Nice to see this post blog post from Custard Factory creative director Simon Jones which approaches the issue of the creativity of Birmingham in a positive “call to arms”.
Far too many of the articles I see about Birmingham and its creative renown seem to focus on wailing about how we are the poorer relation to London (inevitably) and Manchester (allegedly). These articles cry out for a city voice, somehow unifying all the different elements in one fell swoop and shooting us into the creative stratosphere over night.
One thing Simon’s article does is to recognise that there is in fact a tremendous amount of creative endeavour going on here all the time (and always has been, tho from what I can tell personally, it has sky rocketed in recent years).
My only addition to the stirring piece would be to emphasize the remarkable quality of our homegrown talent. Whilst Simon is strong on recognising the hard work done by promoters and venues to bring world class talent to Brum to perform, lets also recognise that in fact the majority of the top quality entertainment happening in the City this weekend will be Birmingham based and Birmingham developed.
Our very lack of one homogenised “scene” may have cost us some kudos points in the past – particularly in terms of London based journalists looking for something easy to write about – but that very diversity is our strength and there is a place for everyone in this most fertile of creative genepools.
We have an incredible opportunity to reach out to one another and continue to blend these disparate elements into an output to match anything, anywhere, but more importantly which can fulfil our own wants and needs as creative individuals – as artists, promoters and audiences and very often, all three.
Lets crack on, but lets feel some pride and recognise the value in what we’re doing.