Birmingham, a city with a various range of reasons for being attractive regarding your interests. Music heads retain know that UB40 and Electric Light Orchestra have been raised as proper brummies, BBC 2 addicts would already know what’s up there thank to the “Peaky Blinders” serie and fan of the cinema’s golden age would take a journey to sit and relax in the Electric standing as the oldest theatre in England which still programs both new and old movies. In the scope of a city which has been raised for its industrial value thru the 19’ century, Birmingham could be a stereotype of what the basic foreigner (what I am) would call “a proper English city” with its special atmosphere, weather, brick and clichés. Even though these main assets are now part of the past, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing left for us nowadays.
What’s to do in the summer when everyone’s gone?
As the second biggest city in UK, Birmingham has a minimum rate of activity which always brings something to keep boredom away. Summer is the perfect time for bucolic walks around the city. English countryside gives the opportunity to step out from the establish track and to make your own mind of what’s up by the UK’s rural world.
What’s the collective’s HQ when it comes to drinks?
As the majority of english city, there are pubs everywhere. An english guy would be used to this special atmosphere mixing, stout smell, warmth and “leather armchair mood”. But some of them have special features. To me, the Victoria Pub and the Sunflower Lounge succeeded in compiling this special mood added to good rock bands performances every week. Good discovered by the time spent there on both weekly beers and music.
Where can you find the best records in town?
As a huge music venue, Birmingham has very good records shops. UK’s influence on music is undeniable and we get the proof by digging in those shop’s crates aiming at the copy you’ve always dreamt about:
– Swordfish Records: a good choice either on rock or on electronic music (from IDM to house) with good surprises as well.
– The Diskery: with an impressive original copy collection. Mainly rock oriented, including its sub-genre (progressive, folk, psychedelic…) the shop reaches a strong level in jazz, soul and funk as well. Rare diggers of Devo, Television, UFO or Al Green 45 rpm you might find what you’ve been looking for your entire life in there. The “boss” would gently offer you a cup of tea if you take some time to share with him on your music tastes.
What can you do for a first date?
Kind of a cliché, but Purnells offers this 9 courses menu adapted to the season with good wine advices to share onto this. If you don’t “pass” successfully your date with this…. just question yourself…
Where can you lose your dignity?
Digbeth definitely, an old industrial district which has been retrained in a dynamic and creative zone where nightlife is the right word. As a good music head reader of this webzine, you might find your place (and won’t find your way home afterward). The Void Digbeth is located in an old monastery and right next to the old train arches. The soundsystem is speechless in the right way, prices affordable and the general mood…. I would say dirty. Music orientation: house & techno with a spotlight emphasizing on local DJ’s.
Keeping under the arches, here is one of the basement of the Brummie’s nightlife: The Rainbow Venue. This “complex” (yes it is a complex) gatherers several places from the basic pub (The Spotlight) to the old retrained factory (The Textil Factory) but also the more “classic” club (The Blackbox). The collective offers the opportunity to start your night around 6 with a ale’s pint in a pub of your choice, then the club, to end up on the after-party later on. This is one of the biggest name in the business and line-ups are really interesting, best artists of the so-called underground scene spread their vibes behind the decks every week-end. Even though this orientation is generally dedicated to the “four to the floor”, please take the time to check what’s going on around the Hip-Hop/Grime offer in these venues… Keep an moved memory of a Spooky Bizzle Set which end up as a proper zoo.
A good spot to go for a sandwich at 5AM?
Isn’t life beautiful ? yes it is dear ! Going out from your party , you’ll find a range of different place here to grab à good greasy-full-of-fat- munch deal. From the classic kebab to the pizza slice, for foreigner I would advise the fish & chips (UK is UK mate !)
A good address for brunch?
UK is not really famous for its cooking features. However I hardly recommend the Old Joint Stock where you’ll surely enjoy the place and the local speciality of 3 different pies served with 3 different ales. The whole stuff is served on à Tasting Board.
Fed up with beer? that’s all right, the place serves delicious full english breakfasts and special sunday meals.As a frenchie I couldn’t pass over The Trocadero which serves super breakfast and special food features on sunday.
The best plan to chill on a Sunday?
The city canals give the opportunity of à nice sightseeing experience to appreciate the local mood. Looking for a cultural way of ending your week-end ? Just go to the Ikon Gallery or the Birmingham city Museum and Art Gallery open and free every day.
Outside the city, there is à Greyhound Stadium at Perry Barr where races are organized. À good occasion to discover one of the UK entertainment cliché. Going there while listening to “Parklife” by Blur, You’ll reach perfection.
Right next to Perry Barr, the Perry hall Park where taking à walk is always enjoyable. (Just be careful not to get bitten by a goose (not joking).
Foreign Inspiration EP / Godot Lab Records :