November 2009 Archives
If you're still wondering whether or not it's OK to start feeling festive, think no more: Christmas officially starts with the opening night of Birmingham Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker.
Attending the yearly rendition is a tradition every family should fit into their advent calender - dressing in your winter best for a nippy trip to the bustling Hippodrome to be greeted by Birmingham school choirs singing carols cannot fail to fill you with warmth and excitement.
Friday night's performance was another example of how Birmingham's much-loved ballet company consistently deliver a production which can both delight ballet newcomers and keep young families gripped, while adding new twists and stage antics to please the ballet veterans.
The choreography based on Sir Peter Wright's production with the company nearly 20 years ago just after it had moved from Sadler's Wells, is light-footed and peppered with enchanting duets - the crisp movements and large corps de ballet pieces are visual treats which the company dance with effortless precision and ease.
This week Birmingham was put on the international dance map.
Tuesday marked the launch of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2010 - the dates are confirmed, artists and venues booked, and guests and the event were treated to a taster of some of the acts scheduled to perform.
To sum up just how impressive the programme is and the prospects this festival brings to Birmingham, one guest said: "You'd usually have to travel to Europe to find this sort of thing, and now it's on our doorstep."
Living in China, so far away from home, you learn a lot. One of the biggest things you learn is how great stuff back in England is. You appreciate so much more; your family, PG Tips, the green cross code, Walkers cheese and onion crisps, your grandma's cooking, your friends, Eastenders and Sunday newspapers, to name but a few. These are things that (I think) we take for granted everyday of our lives. It isn't until they're not there anymore, that you realize they're quite irreplaceable. Oh how I look forward to hearing the familiar opening tones of the Coronation Street. It sounds sad, but these are things that us English have grown up with and however insignificant they may sound, represent home to us. The sounds of Coronation Street are as soothing to me as the smell of Sunday lunch, and the sound of lawns being mowed on the weekend and GMTV.
So yes, I will be happy to escape Beijing at this most special time of the year, and then I'll be back and ready to celebrate the biggest Chinese festival of the year - Chinese New Year, on February 14th. This is usually the time that I catch a flight home to see my family, so I've never actually experienced the beginning of the Chinese New Year from China. I hear there's lots of fireworks, drinking of the Baijiu - a very, very strong liquor, that tastes like what I'd imagine lighter fluid to taste, and watching the celebrations on TV with the family. So after a family Christmas in England, I'll be flying back to my new home for Chinese New Year with my boyfriend's Chinese family.
Now this sounds like a much better arrangement than the past two years; Expatriates doing their best to conjure up some festive spirit in China, and just ending up very drunk, and then being in England in January and February, when the sales are good, but the weather is cold, and everybody's penny pinching and looking forward to the summer time, just isn't quite the same.
Yes, this year will be good.
Featuring local dub, indie, eletcro, acoustic and inane ramblngs, Brumcast 139 'Everyone Loves A Tryer' was broadcast live on http://www.rhubarbradio.com on Monday 23rd November at 8pm GMT and the podcast of the show is now ready for listening and FREE download. Download it free and direct from here or go to the archive at http://brumcast.podOmatic.com
Here's this show's playlist :-
1. Alien Dread - OverCharge (4:13)
2. The New Saints - No tomorrow (3:07)
3. Tiny Cinema - Crossing Over (2:33)
4. Burnside - Runnin' round in circles (3:09)
5. Badweather Party - Crowded Room (4:13)
6. Miss Halliwell - Let's Do Business (3:35)
7. Muchuu - Somebody Tell Me (2:50)
8. This Beautiful Thief - Everyone Loves A Tryer (4:12)
9. Kabuki - Tort Dog (3:10)
10. Huffy - Inner Beauty (3:21)
11. Hans Gruber - The Debt Collector (single edit) (2:50)
12. Nation's Waiting - Pieces (6:44)
13. Projekt - Surfacing - Blood Sugar remix (4:19)
Brumcast is broadcast on Rhubarb Radio http://www.rhubarbradio.com Mondays 8-9pm GMT
Brumcast on Twitter http://twitter.com/brumcast
The brains behind the internationally renowned Supersonic festival, Capsule http://www.capsule.org.uk is 10 years old this December!!!! As part of the celebration there are two special Brumcast shows outlining who they have got playing in Birmingham during their celebratory season. Both podcasts are available to stream and download for free at http://brumcast.podomatic.com . Cheers to Lisa & Jenny at Capsule for bringing incredible worldwide acts to Birmingham and promoting leftfield local talent. Here's to the next 10 years!!
Playlist for show 1 (free download by clicking here)
1. Beestung Lips - Reverse Alchemy (2:14)
2. Pram - Mother of pearl (3:16)
3. Una Corda - Three (6:54)
4. Lightning Dust - Dreamer (3:46)
5. Modified Toy Orchestra - A Grand Occasion (2:07)
6. Tweak Bird - Whorses (2:29)
7. Einstellung - Tot (4:01)
8. PCM - Davros Dominion (5:05)
9. Six Organs Of Admittance - Shelter From The Ash (3:24)
10. Om - On The Mountain At Dawn (21:18)
Playlist for show 2 (free download by clicking here)
1. Lightning Bolt - Captain Caveman (3:19)
2. Tunng - The Pioneers (4:25)
3. Modified Toy Orchestra - Monkey Hands (4:31)
4. Einstellung - Einstellung - "Und Das Rest Sind Doner" (9:45)
5. Tweak Bird - God Help Us (1:31)
6. BEAK> - The Cornubia (4:00)
7. Monotonix - Lowest Dive (4:33)
8. Six Organs Of Admittance - Alone with The Alone (4:15)
9. PCM - Trunk Rattler (5:54)
10. Sunn O))) - HELLO-O)))-WEEN (14:11)
Enjoy! and make sure you get to some of the shows!
The latest leg of my round-the-world trip took me, perhaps predictably being a Britsh backpacker, to Australia. I have spent the last few weeks travelling up the east coast and set out to discover why so many Brits choose to spend a year or more of their life in a country they've never visited, what attracts them to stay once they arrive and if there is anything we could learn from it to help the UK tourism industry.