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By popular demand the Award Winning Out Of The Shadows return to Fletchers on Sunday 12 April

By popular demand the award winning West Midlands group Out Of The Shadows return to Fletchers on Sunday 12 April after their last two performances had the audience dancing in every conceivable space!

Expect to hear some of the greatest pop songs and instrumentals from the late1950's onwards including Eddie Cochran's “Summertime Blues”, Cliff Richard's “I Could Easily Fall In Love With You” and Dire Straits' ”Walk Of Life” along with a string of top instrumental hits including The Shadows' “Apache” , “Wonderful Land” and “Cavatina – Theme From The Deer Hunter”.

Hailing from Stourbridge, they have regularly been voted Top Club Act by local club entertainment officers and audience members.

If you have not seen them before, don't miss out again on another great Lazy Sunday Afternoon's entertainment. Three hours of top quality pop music guaranteed!

Tickets cost just £3 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3 plus booking fee from www.wegottickets.com/event/311744

Any remaining tickets will cost £4 on the door.

 
Over 500 sign up to support our campaign to create a new Ritz Community Arts Centre

 

ABOVE: Hoakser's mural created for this September's King's Heath Street Festival celebrates the history of 2 York Road. From 1913-32 the builiding was the Ideal Picture House, from 1933-54 it was the Ideal Billiards Club, from 1955 - 72 it was most famously the Ritz Ballroom and from 1973-2003 it was the Ritz Bingo Club.

Our campaign to create a Ritz Community Arts Centre on the site of the burnt down ruins of the former ballroom on King's Heath's York Road has got off to a flying start. Over 500 people have now agreed to donate £10 a year enabling us to demonstrate we will have an annual income of more than £5,000 so we can become a registered charity and seek Lottery funding.

A well attended public meeting at the All Saints Centre on Tuesday 23 September elected a 15 strong committee to take the project forward. The committee will be holding it's first meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday 28 October also at the All Saints Centre.

There is stiil time to fill in our on-line questionnaire and agree to donate £10 a year by going to:-

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R98H3YM

If you would like to get involved in our campaign contact:-

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We are particularly looking for more people with a background in the performing arts, drawing up business plans, BID writing and fundraising and architecture and planning but the more help we can get the better!


 
Age Concerns and RFX kick off Autumn series of Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions on 28 September

Come to the start of a great new series of Lazy Sunday Afternoon Sessions at Fletchers on Sunday 28 September.

A great double bill of The Age Concerns supported by RFX is guaranteed to get you dancing in the aisles!

The Age Concerns are a mix of Ages hence the name. The Band include Ross ( the young one) and Brian Sharpe and Jimmy White (the not so young ones!) who played at the Ritz Ballroom with bands such as The Jay Men. They play classic 50's ,60's and 70's Rock 'n' Roll.

Support will be provided by RFX - a new local duo made up of Brendan and Marc.  Forged in Birmingham and the Black Country they blend Classic Rock with a little 'Funk' and Reggae. Tight, solid songs and big choruses in the same mould as Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Faith No More, etc, etc.

Starting at 3 p.m this great double bill will provide three hours of great live muusic guaranteed to help you get rid of those autumn blues!

Advance tickets cost just £3 from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £3 plus a booking fee from www.wegottickets.com
Any remaining tickets will cost 4 on the door.

All proceeds will go towards the campaign to buy the old Ritz Ballroom site and build a new Ritz Community Arts Centre to include a Birmingham Pop History Museum and Cinema with performance and rehearsal space for music, comedy, theatre and dance. To pledge your support and fill in an on-line questionnaire go to:- https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R98H3YM

 
Europe's No. 1 Tribute The Stones headline Kings Heath's RollKings Stones Fest on Sunday 14 September

A special concert by The Stones - not just Europe's No.1 Tribute Band but a Great Band in their own right - will conclude a 51st Anniversary Celebration of the Rolling Stones first ever performance in Birmingham at the former Ritz Ballroom on York Road next door to the Hare & Hounds.

A day long RollKings Stones Fest has been organised for Sunday 14 September starting with an Acoustic Session featuring top local musicians at Fletchers Bar from 3p.m. to 6 p.m followed by a screening of a film of the Rolling Stones in concert also at Fletchers and ending with Europe's No.1  tribute band The Stones performing a two hour show at  7.30 p.m. at the Hare & Hounds.

Formed in London in 1962 by Brian Jones after he met up with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had been childhood friends, the Rolling Stones started out as a blues group taking their name from the title of a song by Muddy Waters. For the whole of 1962 they played exclusively in the London area. But all that changed on 7 June 1963 after they released their first single a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On". Just a few months later on 14 September 1963 they played one of their first ever gigs outside London and their first ever in Birmingham at King's Heath's Ritz Ballroom. Joining Brian, Mick and Keith on the tiny stage were Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. The day after they returned to London to play at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall! They then went onto become the world's greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world sellin over 200 million albums.

From 3 to 6 pm top musicians including Mike Cooper from Dangerous Girls who play a re-union gig at the Hare & Hounds the night before, roots rockers Mr Apollo, the sensational Acoustica, the very young and talented singer/songwriter Harriet Harkcom widely tipped for great things, the equally talented Tim Walkerdine and two groups specially fomed for the occasion The Mighty Crawdaddies and Harmonica Bob and Oz will perform their interpretations of classic Rolling Stones songs at  Fletchers Bar & Eatery.

From 7.30 to 10.30 pm Europe's No.1 tribute to the Rolling Stones The Stones will bring to the stage at the  Hare & Hounds all the energy and excitement of a live Rolling Stones concert in a serious tribute to their music in a sensational climax to the One Day Fest.

Their repertoire covers songs from all periods of the Rolling Stones career, but the majority of songs are from the 1960's and 70's

Don't miss this unique event to commemorate the greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World's Birmingham debut.

"... history repeating itself, only better ...by a lot" (Playhouse, Whitley Bay)

" The Rolling Stones, recreated to absolute perfection" (Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield)

Tickets for the evening concert by The Stones at the Hare and Hounds cost £8 cash in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe, £8.75 from The Hare and Hounds (click here for tickets) or £10 on the door.

Tickets for the afternoon Acoustic Session at Fletchers cost £3 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe, £3.30 from www.wegotickets.com/event/286502 or £4 on the door.

An All Day Pass for both events costs £10 in advance from the Kitchen Garden Cafe, £11 from www.wegotickets.com/event/286505 or £12 on the door.

Below: The Rolling Stones photographed in 1963 at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall the evening after appearing in King's Heath at the Ritz Ballroom

 
King's Heath's York Road could rival Liverpool's Cavern as a Major Musical Heritage Tourist Attraction

Above: The Ritz Ballroom before it was destroyed by fire

A major campaign has been launched to ensure that the Ritz Ballroom site is re-developed in a way that reflects the pivotal role the ballroom played in Birmingham's pop music history and to promote King's Heath as a major musical heritage tourist attraction.

The campaign which is being co-ordinated by the King's Heath Walk of Fame has been started after Birmingham Mail reporter Nick McCarthy wrote on 2 June that Toyah Willcox's pavement star on York Road had been removed for safekeeping following the fire that destroyed the ballroom .

Joint Walk of Fame organisers Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker's reply which was published on 10 June states:

"Nick McCarthy is quite right to point out that we have had to dig up and store Toyah Willcox's pavement star on the King's Heath Walk of Fame  following the fire that left the former Ritz Ballroom in ruins (Birmingham Mail 2 June).

Birmingham Civic Society have also had to remove and store their first Musical Heritage Plate commemorating the historical role the ballroom played in Birmingham's pop music scene from the late 1950's onwards.

Not only did up and coming Birmingham bands The Move and The Moody Blues start off their careers there but also a whole host of now internationally famous groups made their Birmingham debut there including The Beatles, The Stones, The Kinks, Pink Floyd and The Who.

With the right re-development of the site, York Road in King's Heath could become a real tourist attraction to rival Liverpool's famous Cavern Club. Included in the attraction could be the King's Heath Walk of Fame pavement stars, the Ritz Ballroom musical heritage plate and the Performance Rights Society plaque commemorating UB40's first ever gig at the Hare & Hounds.

We have asked our local councillors to arrange a meeting between us and the owner of the Ritz Ballroom site and the Planning Department to get the site re-developed in a way that acknowledges the pivotal role The Ritz played in Brum's musical heritage.

With Council advice and support, we could also try and acquire the site by making an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund and re-develop it as a living Birmingham Pop Music Museum with regular live eventsi and a rehearsal space for today's up and coming groups".

Please support our campaign. Write to your local councillors and MP's and get in touch with us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it "

Not only does York Road contain the Ritz Ballroom site but it also boasts two of Birmingham's premier live music venues in the Hare & Hounds and the Kitchen Garden Cafe, one of Birmingham's best independent record stores Polar Bear and a host of independent cafes, bars and shops. And just round the corner is the Highbury Studio where Duran Duran and Ocean Colour Scene made their first recordings.

Please support our campaign by writing to:-

Moseley and Kings Heath Ward Councillors

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Below: Bev Bevan presents Toyah Willcox with a replica of the pavement star that has had to be  temporarily removed from YorK Road.

 
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