BPREVIEW: The Performers: Part 2 – EKKAH, Hunger Moon, Kim’s Cold Food Company, Hayley Frances (poetry) @ The Sunflower Lounge 05.05.19

Words by Ed King

On Sunday 5th May, Bad Girls are back at The Sunflower Lounge with The Performers: Part 2 – a showcase of music, modern beat poetry and art, with a positive message of gender equality (and basic respect…) at the heart of it all.

Doors open at 8pm, with tickets priced at £7+booking fee – as presented by Bad Girls. For more event info, and links to online ticket sales, click here to visit the Facebook event page.

Following on from The Performers: Part 1, again at The Sunflower Lounge back in 2017, this sophomore event will see acts and art once again across the whole venue – taking over both floors, the Bank Holiday closer will showcase a local musical line up featuring EKKAH, Hunger Moon, and Kim’s Cold Food Company. Hayley Frances will also be performing some ‘modern beat poetry’, alongside ‘an array of Birmingham’s best artists showcasing their female inspired art’. All for well under tenner, simples.

The event will also be raising money and awareness to support Safe Gigs for Women, a nationwide organisation that works with gig goers and venues to promote safe event spaces for women and to encourage the entertainment industry to speak out and challenge sexual assault. For more information on Safe Gigs for Women, visit their website by clicking here.

The Performers: Part 2 is also championing the message ‘MY CLOTHES ARE NOT MY CONSENT’ – appearing in bold type on their promotional posters and publicity material. Sadly, there are still people who hide behind the idea that the way someone dresses makes it OK or acceptable for them to grab, grope, or to give it its legal term SEXUALLY ASSAULT someone based on what they are wearing.

The event’s response and message is simple, ‘you can wear what you want, when you want, to where you want it and no outfit or item of clothing gives anyone the right to believe that means that you want to be touched, harassed, or “asking for it”.’ A message I hope most humans don’t need reminding of – but one that also (due to a sad splattering of sh*theads) can’t hurt to reiterate once in a while.

The NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign team will also be at The Performers: Part 2 event, handing out stickers and helping to spread the message of respect and inclusivity across the music scene – ‘from dancefloor to dressing room’. If you see the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign at The Sunflower Lounge, stick a sticker on your sweater and post a pic of yourself to the NOT NORMAL NOT OK Instagram page, Twitter feed, or Facebook account. For more on the NOT NORMAL NOT OK campaign, click here.

But with music also at the heart of this event, it’s a pretty strong line up to round off your Bank Holiday Sunday. Headliners EKKAH are a seriously fun modern day Chic, with a glorious fusion of electro, pop, disco, funk and this-is-my-serious-face’ dance routines. Birmingham Review last saw EKKAH again at The Sunflower Lounge a few years ago, whilst they were riding the wave of their Last Chance to Dance EP, and the words ‘gold’ and ‘dust’ sprang to mind. Should be a few new tracks getting kicked off stage on Sunday ‘an all.

Hunger Moon have been making some well deserved waves since their debut single, ‘Oh Friend’, came out in March 2018. Nominated for the ‘Rising Star’ category in this year’s Birmingham Music Awards, Hunger Moon are a somewhat delectable dish of haunting vocals and brooding melodies. Getting a healthy portfolio of performances under their belt, with their third single ‘Feel It Sometimes’ also released in March 2019, Hunger Moon are a muso-duo well worth some attention.

And despite having the best band/artist name that we can think off in recent times, Kim’s Cold Food Company is also the new manifestation of Diane Burdon – keeping herself busy whilst Sofa King jump on the ‘short break’ train along with so many others of late. We don’t know much about the music, or if indeed there will be any sandwiches or ice cream available, but it can’t hurt to have a stop, look, listen.

Hayley Frances rounds off the bill, performing some ‘modern beat poetry’ – so expect wit, humour, and some intelligence yet acerbic observations. Having worked with organisations including the Rosie Kay Dance Company, IKON, Writing West Midlands and the Birmingham REP, Frances is a well rounded and confident poet. With the backbone of this event being safe spaces, respect and inclusivity, it will be especially interesting to hear what she has to say.

The Performers: Part 2 comes to The Sunflower Lounge on Sunday 5th May – with performances from Ekkah, Hunger Moon, Kim’s Cold Food Company, Hayley Frances. Doors open at 8pm, with tickets priced at £7+booking fee – as presented by Bad Girls. For more event info, and links to online ticket sales, click here.

For more on EKKAH, visit www.facebook.com/WEAREEKKAH

For more on Hunger Moon, visit www.soundcloud.com/hunger-moon

For more on Kim’s Cold Food Company, visit www.soundcloud.com/kimscoldfoodco

For more on Hayley Frances, visit www.hayleyfrances.com

For more on Safe Gigs for Women, visit www.sgfw.org.uk

For more on NOT NORMAL NOT OK, visit www.notnormalnotok.com

For more from Bad Girls, including further event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.facebook.com/BADGIRLSpresents

For more on The Sunflower Lounge, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.thesunflowerlounge.com 

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NOT NORMAL – NOT OK is a campaign to encourage safety and respect within live music venues, and to combat the culture of sexual assault and aggression – from dance floor to dressing room.

To learn more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK campaign, click here. To sign up and join the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK campaign, click here.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this feature – or if you want to report an act of sexual aggression, abuse, or assault – click here for information via the ‘Help & Support’ page on the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK website.

SINGLE: ‘Oh Friend’ – Hunger Moon

SINGLE: ‘Oh Friend’ – Hunter Moon / Out from 12.03.18

Words by Ed King / Pics courtesy of Hunger Moon

On Monday 12th March, Hunger Moon release their debut single ‘Oh Friend’ – wasting precious little time for a band that only formed at the tail end of last year, ‘deep in the heart of Birmingham’s warehouse and creative quarter’.

Out now and ‘available to stream on all major music platforms’, you can always make your own minds up with a quick visit to Soundcloud, Spotify or iTunes. Hunger Moon will also be supporting Joseph J. Jones at The Sunflower Lounge on Tuesday 13th March, if you wanted to check this out live and firsthand – for direct gig info, click here.

But who need independent thought or travel? Sit back, make yourself a cup of tea, look wistfully at rain, and let Birmingham Review do all the cognitive reasoning. Ssshhhh, there there… We’ll tell you.

But first a bit of background… Hunger Moon are the newly formed two piece from vocalist Natalie Jenkins and multi instrumentalist James Atwood, with a sound that draws immediate comparisons to London Grammar and Daughter. Their debut single, ‘Oh Friend’, had Ryan Pinson working behind the glass – with the skeleton written and rehearsed in Digbeth, and the skin produced at RML Studios in Wolverhampton. So, there’s a pretty solid start.

In the words of Hunger Moon, ‘Oh Friend is an ode to companionship, which has been the single constant within the lives of the duo over the past year throughout changes, some for better and others for worse’ and you get an immediate sense of longing, loss, or both.

Mournful yet comforting, ‘Oh Friend’ opens with an echoed guitar riff that is the linchpin to the Daughter comparison. Then after about 15 seconds, Jenkins’ vocals power though with the titular lyrics and ushering in the London Grammar comparison. This low cloud rolls across the horizon, with some ‘soft piano nuances and subtle electronics’ nudging their way in towards the end of Minute #1, before the instrumentation steps back leaving Jenkins’ vocals to introduce the first crescendo towards the end of Minute #2. A silent thunderclap… and downpour, with the emotional ebb and flow continuing in layers until the end of this nearly 5min single.

There is a beautiful proficiency to ‘Oh Friend’, with a confident subtly propelling an addictive melody. It’s not an easy sound to deliver well, and Hunger Moon have taken some bold steps down a road that is full of homage and potholes. But superbly handled by Ryan Pinson, the delicate strength that this genre requires is given its appropriate balance here. Plus, it could have been easily clipped to make it more radio (length) friendly but in fact saves the best minute for last.

As debuts go, ‘Oh Friend’ is solid introduction, managing to find a new corner of the electro/pop shadows to lurk in. The melody is rife too, which bodes well for an album of material to wrap around it – an LP we sincerely hope is on its way. But if we were to find one piece of constructive criticism, as is our job, it would be that the strength of Jenkins’ vocals can sometimes be a little, a small touch on the desk perhaps, too much in the lead. And to jump back to the two previous comparisons, one of these bands falls into this trap too, whist the other nails it perfectly on its perfect nail shaped head.

So, this is a little par for the course for the genre, kinda sorta. And having a strong asset in your box of musical tricks is one of those better problems to have. But for the first foray for Hunger Moon, ‘Oh Friend’ is cracking introduction from a band we have a sneaking suspicion have a lot more to offer over the next twelve months.

‘Oh Friend’ – Hunger Moon

 

Hunger Moon release their debut single, ‘Oh Friend’, on Monday 12th March – available through all major music platforms.

Hunger Moon will also be performing at The Sunflower Lounge on Tuesday 13th March, supporting Joseph J. Jones – for direct gig information, click here. 

For more on Hunger Moon, including links to stream ‘Oh Friend’, visit www.facebook.com/hungermoonmusic