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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.

Ex-Kinks Members return to King's Heath to repeat 1966 Triumph

Above: The Kinks in 1966 with left John Dalton, centre Dave and Ray Davies and right Mick Avory

Kings Heath will be getting really kinky on Sunday 8 June as ex-members of the legendary pop group The Kinks return for a unique anniversary concert in the intimate atmosphere of the Hare & Hounds pub. And history might repeat itself with an England World Cup victory coming just a month later as it did in 1966.

The specially arranged concert will,in fact, celebrate three anniversaries: the 50th Anniversary of The Kinks being formed in Muswell Hill in London, the 48th Anniversary of the group appearing at the former Ritz Ballroom in Kings Heath and the 20th Anniversary of the original drummer Mick Avory forming The Kast Off Kinks to keep the music of the group alive.

When The Kinks appeared at the Ritz Ballroom in June 1966 their line-up included for the first time John Dalton after regular bass guitarist Pete Quaife broke his leg in a car accident. Appearing only two days after being recruited, John had virtually no time to practice. Three years later he would re-join as a permanent member.

Now he will be returning to Kings Heath for the first time as part of The Kast Off Kinks along with fellow ex-Kinks members drummer Mick Avory who also appeared at The Ritz in 1966, keyboard player Ian Gibbons along with lead guitarist and vocalist Dave Clarke who previously worked with The Beach Boys.

John Dalton says “ It is great to be going back to Kings Heath 48 years after doing my first gig with The Kinks there. We played at the Ritz on 11 June 1966. I can remember being very nervous because I had only known The Kinks for two days and in those two days I had done Top Of The Pops, two recording sessions and had to learn all the songs for the show. It was very hectic. It will also bring back very fond memories to me because all my relations come from just up the road in Balsall Heath and I used to spend all my childhood holidays there”

The Kinks' appearance at The Ritz came just after they released "Sunny Afternoon" which became their third No. 1 hit in the UK singles charts. The group went on to have a total of seventeen Top Twenty singles including “Dedicated Follower of Fashion”, “Waterloo Sunset” and “Lola” and five Top Ten albums starting with “Kinda Kinks”.

All their greatest hits will be included in the almost two hour set that The Kast Off Kinks will perform at the Hare & Hounds on Sunday 8 June with doors opening at 7 p.m.

Local residents Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker who have organised the concert said, “We believe that being able to watch and listen to ex- Kinks members perform in the intimate atmosphere of the Hare & Hounds is a once in a lifetime opportunity. The Kinks are one of the most important British groups of all time and they continue to have a major influence on today's music scene. We are expecting a capacity audience as we continue to celebrate the rich musical legacy of the Ritz Ballroom. It would also be fantastic if the gig was followed by an England World Cup Victory as in 1966!".

Click on the link below to read the Birmingham Mail article on the gig:


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