Monday, June 15, 2009

The Flyover Show…under a flyover in Hockley, Saturday 13th June 2009

‘Where’s the BBC, ITV or MTV eh?’ asks Ty. It’s a good question. Where were they? Why wasn’t there more support for this event from the ‘mainstream’ media? Mind you I just can’t see Nick Owen in a baseball cap and pair of MC Hammer trousers bustin’ some moves with his homies can you? Throbbing with positivity this brainchild of jazz supremo and local boy Soweto Kinch saw an impressive line up of local and international talent play the distinctly unusual venue of a flyover in Hockley. Its aim is pretty simple. The area perhaps doesn’t have the best reputation and by putting on a show like this Soweto’s clearly hoping to change perceptions, with or without the more traditional media’s help. I have to admit that I rarely venture down the Hockley and Handsworth way myself. I think even the most positive resident of the area would have to agree that, to the outside world, the place seems a little ‘edgy’ but, having spent 6 or 7 happy hours chilling out with a good natured bunch of people from the ‘hood I’d happily go back there. So job done in my case Soweto.

The organisation was brilliant. Barely any gaps between sets, enough loos to go round (oh so important) and surprisingly good sound (even more remarkable considering we were standing underneath several tonnes of fast moving traffic). There was a decent enough crowd too, which grew steadily as headliner Bashy’s set drew closer, but I can’t help feeling that more people should’ve seen this. Still it’s only the second year and Hockley (and its reputation) wasn’t built in a day eh?

Plenty of highlights to report, from local rapper Tan to Jonzi D (an MC/poet and hip hop choreographer with a rich CV dating back to the 80’s - a true old skool original), Tumi (a darn fine rapper all the way from South Africa) to Spokinn Movement (Spearhead-ish rap rock from Noo Yawk) and Natty (ina reggae stylee) to grime MC Bashy, not forgetting Ty (who, together with Soweto, did an excellent job of hosting the event). I really enjoyed the poem written and recited by Gemma Weeks too. Can’t remember what it was called but I can remember thinking that it had some lines of pure genius. Oh the jazz duo of Robert Mitchell and Corey Mwamba were good as well…balls…everyone was good. The fact that (presumably…as this was a free show) they got paid little or nothing at all somehow made it all even more impressive.

Soweto was all over the place (in a good way), guesting on loads of sets, meeting and greeting the crowd, sorting out the running order, co-hosting with Ty…I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d built the stage, wired up the PA and prepared the fried chicken too. It was one of those events that made you feel proud to come from Birmingham - hell, scratch that - the human race. And there aren’t enough times these days when I feel like saying that.

No comments: