Concrete and Cocktails: a journey to Birmingham’s glitter-stained independent heart

An unchained psychogeographic adventure from the authors of Pier Review. Can you drink in all of Birmingham city centre’s independent hostelries in one day in 2011? Yes of course, although it might not be sensible. This is the first appearance on

Local shops

Shops used to be different back then, from now and from each other. Each one had its own smell and atmosphere. Visits to Witton Road were infrequent, as the concrete shopping centre at Perry Barr was the preferred destination, but

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Thinking of you at Christmastime

You open an envelope that is slightly bulkier than the average Christmas card to discover that it doesn’t contain money, only a folded couple of A4 sheets in twelve point Times New Roman. It’s the scourge of the festive season:

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Birmingham sends out a Christmas round robin

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How Brummie are you? Quiz

There are physical limits on the city, but what are the limits to being counted as her son or daughter? Londoners negotiate their rights to belong through the soundscape of their districts: born within Bow Bell’s peel and you’re a

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Shelf sacrifice

The thing about anywhere you consider ‘home’ is that you never really start considering it that way until it’s not there any more. Walking into Central Library on its last day I found it devoid of books, mostly partitioned off,

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Get Marketing Birmingham

Leader of Birmingham, Councillor Albert Bore says: “we should have a design competition to create a phrase to replace ‘2nd City’”. Let’s oblige (or hit refresh for more of our ideas):

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On top of Spaghetti

I woke this morning to a few tweets informing me that today is the 41st birthday of the Gravelly Hill Interchange, better known as Spaghetti Junction. Within these birthday messages lay a joke, a myth about Junction 6 that lies

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One Mile Away

Four years ago I wrote this, a slightly hysterical but solid blog post about the film 1 Day. 1 Day is a grime musical starring actual members plucked from Birmingham’s rival gangs, the Burger Bar Boys and the Johnson Crew.

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What on earth are you doing here?

Here’s a question I get asked a lot: “What on earth are you doing here?”. I wasn’t born here, in Birmingham, but here I am now: a grown man, a wife, a house, kids and a cat. A responsible job

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