Birmingham, cultural capital of the UK

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Birmingham (read here more news) is a city in the West Midlands of the United Kingdom and is the most populous city in England besides London.

There are several parks all around Birmingham with the largest being Sutton Park. There are several other well-known parks including Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Winterbourne Botanic Garden.

Birmingham is known for its Symphony Orchestra,Birmingham Royal Ballet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and the Birmingham Opera Company.

The two major art galleries in the city are the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts.

Among the city’s festivals are the St. George’s Day party, Birmingham Tattoo, Birmingham International Carnival, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

The city enjoys a temperate maritime climate which leaves it cool summers and cold winters Food is very important to Birmingham culture with the wholesale market selling meat, fruit, vegetables, and flowers.

The city’s well-known restaurants include Simpson’s, Turner’s, and Purnell’s. There is also a big Asian community and Asian food especially Indian and Pakistani is very popular. The city is served by the Birmingham Airport.

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British music taking on a South African flavour

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House music is being described as the biggest thing in South Africa for young people and now it is catching on in Britain and influencing musicians in the UK.

House music is as big as hip hop used to be in South Africa and is very commercial heard in shops, taxis, bars, parties, and on mobile phones. Some of the biggest names include Brothers of PeaceOskidoBruce Sebitlo, and Black Coffee.

House music first evolved from the Chicago club scene in the 1980′s, made popular in discotheques catering to black and latino communities before moving to DetroitNew York CityNew Jersey, and Miami. It then made its way into Britain but now the music is taking on a different sound – the sound of South Africa.

Soul and funk are major elements but so are percussionbass drumsynthesizer bassline,electronic drumselectronic effectspop samples, and reverb.

In Britain the music was first influenced by black dancers doing a move known as “foot shuffling” or “cutting shapes”. It became part of mainstream pop and dance worldwide since the 1990s.

House music is very popular in the Midlands and north of England in Manchester,Birmingham, and Nottingham but has also gained a foothold in London clubs.

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