Issue 202
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It's 7pm in a car park in Digbeth. It's raining. Raining hard. A guy in a yellow boiler suit, blue gloves and a steamed up gas mask is trying to say something to me, but it's muffled. "What?" I say, leaning in.
"Mmmhmm mhm mhmm MMMM?" He replies, placing his hand on my shoulder.
I shake my head, clueless.
He pulls off his breathing equipment, wipes his brow and says "you won't tell them everything, will you?"
"No," I shout, through the downpour. "I won't tell them everything."
Welcome to the Heisenbar.   
Parked next to us is a 40 foot recreational vehicle. And if you've watched television in the last 10 years you probably (sort of) know where this is heading. But there's no way in the world you can know the ins and outs. The boiler suits, the RV, the test tubes and bottles and beakers inside it, all add up to one of the greatest TV shows ever made. For three nights only you can climb aboard this mobile bar, inspired by Netflix sensation, Breaking Bad.
It's a bar with a difference and the difference we're getting at isn't that it's a driveable living quarters. On board you'll be making your own cocktails with the guidance of your 'cook'. And where in the TV show Walter and Jessie were cooking methamphetamine, you'll be downgrading several hundred levels, to cocktails. Drinks specifically created in honour of the programme. There's a lot of surprises on the way, but here's what we can tell you.
With full respect to your inevitably mercurial mixology skills, the DIY element of this experience in no way means you'll be simply throwing a double Smirnoff into a Capri Sun. Not a bit of it. The men in the boiler suits have appointed Smultronstalle's Rob Wood to craft the menu. Formerly of The Edgbaston and the man behind the drinks at Zindiya and The Wilderness, he's taken this job and ran with it. The first of his creations that you'll be replicating, entitled Welcome to New Mexico, will involve a process called nitro cavitation. You'll be forcing nitrogen into jalapenos, then you'll be stripping the chillies of their flavour and, ultimately drinking the stolen heat.     
The cocktails that follow play out in a clever Breaking Bad style long arc plot. Next is a clear drink with a taste unlike anything you'd expect followed by a concoction called Blue Sky; a brilliantly bizarre and totally unexpected slurp that has hidden twists that we are under direct orders not to reveal. And you don't go up against Heisenberg. Unless, of course, you're the DEA, and we have it on good authority that they are investigating your activity while you mix. So keep an eye out.  
Finally you'll craft potentially the pottiest potion of the lot, a drink called Breakfast With Walter Jr. If you want to know how one drinkable course can include coffee, cereal, eggs, bacon and OJ, then here's your moment.

Suffice to say the drinks will require food. So expect food. The garnishes, which include Pinkman's favourite snack, Funyons, won't cut it, but a portion of Albuquerque mac'n'cheese, and some chicken wings from Gus Fring's fictional but no less desirable fried chicken joint, should do the job. The Heisenbar is open on October 20, 21 and 22. Six drinks and two portions of food will set you back £40 a spot. Book


Sometimes an event will land that is so wildly creative that it's almost impossible to sum up with words. Unfortunately that's exactly what we are paid to do, so we're going to give it a shot. To celebrate the launch of their new app the Mailbox have teamed up with renowned hat designer Philip Treacy to present a virtual reality experience that will perplex and intrigue you in equal measure. Entitled Spatium this is a delightfully dreamlike journey through a digital world inspired by Treacy's designs. In perhaps one of the more bafflingly beautiful of moments you'll find yourself walking inside a giant piece of headwear, to an astounding soundtrack. Entry is free and offered on a first come first served basis, this Friday to Sunday, with a limited number of time slots available pre-bookable via the Mailbox app. Info


Britain imports around 1.8bn bottles of wine each year, so probably worth making sure we're going for the right ones. Taste over 200 wines with The Wine Gang at Canalside on October 7 — from Champagne, to Bordeaux to the new-fangledness of the emerging winey regions (so pretty much the places you'd be nervous to order from in a restaurant). Included in entry, get some exercise and education with a wine walk (sign-up on arrival), or simply sample at your own pace — you've got six hours. Tickets are £25, but you can get ‘em for £20 using code ICB17 at checkout. You can also book on for masterclasses — we like the lookey of Stannary St Wine Co.'s Focus on Burgundy. Having won IWC Burgundy Specialist of the Year for the 2nd time, the team and Joanna Simon will work through seven drops.


It takes the sun's light an average of 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth. Thinking that wasn't the catchiest title for a production, Eight Minutes takes inspiration from the crazy cool images produced by solar science research and is the result of a collaboration with actual, real space scientists. Probably wearing space suits. On October 3, get a third off tickets with code "VIP£8" at checkout, for the handsome looking production that uses movement, film and music to illuminate our relationship with the star that gives us life. Goosebumpy, right? The first performance in a new season at DanceXchange, based in The Patrick Centre, other shows in the programme include Pilgrim — a physical journey through the mystical sounds created by electronic musician, James Holden. Plus The Head Wrap Diaries, which deals with the very current issues of Afro-hair, femininity, beauty and culture. More
Venue: Tamatanga, Orion Building, Navigation Street, B5 4AX; Facebook
Choice: Tamatanga Thali (£15.45) Chooser: Waitress

Before you ask, it's on the street opposite the Red Cage, to the right of Saino's. And it's not a chain — the only other branch is in Nottingham. Now we've got the FAQs out the way, get a Corrito (rum, chaat masala, Tabsaco, lime — £7.95) on entry, while you ponder why there aren't more cocktails with coriander in the world — this good looking, simple mix is flavoursome but not overwhelming, and super refreshing. Next on the agenda, poppadoms. Get them for the dip game, which includes a Braeburn and mint creation, as well as the more usual suspects. In terms of food picks, we couldn't decide. So we didn't, and opted for the Tamatanga Thali which includes daal, two curries of your choosing, two veggie dishes that chef dictates, plus a rice and naan (get coriander and garlic, obvs). The fish and veggie dishes were very much what put us in our happy place here — the saag paneer was the garlicky standout, while the Goan prawn curry required eye contact and a solid friendship to establish last bite rights. Speedy service, long opening hours and a central location has Tamatanga on our pre-theatre listicle. Menu


This pleasant flick's been getting a few critical kickings, but it’s hard not to feel they’re reviewing the twee trailer, rather than the surprisingly hard-edged final product. Domnhall Gleeson plays AA Milne, creator of Winnie the Pooh and shell-shocked WW1 vet. This would be tough terrain for any sprog, but when Milne’s stories become globally popular and his son lionised as ‘the real’ Christopher Robin, a stealth indictment of the British period film’s habit of idealising posh, comfy lives, looking frankly at the emotional wreckage they can conceal follows. Times & trailer


Our fave winter in Birmingham was when The Church was a 16-spot pop-up. You entered by a side door, the landlord made every drink, your bill was on a blackboard and ♫ everybody knew your naaaame ♫. The team is throwing back to those halcyon days with a series of journeys through the herbaceous world of aperitifs and digestifs. The informal gatherings kick off with New Orleans, the Boulevardier, and a light menu pairing. October 19 be the date. And we were sure to secure our tickets (£30) before telling you lot about it. Lovely as you are.


It’s easy to forget that Phill Jupitus is a blistering stand-up, given how much TV and radio he’s clocked up this past 25 years. Yes, there’s the 278 appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, QI, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, but he's unequivocally at his best live. After all, he earned his stripes as Porky The Poet, supporting the likes of Billy Bragg, the Style Council and The Housemartins in the Eighties. This new show, landing at The Old Rep, has him talking about his life, as well as the general state of the world, via terrific ad-lib and improvised flights of fancy. Tickets
  • Ocean Film Festival returns to the Crescent Theatre this Saturday. It's looking as bang up beautiful as ever and it's £13.50 to get a seat
  • Kebab-ingham is a thing that is happening for reals. This Saturday, at a secret location (so Digbeth), tickets are a fiver
  • Bookings for Ghetto Golf are open. You can tee-off from October 18
  • Gym Group's got a £600k outfit opening Monday, with contract-free membership at £12.99 a month. So, rather less than we pay...
  • We've been petitioning that lovely Zindiya to ouvrir Mondays. And lo, from October 2, get the grill section of the menu, side dishes and cocktails on the 2-4-1. As per, we'll see y'all there
"If you're committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner, and it worked because I believed it." - Saul Goodman, Breaking Bad
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WORDS: Tom CullenKaty Drohan, Andrew Lowry

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