I had a pretty incredible day on 31 May. It started and ended at the Hippodrome with some Fierce Festival events – Motionhouse’s Underground early on and then the Courtesan Tales later. More on them later.
Between those two I went down to one of Birmingham’s least celebrated spots – underneath the Hockley Flyover – to catch the Flyover Show. This was the brainchild of Soweto Kinch – top jazz saxophonist, MC, producer, writer, poet and all round general legend. I’d been banging on about the event since I heard about it, giving it a few bumps on CiB and chewing my friends’ ears off too.
The event was also the perfect excuse to interview Soweto for the first CiB podcast so earlier in the week I’d had the privilege of him making me a cup of tea round at his flat while Frankie conducted her first CiB interview.
Anyway, it sounded like an ace idea and the line-up was pretty good too. Ty and Bashy being good names on the hip hop side of things; Soweto and Andy Hamilton being great quality jazz names – all for free. I got down at about 4.30pm, stayed til the end and loved every second. There was an amazingly good atmosphere with loads of families down there and the whole thing ran seamlessly from one impressive act to another.
Soweto Kinch was onstage most of the day and even took part in the youth theatre group’s performance – something that I started watching with polite curiosity but finished watching with something closer to awe. Some of the kids involved in that were just incredible.
Here are some of my photos from the day:
Best of all there was no trouble. There were worries before the event, what with the whole postcode rivalries thing, but nothing happened so it’s not something I’m going to dwell on.
I heard a rumour that they might try to put on a similar event some time. I really hope so because this one achieved exactly the lofty aim it was trying to.
There are loads of pics of the day on the BBC’s site and The Birmingham Post have a review. Oh, and typing this has reminded me that I need to check out Zena Edwards who was incredible and who I’d never heard of before.