Words by Leni Remedios / Pics by Studio Creativity
Another stunning night at the last Evening of Creativity (EoC) at Oikos Café, Friday 17 February.
Opening the night was a brilliant young star of Erdington, Zach. The 16 year old musician delighted the room with two jazz piano pieces, a cover of a Bill Evans’s piece of music, and Zach’s own composition, inspired by his favourite jazz musicians. The young pianist said he also likes to explore other genres, such as samba and fusion. Mitch Thomas, a member of Erdington Arts Forum, accompanied him on the triangle.
Headliners of the evening were Forrό Tempo, who blend Brazilian music with European folk influences.
“We formed about 10 years ago,” Recardo, lead singer, disclosed after their gig, “thanks to an influential teacher and musician, Brian Parsons, who set up the ‘Bongo Go’ events at the Moseley Dance Centre and other venues, promoting world, afro, and Latin music.
“Forrό Tempo means ‘time for Forrό’, which is the name of a vibrant traditional music from the North countryside in Brazil. After my trip in Brazil, I shared the Forrό experience with Brian. He encouraged me as frontman singing in Portuguese and always supported the band.”
(Fun fact: Forrό Tempo keep losing their triangle player. Interesting, considering the theme of the evening.)
“Yes, for some reason we have to find a new triangle player every single time,” says Terry, the band’s charismatic double bass player, “but, on the other hand, the four of us have always been there since the start of it and we are still together.”
If you like Forrό Tempo, see them every last Sunday of the month at The Station Pub in King’s Heath and follow them on their Facebook page.
Forrό Tempo brought dancing vibes into the February Evening of Creativity, and so did the Ukulele Allsorts: a seven piece band from Sutton Coldfield, consisting of all types of ukulele and a rather slick, clandestine contrabass. They played a mix of ‘60s classics, and one of the members, Sue, even shared her own song about being on the road, travelling, and finding somewhere to call home.
The triangle notes, this time played by Terry Hall (from Birmingham band Terry and Gerry – not the Coventry namesake), also highlighted the poems recited by the five members of Writers Without Borders: Femi, Barrington, Fiona, Viv, and Hamida. “We thought it was, weird, exciting, excellent,” the group explained.
“Oftentimes, when people do a reading, people might pass on comments – but feedback is always positive, encouraging, and constructive,’ said Femi. “Writers without Borders is a diverse group – one of the most dynamic of its kind. I’ve visited some other groups and this one is so diverse,” added Hamida.
Writers Without Boarders will be performing as part of Refugee Week and have workshops coming up. Members can also join via Microsoft Teams – sometimes, writers tune in from Morocco, Greece and The Netherlands – a truly international group.
The evening also saw performances by EoC regulars Stefan Stefanov, a guitar player who performed together with three of his young student, and John Stachula, who played classical guitar and violin.
John also played the violin with The Erdington Monkeys, an all-local band. In their very first gig, they performed ‘John Belly Mama’, a traditional Barbadian children’s folk song coming out of the post-slavery period – alongside their own rendition of Gotye’s well known pop song ‘Someboby That I Used to Know’, featuring Kimbra.
The Erdington Monkeys consists of John on violin, Mignon on cello, Nathan on ukulele, and Leni on bass guitar, but is keen to welcome new members. The band derive their name from a song by The Arctic Monkeys and love to explore different genres with their own twist.
The Evening of Creativity is founded and hosted by the Erdington Arts Forum – who engages people with workshops, exhibitions, training programmes, exhibitions, and music performances.
Next month’s Evening of Creativity will be held at Oikos Café, on Erdington High Street, from 6:30pm on Friday 17 March, with advance tickets costing between £5-£6.13
For more on Erdington Arts Forum visit: www.facebook.com/ErdingtonArts
For more from Oikos Café visit: www.oikoscafe.co.uk