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Sat 30th June 2007

Tunnel Vision

Visited the Fierce Tunnel Vision %EXT% event today. The tunnel in question runs from The Mailbox across to New St Station and was previously used to transport letters to and from the mail trains.

I'd booked for the 2pm visit, and it was quite busy, with the party of 20 or so being split into two groups. Nipping quickly through a service door and down in a lift brought us to the basement and into the world which is normally hidden.

Inside the tunnel, installations of lights, projections and found objects where accompanied by a varied soundscape which reflected the visuals and the space. The final section was in darkness, illuminated by blinding white flashes of light from the end of the tunnel, silhouetting the other visitors. Well worth a visit, it's free and open Friday 6th to Sunday 8th July. Book on 0121 244 8084 or if you're passing drop in at the desk outside the BBC in the Mailbox.

  • Light at the end of the tunnel:
    Light at the end of the tunnel

Tue 26th June 2007

Birmingham Surveillance Blog

Red Line Surveillance are watching the people of Birmingham. Unlike the other surveillance going on in the city, they put their findings up on the web for us all to see. They're operating from the Festival of Xtreme Building site and various other locations around town.

Sun 24 Jun 2007

In tents

Quite a wet day but the mud isn't as bad as 2005. Saw Marcus Brigstock, Ed Byrne, Brendan Byrne, and various others. Also heard Go Team play on The Other Stage. Posted on the move at 23:15

Sat 23 Jun 2007

Seize the Day

Seeing Seize the Day is a bit of Glastonbury tradition. They attract a loyal and lively crowd with lots me dancing, especially for the "shackle shuffle". They appeared in the solar powered Croisant Neuf tent. Posted on the move at 22:49

Fri 22 Jun 2007


Another slightly strange elephant. Can you spot what is wrong with this picture? Posted on the move at 18:29

Fri 22 Jun 2007

Late Shift at the Lock Up

Just finished my night shift on the "lockup", more clearly known as left-luggage. The first band started on the pyramid stage at 10:34 so not sure how much beauty sleep I will get smile Last night it pelted down for a couple or three hours, but mud isn't too bad yet. Wait till 200,000 people have walked through it though! Posted on the move at 10:58

Fri 22 Jun 2007

Use Your Legs

The railway track has been renamed The Green Way and decorated with signs and art, such as this slightly spooky doll leg sculpture. Posted on the move at 7:31

Thu 21 Jun 2007

Dragon Crucified

Weds afternoon: This oddly posed statue of a dragon can be seen in the stone circle field. Posted on the move at 15:40

Wed 20 Jun 2007

Portiso Quartet

My first live post from Glastonbury. The Portiso Quartet are playing up in the stone circle field. Double base, one of those straight saxes plus a strange kettle like steel drum. Check their myspace for some great jazzy fun sounds. They are playing at chai wallah's tent twice a day. Posted on the move at 21:44

Tue 19 Jun 2007

test mobile blogging

Testing..2 This is an Elephant... Posted on the move at 12:07

Monday 18th June 2007

Birmingham Bloggers

Another new blogger to add to the list of Birmingham Bloggers - Richard Batsford %EXT%, musician, comedy booker and all round nice guy.

Plans for Project X %EXT% 2007 are also well underway, and documented on their their blog.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth

Another recent group blog is the Birmingham Friends of the Earth Blog %EXT%. This is the 30th Anniversary %EXT% of BFOE moving into their building in Digbeths know as The Warehouse and you can find out more about how they're tackling local, national and international environmental issues on the Birmingham Friends of the Earth Website %EXT% or by signing up for their newsletter %EXT%.

Sunday 17th June 2007

Leamington Peace Festival

Leamington Peace Festival is renowned for always being sunny, and this year was no exception. Despite parts of the site being six inches under water on Friday, we were happily free from mud, although some of the ground was incredibly springy - like someone had buried a mattress underneath it!

Birmingham's Notorious Choir %EXT% played on the bandstand, I haven't seen them for a while and was impressed by the harmonies in Barbara-Anne and the fact that I could hear the words in all the covers perfectly, filling in a lot of gaps in my musical knowledge. Notorious are playing for free at the MAC on the evening of Tuesday 26th June, and I think I'm fairly safe in saying that there will be a BBQ there too, so head down and get some summer relaxation in.

Kate Goes... %EXT% played on the main stage right after Notorious. This gig's theme was "Kate Goes...Loud" so we had loud clothes (Kate's were particularly impressive) and loud vocals! One of the hallmarks of Kate Goes... songs is the large dynamic, vocal and musical range. From loud and noise to quiet and sweet, instantly, with no mistakes. From porcupine to frog, or from love to sillyness, Kate Goes... were tight. One bonus of the sound setup was that the lyrics were particularly clear this time.

If you missed them, you can catch Kate Goes... on the 13th July at the Jug of Ale with the fantabulous and weird Bom and His Magic Drumstick.

I like a band where you can hear the words.... not like this modern music.... you can't hear the words, and you can't whistle the tune... call that music etc... etc... smile

Green Finder

GreenFinder %EXT% is a new directory of green products and services in the UK. I've bumped into them at both the Birmingham City Council Environment Day and the Leamington Peace Festival today. Great idea and best of luck to them!

Friday 7th June 2007

Festival of Xtreme Building Launch

Today I took part in the launch event for the Festival of Xtreme Building %EXT%. Organised by Kindle Theatre %EXT% with musical direction from KTB %EXT%. We were the X-Nation, arriving with our queen to set up home at the festival site. It was a thoroughly enjoyably experience, with dohl drummers, a samba band, bollywood dancers and harmonic singing. I'll leave it up to you to work out where I fitted in!

A mammoth amount of work on behalf of the organisers, which paid off rather well I think!

Saturday 2nd June 2007

A busy day...

Hide and Seek in the Grass

Ikon's %EXT% Digbeth space has moved to Heath Mill Lane, just down the road from Vivid. I turned up at 1pm on the dot to find the gates opening and a within 10 minutes there were a dozen or so people wandering around - great attendance for a sunny Saturday.

Inside we found a beautiful meadow, complete with wild flowers from the Digbeth area, growing under the half-glazed roof of this ex-factory. The Shakespeare in Taxi taxi, with accompanying cartoon stories stood in the adjacent bay. In the back, a short passage led us to a darkened room in which two projection screens showed performers creeping out of hiding places in a nicely furnished room. My cough on entering sent them scurrying back to their hiding places, as did any loud noise, and I felt quite sorry for them, having to repeat this performance again and again. After a while, I... Well. No. I'm not going to say, but I'm sure you will too if you get the chance to see this excellent piece. Unfortunately this was the last day for this, so you won't see it in Brum for a while.

Indoor Lawn:
Indoor Lawn

Wake Up and Hide:
Empty Room - Wake Up and Hide Unhidden - Wake up and Hide

Shakespeare in Taxi:
Shakespeare in Taxi

Drums, owls, textile computing and a sermon

Just 50 meters down the road, Vivid was hosting it's latest exhibition, which includes: Juneau Projects computer game in which you can control a flying owl using real guitars and a drum kit; Kate Pemberton's cross-stiched multiples such as the "C:/" badge shown below - a must have and available from her website %EXT%; Chris Keenan's research on the Plastic People of the Universe; A model of Colin Pearce and Ranbir Lal's building (the real thing is up on the Festival of Extreme Building site; Faye Claridge's rural photos of the Czech republic; and Harminder Singh Judge's Video Sermon using an oral prosthetic that recites the text for him!

Kate Pemberton - Badges:
Kate Pemberton - Badges

Day of the Figurines %EXT% is a game created by Blast Theory %EXT% - I played their street running game, Uncle Roy is All Around You, back in 2004. To play Day of the Figurines you have to visit Wolverhampton Art Gallery, pick a small plastic figure to represent yourself, and fill in a few details about your character. Mine's called "Boyd". Then you send and receive txt messages which move your character, and let you chat with other people playing the game. Should be fun...

Day of the Figurines
Day of the Figurines

Wolverhampton gallery had lots of other interesting exhibitions, including giant mushrooms and many different types of flowers made out of wire.

Giant Mushroom Wire Flower

Kate Goes... and Dufus

Down to the Actress and Bishop to see Kate Goes... and anti-folk heros Dufus. Kate's theme for this gig was Kate Goes...and gets a Job, so we had a solicitor, a rigger, a pizza hut person and a conductor on stage. Unfortunately, cricket accidents meant they had no drummer this gig.

Dufus played a mammoth set - about 2 hours I think, including, near the end, my favourites Having a party and Wee ma moo.

Friday 1st June 2007

Gob Squad - Kitchen

I've seen Gob Squad's %EXT% work before - at Fierce 2006 and been very impressed. This Fierce they're playing at the Warwick Arts Centre, with their show Kitchen. Kitchen recreats the film of the same name by Andy Warhol. Before the action starts, we're allowed to wander "backstage" - well, behind the three giant projection screens at the front of the stage, to see the sets. What we see as an audience is live video from this set, on the three screens, but as the play progresses, performers venture out into the audience and the members of the audience move onto the stage.

Gob Squad are, as always, warm, friendly, engaging and human. The play, if that's what it is, really "turned me on" to the work of Warhol and I'll try and see some of the films they referenced. If you get the chance to see Gob Squad, go see them. They also had some DVDs of previous performances (also available online), so I snapped up one of Super Night Shot and another of King Kong Club.

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Topic revision: r8 - 28 Dec 2007, andyp
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