(Issue 175)
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The perfect storm has absolutely nothing to do with water. What it's all about is one-off events in places you can't normally access, doing things you wouldn't normally do. Ideally with food, because — you know, FOOD! The programme at this year's Flatpack Festival is one perfect storm after another.
Bugs at Grand Hotel on April 5 at 8pm
In the Grand's Grosvenor Suite, watch Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen travel the world to investigate grubs in the outback, to giant wasp nests in Japan, with bug-themed tasters by the wildly talented folk of The Wilderness. Tickets
Holorama at Millennium Point, April 4 to 9
One man painstakingly recreates iconic movie scenes in miniature. A tiny bowling alley from The Big Lebowski, for example. Somehow, presumably magic, he then drops in holograms of the characters. Making of vid, this-a-way. Tickets
Just Eat It at Flatpack Hub, April 6 at 7:30pm
Concerned by a growing epidemic of kitchen waste, two filmmakers attempt to live on discarded food for a year. Watch the resulting documentary while dining on a menu made entirely from fare intercepted on its way to the bin. Tickets
Eraserhead at B&MI on April 8 at 8.30pm
As if David Lynch's first feature film, Eraserhead, needed to get any weirder Flatpack has added a hypnotic rework of the original score by synth duo Cercueil to a screening, at the stunning Birmingham and Midland Institute. Yep, this place. Tickets
The Shared Individual at BCU on April 6 & 7
Mixing film, theatre, performance, and techy tomfoolery, Copenhagen-based Makropol (pictured top, at Flatpack 2015) are back for a pioneering virtual reality experience, which is said to culminate in something akin to an out of body happening. Best of luck to all. Tickets
Flatpack Festival runs April 4 to 9 across the city. Get entry to almost every event with a Flatpass (£70).


Chill out. Nobody's barbecuing large wild rabbits and domesticated dogs and feeding them to crazed Brummies. What's actually happening is that many-angled, meaty man Andy Low'N'Slow is getting his Mexican on at the award-greedy Hare & Hounds. The menu, which will make your back teeth vibrate, includes sweet heat BBQ chicken tostados, burnt pineapple and Scotch bonnet salsa and lime crema, as well as oak-smoked beef rib with burnt tomatillo and morita chilli. Presumably he's burning these ingredients on purpose, right? It's £25 a throw which includes dessert. Email Donna Low'N'Slow on lownslowbookings@gmail.com. Donna's lovely by the way. Andy's punching well above his weight.


You might expect a true story about one man’s obsessive quest to prove the existence of a lost civilisation in the Amazon – a quest that ultimately cost both him and his son their lives – to be some Werner Herzog-esque journey into madness. Instead, this is a subdued and strangely well-behaved affair, given its subject matter, but there’s much to recommend, not least a superb supporting turn from Robert Pattinson as a boozy professional explorer. Charlie Hunnam is solid in the lead, and Sienna Miller continues her run of overshadowing on-screen husbands, but what lingers in the mind is the skilfully-constructed sense of just how dangerous it was for Edwardians to mount these expeditions – the Apollo programmes of their day. Times
Venue: The Wolf, 2-10 Constitution Hill, B19 3LY; website
Choice: The Men Who Stare at Oats (£6.30) Chooser: Josh (owner)

Each of the bespoke pump handles at The Wolf costs about $50. We know because we were rude enough to ask and the owners were too polite to not answer. The brother and sister team behind this beaut of a pub clearly love what they do and that level of passion exudes. Food-wise the cheese and meat boards are tip-top (menu), but The Wolf is about the beers. We toured all ten of the regularly changing pump options and were properly stumped by Twisted Barrel's Lime and Chipotle Soup Dragon. The name is pretty much the most normal thing about this 'order-it-once-probably-not-twice' tongue jolter of a saison. Universally adored, though, was Wild Beer and Magic Rock's The Men Who Stare At Oats. A 6% American IPA, it's refreshing, hoppy and citrusy and terribly, terribly morish. They were running low on the good stuff when we visited and — to keep the offering fresh — The Wolf don't restock any beer immediately, however well it sells. Support this indy gem; it's what Birmingham needs and they don't have bucketloads of brewery bucks to play with. 


The Mailbox's Art Wall (pictured) is 8.4 metres by 5.3 metres, and while we've undertaken a sustained campaign to simply adorn it with our beautiful visages, we'll cede to the superior suggestion that an inspirational piece of art is probably more suitable. So paintbrushes, moulding tools, and blow torches at the ready — if you're a Brum-based artist, you've got four weeks from today to create a piece using any medium which you are able to photograph and blow up to fill the wall. For your trouble, the chosen winner will receive a Mailbox experience kind of deal with a value of £500 (which includes an overnight stay, shopping voucher, meal at Tom's Kitchen and tickets to the sofa-filled Everyman, all for two). Your piece will be displayed in this totally inconspicuous spot right through until October. Register your interest and get the detailed brief by emailing Mailbox@rewiredpr.com. There's no rule that your entry can't include our faces.
  • The GM at Peel & Stone Harborne and his mother are taking over the kitchen for an evening of eating and drinking, Polish style. From 6pm tomorrow, you can totally just turn up. Menu & info
  • The New World Wine Spring Tasting at The Drinks Emporium looks all kinds of fresh and grapey. On April 27, it's £20 for a spot
  • Robert Webb is coming to The Glee Club. On September 6, you can get yourself a ticket and everything
  • We really, really like Thai food. Which is good news for the people behind Brindleyplace newbie, Siamais, because we've got an inkling we're not alone. Opens Friday
  • Mother's Day is THIS Sunday and the clocks go forward. What could possibly go wrong?
"In Heaven, everything is fine. You've got your good things. And I've got mine."  - Lady in the Radiator, Eraserhead
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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew LowryTom Cullen
IMAGERY: Tom Bird (Grand Hotel)

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