Park Regis Birmingham

Jas Sansi on writing and playing the music on a cocktail film for Park Regis Birmingham

Posted Friday 27th August 2021

The idea for writing and playing the music for a short film ‘The Roman-esque’ was inspired by an interview I saw with Paul McCartney.

The Beatles legend spoke about how he was spending lockdown; surrounded by family and producing an album entitled ‘Three’ in which he played every instrument as well as singing.

I thought that was incredible. And having storyboarded the film, briefed the mixologist, lit the scene and captured the footage, I decided to write and perform the music.

I’m not Paul McCartney, no one is Paul McCartney but the spirit of his adventure runs through the 39 second film.

A lot of thought went in to the music; it opens with minor chords Am, Em, Dm and Fm7. Each of these represent the ingredients of the cocktail.

The A chord strumming in a 4/4 beat represents the shaking of a cocktail mixer.

The F chord represents crushed ice being poured into a cocktail glass.

The Gm7 is the cocktail pour.

The music switches to G for the first sip.

The film ends on a C representing the ‘ahhhh’ moment of a cool drink.

Enjoy the film. Let me know what you think.


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer and videographer based in Birmingham.

07930 837 505 @jassansi

Old York

So good, they could have named it twice as well.

The poet Philip Larkin wrote a poem called ‘The Importance of Elsewhere.’ Its about identity and the notion of home and foreign lands. I suspect we elevate foreign climes at the expense of what we have here on our doorstep.

Holidays are automatically associated with airports and being elsewhere. The Covid19 pandemic has allowed us to re-evaluate the spaces around us. This may prove to be a positive legacy from the most challenging of times.

I’ve been to New York twice. I’d never been to York until yesterday. It was a long overdue visit. Its nothing like New York, it reminded me of Rome in parts but I’m doing it a disservice, York is incomparable. It’s a place you should experience.

An overnight stay is ideal, but 15,000 steps on a day trip will cover a lot of ground and history. The statue of Constantine the Great outside York Minster is striking. I’ve never seen a statue of him before and I’ve been to Istanbul a couple of times. The Turkish city Constantinople was named in his honour before it was called Istanbul.

Betty’s is an institution and the only time you have to queue for tea other than at a football ground at half time. Don’t be put off by the long line, it moves fairly quickly and you’re about to experience a cultural icon in hospitality.

York Minster is incredible. Pre book a tour of the tower, we couldn’t get one on the day so one for next time. There’s 276 steps to negotiate but I imagine the view is breath taking, literally.

The Shambles is the maddest street you will ever see. I’ve been to narrower ones in Prague and Venice but neither of these were streets in the sense of having shops on either side.

Great to see public performance artists and buskers back out there adding a splash of colour to the streets.

The image above is the York Minster’s Treasurer’s house. It is beautiful. The scale of the house and garden is aesthetically perfect. Note to the kids, being a Treasurer is better than being the Priest.

It was details like the gargoyle’s above that make makes York feel like Rome. These are everywhere and that’s why a two or three day trip is recommended to really get under the skin of this walled city.

The ancient ruins and surrounding walls mean York is an eternal city. It’s a living museum, a seat of learning and a glimpse into the past.

On a practical note, there is parking available in the city, take £13.50 in change with you. This will allow you more than 5 hours parking and the telephone method of paying, ‘Ringo’ is a pain. Great drummer, poor app.

We had lunch at Harkers in St Helen’s Square. This is a Nicholson pub with outside tables which is fab.

Wear comfortable shoes, take a camera and have tea and cake at Betty’s. Who needs to be elsewhere?

Betty’s https://www.bettys.co.uk

York Minster yorkminster.org

Harkers York https://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/restaurants/yorkshireandthehumber/harkerssainthelenssquareyork

Shambles https://www.shamblesyork.com


Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham 07930 837 505 @jassansi

State Bank of India Hit a Century at Edgbaston Cricket Ground

State Bank of India (SBI), India’s largest bank celebrate 100 years in the UK with a client dinner at Edgbaston Cricket Ground.

Business Leaders share their best wishes as the bank marks their UK centenary.

Photographs and Story from Jas Sansi 21 August 2021

100 years is an incredible milestone. Consider Britain in 1921 when SBI first launched its UK operation; 

  • Leicester University became the first ever crowd funded Higher Education establishment opening its doors for its first students. 
  • Women are allowed to study for full academic degrees at Cambridge for the first time.
  • The very first British Legion Poppy Day is held, honouring those who fought for Britain including soldiers from the Indian subcontinent. 

Sharad Chandak, Regional Head (UK) of SBI shared his thoughts; “The State Bank of India is delighted to be celebrating its centenary of operations in the United Kingdom. Over the last hundred years, the Bank has earned a deep-rooted trust.” 

“The State Bank of India has been active in the UK since 1921, growing to become the largest Indian bank in the country. We still consider SBI as an evolving organisation and keep on learning and progressing with the changing times.”

“We are extremely thankful to all our customers and staff members who have been part of this journey. I am delighted to celebrate this auspicious milestone and look forward to SBI UK’s next 100 years.”

Preet Kaur Gill MP for Birmingham Edgbaston congratulating SBI on their centenary said “Since its launch in 1921, State Bank of India has made a definitive mark as the largest Indian bank in the country. It has a fine reputation for building customer relationships that went well beyond just banking. I wish them every success.” 

State Bank of India is the 43rd largest bank in the world and boasts a 25% share of the total loans and deposits market in the world’s largest democracy. The global bank operates in 31 countries.

Vishal Bahri (Senior Area Manager of SBI UK Birmingham) said “We have been through a challenging period due to Covid 19. Thank you to NHS staff for all the wonderful work during pandemic and bringing back the freedom to do things that we all enjoy.”

“Thank you to all customers for support and giving an opportunity to serve and choosing to stay with us. SBI UK is growing and adding new customers in UK with every passing day. We have exciting product offerings and we are passionate about customer service.” 

“We have built a reputation of being a stable and safe bank over the last 100 years in UK and we look forward to share the success with local businesses and individuals interested to join us in this journey.”

Ninder Johal, CEO of Nachural Publishing and Events speaking about SBI said “In an ever changing world where businesses rarely survive more than a few decades – it is so impressive to see this banking giant continue to serve the needs of business and individuals for a century – access to finance is what leads to a fully functioning and well oiled economy and society.

SBI started life as the Imperial Bank of India in 1921 and rebranded in 1955 following its takeover by the Government of India.

Henrietta Brealey, CEO of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) “On behalf of the GBCC I would like to congratulate the State Bank of India on this truly historic milestone. Our organisations have a longstanding relationship through our Asian Business Chamber of Commerce and we are delighted to see this global organisation, with roots in the local community, continue to flourish.

The 100 year celebrations at Edgbaston Cricket Ground saw invited guests toast the bank’s centenary in the UK at a stadium no stranger to English and Indian success. 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands sharing his best wishes to SBI said “Congratulations to the State Bank of India on their century. 100 years ago investing in the UK must have been an incredible leap, but now we know it was so far sighted. May your next century be even more successful – for sure there’s so much business to be done between our two great countries

Mike Olley, General Manager of Westside Business Improvement District (BID) shared his best wishes “A big happy birthday to the State Bank of India from Westside BID, the banking and financial services capital of the West Midlands. 100 and looking in exceptional health with significant prospects. Dare we suggest a move into Westside would be a great tonic for growth over the next hundred years?

Jason Wouhra, President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) said “The ABCC have great pleasure in offering State Bank of India our hearty congratulations on achieving  their amazing milestone of 100 years in the UK. During this time SBI have provided invaluable support to countless businesses and the Asian community. We wish SBI every success for the future. Here’s to the next 100 years.

Sanjay Pandey, Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer speaking on behalf of SBI welcomed guests to Edgbaston saying “Thank you for being part of this celebration. We thank you all for being a part of State Bank of India for so many years and we are only able to celebrate this centenary because of our customers like you. We are very proud to have been here in the UK for the past 100 years. We aspire to be here for the next 100 years and more. Thank you all for being associated with State Bank of India and we look forward to serving you in the years to come.” 

In the month India celebrate its Independence, I would like to echo the heartfelt wishes to State Bank of India, shared in this article, on the 100th anniversary of their presence in the UK. 

SBI has flown the Indian saffron, white and green flag around the world. For the pride they have injected into the nation, I salute and congratulate the State Bank of India on their 100th anniversary in the UK. 


Note to Editors 

For more information and images please contact Vishal Bahri 

mgr.birmingham.sbiuk@statebank.com

0121 515 0400

London Calling

Staycation breaks are here for the foreseeable future so I spent two nights in the capital because its an awesome place and easily one of the best cities in the world.

Caught the train down because congestion and clean air charges and parking fees make driving into London a luxury. Fast train to Euston and then a black cab to W1.

Checked into our hotel; The Dilly in Piccadilly. We were early but the room was available, dumped our cases and headed out.

Enjoyed a Gin and Tonic on Greek Street before lunch at Patara Thai restaurant. Set lunch is £13.50 for a starter and a main. Very much enjoyed the food here. A glass of white and a draft Singha with 12.5% service charge was a few rice grains above £50.

To be continued.

Patara Restaurants @PataraLondon http://www.pataralondon.com

All You Need is Liverpool

‘We’re not going on a summer holiday’ would never have been a hit for Cliff Richard. It just doesn’t share the optimism and adventure of the original 1963 song.

With overseas holidays still uncertain with amber lists, quarantine rules and vaccination passports, we decided to take a break here in the UK.

My daughter lives in Liverpool so what better excuse to travel 90 miles up the M6 and explore Merseyside.

I’d recommend a visit to the region to anyone, it’s an incredible place. Here’s what we did if you are looking for a three day itinerary.

Day 1

Drove up, parked up and checked into A Hard Day’s Night hotel in the Cavern Quarter. Fab location in the heart of the city with everything within walking distance.

Had lunch at Shiraz Palace on 45 Ranelagh St. I’ve eaten here a few times and its my go to place.

Walked to the TATE Gallery, admission is free for most of the exhibitions but timed tickets are required.

Walked around Albert Dock before dropping into Revolution for happy hour cocktails (two for £10 as long as you order two the same)

Popped back to the hotel for a siesta.

Dinner at Crust, fabulous pizza with the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever seen.

Played pool for an hour (£10) at Boston Pool Loft

Day 2

Went for an early morning stroll. Found the prettiest walkway to enjoy an early morning coffee. It’s part of the Bruntwood Queen Insurance Building. Well worth finding. The coffee shop wasn’t open when we arrived at 8:30am so I bought two from Greggs round the corner and sat on one of the outside tables. The cafe was just opening as we were leaving but they certainly didn’t tell us to move on. All part of the welcome you can expect from the city.

Had brunch at The Brunch Club. The outside seating is a sun trap but the interior is well worth experiencing as well.

Walked to Liverpool Cathedral to see the ‘Peace Doves’ installation. Mesmerising.

We all went to Jasmine Spa where for £20 (30 minutes), they will do to your spine what the chef at Crust Pizza does to the dough. Walked out feeling about 3 inches taller.

Jumped in the car and drove 7 miles to Crosby Beach to see the Antony Gormley art installation ‘Another Place.’ Very moving, a must see.

Back in the city, paid homage to the Beatles statue which has a hidden symbol on each of the four statues, see if you can spot them.

Ended the night with drinks on the terrace of Matou, a pan Asian restaurant with unparalleled views of the waterfront’s architecture before moving to a table indoors to watch the sun set over the Mersey and on a pretty ace staycation.

Who needs overseas travel when the sun shines on the UK?

Enjoy

Hard Days Night Hotel http://www.harddaysnighthotel.com

Shiraz Palace http://www.shirazpalace.co.uk

TATE https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-liverpool

Revolution https://www.revolution-bars.co.uk/bar/liverpool-albert-dock

Crust https://www.crustliverpool.co.uk

Boston Pool Loft https://bostonpoolloft.co.uk

The Brunch Club https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Liverpool Cathedral https://www.liverpoolcathedral.org.uk

Jasmine Spa https://www.jasminespa.co.uk

Matou https://www.matou.co.uk

Namaste Dishoom Birmingham

Jas Sansi enjoys a birthday dinner with his family at Dishoom Birmingham. 

And like the candles on his cake, he’s blown away with the new restaurant at One Chamberlain Square. 

Birmingham’s latest addition to a mesmerising food scene has been gently unveiled over recent weeks. From Michelin Star Celebrity Chefs, Digbeth Dining and Desi Grill Deliveroos, Brum’s tums have never been so spoilt for choice.

Dishoom Birmingham has landed.

Strange sounding name for a restaurant? Readers who grew up hypnotised by 1970s Indian Cinema will be familiar with the name. Dishoom is the sound effect added when the action hero socks the villain, squarely in the jaw.

Social media has been awash with the arrival of bacon naan rolls and exclusive to Brum, a mutton chaap korma. Expect a flurry of images on Instagram of the big Bombay, Dishoom’s full English Breakfast.

Dishoom Birmingham have rolled out the saffron carpet at One Chamberlain Square. The building is shared with PwC but there’s no accounting for the beauty of the restaurant’s interior. It is simply gorgeous.

Dark wood panelling, calming botanicals, ceiling fans and soaring closets showcasing Bombay goods transport you to distant lands as you step into the restaurant. 

The genius of the interior, reminiscent of a bygone era when Irani cafes peppered Bombay is this; it will improve with age. Scuffs, dents and marks will aid the restaurant’s journey from design vision to a neighbourhood favourite. We will make it our own. 

Dishoom Birmingham is spectacular in scale. 330 covers is one small step for Naan, one giant leap for Naan kind. 

Bookings are not taken for parties fewer than six. The customer experience invites you to turn up, walk in, be welcomed (everyone is welcome), sit down, order, eat, drink, settle your chit, exit and savour the memory.

In view of the Corona Virus, NHS England suggest washing your hands before your meal for twenty seconds. Alternatively sing Happy Birthday twice. If you had come with me, you could have sang it three times.

The team behind the group, including Executive Chef Naved Nasir, and Head Babus Shamil and Kavi Thakrar are credited for introducing Indian Street Food to the UK. As first cities outside of their capitals, Bombay is seamlessly twinned with Birmingham.

Bombay (Mumbai) is an incredible place. If you ever get the chance to visit, take a copy of ‘Maximum City – Bombay Lost and Found’ by Suketu Mehta. I can’t imagine you’ll get time to read it there but persevere, it’s an unparalleled insight to the place.

For local intelligence on where to eat in Bombay and how to recreate the group’s menu, pack a copy of ‘From Bombay with Love’ from Dishoom. This has been my bedtime reading over recent weeks. It’s £26 and available in the restaurant.

The food and drinks in Dishoom Birmingham are inspired by the spirit of Southern Indian states unlike other Indian restaurants in the city, which are a nod to North India. It serves up familiar dishes alongside the unfamiliar.

India has never shied away from the ability to innovate. For two thousand years India endured wave after wave of invasion. From Alexander the Great in 326 BC to Great Britain in 1608, foreigners have been drawn to its fertile soil. India in turn adapted to shifting political landscapes.

Some of India’s greatest leaders and cultural icons are celebrated on the walls of Dishoom Birmingham. Look for the photograph of Independent India’s first Prime Minister,  Jawaharlal Nehru in cricket whites. 

I was particularly struck by the photograph of Bhagat Singh. He’s not someone who will ever earn mention in British history books but his memory has never faded from Punjabi folklore. 

Bhagat Singh’s inclusion on the wall demonstrates just how much thought has gone into the restaurant’s design in a region where many people have ancestral ties in Punjab. For younger readers of Punjabi heritage, seek his picture out at Dishoom Birmingham and salute him. Your ancestors will be touched.  

The women and men on this wall represent India’s political and thought leaders. They ended the cycle of adapting to the whims of invaders, and started to set the agenda for a post colonial and free India. 

The world’s largest democracy has shaped our region’s Indian community from 4000 miles away for over 70 years. For Brummies of Indian origin, it is our collective long distance relationship.

That said, India cannot claim a monopoly on adaptive evolution. Look around in Birmingham and the West Midlands right now. Change emanates on our streets, squares and thoroughfares.

Dust hangs in the air from power tools breaking ground. Ideas are being chiseled from granite blocks of creativity.

Dishoom Birmingham isn’t here by accident. This is a city region on the up. And its marching forward at high speed too.

Dishoom offers a fresh perspective on Indian food and what an Indian restaurant in 21st Century Global Britain looks like. Their compass has steered them to a good place with perfect timing.

Namaste Dishoom Birmingham, or as we Sikhs convey, Sat Sri Akaal (True is the Great Timeless One)

You are welcome. You will flourish. We shall eat well together.

Dishoom Birmingham, One Chamberlain Square, Birmingham B3 3AX

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham @jassansi 07930 837 505

Biden, Boris and Brexit

Jimi Hendrix Smashed Guitar at Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle. Photo ©Jas Sansi 2009

He’s gone.

Messages of goodwill from world leaders were slightly delayed allowing him to bow out gracefully. When it became clear this wasn’t happening, the tweets were fired. 

For Democrats, Progressives and Liberals around the world, yesterday was a good day in a year with little to cheer. One virus down, one to go. 

Congratulations to President Elect Joe Biden and Vice President Elect Kamala Harris.

Boris Johnson tweeted he is looking forward to ‘…working together on shared priorities from climate change to trade and security.’ 

Meanwhile back in the USA, a reporter asked Joe Biden if he could spare a few words for the BBC. Biden stopped in his tracks, “BBC?” before adding “I’m Irish.”

And there you have it, the first blow struck on the ambition for a UK-US Trade Deal.

Not a promising start on the question ‘Where does a Biden victory leave Brexit Britain?’

If the challenge of rebuilding our economy post Covid wasn’t enough, we now find ourselves isolated. The EU and USA are on the same page. The UK isn’t even in the same book.  

History tells us the ‘Special Relationship’ is strongest when UK and US Governments are politically aligned; Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, Boris Johnson and Donald Trump.  

Tony Blair never recovered from his relationship with George W Bush, David Cameron and Barack Obama had a polite but by no means affectionate bond and Joe Biden considers Boris Johnson to be an ‘a physical and emotional clone of Trump.’ They haven’t even met. 

Biden will remember Boris Johnson describing President Obama as ‘…part Kenyan with an ancestral dislike of the British Empire.’ 

Social Media is suggesting if we think Joe Biden dislikes Boris Johnson, wait until we find out what Kamala Harris thinks of him. 

A Trump win would have favoured a Brexit Trade Deal between the UK and EU. Without doubt. 

Joe Biden as the BBC were informed has Irish heritage and he is resolute about defending the Good Friday Agreement. This takes the threat of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland off the table.

Northern Ireland demand full regulatory alignment with Britain so no to a border down the Irish Sea. UK Fishing Industry want control of British waters. Nissan do not want a ten percent tariff on vehicles exported from Sunderland to the EU. 

We are snookered. Despite Nigel Farage’s best efforts in the Trump Re-election campaign, we are sitting at a gaming table facing the EU, they have a Royal Flush, we are holding a busted one. 

However. The UK is a creative country. Today on Remembrance Sunday, we are reminded of our ability to solve the darkest problems. Nigel Farage would have been better advised to put that £10,000 bet on the UK finding a fix to this challenge rather than backing Trump. 

Biden may not like Boris but the two countries do like one another. Kamala Harris and Chancellor Rishi Sunak both share Indian and Commonwealth heritage. Awkward problems have been solved over Chai and Samosas. 

It may be time to bring out the best china.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham, UK.

07930 837 505 @jassansi sansi1@btinternet.com

Conference Class

Having spent the last 12 years photographing conferences, allow me to share some of the best practice I have witnessed and captured.

I’m Jas Sansi and this is my Conference Class from the perspective of a Photographer.

  1. Have a panel that reflects the audience

It’s not only diversity of colour or gender the world needs, its diversity of ideas and thoughts. And no single colour or gender has a monopoly on this.

Look at your conference panel, will the audience roll their eyes or sit up and listen. Be brave, go wider.

2. Get a Zebra

Remember your sponsors; Weave their brand into the Conference theme. If the Sponsor’s logo is a Zebra, get a Zebra. Doesn’t have to be a real one.

3. Go outside your comfort zone

A Conference Venue is the safest bet for a Conference but cities are packed with different options to host your event. Nightclubs, Museums, Libraries are just a few ideas. Think outside of the box.

4. Product Placement

Whatever your product, have it on display at your Conference. Or change it into a work of art and display that instead. Be proud.

5. Paint the venue

Flood your conference with your corporate colours. Painting with light is easier than with paint.

6. Host a seminar on a canal boat

Take delegates outside. If you’re near a canal, organise a canal boat. Birmingham has more canals and conferences than Venice.

7. Cash in on local history

Everywhere is famous for something. Utilise local history in Conference Marketing.

8. Reduce travel

Hosting a conference in a hotel removes the travel time back and forth to the venue.

Having the key note speaker on site and checked into a room ahead of their slot, is one less thing to worry about.

9. Cut the Coat

Cities have distinct districts, if you’re an edgy start up creative, host your conference in an edgy creative part of town.

10. Always look at the camera

When taking a selfie, always look at the mobile phone not the photographer taking a picture of the selfie being taken.

11. Look out for flashers

Remind photographers not to use flash during a speech. It distracts the speaker as well as the audience.

12. The Money Shot

Always capture a Press Release image that summaries the conference.

13. Trust Your Gut Instinct

If you believe the Press Release image may not work, have a back up one just in case.

14. Crowd Control

If everyone wants to be in the picture, take control even if there are VIPs in the shot. They will appreciate it.

15. Have Your Cake

Coffee breaks allow networking and refreshment. Everyone loves cake but ensure you account for Gluten Free and other dietary requirements. It demonstrates you are a details person.

16. Time waits for no one

Panel speakers are often rushing from one seminar to the next. If you want a key image after the speeches, let the panellists know before they engage in one to ones with the audience.

17. Fame

If you have famous celebrities, plan the photo call ahead of schedule. If fans are also in attendance, understand that you may have to react to events rather than trying to keep to a script.

18. Take a Walk

Stepping outside of the conference space can sometimes pay dividends if you are looking for an interesting shot.

19. Mindfullness

Encouraging good mental health is a win win.

Offering an early morning Yoga session to conference delegates communicates you have their best interests at heart.

20. Take a lead

One of the longest queues, I have ever seen at a Conference breakout session was the opportunity to meet a number of Guide Dogs.

The positive effect they had on delegates was incredible.

21. Blue Sky Thinking

If skies are clear, use outside space for photo calls. Look out for delegates wearing reactor light spectacles though.

22. The Shadows

Light is one of the most important ingredients of a successful Conference. As a photographer, it provides so many opportunities to capture the event.

23. Did I mention cake?

Apologies.

24. Tap into a Major Conference

This is a clever idea. If you are not part of a conference but still want to engage with those attending the conference, organise a networking lunch nearby and invite the individuals you wish to speak to.

25. Networking Breakfast

A networking breakfast is an effective way to welcome delegates and create a holding space during registration.

26. Welcome Tour

Organising a walking tour of the host city the night before Conference is a great welcome to the event.

27. The Games People Play

Have engaging games on Conference stands to draw people in. A Scoreboard with a Conference End prize will introduce a level of competition keeping your brand in the minds of delegates.

28. Nudge

Nudge delegates to engage with your social media platforms by offering an incentive on your Conference stands.

29. Innovate Everything

Everything can be re-invented. People may distrust change but they love innovation. Full English Breakfast on a stick anyone?

30. Hashtag

Ensure you have a Hashtag e.g. #TPC2019. Don’t have more than one. And check the hashtag before you announce it. And then announce it. Keep mentioning it throughout conference.

Encourage all delegates to use it across all Social Media channels before, during and after Conference.

31. Thanks for Nothing

Remember to thank everyone; Sponsors, Delegates, The Venue, Conference Organisers, everyone. It ends a Conference on a uplifting note. And it costs nothing.

I think that’s enough to be going on with. Thank you for reading this blog.

Jas Sansi is a freelance photographer based in Birmingham specialising in Conference and Event Photography and Film.

@jassansi 07930 837 505 sansi1@btinternet.com

Reflecting on Events

Edgbaston Stadium is lit up in RED in global solidarity with the #WeMakeEvents campaign.

The campaign urges Government to support the Events Industry during the Covid 19 crisis.

West Bromwich Albion season ticket holders travel fewer miles than any other football fans in the country to attend away games.

Newcastle United fans at the other end of the spectrum, travel the furthest, with or without their shirts. A round trip to Portsmouth is around 1000 miles.

Place matters. Birmingham, at the heart of Britain enjoys proximity to much of the country’s population.

Birmingham’s geographical advantage makes it a natural choice for hosting Conferences, Festivals and Events.

The city is proud of its world class venues, delivering world class events wrapped around world class service.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought the Events Industry to a shuddering halt. As a freelancer specialising in Conference and Event Photography, assignments vanished at the speed of a text in the days leading to 20th March 2020.

Six months on, they have yet to return.

#WeMakeEvents is a campaign born in the UK but adopted globally to urge Government to support the Events Industry at this critical junction.

Red Alert – Throw us a Line‘ has flooded some of the world’s most iconic venues in Red light ‘coming together in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity.’

Last night saw Edgbaston Stadium lit in red, one of many of Brum’s venues drawing attention to the campaign.

The numbers around the £42 Billion Events Industry are staggering; 570,000 jobs, over 10,000 venues, 85 Million annual attendees across 1.3 Million events.

These are not unviable jobs, they represent a significant chunk of the UK economy. The tax generated contributes to the education of children, the welfare of the vulnerable and the health of the nation.

The ask to Government is please, save this industry. It was the first to go into lockdown and it will be the last to come out.

The Events Industry creates the relationships and facilitates the sharing of knowledge which fuels business. It is business that generates the tax that allows a nation to prosper.

In a world obsessed with building walls, it is time to build a bridge between Government and this industry.

Eat Out to Help Out

Primitivo Bar & Eatery in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District celebrate their 24th Anniversary this week.

Coincidentally, its also my and Anji’s 24th Anniversary this week. So where better to enjoy lunch in the sun.

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The weather was incredible, a pavement table was available and Rishi Sunak was footing 50% of the bill up to a maximum of £10 per person. If there was a fruit machine in the bar, it would be the equivalent of scoring three big ticks followed by an endless waterfall of 50p coins.

Primitivo reopened two weeks ago with a full array of safety precautions; foot operated sanitizers, protective screens, a one way system and a food menu allowing reduced numbers of staff in the kitchen. There are single visitor loos on hand so no more taking your friend with you.

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There’s even a new South American beer, Modelo for those who want to avoid the C word. I opted for Sparkling Water, with temperatures north of 30 degrees centigrade,  it went down like Champagne.

I was in a Glasgow Wetherspoons last week and ordered Haddock and Chips. I’m not saying it was intimidating but even the fish ran out. Back in Brum, Primitivo are thankfully more on the ball with stock levels.

Haddock and CHips

Despite half a century and at least 10,000 hours of unwrapping fish and chips, I can’t claim to be an expert but it was, as my daughter would say, ‘fire.’

For readers above the age of 19, Haddock and Chips; beer battered haddock, hand cut chips, mushy peas and tarar sauce (£11.95) the description ‘fire’ is a very good thing.

Anji chose the Thai Fishcake; delicately spiced with chilli and lime, fresh spring onion salad and sweet chilli dressing (£7.95) with a side of Fries (V) £4.00. She kindly offered me some and it was awesome.

The kitchen boasts local gastronomic heritage. Chef Murray is non other than local legend Paul Fulford’s son. It’s like going to Guitar Guitar on Hagley Road and buying a Fender from Eric Clapton’s kid.

Both meals, a side and soft drinks allowed us to take full advantage of Rishi’s 50% Eat Out to Help Out cap of £10 per person.

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Eat Out to Help Out runs until the end of August. It’s good to see Government use Nudge Economics to encourage those who can, venture out and support the hospitality industry.

VAT has also been temporarily reduced from 20% to 5%.

We learned this morning we are officially in recession. Supporting local independent businesses is the fast track to get our region back into the fast lane. Money spent in venues such as Primitivo fund the wages of it’s staff and are reinvested locally.

Thank you to all the team for a fabulous experience. Congratulations Prit on your 24th Anniversary. Thank you Rishi for your contribution and a huge thank you to my wife for the 24 years of friendship, love and support.

Primitivo Bar & Eatery 10 Barwick Street Birmingham B3 2NT 

0121 236 6866

Primitivo https://primitivo-birmingham.co.uk

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