Sunday, May 30, 2010
The Flyover Show, Hockley Flyover, Hockley Saturday 29th May 2010
My second Flyover Show (and the third one they’ve done now...I think) and, as with last year’s event, Soweto Kinch (Mr Flyover - pictured above) pulled a blinder (we can let him off the drizzle...even Soweto can’t change the weather, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he was working on that too). For those not in the know The Flyover Show’s a free one day festival held under a flyover in Hockley, arguably one of most of the most deprived areas of Birmingham. Soweto’s vision is simply to showcase some of the best music around in these distinctly unusual surroundings. And it’s all free. Given that there were no less than two Mercury Music Award winners, a Roots legend and a flyover stuffed full of other great stuff that’s not bad eh? As with last year’s event the highlights came thick and fast (as did the Dragon Stout...mercy me). They included, in no particular order:
Dreemz – heart warmingly brilliant choir (they appeared on the BBC’s Last Choir Standing a couple of years back and have come on leaps and bounds since then) who sang their socks off, covering everything from Take That to Paloma Faith’s ‘New York’.
RPM – Impressive rap three piece (two ladeez, one dude) who seemingly all do their own thing too. Can’t find a MySpace page for them...or any You Tube vids. If, in the unlikely event, any of them read this send me links and I’ll put ‘em up...more people need to hear this stuff. Edit: Thanks to the lovely Russ L for tracking down the vid to their single 'Hit the Floor'.
Roxxxanne – Magical mistress of grime and dubstep (pictured above), super confident performance from someone who clearly walks the walk...”Fuck 21 seconds I’ll spit for an hour”. Niiiice.
Judy’s House – 7 piece jazz/soul fusion group with a sound that’s as warm as a hug on a Summer’s evening.
Janet Kay – what can you say eh? Roots legend (pictured above)here to educate the youth in the ways of lovers rock. Gave us a sublime version of her biggest hit ‘Silly Games'.
Eska Mtungwazi – highlight of the day for me, what a voice, what a woman. Gave us a memorably radical reworking of ‘Walking on the Moon’ and a tune involving an ‘ickle guitar. Can’t remember what it – or the tune – was called. Bugger.
Ms Dynamite (pictured above)– damn that’s a catchy track (that ‘Dy-Na-Mi-Tee one), wasn’t sure how good she’d be live...the answer’s very good...
Whether Birmingham wins that capital of culture thingy or not it’s events like this that we should be really proud of. How spending several hours under a flyover can make you feel good I’ll never know, but it really does. It’s also one of the few occasions I get to see homegrown rap/hip hop/grime/dubstep (I’m a bit blurry on where the distinctions lie sometimes) and, seemingly, Birmingham’s a hot bed of talent. Whilst there’s no way I’d claim to be anything like an expert on this stuff (and I’m not a huge fan of anything that bangs on about popping caps in people’s bums) the lyrical agility of some of the performers deserves a much bigger appreciation in our City. How about a stage devoted to it at this year’s ArtsFest eh? I’m sure Soweto would help...he seems to be bloody good at organising this stuff.