On March 8th, we’ll be hosting the launch party of a brand new arts and music project in Birmingham, Slag Mag. Slag Mag, with Slag standing for the Serious Ladies of Arts and Gigs, is a zine that will focus on female fronted arts, music, film and more in Birmingham and beyond.
The zine was started by Sophie Hack and Mazzy Snape, two women who have worked in the music industry for a number of years. They became tired of the lack of representation and acknowledgement of females, women of colour and LGBTQ+ in the music and creative industry, and wanted to take a step forward in changing the conversation.
“When I was the promoter of a large music venue, my boss once said to me: ‘Who’s the venue Slag?’ Its us. We’re the Slags. The Serious Ladies of Art & Gigs.”
The first ever issue of Slag Mag features local musicians such as the punk duo Youth Man, garage rock duo Cherry Pickles and more, plus a range of artist spotlights and opinion articles that shine a light on the ever growing female talent in the West Midlands and further afield.
The Slag Mag creators will be launching their first issue at The Castle and Falcon on March 8th, International Women’s Day, with Brum disco DJs Bad Girls. Molly Allen and Lauren Franklin ‘take the patriarchy out the party’ with their disco, indie/alternative and feminist party hits, DJ’ing all across Birmingham and often raising money for a charity. Expect lots of disco, glitter and Donna Summer all night long.
Meanwhile, two upcoming yet already acclaimed artists Sorry Grace and Sofa King will be joining the roster. Dianne Velvet is Sofa King, with a nostalgic but now approach to lo-fi indie and synth pop. Previously a solo performer, Sofa King will be joined by a brand new full band, with a few new surprise sounds in store.
Sorry Grace are a dreamy five piece outfit blending the perfect fusion of jazz and indie. Lead singer Charley Mack’s voice is soulful and harmonious, joined by keys, saxophone and drums to create the perfect modern jazz ensemble.
If that’s not all, a whole host of local artists will be displaying art, jewellery and more throughout the venue available to buy, as well as the very first issue of Slag Mag, all for only £6! Advance tickets are on sale now for the launch party on March 8th, which includes a pre-order of Issue one, from The Ticket Sellers website. Purchasing a ticket not only secures you an issue of Slag Mag, but helps support the local arts and music scene and can help fund future issues.
Ever wanted to join a church where to holy water was Absinthe and Fatboy Slim was your hymn? Ever felt lost and astray and in need of salvation? Luckily, The Right Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson of Oh My God! It’s The Church is taking his Pentecostal Posse to Birmingham this May. We caught up with him before his party pilgrimage…
“As the now infamous story goes – I did actually find Morgan the Organ living in a bin behind a Supermarket. We don’t know where he came from, but we’re kinda stuck with him now! The rest of my Pentecostal Posse are all waifs and strays I picked up along the way.”
Can you describe each member of The Church?
“I recruited each of my Bible Geeks and Jesus Freaks for their special skillset. We’re kind of like a religious version of the Power Rangers!
Mary Joy has endless energy – she’s like a Duracell Bunny on crack! Mary Lou can open a can of beans using only her teeth. Mary Jane has a wonderful set of pipes AND through her club singing career she ‘knows’ a hotel owner in ever corner of the globe, which has come in very useful. Morgan the Organ is like our dim-witted guard dog.
All key skills when you’re travelling the world on a Mission from God! As for me, The Right Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson? – Hell I’m just your average run-of-the-mill Rock’n’Roll Gangsta Preacher-man.”
What has been your favourite festival or gig to play and why?
“That’s a tough one, we’ve been blessed to play all over this fine country, and I have to say you guys put on some batshit crazy parties! Having said that we did get flown over to South America earlier this year to conduct a huge church service on the beach for 10,000 sinners – that was pretty damn cool! But I think our gig at Shambala festival stands out for me this year, that’s a special place, plus everybody gets naked!”
We imagine you have lots of crazy stories from the festivals you played, can you think of one to tell us?
“One of my Hail Marys, Mary Lou met David Beckham backstage after one of our Services last year. Surely every girl’s dream? But unfortunately she was really drunk and was in a frog fancy dress outfit – so she blew her chance to impress him…”
What’s the most sinful thing someone has done at a gig?
“Well at my Church we invite members of the congregation up onstage so they can confess any bad things they’ve done. One time we played Birmingham this guy was wracked with guilt because he’d failed to help a duck in a local pond who was getting attacked. (By other ducks, not people – not even Sexy Jesus could forgive that.) Then he turned up at our next Birmingham show in a t-shirt with a duck on it and he was like a celebrity! Another lady described winning first prize in the ‘Homemade Chutney Competition’ at her village fete that day- but she confessed she had actually bought the chutney from Lidl. She was lucky to get out of there alive! You guys sure love your chutney.”
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
“X-Ray Vision – enough said.”
What are you looking forward to most about this tour?
“Getting back on the road and spreading some Sexy Jesus love to every corner of the UK! We did 23 festival shows this Summer, so it’s a chance for those who’ve only just discovered my Church to come and see what it’s really all about and get up close and personal with the main man himself – Sexy Jesus.”
What three things would you put in your commandments?
1) ‘Thou Shalt Not Lie About Pie’ – Don’t put a ‘pie’ on a diner menu unless it’s got pastry all the way around – this pastry lid shit really grinds my gears. 2) ‘All Are Welcome at my Church’ – Whether Straight or Gay, Black or White we ALL party and praise into the night!
3) ‘Parliament Funkadelic are the best band of all time’ – anyone who disagrees is going straight down to Hell!
What special tricks do you have up your sleeve for the show at The Castle and Falcon? What can people expect?
“Coming back to my Home from Home – Birmingham – we’ve got a really special service lined up – we’ll be performing some brand new original hymns, taking your confessions AND conducting an intercontinental dance competition between the UK and the United States! How could you miss that?!”
Join the congregation on Friday, May 17th with the all singin’, all dancin’, all sinnin’ Oh My God! It’s The Church!