BPREVIEW: Paul Weller @ Genting Arena 24.08.18

BPREVIEW: Paul Weller @ Genting Arena 24.08.18

Words by Eleanor Sutcliffe

After rescheduling his Birmingham show in March due to heavy snow, Paul Weller will be performing at Genting Arena on the Friday 24th August – with support from Stone Foundation.

Doors open at the Genting Arena from 7:30pm, with all original tickets remaining valid for the rescheduled date. Further tickets are also available, priced from £48.61 + fulfillment fees. For direct gig information, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

Paul Weller has been back on the road as a precursor to his latest album, True Meanings, scheduled for release on September 14th 2018 through Parlophone Records. Weller has released a somewhat staggering 14 solo studio albums since 1992, underpinning a career that has seen him release a total of 26 studio albums as the frontman of three prominent ensembles.

Rising to fame back in the 1970s with his first band, The Jam, it wasn’t too long before Weller broke into the UK Top 40  with their debut single, ‘In the City’, scrapping into the official album chart in May 1977. The Jam’s follow up and more politically charged ‘Eton Rifles’ made it to No3 in November 1979, before Weller scooped up his first No1 with The Jam’s ‘Going Underground’ in March 1980.

But six studio albums and multiple hits later Weller decided he’d had enough and left The Jam, much to the surprise of fellow band members Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton and Steve Brookes. And seemingly their fans, as The Jam’s 1982 farewell tour sold out shows across the UK including five consecutive dates at Wembley Arena while both their final single, ‘Beat Surrender’, and studio album, The Gift, reached No 1 on the official UK charts.

Determined to move on musically Weller was soon focused on another project, and so in 1982 The Style Council emerged. Teaming up with keyboard player Mick Talbot, drummer Steve White, and former Wham! backing singer Dee. C Lee, The Style Council explored different musical genres and styles including jazz, folk and R &B, and achieved modest success across Europe and America. Gaining his first ever No1 singles in America and Australia, with ‘You’re The Best Thing’ and ‘Shout To The Top’, Weller reportedly felt free from The Jam-shaped box which he had been confined to earlier on in his career. However as the 1980s came to an end so did The Style Council, announcing their split in 1989 after Polydoor refused to release their deep house tinged fifth studio album, Modernism: A New Decade.

Whilst many musicians would then live out the rest of their careers regurgitating past hits with an unenthusiastic backing band, Weller was always known for going against the grain which was exactly what he did, as he paved the way for his solo career. After a slow start with his eponymous solo debut, Weller reinforced his place as one of Britain’s finest singer/songwriters with the release his Mercury prize nominated Wild Wood in 1993, followed by the widely revered Stanley Road in 1995.

Now with 13 solo studio albums tucked under his belt and another on the way, as well as numerous accolades including the 2006 BRIT Lifetime Achievement Award, it’s clear that The Modfather isn’t departing from the British music scene anytime soon.

True Meanings, with promotional material boasting a ‘grandiose-yet-delicate, lush orchestration’ with ‘Paul’s better-than-ever voice, singing some of his most nakedly honest words’, is scheduled for release on 14th September and features a variety of collaborations from artists including Lucy Rose, Rod Argent (The Zombies) and Noel Gallagher.

The lead single from True Meanings, ‘Aspects’, was released on 25th May to coincide with Paul Weller’s 60th Birthday, whilst the album’s latest teaser, ‘Movin’ On’, was released on 1st August.

‘Aspects’ – Paul Weller 

Paul Weller plays at the Genting Arena on Friday 24th August, with support from Stone Foundation – the gig has been rescheduled from 2nd March, with all original tickets still valid. For direct information, including venue details and links to online tickets, visit www.gentingarena.co.uk/whats-on/paul-weller

For more on Paul Weller, visit www.paulweller.com

For more on Stone Foundation, visit www.stonefoundation.co.uk

For more on the Genting Arena, including venue details and further event listings, visit www.gentingarena.co.uk


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 sign up to NOT NORMAL – NOT OK, click here. To know more about the NOT NORMAL – NOT OK sticker campaign, click here.

BPREVIEW: Trudy and the Romance @ Castle & Falcon 03.02.18

Trudy and the Romance @ Castle & Falcon 03.02.18

Words by Ed King

On Saturday 3rd February, Trudy and the Romance play at the Castle & Falcon in Balsall Heath, with support from Quinn, Deaf Balloons and P.E.T

Doors open at 7pm, with tickets priced at £7 (plus bf) – as presented by Birmingham Promoters. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

*This gig has been rescheduled from 14th November 2017, with original tickets still valid. For more information please visit the Birmingham Promoters event page, click here*

Combining their ‘whip-smart imagination and tongues firmly lodged in cheeks’ with ‘a veritable witch’s brew of lovelorn sea shanties and mutant rockabilly pop’ (just an awesome description) Trudy and the Romance hark back to the bygone days of Teddy Boy cool but with a post millennium pop edge. Coming to Birmingham from their home town of Liverpool, Trudy and the Romance play one of their first 2018 dates at the Castle & Falcon before heading over to Manchester in April.

Formed in late 2014, Trudy and the Romance’s recent Junkyard Jazz EP has been picking up momentum and music press adulation since its release in November 2017, with DIY Mag citing the 5 track extended play as ‘a new record of crackers.’ We’d be happy with that. Their ashtrays are pretty awesome too.

Supported by the Sam Lambeth fronted Quinn, always worth a looksie, Trudy and the Romance will be further joined on stage by Wolverhampton’s Deaf Balloons and Birmingham’s ‘Grrl punk band’ P.E.T – the latter we hear strange and curious things about, but have yet to see strut their loud and hopefully funky stuff on stage. One for the shopping list though.

‘Is There a Place I Can Go’ (live) – Trudy and the Romance

Trudy and the Romance play at the Castle & Falcon on Saturday 3rd February – with support from Quinn, Deaf Balloons and P.E.T. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit www.castleandfalcon.com/event/trudy-romance-quinn

For more on Trudy and the Romance, visit www.trudymylove.com 

For more on Quinn, visit www.soundcloud.com/quinn 

For more on Deaf Balloons, visit www.deafballoons.bandcamp.com

For more on P.E.T, visit www.facebook.com/petbanduk

For more from the Castle & Falcon, including further event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.castleandfalcon.com

For more from Birmingham Promoters, visit www.birminghampromoters.com

BREVIEW: Fern Brady – Suffer, Fools! @ Glee Club (B’ham) 29.01.18

Fern Brady – Suffer, Fools! @ Glee Club (B’ham) 29.01.18

Words by Helen Knott

Fern Brady was meant to perform at the Glee Club’s Studio on Friday night rather than today, a Monday, but a date mix up meant that she was in Sweden instead. A Friday night gig would have likely made for a larger audience, with the overspill of people too late to get into the main room plumping up the numbers. But, on the positive side, tonight’s good natured crowd is here specifically to see Brady. They are attentive and they get it.

Brady’s show is called Suffer, Fools! and it takes us through a number of dramatic episodes in her life, from experiences in dead end jobs (serving breakfast to paedophiles and murderers, working as a stripper) to an abusive relationship that culminated with an attempt on her life. Heavy topics for a comedy show perhaps, but Brady keeps things light and fast-moving, using these life events as a backbone to talk around a number of contemporary issues.

The lack of gay marriage and abortion in Northern Ireland, for instance. In Brady’s eyes: “All homophobes are gay. It’s just a waiting game.” She suggests it’s not gay people ruining the definition of traditional marriage – straight people do it all the time. She backs this up with examples, like her father’s second marriage to “Julie from Milton Keynes” and tall women marrying short men (“I think it’s against nature”). Brady cleverly parrots the language around homophobia when defending her own relationship with an Irish guy who is shorter than herself: “We look stupid together… but love is love.”

Fern Brady – Suffer, Fools! TourBrady mentions having to amend some of her jokes before the BBC will broadcast them, in particular one about DUP leader Arlene Phillips. She can go a little close to the mark, but always with the aim of making an important point, as is the case with her material about sexual harassment. Brady claims to have been complaining about being sexually harassed on the street for the past five years, but was taken as seriously as, “ghosts or homeopathy”. How times have changed. She calls out celebrities such as Joanna Lumley, Angela Lansbury and Liam Neeson for undermining the seriousness of the accusations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Louis CK. Brady’s understated delivery is largely quiet and deliberate, so when she does raise her voice to make an indignant point it has plenty of impact.

The final section of Suffer, Fools! looks at two of Brady’s dysfunctional past relationships. A story about a bad break-up with a posh boy at university explores issues of class (“I don’t fuck outside my class”) and eating disorders. It ends violently, but not as violently as an abusive relationship in her twenties where her boyfriend attempts to smother her with a pillow. It was all a long time ago and Brady refrains from making any profound points about what happened, even if she jokes that this would get her an extra star in a Guardian review.

It all leads up to a very silly, but funny final scene that pulls together a number of jokes from the show. It’s a fitting climax to a very well thought-out hour of comedy in which Brady doesn’t shy away from the darker side of life and is brutal in her pursuit of a zippy punchline. This, along with her low-key delivery, sets her apart from other new comics on the block. I hope that the BBC doesn’t polish too much of the weirdness out of her.

For more on Fern Brady, visit www.fernbrady.co.uk

For more from the Glee Club venues, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.glee.co.uk

BPREVIEW: Fern Brady – Suffer, Fools! @ The Glee Club (B’ham) 29.01.18

Fern Brady – Suffer, Fools! @ The Glee Club (B’ham) 29.01.18

Words by Helen Knott

Comedian Fern Brady brings her third solo show – Suffer, Fools! – to Birmingham’s Glee Club on 29th  January. Tickets are £12 in advance, with doors open at 8pm for an 8.30pm start. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here.

*The Fern Brady Suffer, Fools! show on 29th January has been rescheduled from its original date of 26th January. For more information on refunds or issues relating to the rescheduling, please contact The Glee Club box office on 0871 472 0400*

Fern Brady is quickly building momentum as one of the UK’s most promising up-and-coming comedians.

If an appearance on Stewart Lee’s Comedy Central show The Alternative Comedy Experience was an early badge of quality, this has been backed up with approving reviews and high profile appearances on Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central and Channel Four’s 8 Out of 10 Cats. Brady starts 2018 embarking on a long UK tour, followed by a string of dates at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, before another series of dates back in the UK.

Brady reportedly first tried stand-up comedy after the magazine she wrote for during the Edinburgh Fringe suggested she write an article where she faked it as a comedian. What the magazine didn’t know was that Brady secretly wanted to try stand-up comedy anyway, so took the gig much more seriously than was strictly needed. She hasn’t looked back, eventually making the final of the Fringe’s prestigious award for stand-up newcomers, So You Think You’re Funny, in 2011.

Just don’t label her a ‘Scottish’ comedian. Brady is uncomfortable being a talking head on issues of Scottish independence and is reportedly unimpressed with the English’s preoccupation with her nationality. But perhaps (after watching several YouTube snippets) some of the problem with the later lies in the fact that Brady‘s fairly broad accent (to my English ears, anyway) bolsters her no-nonsense delivery. And God bless this green and pleasant land, but an English accent just doesn’t have the same clout.

But of course, there’s much more to Fern Bady than being Scottish. Her autobiographical material (she claims to be terrible at making things up, so everything she talks about on stage is true) is self-assured, knowing and easy to relate to. This is a great chance to see a comedian on the up, in a relatively intimate venue. I’d get in quick, before she’s packing out arenas.

Fern Brady on Seann Walsh’s Late Night Comedy Spectacular

Fern Brady brings her Suffer, Fools! tour to The Glee Club (B’ham) on Monday 29th January – rescheduled from 26th January. For direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, visit www.glee.co.uk/performer/fern-brady-tour

For more on Fern Brady, visit www.fernbrady.co.uk

For more from The Glee Club venues, including full event listings and online ticket sales, visit www.glee.co.uk