Reflecting on 2009

August 26, 2009

So BASS 2009 is over and its been fantastic. We feel that this year’s festival has really challenged our audiences, ourselves, artists and venues and we are incredibly proud of all the people who came together to make it so successful.

As always though as one year’s festival comes to an end we are already thinking about the next. We have been busy contemplating different themes and we are thrilled to announce that next year’s theme will be DNA. We will be thinking about what DNA means to each of us – our heritage, our culture, what makes each of us unique.

Over the next few months we will be revealing more details of the plans so make sure you keep an eye on the Punch website for all the updates.

In the meantime you can watch footage of the talk that took place at our Art’s Own Kind exhibition in London, which included speakers Tony Allen and Rich Medina. Click here to go straight to the You Tube footage.


The Countdown Begins…

June 22, 2009

Even though it feels like it just started, the BASS 09 festival has past the point of no return…with just over 1 week left to enjoy the few remaining events on offer!

So far we’ve had the successful launch in London and Birmingham of Lemi G, the poignant artwork of T*Magic now on public display, plus politically powered messages through the use of film in ‘Democracy in Darkar’. But don’t despair, as there’s still time to delve into the African side…

Below is the list of events still to be played out:

1. Three Way

Wed 24th + Thurs 25th June 09 – Repertory Theatre @ 7:45pm

Three Is The Magic Number

Three Is The Magic Number

Al Pacino says ‘in theatre, anything can happen’, and with Three Way it’s no exception. The play outlines personal struggles of racial conflict through the use of spoken word, and with its young charismatic cast, it’s certain the performances will be real and unpredictable. It definitely puts rest to Shakespeare’s infamous question of: ‘To be or not to be’. Without a doubt, you have TO BE there!

To find out more and to book tickets click, HERE

2. IFE – (A Nigerian Love Story) / ADISA – 1968: The Year That Never Ended

Friday 26th June 09 – Repertory Theatre @ 7:45pm

BASS prides itself on giving the public value for money and this double bill is a true example of just that. Part 1 of this bill starts with IFE which means Love in the Yoruba language, and the play centres on the expression of this feeling through rap and dance. The music has been composed by Dele Sosimi and the play has been written by Hip-Hop lyricist Breis. Add to this the dance routine by Christine Oshunniyi and you have a winning formula for an entertaining night.

Part 2 is a one man show which focuses on the voices and movements of 1968 and its relationship to now. Written and performed by poet extraordinaire Adisa, he sets about taking the audience through a journey of time, exploring a myriad of themes, from religion to music and politics.

Adisa has been touring the UK scene and wowing audiences with his wordplay and as a result has won many accolades including New Performance Poet of the Year. There will also be Randolph Matthews present on the night as a special musical guest.

To find out more and to book tickets, click HERE

3. Quad Graffiti Launch & Showcase

Monday 29th June – Quad, Derby @ 3pm

Celebrating Art

Celebrating Art

Since the start of June, graffiti artists of Baby J Enterprises have been producing African themed artwork for public display outside the Quad building in Derby. The 29th will spark a celebration of their accomplishments in the form of workshops in music and video production, which will then be followed by live musical performances and a break-dancing showcase. And if this wasn’t enough there will also be a FREE screening of the DMC World DJ championships from 2008. If you’re an urbanlite, then be sure to swagger your way down to this hip event!

To find out more and to reserve tickets, click HERE

Also, log on to the BASS 09 Website for additional information on all events past and present!

BASS 09 Festival Brochure

June 15, 2009

In case you guys haven’t had a chance to get your hands on a copy of the BASS 09 Brochure…below is a direct link of the PDF version for you to all download…Now theres no excuse to miss an event!

View/Download PDF Brochure HERE or click on image below…

BASS 09 Brochure Cover

BASS 09 Brochure Cover

As always, for more info, log onto the BASS Homepage.

The First Week of BASS…

June 11, 2009

What a week it has been in the world of BASS Festival 2009. The whole team packed their suitcases and headed down to London for a week, to get the ‘Arts Own Kind‘ exhibition into Richmix arts centre. The exhibition celebrates the work of renowned artist Ghariowku Lemi, who designed many album sleeves for the legendary Fela Kuti.

Live Band of Dele Sosimi with Tony Allen!

Live Band of Dele Sosimi with Tony Allen!

We had a brilliant time in London, despite the long hours, missed flights, visa dramas and even a tube strike on the day of our launch! There was a great turn out on the night, Tony Allen, the band and DJs rocked the stage and plenty of people came to have a drink, a dance and take a look around the exhibition.

It has been a pleasure to work with Lemi and to get to hear all his stories and have the honour of being surrounded by all his work – we even sold some original art work on the night; dont forget to keep an eye on the dedicated blog for this project over at

Lemi Launch in London

Lemi Launch in London

If you didnt make it down to London but are in town over the next month then pop into Richmix in Shoreditch and take a look as the exhibition runs until the end of June.

We also launched the festival in Birmingham with an amazing contemporary dance piece from Nigerian choreographer Opyio Okach. After some stunning and beautiful dance pieces we invited our guests to raise a glass to the beginning of BASS 2009.

Last week also saw the screening of Democracy in Dakur, a film highlighting the influence that music and Hip-Hop has had in Senegal.

Another highlight of the week was the Mama Feel Good! DJs kicking up a storm of amazing music at The Bull’s Head in Moseley. A great crowd came out and we came back to Birmingham for the night to make sure we didnt miss out.

Huge thanks to all the many people who have supported our launch events, the film and of course to the artists behind our commissioned work.

To view pictures of the launch and other events happening at BASS, please visit our Flickr account HERE.

Without HIP, Theres no HOP(e)!

May 27, 2009

Sol Productions in association with Nomadic Wax have managed to produce a riveting and raw documentary in the slums of Senegal, West Africa. It follows the influence Hip-Hop has had, during and after the controversial presidential election in 2007 – with candid interviews from MCs, journalists, professors and street walkers. The viewer is given a rare insight into how music can translate politics into a language we can all understand.

Eliminating the Hip-Hopcracy

Eliminating the Hip-Hopcracy

Originally shot as a 7-part documentary series for the online community, it can now be seen on the big screen, as one big epic! You can view the trailer below…

When? 3rd June 09

What Time? 7PM

Where? The Drum,, Birmingham

How Much? £4 (£3)

More Info? The Drum, Nomadic Wax, BASS Homepage

Dropping Beats Like Bombs…

May 26, 2009

This event is for the true Hip-Hop heads! Louis Den Beat Cypher have been holding their beat battling nights since October 2008, and since then it’s fan base refuses to stop growing.

Beat Cypher

Beat Cypher

Open to the public but restricted to the realists, the Beat Cypher nights consist of expression in the highest form; allowing participants to showcase their beat making and mcing skills to rhythm thirsty ear drums. From highly established artists such as DJ IQ and Baby J to the average, run of the mill kid off the streets, this is a night without any prejudice, and only a bias towards talent! Even if you don’t spit lyrical or produce like Timbo, you can still come along and enjoy the sounds of the underground!

And if the above hasn’t swayed you in making an appearance, maybe the below video will…BRRAPP!

When? 11th June 09

What Time? 9PM

Where? The Rainbow Pub, Birmingham

How Much? £5

More Info? Rainbow Pub, Louis Den Beat Cypher , BASS Homepage

Guess Whos Coming To Town?

May 21, 2009

No not Santa Claus…someone bigger (not literally) and better; the legendary drummer of Fela Kuti, Tony Allen! With Fela once describing his talent equivalent to that of four drummers, it is fair to say that the distinct sound of Afrobeat would not be what it is today without the handy contribution of Mr Allen. Alongside Wunmi, Dele Sosimi, and Rich Medina, Mr Allen will be amongst the prestigious guests performing at the Lemi Ghariokwu exhibition launch at Rich Mix Studios in London. There will also be a Q&A with the guests, which will be orchestrated by Paul Bradshaw.

The Power of 4

"The Power of 4"

For all those that are not aware of Mr Allen and his talents, the video below should explain all…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

When? Weds 10th June

What Time? 1pm-2.30pm

Where? Rich Mix Studios, London

Want More Info? BASS Homepage