Announced last month to mark the new Peaky Blinders season 5, the festival will take place in Digbeth in central Birmingham on September 14 and 15 to celebrate the music and culture of the hit series with live performances, dance, installations, food, drink and much more.
After writing the score for Peaky Blinders season 5, Anna Calvi leads the live music line-up across five stages alongside Primal Scream, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Slaves, a DJ set from The Streets’ Mike Skinner, as well as performances from Nadine Shah, The Correspondents, Swingrowers, Electric Swing Circus, Heavybeat Brass Band, Jive Aces, Jim Wynn Swing Band, Baghdaddies, Miss Kiddy and The Cat, Swing Zazou, Thrill Collins, Punch The Sky and many more.
The whole event has been co-curated by show creator Steven Knight, and will also see Dank Parish present an immersive recreation of the Peaky Blinders world, appearances from cast members and special guests, and Q&As and debates with Knight on the history, politics and social themes of series five. Not only that, but following the announcement of David Beckham’s clothing line Kent & Curwen collaborating with the show, they will also be in attendance across the weekend. Fans can also expect themed bars, pop-up food stalls and even bare-knuckle boxing.
Now, NME can exclusive share a new, sprawling 11 minute electro-tinged rework of the show’s theme ‘Red Right Hand’ by Raven for Rambert’s dance performance at the festival. Check it out below, along with our interview with choreographer Benoit Swan Pouffer.
How did you approach reimagining something so sacred as a Nick Cave classic?
Benoit: “It was more about embodying the music than reimagining it, I found. I created movement that responded to the music’s impulse, to become physical visuals. The music is so strong and so visceral, that it was easy for me to picture the piece. With Peaky Blinders as a theme, I was really guided by what I had seen so far in the series. Nick Cave’s music is so inspiring, especially his voice and the beats, which helped me in finding layers to the choreography.”
What elements from the original did you take and ‘heighten’ to create this new piece? What do you feel that you’ve brought to it?
“What I’ve done is honour and give tribute to the series. The festival will attract Peaky Blinders fans, so when choreographing I was trying to make it seem as if the dancers are almost stepping out of the series and onto the stage. There is a story in the piece, but I wanted to go beyond that and give the audience a present as if the Peaky Blinders characters [Tommy, Polly, Johnny] are appearing.”
Have you had any feedback from Nick Cave?
“He’s heard the reworked track, but hasn’t seen the choreography yet. I hope he will like it!”
Was the piece as inspired by the show as it was by the ballet, or purely on the new dance piece?
“The piece was inspired by the show, and I kept that in mind as I tried to focus and target the work. Personally, I wanted to see the characters from the show interacting with one another on stage, and to stay close to that.”
What do you think that this piece adds to the ‘drama’ of Peaky Blinders?
“There’s already a lot of ‘drama’ in the series. The piece will be a tribute to the Peaky Blinders, leaving the rest for our audiences to experience in Digbeth.”
Tickets to The Legitimate Peaky Blinders Festival are on sale now and available here.