Come Enjoy an Evening of Creativity

December 7, 2022

Every third Friday of the month at Oikos Cafe on Erdington High Stret there has been a gathering of people both local and afar; art lovers, kids, couples, and inquisitive minds. For more than 5 years, the Erdington Arts Forum has been hosting the Evening of Creativity, complete with music, art, poetry and oftentimes pizza. Jobe Sullivan interviewed some of the performers after the event on 18th November to see what makes them tick.

‘First up, 14 year old ukuleleist-singer Nathan Czeszejko-Sochacki joined by Violinist-Guitarist John Stachulat John Stachula. Nathan describes his music as ‘pop rock’ and goes onto say “Me and John met through my mum – as a gift for my birthday, she asked John [her colleague] for a musical event – the present ended being the Evening of Creativity”.

 Next up we had singer Debbie Dipple, who describes her music as an “inspirational mix of dance, trance, reggae and rock”. She works as a primary school special needs teaching assistant by day, and a choir leaders by night. She premiered some of her songs from her up and coming untitled album, some time in the new year.

The Evening of Creativity was Debbie’s first gig as a solo artist with her new material. Her choir, the In-Crowd singers, are performing 9th December at Digbeth-in-the-fields United Reformed Church with a nativity-themed evening.

Joe Smith played his own music with guitar. He describes his music ‘a mix of blues, folk, country’ – although like many of our acts, hates to be pigeon-holed. Joe is starting a weekly residence at the Mix Cafe Tuesday afternoons 2-3pm. ‘It’s about sharing my development of my solo set!’ Joe records under his pseudonym ‘The Light Programme’ which he describes as his ‘musical vehicle for his various projects’. The Light Programme can be found on Spotify, as well as other platforms. He also records at the Secret Art Space Studios in Erdington.

Stefan Stefanov and his ‘Stefan Selection’ included Mignon, Nathan, John, Laura and Claire. They met because they are regulars at the Evening of Creativity – Stefan first performed with his Church band at the Erdington Community Festival in 2019 and I hooked him up with various musical colleagues and friends. Stefan describes his music as “A trip around the world whilst worshipping God, often in the Roma-Gypsy language!”

 Stefan performs regularly 5pm every Sunday at the Roma-Bulgarian Christian community gathering held at Six Ways Baptist Church in Erdington.

Finally, we had headline band Robot Radio consisting of bassist Cal, drummer Phil, Ukulele-ist Ian and lead guitarist Martin. All of the gents take it in turns to lead vocals.

Ian and Phil lived opposite each other from birth, and Cal joined them aged 12 at school, and Martin, 5 years their senior, joined them when they were at secondary school. Ian, Phil and Cal were in a band called ‘The Mangy Bananas’.

‘We describe our music as sci-fi harmonious pop punk’. They’re gigging at Claptrap in Stourbridge on 25th November and they’ve just released an album called ‘Clockwork Banana’, with album artwork by Cal, the bands bassist. ‘He’s the only one who’s got pencils’ quipped Phil.

We’re looking forward to welcoming some more great artists next month, including Francaix Wind Trio, playing Christmas classics on oboe, clarinet and bassoon! Join us 16th December for another extravaganza.