Issue 206
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Drag-king punk gigs. We can't say we've been to many. But when SHOUT — Brum's 10-day festival of queer arts and culture — is the team putting it on, we're all in. Across 12 venues get the top of the top in LGBT live performance, visual arts, comedy, music, and film. From November 9 to 19, this year's programme focusses on identities, voices, and 50 years of LGBT history.

It's been half a century since the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality, so get to an exhibition which documents the course of the Gay Liberation Front in Brum in the decade following the passing of the 1976 Sexual Offences Act. Recounted through the lens and eyes of one member, Ian Sanderson, We Often Find It Necessary To Keep Our Homosexuality Quiet (so called after the opening line of the Birmingham GLF Manifesto) includes thought-provoking, intimate photography, offering an insight into the activism, history, and lives of the Birmingham GLF in the '70s. Catch it from November 7 at mac Birmingham, entry is free. More

If you're yet to make it to a performance at the JQ's A.E. Harris, we fully recommend you take a look at the warehousey feeling theatre, where you'll find Cuncrete, November 18. Not ones for the expected, it's a questioning drag-king, punk-gig musical about architecture and idealism. Described as a gratuitously sleazy and joyfully noisy critique of alpha-masculinity, what we know is there'll be original music, a whole lot of posturing, sharp suits and wet cement. PLUS an after party from Club Fierce. Tickets

We've got weirdly into tote bags this year. And apparently, we're not alone. Design and create your own tote or zine at a workshop led by ECA EPS at ORT Gallery. Think satirical takes on anti-LGBT propaganda by way of theme. The workshop takes place on November 11, the final day of From Chibok to Calais, an exhibition that looks to pull together seemingly disparate concerns from localised minority rights, to the global environmental crisis. The exbo and workshop aim to question the differing degrees of public participation and complicity as a bystander, an agitator or an activist. Tickets 

One of the SHOUT team's top picks is Kiki, a big, loud, uplifting documentary. A quarter of a century after Jenny Livingston’s big-thinking Paris Is Burning — which brought Harlem's ballroom scene in the ’80s to the fore — this new film focusses on one of the subculture’s contemporary descendants: the Kiki scene. Shot over four years, the film follows seven members of the community through difficulties such as illness, homelessness and everyday discrimination, as well as the happiness and joy of spectacle, camaraderie and personal affirmation. Tickets


The Marvel factory here delivers one of its funniest episodes, thanks largely to the inspired decision to hire director Taika Waititi. Fully leaning into the Thor sub-universe’s inherent Flash Gordon-ness, this third film sees Thor and Loki’s long-lost sister Hela, released from her spectral prison – don’t think about it too hard, the movie definitely doesn’t. She sets about bringing the viking apocalypse of the title to Thor’s homeworld, but the real fun is seeing Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston flex their comic chops as they both find themselves exiled onto an alien world governed by Jeff Goldblum’s space tyrant-cum-Ibiza lifer. You may not have known you needed Goldblum DJing as he presides over the torture of alien underlings, but trust us – you do. Times


In what's already being called Stirchley's famous pumpkin party, OPM meets Wine Freedom meets pumpkin pies, and they'll be convening at Caneat cafe on Halloween. Small person friendly in the day (from 12pm) and ramping up the orange wine and pumpkin spiced beers in the eve-tide (from 5pm), there'll be a masterclass in pumpkin carving from the people who designed the ruddy interior at Caneat. Think all of the orange. And there'll be Captain Beefheart burgers — patty, real-life cow's heart pastrami, Swiss and American cheese, sriracha pickles and Bloody Mary ketchup. Available until they're not. No entry fee, no need to book, and here's an attractive looking flyer which shows we're not even making this stuff up.


It's called The Beast. It's a 272 metres long, and yes, it's totally for adults. The world’s largest inflatable obstacle course is coming to Birmingham for eight vertically challenged days. On top of the 32 obstacles we counted (we didn't), there'll be live DJs mixing along to the sort of sound and lighting show that'll make you feel like you're in a big old club, without having to go to a big old club. The street food, craft beer and cocktail game is promised to be strong. And there's Prosecco on tap, so y'know. On dates from December 8 to 17 at the NEC, it's £20, and bouncing sessions are bookable in thirty-minute slots right here. Alternatively, you can go as a spectator for £2.50, but we'll be the ones being forcibly removed from The Beast at the 32-minute mark.


England v Australia at Twickenham — it's a biggie in terms of Autumn Internationals, whoever is actually allowed to play by that point... From the Barbarians' match with Argentina (Nov 4), to England's final clash against Samoa (Nov 25), Shooters is showing the whole season of fixtures, and asking six of you lovely lot to join them when we [probably][possibly][may just] smash the Wallabies on Nov 18. In addition to a table for six in the most densely screened area in the Midlands, you'll get a £150 bar tab. Follow & RT for your chance to do the winning.


From a pop-up at Kitchen Garden Cafe to a restaurant to call his own, it hasn't been the quietest 18 months for chef Ben Tesh. Folium's opening off St Paul's Square and is all about hyper-seasonal, modern British food. The 28-seater will have a menu dictated by the best ingredients of the day, including dishes like aerated white chocolate and olive oil ice cream (pictured). Have a gander at the sample menu then, invariably, book in from November 22. It's the turbot with anchovy cream and elderberry caper that has us convincing chef to let us in a full week before launch. Right, Chef? Chef???


New Zealand’s fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy duo have, somehow, ended up playing arenas. And one arena in particular. Flight Of The Conchords will tour the UK for the first time in 7 years with just one night in Brumtown at the Genting, March 22. The 'Flight of the Conchords sing Flight of the Conchords Tour' will feature all the classics from their HBO/BBC series and new, inevitably brilliant stuff. Tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10am here. Digital fights will ensue. 
Venue: Rofuto, 160 Broad Street, B15 1DT; Website
Choice: Miso Black Cod (£24) Chooser: Waitress, Jewaher

If it's been a while since you made it to Rofuto, entrance is now through the hotel, and the pan-Asian kitchen's had a menu makeover — upping its small plate game. A welcome addition in sushi is the mango soft shell crab uramaki (£8.50) — where the roll is inside out, stuffed with crispy crab, and adorned with mango riper than we've been able to source in all of our mango-sourcing years. The pulled pork and kimchi gyoza (£6.50) are also worthy of your chops and your sticks — perfectly proportioned and seasoned. But the jewel at the top of Hotel Regis' crown is their signature saffron miso black cod. This is a very pretty plate of food. And with kohlrabi puree, a razor clam, sea foam and pancetta (what doesn't taste better with any form of pork?), it's also a darned tasty one. The buttery fish sumptuously fell away in satisfying chunks and despite the delicate flavours, held its own amongst a table full of food. Super duper service in spades from the excellent Jewaher. Eat whatever she tells you to, drinks whatever she tells you to, and probaly listen to her life advice. 
Saturday is now a sell out but you can still get tickets for Cheese Fest at the Custard Factory on Sunday, November 19 right here.
Dippy the dino is coming to town. Get on the list to hear when tickets become available. It's free but something tells us you'll need to be both stealth and speedy to get a spot.
Spice Club's in town this Saturday teaching you how cook up street food like you were bloomin' born to. It's the team's first trip to Brum and a spot'll cost you £55.
Birmingham Wine Weekend's a thing. Earlybird wristbands are also a thing. So...
In addition to New York and Boston, Primera's only gone and announced direct fights to Toronto from May for its next trick. From £149 (one-way, including taxes). REJOICE!

"Let's get in a cab I'll buy you a kebab
Now I can't believe That I'm sharing a kebab with the most beautiful girl I have ever seen
...With a kebab" 

Lyrics from "The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room)"
by Flight of the Conchords

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WORDS: Tom Cullen, Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry
IMAGES: Pumpkin — Williams Sonoma

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