Birmingham Pride 2016 – 28th + 29th May 2016

Posted by Gig Junkies on Sunday May 29, 2016 Under Festivals, Pop

Gig Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Kal Ahmed

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Birmingham Pride celebrated its twentieth year anniversary this year and made sure the party was one to remember as revelers from all generations and backgrounds celebrated in what organizers have described as the Birmingham’s biggest crowds up to date within the festival!

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The two day, rainbow-adorned festival celebrated the LGBT community in true style with a proposal at the opening parade running from Centenary Square to Hurst Street, creative costumes, stalls, fair and the various entertainment tents.

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Birmingham Pride 2016 did not disappoint when it came to entertainment over the two days, visitors to the cabaret tent were kept amused by the extremely talented performers in their highly crafted costumes with both new and old performers adorning the stage alongside the fantastic Sandra London who was comparing within the tent and bringing her unique sense of humor alongside co-host Marty and the award winning Miss Penny with her legs and heels to die for.

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The main stage area was filled with people of all ages, including ‘This Is England’s’ Thomas Turgoose who was spotted enjoying himself with friends and signing autographs for fans. Newcomers Imani and Dakota kept the crowd entertained with their chart toppers and crowd favorite Lucy Spraggan returned for another fantastic year with a set list comprising of ‘Gold Digger’, ‘Blues Song’, ‘Last Night’ and an ode to her favorite daytime television host ‘Jeremy Kyle’.

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Boy band Lawson treated younger members of the audience with their hits ‘Juliet’ and ‘Money’ before 00’s chart sensations Liberty X stormed the stage with BBC’s The Voice winner Kevin Simm reuniting with band members in their first gig as a band since he won The Voice this year. The crowd went wild to the sexy and silky vocals of Michelle Heaton, Kelli Young and Jessica Taylor performing hits including ‘Gotta Have Your Love’, ‘Being Nobody’ and ‘Thinking It Over’ before slowing things down with the ballad and sing-a-long ‘Holding On For You’. After cheers for more from the crowd they came back to heat the stage up with crowd pleasure and number one hit ‘Just A Little’ complete with cane workout, working up a frenzy with the crowd before the final acts came graced the stage.

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X factor runner up Fleur East brought funk to Birmingham with hits ‘Sax’ and cover of ‘Uptown Funk’, with her energetic dance routine dressed in sparkled bodice, the crowd sang along as she playfully interacted with them prior to fellow former X Factor star and judge Tulisa ensuring her comeback was one to remember.

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Putting behind recent troubles The Female Boss oozed confidence as she gyrated and twerked across the stage, marking her territory as one of the nights headline performers. Not to disappoint fans her set list included both solo tracks such as ‘Young’ yet also classics from her start up days as part of the Camden trio N-Dubz with ‘I Need You’, this sultry vixen showed she was one of the most talked about performers across the main stage for the night.

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After Day one being one of the biggest yet, Day two did not disappoint with the gorgeous Kelli – Leigh blowing away the main stage and performing for the second consecutive year, both appearing on her own and bringing the party later on in the afternoon alongside BLONDE. Her latest track ‘U Got A Friend’ had the crowd moving to it’s infectious bass-line.

The beautiful Karen Harding also celebrated her second year at Birmingham Pride highlights including last years summer smash ‘Say Something’, new track ‘Open Your Eyes’ and a haunting version of Whitney Houston’s ‘How Will I Know?’ captivating the audience with every heartbeat.

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Not to be outdone by the youngsters on Sunday, Lisa Stansfield brought an entertaining set performing hits and taking a selfie with the crowd, halfway through huge hit ‘Around The World’ giving the 80’s kids a bit of nostalgia before champions of cheese, Dutch band The Vengaboys bounced onto the stage.

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In their energetic thirty minute set, the crowd laughed and joined in as the four piece crammed in all the party anthems ‘Boom Boom’, ‘Going To Ibiza’, ‘Sha-la-la-la la’ and ‘Uncle John From Jamaica’ before finishing with a reprise of ‘Boom Boom’. The band fitted in perfectly in the events line up after celebrating twenty years since they first appeared on our radios and were a perfect warm-up to the main tents finale act.

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Children of the eighties patiently awaited Erasure front man Andy Bells arrival, and he didn’t disappoint one bit, with back to back hits of ‘Blue Savannah’, ‘Chains of Love’, ‘Always’ and ‘Sometimes’, to name just a few, he captivated the crowd with his chirpy dance moves and personality. ‘Sacred’ and ‘Love To Hate You’ echoed the tent as the ultimate encore and pyrotechnic display to ‘Little Respect’ proved a fitting ending to Pride 2016.

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The team at Birmingham Pride did a great job in ensuring a good and safe time were had by all, aiming to have entertainment for all ages, you could see a lot of hard work was put in from all involved from behind the scenes to front line staff, entertainers, security, kiosk and everyone involved with the smooth running of the weekend. The dates have been released already for the 27th and 28th May 2017 as Pride 2017 with tickets to go on sale very soon, for more information follow Birmingham Pride on Facebook.

See Kal’s full photoset from Birmingham Pride 2016 here.

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