Here are some examples of some articles I have written, mainly for my final major project.
We got the opportunity to interview David ‘Boogie Dave’ Whittall from Suki10c, an underground club in Digbeth Birmingham. We spoke about the upcoming events in Suki10c and how the club got to where it is now.
Why are you not on the main high street?
We’re situated away from the main part because we don’t’ want to attract dickheads. In 4 years we’ve had no trouble, and that’s because people don’t know about us. The people that know about us, they’re cool
How do you get your events known about?
It’s only a small venue, 150 and we’re full. Word of mouth, and in a city this big it’s easy to attract that. Most of our events are organised by external promoters, in the first 2 years I did it myself. But I’ve been promoting for 20 so I have a big network of people. We have no passing trade. People come for their own specific events.
Bounce factory come from Telford and bring everyone, only for that night. Techno nights, people will only come to that event. But that’s good ‘cause you’ve got a wide variety of music with a wide variety of people, and people come from everywhere for their specific events.
What sort of genre do you host?
Everything, literally everything. Weekly Thursday nights; Predominately DnB and MC’s. We do old school rave nights and grime takeovers once a month, fortnightly Fridays – live bands, indie music and DJ’s from BBC Introducing and more local places like The Sunflower Lounge. We recently had Rat Boy play at the club a few weeks back, after his gig at the o2 academy and came and did an after party at suki. He loved it. It was through club Lamore. That was organised the night before and the place was full, and it’s all word of mouth.
How is it promoted?
Through twitter and Facebook. We try and do flyers but the council make it difficult.
You try your hardest as underground independent business and it feels like you have councils and big business’ knocking you back.
Tell us about the decoration of the building.
I organised all the painting of the outside. It was just a backstreet pub when I took it on 4 years ago. It had been shut for 3 and a half years, and it was ruined by scrap thieves and that. Cream walls with burgundy gloss. Me and my business partner painted it all black, everything black. Walls? Black. Ceiling? Black. Floor? Black. I know all the artists and I wanted the place to be a blank canvas for artists to come and add their individual touches. I got in touch with a group of graffiti artists. We put a bbq outside and spent two days painting it all.
Why did you chose that?
‘Cause that’s who I am. The whole ethos of the venue is ‘creative expression’ that’s what it’s about. Whatever that is. And for city of colours we’re going to completely repaint it. I personally would like to keep it there forever. A piece by Juice126, he’s from Birmingham but now he’s internationally famous so he doesn’t paint here anymore because of the politics. But how he does it, is by spraying the paint into the can and throwing it on and it’s amazing. And I really don’t want to paint over it. I’ll be gutted.
What plans for new designs?
It’s up the artists. The artists we use are brilliant, so we trust them and I know that their level of talent is such that I know that it’ll look good. It’ll be interesting to see.
Tell us the history of it then, why did you select that venue?
I’ve wanted to have my own venue for years. I used to go to a Saturday afternoon disco when I was 12, I’ve always been a fan and been involved in music in one way or another and always wanted my own place. I was always out giving out flyers. I would flyer in the city centre and walk down to the custard factory. So when it came to the club… I would go past that pub when it was all boarded up and walk past and think ‘I wonder…’ I got in touch with the agents and said can I have a look?
A mess was an understatement. It was bad. Piles of wood, you could see up to the top floor. Scrap thieves had torn the place apart. Rainwater pouring in. I thought I’ll see what it’s like, it might only need a lick of paint. I thought there was no way I’d be able to do this. And then a friend of mine was killed in a car crash, and when you come into the bar and see the painting on the back wall and that’s him, and that’s when I thought within a blink of an eye everything is gone, and that’s when I thought let’s just go for it.
I got the keys, and the weekend of the Royal Wedding, we will open for the entire weekend non-stop, bank holiday weekend. So we had 6 weeks of hell to get the place together, and we did it and we got it all together.
How would you describe your venue?
Underground, fiercely independent, unique.
Have you ever been approached to do something you don’t want to do?
I just say no. The ones that attract the wrong crowd, lots of gang members approached me but I don’t want them here because next thing you know you’ll have guns here.
What’s your favourite type of music?
I’m pretty open to all types of music, I played electro breaks because I’m DJ, I’ve done it for 6/7 years. And I’m at the forefront of the dubstep scene. Dub is about those reggae vibes and that’s what I used to play. There’s still an undercurrent of dubstep about, same as DnB. There’s still an element of it about but there’s still hard-core followers of it out there. I can play a dubstep set now, and people think it’s so different to anything else.
I was the first person to bring Borgore to Birmingham, he used to come and play for us. There was this thing with Borgore, I know this beatboxer called Base 6, and he was on the train and introduced us to Asaf, and he said if you can put me on this Friday then I’ll come and play and he did. And then he got signed and it became difficult to get him to come and play because of the agents.
Do you still DJ now?
I don’t get much chance because of the club.
But yeah it’s been an interesting experience. I love it it’s in my blood.
What’s the plan for the future?
I want to get it to the point where it’s constantly busy and got events on. It’s taken a long time to establish it as a nice niche underground venue. And when it gets to the point where it’s established I’d like to open another little club, and open those as other unique little places.
I ran drop beats not bombs for ten years, a big anti-war movement against the movement in Iraq. WE organised it and 2000 people stood outside the institute, and we had to do another one. We did 12 stages over the Custard Factory and it helped the Rainbow get to where it is now. We closed off the street and it changed the clubbing landscape of Digbeth.
IT’s in my blood. I love doing it. I love music. Music connects on a different level. Music actually scientifically, it acts differently in you, and you have a connection to music. It’s the first thing you hear.
We also visited The Custard Factory in the centre of Digbeth, and here’s what I wrote…
All about The Custard Factory
If you say Digbeth to anyone from Birmingham, you can guarantee one of their top responses would be ‘the Custard Factory’.
A place that is full of colour, culture and creativity, The Custard Factory has something for everyone. From vintage shops to art galleries, there is a wide range of things to do, for people of all ages. Only a ten minute walk from the Bull Ring, The Custard Factory is eye catching from the minute you spent into the vicinity, offering over 15 acres of converted riverside factories which are over 100 years old.
Although you’d be wrong thinking you can find rooms full of custard (a bit disappointing, I know), you’ll feel instantly better when you walk towards a more grown up and quirky version of Balamory, with many an eye catching colour decorating the many buildings. The Creative Quarter certainly lives up to its name, with bright graffiti lining the walls and a giant tree man (you’ll get what we mean) to welcome you to the area. There are over 500 businesses in the vicinity, ranging from independent clothes shops to record labels, as well as some delicious food on offer.
If it’s glamour you’re after, look no further than Le Keux Vintage Salon, found in within The Custard Factory. From the minute you step in to the salon, you will feel like you’re stepping back in time to the 50’s, full of retro glitz and glamour. Offering a range of beauty treatments from vintage hair and beauty makeovers, to waxing, facials and even the extra special change to take part in a retro photoshoot. As well as that, you can indulge in special hen party packages, afternoon tea, cocktails and even burlesque! Not only is it perfect for women, it also offers a pool table, games room and roulette tables for the men who also love being groomed.
The Custard Factory is also a place to shop till you drop! With over 30 independent and alternative shops, there is something for all styles, ages and budgets. If normal high street wear isn’t your kind of thing, then head down to the many shops that offer vintage apparel and more modern trends, as well as shops specifically for skaters, teddy bear lovers and jewellery fanatics. And what better place to shop than at the longest standing shop in The Custard Factory, Urban Village, which has been going strong since the 90’s. It sells great vintage clothing at affordable prices, with pieces and accessories highlighting from the 60’s and 70’s.
To fill your appetite, The Custard Factory is full of places to have a bite to eat. Whether it’s just a little something – Another Pop Up is a perfect for this, serving nutritious breakfasts and lunches, or something a bit fancier, such as The Mockingbird, there is something for everyone. An extra bonus is when there is a festival taking place and the area is filled with different street foods…mmm. The Mockingbird is another unique venue, which provides highly acclaimed bistro food and many different craft beers, wines and spirits. And while you enjoy the delicious food, you can look forward to enjoying a play, film or music which is shown in the 101 seat theatre. Food and entertainment all under one roof, ideal!
I also reviewed Grime star Mr Macee and his new track Mercedes
Mr Macee is back with a new song and a new vibe. After the success of his first single, Money + Power, he’s made a comeback alongside Alex Campbell to give us Mercedes.
The 21 year old artist is Birmingham born and bred, and is a well-known grime artists throughout clubs in the area. His passion began when he was just 4 years old, when he discovered a talent for reading, writing and poetry. Combine that with a love of music and you get Mr Macee, a strong contender in the Grime scene in Birmingham. With music written that is based on experiences around him, his music certainly has the feel of someone who loves what they do. He has performed across the country, from Hennessey’s Bar in our very own Digbeth, to the RoundHouse in Camden, which has been home to acts from Joey Bada$$, to Signma, to Kodaline; acts from every genre of music has performed here, and gone on to be chart topping artists.
And there is no doubt Mr Macee is headed in the same direction with new track Mercedes. The slow intro and soft vocals by Alex Campbell is different to his usual more upbeat style, creating a chilled out vibe with elements that are similar to hit artists The Weeknd. Once Mr Macee joins in with his lyrical genius, his rap rhythm is relaxing to listen to as his timing and words just fit together. As he raps, ‘she understands my lingo’, just like we understand his as he raps about the girl named Mercedes.
The chorus is no doubt to get stuck in your head as well, with the smooth melody of the track name repeatedly sang throughout. Alex Campbell is certainly a welcome addition to Macee’s track, adding the soulful sounds in the chorus and the bridge, which are sure to be going round your head all day.
The combination of Mr Macee’s clever lyrics and Campbell vocals, as well as the added synth melody that is heard throughout the whole song, it is a tune that you are bound to be singing for weeks. The song builds and breaks down in just the right places, with a seductive feel to it. It’s the perfect song to chill out to, and will no doubt be part of the soundtrack to your summer.
Listen to Mr Macee https://soundcloud.com/mr-macee