ED’S PICK: Mostly Jazz, Soul & Funk Festival ’15 @ Moseley Park 10-12/07/15


Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of Mostly Jazz Festival

Lo, as was written in the Scriptures…Birmingham Preview

Slightly narcissistic to write this as Mostly Jazz has all but sold out (at the time of writing only single day tickets for Friday & Sunday are available) but with such a juicy line up to cherry pick from, who can blame me. Or the early bird Ticketmaster fiends, you know who you are…

But yes folks; the sun is shining, the birds are tweeting, the tweets are circling, and the grumbles of the Chantry Road Residents Association have all been mollified.

From tomorrow until 10:30pm on Sunday, Mostly Jazz Festival ’15 is upon us. And what a spread… the memorable moments from Nile Rogers’s closing show could be set for a challenge.

Here are a couple of points worth some weekend interest (to the world of me, at any rate).

Friday 10th July / Public Enemy & The Pharcyde

Public EnemyEasily the two acts at the top of the bill. Plucked straight from a time when Hip Hop wasn’t all gangster crap, blingshit and some twat in a white fedora whining about bullet scars – these are both artists with something worth listening to. Chuck D has been honing his message over the years too, so Moseley might even be able to join in without feeling too… awkward. We just won’t mention a certain clock wearing rock fiend and a certain Z List house fiasco.

The PharcydeBut angry Farrakhan hangovers and ‘fuck you 50 Cent, you are all that is wrong with the world’ withstanding, this will be a serious opportunity to see something that may never happen again. And if nothing else, during The Pharcyde’s set, you could witness thousands of people in Moseley Park singing back the chorus “….aawww SHIT.” Oh to be a fly on the wall of the next Moseley Society general meeting. A booking of sheer genius.

Saturday 11th July / Hackney Colliery Band

If your name’s not already down you’re not getting in, but if it is (and you are) then I’d recommend checking HCB out – fearsome. There’s been a lot of this sort of thing in recent years, strangely placed ensembles covering everything from TV theme tunes to club classics, but HCB do it with certain aplomb. Plus it’s a good chance to see them on a festival stage, which is where they will truly shine. And if you need a bit more of a nudge, viddy below and imagine a hot Saturday with a pint of Thatchers/Purity in your hand:


Sunday 12th July / Hansu-Tori & Mahalia

Hansu-ToriAnd no, it’s not because there’s ‘Tori’ in the title… David Austin Grey & Co have been grafting through the Birmingham (and beyond) Jazz scene for a while, with the Hansu-Tori manifestation introducing a more mature edge to something already well seasoned. Protagonists include some superb Birmingham Conservatoire schooled musicians, with the spectacular keys of Mr Grey at the helm. Jim Bashford is one to seriously watch out for too, as is Nick Jurd, as is Sam Wooster (aka UUOO)… just watch out for all of them and save me anymore sycophantic copy. Plus there’ll be plugging a new(ish) album, An Improvised Escape, so them boys better play good.

MahaliaMahalia. OK, roll the dice time. There is HUGE POTENTIAL in this singer/songwriter, which would be best supported by some more professional platforms without the age specific prefix. She can sing, she can play, she can write – and as the rungs of time fall beneath her, she’ll have even more stories to deliver. And that voice… But it’s all about the live show; Mahalia would be my odds on favourite for a magical surprise moment this weekend.

Mostly Jazz Festival 2015 will be held on Moseley Park, Birmingham, from 10-12th June. For more about the Mostly Jazz Festival, including full line up and programme details, online tickets & directions, visit http://mostlyjazz.co.uk/