Sep 13 2008

Digital Dystopia – ProjectX – 2 sets…

Published by at 12:32 am under General,Gigs,Loopz,Music

Project X Back

I’m delighted to be involved with the next ProjectX presents night. I did a set at the last ProjectX but this time i’m lucky enough to play twice. I will start the main room at the very early 8pm but i will also play in the Other Room at around 11.30pm. Both should be one hour each…

This night promises to be something special and dont take my word for it. Below are a series of links to previews and interviews for Digital Dystopia. As the ProjectX website states…

Project X Presents Front Flyer

Project X Presents invites you on a journey into the heart of Digital Dystopia.

Our fourth event takes place at BUSK – a wonderful new venue in Birmingham City Centre. Join us for a joyous celebration where many performers combine to present a seamless whole of sound, light and interaction …an “omnimedia experience”.

Three stages and multiple projection screens will allow the presentation of a seamless flow of multi genre entertainment including bands, performers, comedians, VJs, DJs, dancers, poets.

You can’t bottle it – but you can be part of it on Saturday 13th September

Poets, performers, dancers, costumes, stage sets, audience participation

…and much more playing a part during an unforgettable night

Join us on this moving and engaging journey and be entertained by three stages housing a seamless procession of music and spoken word – all woven into a continual mix of sound and supported by performers, dancers and an amazing team of VJ’s.

Our smaller room offers a chilled selection of beats, bleeps and glitches and our Object X crew has an amazing array of weird and wonderful pieces to enjoy – interactive toys for the curious

Project X Presents
Channel 4Talent Preview
Direct Link to preview on Channel 4


Paper Interviews with Rich from Project X

Birmingham Post – Project X hits the right spot

Sep 9 2008 By Simon Harper

Simon Harper meets Birmingham’s musical catalyst, Rich Batsford.

In the past decade and more, Birmingham has undergone something of a
cultural renaissance. Creative activity in the city is now much more
widespread and there’s a host of artists, events and venues in the
city which are getting national recognition too.

“There’s loads more happening now than in recent times,” enthuses Rich

“I’ve gradually become much more a part of it, and I’d say that it’s
really taken off. We all too often measure ourselves against other
cities. The reality is that Birmingham is a very diverse city and may
not have had a scene like Madchester or stuff that’s happened in
London, at least not since the 70s and metal, but it’s got some
amazing music and other stuff.”

Whether playing music, booking gigs, promoting shows or doing
voluntary work at several cultural events in Birmingham, Rich finds
himself involved in all sorts of activity within the city, perhaps
most notably with his involvement as one of the key figures behind
Project X Presents.

This weekend sees the fourth Project X event – described as an
‘omnimedia experience’, it is built around the theme of a ‘digital
dystopia’, bringing together a multitude of art forms for a sensory

The line-up features the warm electronica of Arc Vel, 360’s sunshine-
fuelled ska, stand-up comedy from Reginald D Hunter and Khalgani’s
tribal belly dancing, plus a number of other performers taking in
myriad creative formats.

For Rich – who will also be performing a set of his meditative piano
compositions as part of proceedings – this is a logical step in the
development of Project X, a process that has been underway since long
before their inaugural event in 2006.

“It grew out of ongoing discussions between five friends, basically.
We spent a lot of time talking art, entertainment and life generally,
and how we’d like things to be, and it dawned on us fairly gradually
that we should do something together.

“In life we tend to get thrown together with people to some degree,
and certainly in normal working life you don’t choose who you get to
work with, and we saw that we had an opportunity to work with exactly
the people we did want to work with.

“There was one catalytic event, which was a party we had to say bon
voyage to a close friend of ours who was going off travelling, but
also partly for my birthday. We had the party at Robannas, the
rehearsal studio. There’s no one big room in there but we had a number
of different things going on in a number of rooms. There’s no reason
why you can’t have lots of different types of creative endeavour side
by side at the same event.”

After the first event in July 2006, charmingly titled ‘Like Fxck’, a
programme was devised as part of last year’s Gigbeth festival to
provide the follow-up, while ‘Digital Dystopia’ will be the second
Project X shindig this year.

It seems to be part of a laudable attempt to develop audiences and
partnerships both within Birmingham and also nationally, with a
creative ethos at its heart.

“This is one of the things that Project X is intended to address; to
develop and engage with an audience. By having such a diverse range of
stuff within the show, we will hopefully be introducing people to at
least some stuff that they haven’t previously engaged with.

“We very much want to challenge the audience a bit; not make it
difficult for them, but engage with them and not just have them
passively watching something at the back of the room.

“With Project X, because the audience are in the room and the stages
are around them, you feel much more a part of it and much more caught
up in it, so that the audience are actively participating in the

Away from such multi-faceted events, Rich is also heavily involved in
the live comedy scene in Birmingham, booking and promoting stand-up
and theatre shows at the Old Joint Stock Theatre as well as several
other venues around the country. He’s brought the likes of stand-up
stalwart Stewart Lee to such an intimate venue, along with fast-
emerging mirth-makers such as Wil Hodgson, Nick Doody and Paul Sinha.

“I saw an opportunity to book the sort of shows that I really enjoy,”
he grins. “The hour-long festival and theatre-style shows in which
people have that much more chance to extend themselves comedically
than they do in your standard 20-minute or 30-minute club or pub gig

“We’ve been there for a couple of years now, building up an audience
of people who want to see some pretty interesting comics, doing the
hour shows that they deliver at the Edinburgh festival and other
comedy and arts festivals across the world.

“Reginald D Hunter has been, from the moment I first saw him on a
stage, one of my favourite acts and he’s the first name on my team-

“I did try to get Doug Stanhope, who I saw at Edinburgh last year and
was tremendously impressed by. Stewart Lee, who I think at his best is

“I really enjoy an act called Paul Provenza, who made a rather amazing
film called The Aristocrats.

“Stand-up is such a varied and loose format at the end of the day;
there’s so many options.”

Quite how he manages to fit the life of a musician into his hectic
schedule remains unclear, but – armed with a love of French classical
piano and a stack of Beach Boys albums – he’s quietly built a
following for his melodic and magical compositions.

“By far and away the biggest single musical influence in my life is
Brian Wilson. From initially appreciating the ‘Fun Fun Fun’ pure joy
captured in a two-minute pop song, to gradually discovering the extent
of Brian Wilson’s creative genius, he’s taught me a great deal.”

You can catch Rich and a slew of other performers at Project X
Presents on Saturday September 13, at BUSK, Gough Street, Birmingham,

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