(Issue 105)
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Like it, loathe it, collect it, or let this be the first time you've really thought about it, Brum is chocked full of new art and new openings. And despite their huge collective reach and significance, they're free to view and heroically eclectic. Here's our pick.
What: Fiona Banner, Scroll Down and Keep Scrolling  Where: Ikon Gallery
When: Until January 17, 2016
Whether you've tracked the career of formidable British artist, Fiona Banner, or you just like looking at bright, clever, playful things, Scroll Down and Keep Scrolling is an exhibition that can be experienced at whatever level you're in the mood for. There's an immense, impactful wordscape of Vietnam war films including Apocalypse Now. There are created fonts, lit and laced throughout Ikon's galleries, including the hand blown neon text pictured. There's also a lot of Snoopy. Obviously.
What: Works on Paper Where: Reuben Colley Fine Art
When: Until November 7
A disturbing piece by photorealist, Rick Garland, Enough leaves much to the viewer's interpretation. With the discarded flower petals and fuel can on the floor, Zippo lighter in hand and fireman's fatigues, is this man about to rescue someone from a fire he started? Part of RCFA's Works on Paper (which also includes two Warhols), should you have a basement that you want to make substantially more terrorsome, limited edition signed prints of Garland's piece are available from £650. Catalogue.
What: Chu, Centre of the Universe Where: Custard Factory, Digbeth
When: Likely to be in place until late this year
The UK’s largest ever multi-city street art project has launched in Brum. This 18m-high mural features hometown heavyweights including Mike Skinner of The Streets, soon-to-be Star Wars actress Felicity Jones and poet, Benjamin Zephaniah. Inspired by Zephaniah’s quote “Birmingham has changed a lot, but for me it's still the centre of the universe,” the artwork is about capturing the energy of Birmingham's creative industries, from music to film to TV to publishing. More on the initiative here.
What: Salon Where: Waterhall Gallery, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
When: November 13 until December 23
Buying art has always seemed to be one of those future feats we'll one day spontaneously be qualified to attempt. So if like us you're open to a low-risk test run - try Salon - an exhibition where every painting, print, sculpture, photograph and film featured is for sale. Starting at £20 and with plenty available sub-£300, there's work from 80 artists, including Brum-based Oliver Jones, whose exquisite photorealist pastel drawings (including Beyond Natural, pictured) are being shown. There's also limited editions from artists including Gillian Wearing and Vanley Burke.


If you're in the market for bubbles, find over 30 varieties of sparkling wine and Champagne at Love Wine, on November 7. You'll also find 40 exhibitors, from the classic vineyards of Bordeaux to the emerging regions of Croatia, India and more, talking (and tasting) all things wine. There'll be artisan food producers and a goodly number of experts, including a few familiar faces from TV, to run masterclasses. An ideal chance for early Christmas shopping? Love Wine is hosted at Hotel Du Vin and remaining tickets are from £19. Use code ICHOOSELOVE for 15% off. Entry includes a Riedel tasting glass to take home and a bag of goodies. Book.


Thirteen. While it may be unlucky for some, Charles Dickens' thirteenth novel, Great Expectations, did rather well by all accounts. So well in fact that the book - which was first published as a serial in 1860 - is still being performed regularly, including at Brum's own Crescent Theatre. From October 31 to November 7, join Miss Havisham, Pip and and that fog shrouded graveyard through loss, love, manipulation and self-knowledge, to the sophistication, wealth and hypocrisy of Victorian London. Tickets are £15 and you could win a pair here.


This year, Halloween falls on a Saturday. And while there's a place for running along Broad Street wearing only a sheet, that place was university and the candle-lit surrounds of Hotel du Vin is where you'll find us. Situated in what was the city's eye hospital for over 100 years, Ian Jelf of Birmingham's ghost tours will be sharing tales of HdV's resident eye surgeon (who also happens to be deceased.) Last seen earlier this year in the hotel, enjoy a cocktail and dinner while you decide if you'll be taking a tour of the surgeon's bedroom or sticking to a cheese board. Tickets (£49), include a cocktail, wine and 3-courses from this menu. Email: events.birmingham@hotelduvin.com to book your spot.


Yep, it's an aeroplane's fuselage and you'll find it at the Rep from November 3 to 7. You'll also find the acclaimed production of William Golding's Lord Of The Flies, on tour following its hugely successful run at London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. And just in case your class did To Kill a Mockingbird at GCSE: after a group of British schoolboys survive a plane crash, a classic desert island adventure gets just about as bad as possible, as quickly as possible. The resulting struggle for survival in a world of superstition and immorality is as sinister as it is thrilling and the spectacle is cinematic in scale. Tickets cost from £13.50, rising to £35. Mock papers at the interval optional.
Venue: Meating, First Floor, Arcadian, Hurst Street, B5 4TD; website
Choice: The Lazycow burger (£14.50) Chooser: Manager

There's a new breed of independents in Brum that have such accomplished branding, you'd be forgiven for mistaking them for chains. Created and run by Andys D & M (formerly of Crust Solihull), Meating is utterly independent and perhaps unsurprisingly deals in native and rare breed meats (as well as more fish and veggie options than we were expecting). Unless you're famished, skip the okay starters and proceed directly to the main event. The Lazycow is a joyous union of Galloway beef patty, short rib meat (oh yes), béarnaise and caramelised onions. Though served separately, the sumptuous pan juices are an integral part of Meating's creation, which comes in a Peel & Stone buttermilk washed brioche bun, surely incepted to dunk. Avoid the tomahawk chop, which though enormous was distressingly dry. Menu.


Phrase of the week: Bond is back. Even if you have been living under a rock for the last three years, you won’t have escaped the news that Spectre is hitting the screens. Some secrets even Bond can’t keep. However, there are some that should be kept, notably the ones in this film, so no spoilers here. Anyway, who really wants to know that Bond undergoes gender reassignment surgery before dying at the hands of a Jedi? What can be said is that this is a notable departure from its predecessor; where Skyfall went intimate, Spectre has gone enormously old school. Car chases, plane chases, helicopter chases, Bond chasing women - they all play an important part, as 007 globetrots along a trail towards a mysterious organisation, its charismatic head and some seriously awkward family reunions. Big things, though, can also lumber along and, while Skyfall was perfectly paced, Spectre, in places, like its sedative theme tune, needs a laser beam up its rear end. But it’s still Bond and, as such, compulsory viewing. Unconvinced? The Lobster is out this week and is dead good. (Spectre: Trailer & TimesThe Lobster: Trailer & Times)
  • Verity Milligan is an ace photographer. She's also a top teacher. Sign up for her relaxed masterclass round UoB's campus on January 23. Expensive camera not required
  • Moseley vintage fair includes glorious amounts of homeware, electricals and pre-loved garb. It's this Sunday from 12pm until 4pm and entry is but one of your British pounds
  • Our favourite allotment loving heretics (Nomad) have found a permanent home at BOM Lab, moments from New Street Station. Opening November 13, expect glorious bites and slurps. More. Book
  • Syriana are serving up oodles of Middle Eastern deliciousness on November 3. Profits go to Oxfam's Syria appeal. Tickets
  • The final five apartments at the Cube have been released for sale. Get entirely grown up by looking round one this Saturday
  • Clocks go back on Sunday. You're welcome
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"Mr. Bond, you persist in defying my efforts to provide an amusing death for you." - Hugo Drax, Moonraker
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew DickensTom Cullen
IMAGES: Wine - ThinkDeep via iStock, Stuart Whipps (Fiona Banner, The B*stard Word (2007) courtesy the artist and Ikon Gallery)

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