“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” Danny went to speak to someone who thinks the new boss doesn’t have to be the same as the old boss, it can be a democratically elected representative of an autonomous collective.
There is a spectre haunting this interview – the spectre of Birmingham Promoters.
A few years ago, when most people at gigs had never washed their hands, Birmingham Promoters had a near monopoly of smaller gigs in some of our best venues.
Then came the Brum music scene’s rejection of the man running it; called out publicly for misogyny and sexual assault back in 2021, after the rumours and whispered warnings from victims and friends to other women finally got heard. Since then, Birmingham Promoters has scrubbed its presence off the internet, its not clear they or the company (BPL Events LTD) has been doing or whether they actually received the £115,759 granted to them by the Cultural Recovery Fund. Birmingham Promoters seems to be more gone than the R-rate.
Now that we’re pretending the pandemic is over and the music scene in Birmingham begins to brush itself off, get its hands dirty, and get back to its feet, you have to wonder who will fill the gap. Mark Roberts says he has part of the solution.
Seeing advertisements for Birmingham Co-Operative Promoters and their inaugural event The Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism Party I knew I had to speak to him. Mark arrives on time and instantly buys me a drink. Tall and slender he suits the vintage vibe he gives off, the maroon leather jacket matching his deep red Dr Martens, despite looking like a hippy, he politely asserts his turn at the bar when the bartender asks ‘who’s next’ in a situation many would demurely acquiesce.
During the interview he is animated and eloquent and sometimes leans down towards the recorder when he wants to talk to you, the reader directly.