Put down the weapon, Mr President

THE GREAT COMMUTE: A YEAR OF IT

What do you remember from your commute last night? About as unremarkable as the morning that preceded it, right? Tight on time but eager to hone his pictorial skills, Brum-based Kris Askey dispensed with the endless social media scroll which formerly occupied his journeys to and from work in favour of his camera for twelve months. Here is but a fun size portion of his favourite shots.
"Taking photos on my walks from work and Moor Street pushed me to keep shooting, even once I had jumped onto the train. I remember being completely fascinated with the idea of reflections overlapping people, and the fact that these kinds of things only happen once, very quickly. This man was listening to his music for at least two stops and looked really deep in thought. I remember liking the way the reflection of the lights crossed the man's expression and completed the scene."
"It’s hard to miss a person holding an incredibly large collection of cartoon balloons, though I did struggle to capture an image that stood out. That was until the day I spied this collection floating slowly in different directions, seemingly with a pair of legs to anchor it. I particularly enjoy the reaction of the couple to the right of the image, as the inflatable menagerie just strolls on by."
"I remember struggling to spot anything on this walk, that was until I reached where Corporation Street crosses New Street. A man entered a phone box to shelter from the last part of a rain shower. He was only in there for about 60 seconds — nobody else seemed to notice him at all — but I managed to get this frame of him looking deep in thought, within the little structure, providing the only protection available. Shortly after, he got up and moved on. The moment came, and went just like that."
"The part of my commute where I spent a lot of time was inside Moor Street station. The place itself has as array of wonderful architecture which acts as a great backdrop for candid moments throughout the day. I remember on the afternoon pictured, there were sunbeams pouring off the top of the waiting carriage onto people passing along the platform. In this shot, I particularly like the train drivers head popping out, creating its own reflection onto the train."
"Most of my inspiration comes from books full of black and white images taken in the 50s and 60s, and I have always been drawn to photography that displays emotion and sums up a scene in a single frame. I took a photo of this couple in March in a cafe on New Street, around the time I was looking to finish up a whole year of shooting, and, it completes the collection perfectly. Documenting ‘real life’ almost gave me a new set of eyes, and a more clear understanding of what I wanted from photography. It allowed me to see the beauty in normal life. That’s the only way I can really describe it."
Contact Kris to discuss prints and commissions, and follow him on Instagram

BEAUTIFUL DEATH


You're on a romantic walk, when your date veers off to retrieve a robin from the road — not a red breast that's fighting for its life — no, this particular bird has very much kicked the bucket. Introducing the elegant and beautifully macabre jewellery making world of Kate Gilliland. Immortalising foxes' molars, whole crabs and tiny spines found by her or by her nature loving friends from across the shores, she uses lost wax casting to create pieces ranging in price from £25, rising to around £200. The claws (pictured) were cast using oxidised silver and belonged to a female blackbird, found serenely still on a pavement in Leicester. Less serene was the postman who had to deliver a (damp) whole frog through Kate's letterbox on another occasion.
 

GALICIAN GOODNESS


Despite the rising trend toward more mature beef, the majority eaten in the UK comes from cattle no older than 30 months. Find out the error of our nation's ways in the most practical sense, with the undisputed heavy weights of the steak world, Fiesta Del Asado, who will be delivering up cuts of Galician Blond that are 18 years old, and Basque dairy stock that are around 14. Increasingly favoured by top chefs, it's the deep maroon colouring, complex flavours and beautiful, yellowy marbling that the more mature ruminants have over their younger competition. Dinner is served on Tuesday 13 September from 5.30pm onwards and comprises four courses for £45, including empanadas and carpaccio (beef of course) prior to the main event. Book

FILM PICK: SHADOW WORLD


Showing in the social justice-oriented Screening Rights festival, this excellent documentary is bracing stuff. You probably already sense that the international arms trade isn’t exactly sustained by rainbows and puppy dog tails, but it’s still galling to see its links to both those in government in the West and those who’ve recently retired from it. Many Bush-era officials, whose brass neck is extraordinary, get both barrels (pun tasteless, but intended), while Ronnie Reagan (pictured, worryingly) also comes under fire (tasteless, intended). Avoiding the leftie tubthumping that can sometimes mar docs like these, this is instead a calm and rational presentation of a deeply moral case, with cause and effect methodically presented. Just to make it even more worth your while, there’s a Q&A with the director, the writer and with Clare Short (who's in the doc) after this screening, at the mac, September 16. The festival runs Sept 15 to 18 across five venues. Buy a festival pass (£33), or seats at individual screenings (£7), with a couple of freebies in the programme. More
Venue: Annexe, 220 Corporation Street, B4 6QB; website
Choice: Black truffle & chicken velouté (3 courses is £39) Chooser: Waiter

Early in the week atmosphere comes guaranteed at but a fistful of Brum's bistros. Dining with Annexe early on a Tuesday evening, in the middle of holiday season, might have sounded like a toughie, and yet the team delivered that hard to reach intangible around buzziness, without a hint of the frenetic. The menu has changed entirely since our last visit, with a set price three or five courses full of combinations that felt like they had been designed for us — deliberations, in concert with the kitchen, hit the half hour mark before our order was placed. And though, taken together, it felt like the dishes could have done with a bit more roughage and range to break through a pretty uniform richness, on their own, there were some podium finishes. The black truffle in chicken velouté was the out and out victor of the evening, with a depth of flavour so gratifying it induced table-wide food envy and an immediate decision that a repeat visit would be occurring. Ideal for small groups and non-boring dates, all the wine matches we were sampled were très bon. Menu
 
  • Tape Face is a stand up comic who doesn't make a noise, which is surely weird enough to require you to catch him in Solihull, Brum or Leamington this Autumn. Tickets are £16 (+bf). Informative video
  • The Lord Clifden's got bank holiday covered with four DJs across four days. Sunday's Kitchen Disco is the pick
  • The Hawker Yard is opening up for a sneaky peeky at 5pm on Friday, and all day Saturday. Expect shipping containers, scaffold mezzanines and plenty of street food. No door charge
  • Book now for Joanthan Pie at Town Hall on Feb 17. As in actually book right now or you won't get a seat. Tickets are £21
  • The programme for Still Walking Festival is live. From Sept 10 to 25, we likey Urban Safari with the multifarious Ally Standing. Tickets are not more than £5 per event
  • Thornbridge Brewery is doing a five-tap takeover at The Dark Horse from 7.30pm tonight. There'll be five dishes created to pair
"But they were going to war anyway and they were going to bully and pressure countries to vote for it." - Clare Short
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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry

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