Live and Loud festival set to celebrate Birmingham’s music scene

Collab Sessions
X The Business Desk

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Soweto Kinch, Birmingham’s award-winning alto-saxophonist and MC, is among the host of artists coming together as part of this year’s Selfridges Birmingham Live + Loud festival.

The annual celebration, which this celebrates the city’s diverse and vibrant contribution to music, is a ten-day event launching today (Friday).

Sam Watts, Selfridges’ general manager, said: “We are very excited by the breadth of activities we’ve organised for this year’s Live + Loud event. From showcasing emerging musical talent to welcoming already established and globally known artists, there is something for everyone, every day.

“Birmingham has a long, rich and diverse musical heritage and has produced some of the world’s most recognised names in pop and rock, so it feels absolutely right to celebrate the creative talent of the city.”

One of the events is dubbed The Collab Sessions, which will see two artists from different genres working together to create a new track – live on stage.

There will be four collaborations – on September 23, 24, 30 and October 1 – and the artists will be challenged to fuse their sounds over five hours on the Selfridges Band Stand and eventually perform their new track live at 4pm.

Kinch, who has won two MOBO awards and two BBC Jazz Awards, and is also renowned as a hip hop MC and producer, will be in store on Sunday (September 24), where he will join world music percussionist Jon Sterkx to create a truly unique track.

Kinch said: “I’m really excited to be playing in my home city, and working in this new and exciting way in a collaboration – but most of all I love the idea of art disrupting people’s otherwise mundane shopping experiences with creativity – I can’t wait to catch shoppers off guard.”

Opening the Collab sessions tomorrow (Saturday) is Birmingham’s TrueMendous, who combines storytelling and poetry with hip hop, R&B, neo soul, funk and boom bap. She will be working with another local rising star, jazz artist Xhosa Cole.

Urban grime MC Dapz on the Map will be creating music with fellow Brummies Lobster, a six-piece reggae and hip-hop influenced punk band on September 30, while the final Collab session on October 1 will bring together hip hop artist Lady Sanity and Gabbidon, the last creation of Basil Gabbidon, founder of Steel Pulse, whose eclectic music is a heady mix of roots, rock and reggae.

Live + Loud, which coincides with the Birmingham Weekender, the free bi-annual arts festival, will also see 20 bands from across the city taking to the stage on a specially created breakout band stand on the first level food hall.

Other events include Selfridges joining forces with SB.TV, whose YouTube channel has 10 million subscribers, to create 0121, an art installation/pop-up radio studio on the store’s level 2. The live broadcasts between September 23 and 30 will be complete with artist appearances, performance space and conversation areas.

Spectators will be encouraged to play their role in the thrilling spectacular Clash of Drums – which will see Les Commandos Percu perform Les Interventions Mobile. Spectators will be positively encouraged to participate!

The drummers will meet at the store entrance on level 1 and will snake their way through the store tonight (Friday) as they perform their unique not-to-be-missed drum battle. The set culminates in a pyrotechnic finale on the terrace. The complementary event will be an interactive experience, where spectators will be positively encouraged to participate.

In conjunction with Town Hall and Symphony Hall (THSH), four-piece brass band Bostin Brass will be staging pop-up performances throughout the store.

Other events include Birmingham Does Bhangra – a celebration of the city’s contribution to the Punjabi music and art genre, on Sunday. On September 29, Selfridges welcomes Birmingham’s own Mike Skinner, formerly of The Streets, who will bring his DJ act Tonga to the store in conjunction with True Religion.

Family events include a musical picnic from THSH, pop-up performances from Aston Performing Arts and a fun children’s rave from Ministry of Sound’s Rave-A-Roo, with live DJ, disco ball games and confetti cannons.

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