Words by Ed King / Pics by Rob Hadley
On Saturday 25th November, Birmingham Review presented its Winter Showcase at the Actress & Bishop – a sold out live gig with Rews, The Hungry Ghosts and Ed Geater. It’s taken me more than a week to recover.
I’ve sat down to write a review of the night several times too, but how do you write a report about your own gig..? You can’t, well I can’t. But luckily our friends at Counteract can, so for Charlotte Niblett’s two cents on the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase click here – with some cracking pics from Paul Reynolds thrown in for good measure. And I have been kicking myself that in all the copy I’ve written about Ed Geater I never came up with ‘triple threat’… good work Charlotte, love that one.
Also, I kinda/sorta don’t have to write anything as the solider of Birmingham Review (or Rob Hadley as he is know in the wider world) was front row and centre for the entire evening with a camera in his hands. And if a picture paints a thousand words then there’s around 84k without you fluttering an eyelash or me hitting a key. Any more would just be rude.
There are some cherry picked pics below, but I would CAPITAL LETTER SUGGEST you check out the full Flickr of Rob’s pics by clicking on this hyperlink or the suitably subtle prompts littering this report.
But now you’ve got me typing away… the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase wasn’t only a chance to book three acts that are all amongst the most exciting on the national gig circuit today, it was an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is. Birmingham Review covers many corners of the city’s cultural landscape, but music is where we began and will always be an intrinsic part of our content.
Rews, The Hungry Ghosts and Ed Geater all have a real “chance at whatever metaphor you use for success”, and we’ve said so with words and pics several times before. But on Saturday 25th November Birmingham Review got to be part of that progression, even if only for one night. But what an incredible night it was.
Ed Geater opened up to an already busy room, playing the tried and tested from his portfolio such a ‘Symmetry’ and ‘Don’t Think’ alongside a quick toe dip into some newer waters. Layering beat boxing over acoustic six string melodies, with the occasional breakbeat to keep you quite literally on toes, Geater kicked off the Winter Showcase with poise and aplomb. The Hungry Ghosts swaggered on stage for the second set, oozing with gin and mischief, and served up a fine platter of slaughterhouse blues with ‘Amerika’, ‘Lazaro’ and a slightly tweaked ‘Super King King’. Raw, raucous, and now with a cemented new line up, there is just so much to love about this band.
Then it was Rews… half way through their UK tour to promote Pyro, the duo’s corker of a debut album, and straight into a gut punching rock explosion with ‘Let It Roll’. On fire throughout the entire set, featuring album tracks including ‘Your Tears’, ‘Miss You in the Dark’ and ‘Death Yawn’ alongside the ferocious ‘Can You Feel It?’ (one of my personal favourites live), Rews quite simply nailed it – Shauna Tohill’s fearless front stage lead as Colette Williams powers through with vocals and percussion, it’s awesome stuff. Birmingham will never be quite the same again.
The other significant win at the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase was the crowd. There’s a lot of talk about ‘supporting the local music scene’ but unless you drag yourself out of the house, stick a smile on your chops, and get involved when musicians and singers are bearing their souls on stage… then talk is all that it will ever be. At the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase 175 people did all of the things I’ve just listed. And it felt phenomenal. To everyone who was upstairs at the Actress & Bishop on Saturday 25th November, I both salute and thank you.
The Birmingham Review Winter Showcase was also my swansong, as I now hand the reigns over to Helen Knott – who is taking over as Birmingham Review editor, and Damien Russell – who is coming in as Birmingham Preview editor.
I will be moving over to editor-in-chief (sounds more glamorous than it is) and focusing on the books and periodicals set for release under Review Publishing. Look out for our first titles which will be on shelf by the end of 2017: Snapshots of Mumbai – a coffee table book about the Indian megacity, and the Birmingham Music Review 2017 anthology.
We’re recruiting too, so if you know your way around a QWERTY keyboard or a DSLR please email email@example.com
Meanwhile, back at the Actress & Bishop…
Rews at the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17 / Rob Hadley – Birmingham Review
For more on Rews, visit www.rewsmusic.com
The Hungry Ghosts at the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17 / Rob Hadley – Birmingham Review
For more on The Hungry Ghosts, visit www.thehungryghosts.co.uk
Ed Geater at the Birmingham Review Winter Showcase @ Actress & Bishop 25.11.17 / Rob Hadley – Birmingham Review
For more on Ed Geater, visit www.edgeater.co.uk
For more from the Actress & Bishop, including venue details and links to event, visit www.theactressandbishop.co.uk
WRITERS/PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTED – Birmingham Review is looking for new contributors. Anyone wanting to get involved, please email a short introduction to firstname.lastname@example.org