Highlighting under the radar arts and culture in Birmingham, UK

Home of Metal Black Country Weekender

Over the summer the region has been celebrating its musical heritage with Home of Metal. Numerous exhibitions have celebrated and exhibited everything from Judas Priest’s stage costumes, the last pouring from the Elizabeth blast furnace in Bilston to stunning skull sculptures made from wool.

There has been a Sky Arts documentary (8 minutes of which can be viewed here), fantastic coverage in the national press, calls for a New Romantics exhibition and the council has even been considering cashing in on Birmingham’s musical heritage (about time!)

The season culminates in the Home of Metal Black Country Weekender from 1-4 September. It’s bursting with activities and I would say it is best to have a peek at the brochure or the website for the full programme. I’ve put together a list of the things I’m most looking forward to:

Vintage Mobile Cinema

I’m very excited to see the return of the Vintage Mobile Cinema. Last seen in Birmingham during Flatpack Festival, the picture-palace on wheels will be touring the Black Country with a programme of archival film of local industry and Heavy Metal related short films. It will visit Wolverhampton (Queen Square), Dudley Museum & Art Gallery, The New Art Gallery Walsall and Haden Hill House in Halesowen.

Between the Hammer and the Anvil – 

Friday 2 September, The New Art Gallery Walsall, 6pm–9pm – FREE

NAGW always put on good evening events and this will be no exception! As well as the live music from Gentlemans Pistols and a film programme of shorts, there will be a Silent Metal Disco! A chance to grab some headphones and listen to classic rock and metal as well as the local bands that have been celebrated in Home of Metal. I’ve never been to a silent disco before so I’m looking forward to the novelty of seeing people dancing and singing to seemingly nothing – and perhaps partaking myself. He he!

Heavy Metal Parking Lot –  Silver Jubilee 

Saturday 3 September, Light House, Wolverhampton, 8.30pm- 11pm. FREE 

This camcorder classic is celebrating its 25th anniversary and what better way to watch it than in the car park of the Light House? Filming and interviewing boozed-up rockers before a Judas Priest gig, the film has become required viewing on tour buses across the globe. There will also be music from Stinky Wizzleteat and Selfless, shorts (of both variety I’m sure) and BBQ.

Sound It Out 

Saturday 3 September, The Public, West Bromwich, 4pm, FREE

I am a keen supporter of local music and music retailers so will enjoy Jeanie Finlay’s new documentary about Teesside’s last surviving independent record shop. It’s been described as High Fidelity with a northern accent. I’m there!

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