Highlighting under the radar arts and culture in Birmingham, UK

Colour-ful spring

Music promoters Colour return next month with some amazing gigs. After their short break at the end of last year, they are planning to step up a gear in 2010. Birmingham is in for a treat!

I spoke to Matt and Katie Andrews, two-thirds of the team, about Colour and what they have in store for us over the next few months.

 Firstly, why did you start Colour? What is your mission?

Matt: I started Colour in 2006 with James Nash, an illustrator and at the time, fellow wayward barman in Wolverhampton. Back then it was a weekly DJ night where the aim was to create a space where people could get together, with a soundtrack of great leftfield music in the background, the kind of stuff you couldn’t hear in a bar in the city.

Putting on live music was almost an afterthought but quickly grew to become something we loved doing. We only booked bands we genuinely liked, who we thought were doing something interesting, which has really paid off: many of those bands we put on in the early days have played again, some becoming firm friends. Eventually, live music became the focus.

Our ‘mission’ is pretty much the same as it was back then; to showcase exciting music we love in intimate surroundings, whether that’s a live gig or a piece on our blog.


You started out in Wolverhampton and made the move to Birmingham. Why?

Katie: We moved to Birmingham in Spring 2009, after a run of shows at Light House, Wolverhampton. Although the response to those shows was good, we felt that if we took it to a bigger city we could attract a wider range of artists, a broader audience and have some great venues available to us. When we found The Victoria, we knew we had found our new home, it was friendly and intimate and was just starting to become one of the city’s most vibrant places to go.

M: I was also attracted to the fact that The Victoria is in the heart of the city. There’s a lot of fantastic venues dotted around, but the Vic is accessible to people from Birmingham and further afield.

If you could get anyone living or dead to play, who would it be?

M: So many! Stephen Malkmus would be at the top. Colour was founded on a shared love of Pavement, verging on the creepy. I’d also love to put on Californian hip-pop trio Why? or their buddies Subtle. I’d also love to conjure up the ghost of mid-7os Tom Waits, back when he was draped over a piano with a cigarette hanging out the side of his mouth. There’s just too many.

K: Okay, so I could easily say Elvis, The Beatles or Johnny Cash, but if I’m honest it would scare the bejesus out of me to put those acts on a bill. We are so lucky to have just booked Willy Vlautin (of Richmond Fontaine), a favourite artist and author of the last few years. I’d definitely put him/them on a dream line-up with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Smog and Magnolia Electric Co.

So what have you got coming up in 2010? What do we have to look forward to?

M: Last year was a pretty  crazy one for us; we were finding our feet in a new city, new jobs and we also got hitched. We just didn’t have enough time to dedicate to putting on live music. This year, we’re going all out, so expect to be seeing a lot more gigs from us in the coming months.

First up, we have the aforementioned Willy Vlautin gig on 11th February, which promises to be really special – his band normally play loud in big club venues, but it’ll be him and his guitar, with a few beautiful spoken word pieces. Bring the hankies. Two days later (!) (13th February) we have The Declining Winter, a seven-piece band from Leeds who play stunning, epic music and are fronted by Richard Adams, who is one-half of post-rock pioneers Hood.

On 4th March we’re putting on Woodenbox With A Fistful of Fivers, which is probably one of our favourite finds of the last year – rousing Americana with a Scottish brogue and Spaghetti-Western backing. Think Morricone meets early (good) Idlewild. There’s plenty more in the pipeline too! Rob Glover from Epic45, one of our favourite bands, has also come on board, so we’re really looking forward to his involvement.

K: We are still developing the aesthetic aspect of Colour, our designs and the visuals we choose to back the acts that play, which is a really enjoyable part of it all. We also have a somewhat more conceptual project in the planning stage, which I can’t say much about but it will feature utopian cities, futuristic thinking and white vinyl.

Willy Vlautin (of Richmond Fontaine) plays The Victoria on February 11th.

The Declining Winter + Fieldhead play Island Bar on February 13th

Tickets for the events can be bought on the door or in advance here.


2 comments on “Colour-ful spring

  1. Pingback: Interview on More Canals Than Venice « colour

  2. out of step
    January 19, 2010

    Colour is getting the reconnection it deserves simply epic

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