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Off The Record #15: "Tributes"

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Cherry Red's Cafe Bar

92 John Bright Street

Birmingham

United Kingdom

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Off The Record is a Birmingham-based music meetup. The event is centered around making time to listening and appreciating music – specifically, an album in full.

It works something like this: people will arrive, grab food/drinks from the lovely bar and café, and then we’ll sit back and listen to an entire album together, followed by a group chat about it – yep, a bit like a book club.

The theme and album

This event, we’ll be following the theme "Tributes" – Tribute albums come in many varieties: to raise money for charities, to commemorate an event, or just to cash in on someone famous.

The album we'll be listening to is one of Hal Willner's many tribute albums, "Stay Awake", released in 1988. The album's devoted to well-known songs from Disney movies. The versions aren't always copies of the originals, and sometimes they aren’t even recognisable. The album features country singers, alt-rock bands, some odd personalities and some extremely well-known ones. For just over an hour, it's a fairly good representation of the tribute album as a genre.

This month, our session will be curated by William McCabe, who's spent most of his life in Birmingham and has "met far too many bands that you'll probably never have heard of". William also spent two years as a presenter/producer for internet radio station Rhubarb Radio with two hours a week of some of the oddities you find for free on the internet. He also regularly inflicts his lack of taste in music on attendees at a local vinyl night once a month.

We'll be listening to this record in full on the night, but wait, there's more! After we've heard the main album, it’s over to anyone else who wants to play a single song that fits our theme: "Tributes". We’re not too strict, but the idea is that you’ll pick a song that matches the theme, introduce it to the rest of the group, and then we'll listen to it.

If you can think of a song that's a tribute to something else, whether it's to help raise money, support a cause, or indeed another Disney song—or failing that, a cover song—then bring it along and share it with the group! If it’s on Spotify or you have it on a portable device, bring it along and you can tell everyone why you love the song (and the album).

What’s this all about?

What’s the point? Why not just listen to it beforehand? Well, half-listening to an album while you’re grappling for a seat on the bus or pretending to work at your desk for the last hour of a Wednesday isn’t the best way to make time for experiencing a record. We want to try to experiment with putting aside time to engage properly with an album, really devote half an hour or so to taking it in, then hearing what other people thought of it. And discovering new stuff that other people really love. That’s the idea.

How much does it cost?

The event is free. The pub does good food so if you fancy some food while you're listening then you're in the right place. Cherry Reds has a brilliant beer selection and does teas and coffees too.

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Date and Time

Location

Cherry Red's Cafe Bar

92 John Bright Street

Birmingham

United Kingdom

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