Westside District... Birmingham, England: After Hours!

Birmingham played me for a fool? So, I told her I was mistaken because she was playing! Roasting my former student city, no candy coloured lies were about to be told! I was about to go insane but a night out in Birmingham's Westside would save me! Getting that train, we dumped WV for the night! Marcus Garvey, who? A civilised evening out for me? Brum said take it, OK!

Birmingham wore it well! Looking brand new, that Birmingham laid out Christmas, serving German Market Realness! Nobody couldn't tell her she wasn't looking beautiful, working for the West Midlands that Birmingham girl worked it for me! Primark, she wore it well! Serving England sensation, that clothing and lifestyle department store had moved locations from New Street to the former Pallasades Centre. How did I end up reliving those Primark moments? My Aunty Michelle needed to buy her Son, Micky some clothes for an upcoming residential trip. Helping Shell find my Cousins essential clothing purchases had me wishing that those pre-Disney days saw me working at that London, Oxford Street style clothing megastore. That was the beginning of our night? Yes it was because I was happy to be my Aunty's Birmingham Primark clothes horse! Of course, with precision applied we worked together to find those purchases with ease. Nephew of the year? I do think! Those 2011 memories didn't do me wrong! 

Birmingham had me wondering why I have been keeping up this habit, being why do I keep deserting it and then feeling like it is the best place on earth? During that dusk glow that nagging feeling that I needed to be out out like those student days. Why? It was a midweek night and I wasn't ready to let it go, Miss Birmingham needs to let that fantasy go real quick! I couldn't lie that my former student home had me where it wanted me, I knew where we needed to head, the map didn't need to be referred back to because I knew the direction. New Street Station and Grand Central had that sunset looking absolutely stunning, both of us couldn't deny that the changing face of Birmingham looked mighty fine! Serving Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve and Talent, it was a dead cert that Miss Birmingham had those sunset lights on the down low for us all to see that sun go down! Yes! Trusting in the virtue, Birmingham gave us that truth as the sun set! A change was upon me, that 'After Hours' felt different for a reason and I wasn't mad at all! 

Taking our seats at Perios, I couldn't wait to have the menu near because the promise of Churros had to be kept near! Burritos and rice bowls had us lost and then found, bring back our orders, where they at? Bring back my, bring back my! Trying to make those decisions, those reservation times were shady, ordering our meals before we lost our minds, come on! No, bring back my burritos because that promised bowl looked like a whole plate! My Aunty's order was just what she wanted, she was fine with that choice! My order was almost history, getting it right I gave it a chance because it tasted so good. Getting those mistaken beef burritos demolished was the one. Ordering some drinks, those mojitos had me feeling much better with that reasonable measure of alcohol, just a taste and that 2 for 1 deal had me hooked! My burrito tasted amazing, those nachos worked well with the sour cream without question! Shell loved her food, we were looking forward to desert! Perios knew not to let us down, our meals tasted just right! Estas Seguro? ¡Si!

Not having those Churros would cut us deep down, ordering up a double serving of Churros had us feeling extremely ready! My dipping option was a caramel and aunties was a chocolate option because we couldn't get enough of that sweetness at Perios! No! Not being able to tell any lies, those fried sweet treats had us in foodie heaven! No cake or stodgy orders would be needed because those lightly fried Spanish inspired doughnuts had us wanting more! Mixing up the chocolate sauce and the caramel both gave use the opportunity to capture that sweet treat moment at Perios, Birmingham. Brindley Place had me in a different state of mind, stepping one foot in front of the other, it was time for us to have a little drink at a nearby Slug & Lettuce because I wanted a little pint of Guinness, sure a curtain call would be happening soon! Not tripping, we had time to talk about life because only 12 years apart in age it's like Aunt and Nephew could be more like older sister and younger brother. That's straight up witchcraft, baby! 

Giving our warmest regards to the director of the show, Tonia Daley Campbell had already produced a stellar show for us to watch! Taking to our seats at Birmingham's Crescent Theatre was our next step, please let us get this show to start on-time! Please?! Darkness descended upon the auditorium, sure that added a level of trepidation for sure, the expressive performers beckoned us into the rhythm of the performance. Written by Sam Amanda, a tale of heartache played out before us with the direction of Tonia Daley Campbell. Marcus Garvey had us schooled, the chaotic nature of modern life had us centred during that period of theatre. I had to keep my senses together because live theatre hadn't crossed my path since my brush with Broadway during that Disney Frozen December 2019 spectacle. The heroic and selfless Marcus Garvey showed that young man how to teach his stubborn parent how to love his new found sibling. Marcus highlighted that life sometimes doesn't go our way, let us listen and have faith.

Seriously, that 'After Hours' moment in Birmingham had come to me with no judgement because being in a place of coherence felt alright. Being in that theatre setting had me learning, the actors told me a story about a figure that will forever be part of Black History. In real world terms the family depicted in the show had their cards read before the powers of life dealt such truth. The new sibling bond became something to love, Marcus had those modern day folk thankful for their time honoured connection. Being away from a live theatre setting had me feeling different, the wider audience in the theatre had me feeling a deeper vibe. Marcus Garvey took us on our own journey with such an intent, no stone would be left unturned. Such a story schooled me, the performance had me ready for more to learn everything and more again! The message from the show left with me, those youngsters weren't just Jamaican, they're African! Healing and repairing before it was too late, the performance gave us a new perspective. Yes, M! 

Brummie...? Ey! 

Joseph Harrison


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