PREVIEW: Weekend at… Symphony Hall Café Bar / Llama, Jan 19th & Chris Bowden Quartet, Jan 20th

Alright, technically not a weekend, but you’re getting the gigs for free.

Making the pit stain of the calendar (January) a little less unpleasant, those kind souls at the Symphony Hall Café Bar (SHCB) tumble dry 2012 with some free music sessions. Bringing some well known local artists and promoters, the ATM/toilet/over priced coffee stop – connecting Centenary Square with Brindley Place, continues to host to a bevy of Jazz, roots, world and folk music. And all for free. Although if you buy a coffee it’s not quite as cheap.

Here’s what they got coming up this week:


Llama - Silvia Perez Cruz and Ravid Goldschmid

Folk For Free – Llama

Because running two festivals a year just isn’t enough, Moseley Folk promoters have been feeding acts into the SHCB for gratis. And on Thurs 19th its flamenco/fado duo – Llama, otherwise known as Ravid Goldschmid and Silvia Perez Cruz.

After meeting on the streets of Barcelona, that old chestnut, hang drum player – Goldschmid, and vocalist – Cruz, started producing some pretty melancholic Portuguese style folk.

5 years later and Llama, as is their combined moniker (don’t try Googling it, doesn’t help) have been selected as one of the 6 ECHO Rising Stars of 2011/12 – the European Concert Hall Organisations yearly tour of artists to follow, and play the SHCB as part of their promotional tour.

Llama play the SYCB, in conjunction with Moseley Folk Festival, on Thursday 19th Jan – ADMISSION IS FREE / Ceri Black will be there for the Birmingham Review

For more info visit


Chris Bowden

Rush Hour Blues – Chris Bowden Quartet

Promoted by Birmingham Jazz, Chris Bowden makes a return to the SHCB – and hometown, with his four piece ensemble.

Starting out in the lofty Future Jazz days of Talkin’ Loud, Bowden made a name for himself with the label’s K-Creative.  Then, combining contemporary Jazz melodies with the early/mid 90’s new development of production and sound (and breathe out…), moved into world Mo’ Wax – working alongside Simon Richmond from Palm Skin Productions.

Bowden’s 1996 release, ‘Time Capsule’, earned him some respectable success, both commercial and critical, and led to future projects with 4Hero & The Herbaliser. A long standing relationship with the later cementing itself on the Ninja Tunes. He has also worked with Rehab Records.

The Chris Bowden Quartet play the SHCB, in conjunction with Birmingham Jazz, on Friday 20th Jan – ADMISSION IS FREE / Robert Kornreich will be there for the Birmingham Review

For more info visit