January line up and all for under a tenner. Each. They’re not Santa.

But the stonking start to the year comes three weeks in at the HMV Institute; Ben Ottewell aka that geezer from Gomez (Jan 20th), Jesus ‘Christ, really???’ Jones (Jan 27th @ The Temple), Wiley (Jan 27th @ The Library), The Maccabees (Jan 27th), Roots Manuva (Jan 30th) and Boyz II Men (Jan 31st).

Elsewhere it’s pretty hum drum doom or gloom. Although the O2 Academy has Novana – The UK’s ONLY Nirvana tribute band (Jan 21st), and the Solihull Arts Complex is promoting ‘The World’s Greatest Michael Jackson Tribute’ (Jan 27th).

Tough to think of more inappropriate acts to emulate really, shotguns and pedophilic court cases. Just image the encores. Happy New Year.

Follow Ed King at www.twitter.com/edking2210