Instead of the huge main course this week we have a selection of more modest side dishes, but taken together they should be more than satisfying.

The meal starts on Wednesday down in Digbeth. Birmingham Jazz are holding their regular Rainbow sessions mid-week now, and first up for '08 are OiGoi, who boast Matalan stage wear along with "math-based rock/funk fusion".

Which I think means that they do play jazz but with the dance edge that people under 30 (and some of us a lot older) respond to.

On the personnel level they are a Stratford-based quintet led by saxophonist Jay Moody, with Chris Long on keys, James Maiden on guitar, Steve Peters on drums and Mark English on bass.

OiGoi are at the Rainbow on Wednesday following DJ Maxwell from 8pm. It's just £3 to get in.


Thursday is jam night with Andy Hamilton at Bearwood Corks Club, one of the rock solid, year round weekly events that can always be relied upon. Alternatively, if the blues and risk are more your thing, try the Tower Of Song in Pershore Road South, Cotteridge, where it's open mic night at the Crossroads Blues Club.

Providing some stability will be Dave Bristow who, according to the organisers, has a pre-war air about him. Whether Iraq, Second, First or even American Civil, they don't say.

For more about the Andy Hamilton sessions, go to and for more about the blues nights, go to


The Rush Hour Blues set on Friday features Birmingham stalwarts, Tom Hill and the Straitjackets. Knock off work early if you can and get to the Symphony Hall foyer bar well before kick-off or a pensioner will have your seat. It's free, of course.


Stratford Jazz continues to show its exemplary taste with a visit by guitarist Tam de Villiers and his band on Sunday.

Villiers has had a peripatetic life with time spent in Scotland and South Africa as well as a stint studying jazz in Leeds. He is now resident in Paris but returns to the land of his birth for a short tour.

Tam studied with Tommy Smith and did a stint in his big band, so the sauve Scot must rate him. He cites Marc Ducret and Wayne Krantz as influences, which augurs well.

The Tam de Villiers Band is at the White Swan in Stratford from 8pm. Admission is free but these gigs are financed in the traditional way with the raffle on the night so make sure you buy loads of tickets.

For more information, go to or call Roy on 01789 298607.


Finally, some dates to put in your diary now - and some tickets to book now relief has come in the form of the January pay packet: Friday 22 February Courtney Pine at The Drum Sunday 9 March: Empirical at Warwick Arts Centre Friday 18 April: Dave Douglas at the CBSO Centre Friday 2 May: Georgie Fame and the Alan Skidmore Quartet at the Town Hall Saturday 31 May: The Julian Arguelles Octet at the CBSO Centre.

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