The Ruin Under Water — our perfect Birmingham Pub

The latest Birmingham PLC press release — painstakingly recreated as news by the local paper — makes many proud boasts about the planned redevelopment of the Christopher Wray lighting factory. It includes the usual lauding of new shiny buildings and a shameless brag about how much the land has gone up in value since the … Continue reading “The Ruin Under Water — our perfect Birmingham Pub”

No sad songs, an interview with Stephen Duffy

The excuse for talking to Stephen Duffy is the release of the first Lilac Time album in ten years, but that really is just an excuse: we could listen to him forever. Paradise Circus is more named after the Lilac Time album  of that name than even the traffic island. That said, No Sad Songs … Continue reading “No sad songs, an interview with Stephen Duffy”

Danny Smith: Disappearing World

This week, Danny writes a eulogy for Birmingham’s last independent bookshop. Some things, like grotty flats, go with a bang: a big showy controlled demolition surrounded by smug men in yellow jackets who pretend that playing with explosives doesn’t give them trouser tents. Some things, like the Central Library, go with a fight: even if … Continue reading “Danny Smith: Disappearing World”

101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 63: TV Box Sets

The TV box set is a thing. It’s so much a thing that it has now detached itself from its own material: a box set is no longer a TV series collected as a set and presented in a box, it is now simply the thing, collected, and placed in a set completely agnostic to … Continue reading “101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 63: TV Box Sets”

101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 50: Panhandling

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. Despite the protests of anyone who’s ever wanted to make it from one end of New Street to the other, asking people for money is profitable and it will continue. Birmingham has some world class panhandling: the girl with the odd voice and dreads who needs 65p to … Continue reading “101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 50: Panhandling”

101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 19: Manchester

Ah, Manchester! Competitive little Manchester! Gutsy, plucky, Manchester! What makes you tick? What makes you worry so much about Birmingham? What makes you enter into dick measuring contests with us all the time? Well, our Psychology 101 training suggests it’s something oedipal. Tell us, people of the North, tell us about your mother. Folksy little … Continue reading “101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 19: Manchester”

Winterval starts here

Last year Birmingham City Council  held a Christmas lights ceremony that ended in what most called a ‘fiasco’. Our crap Altamont was down to nobody guessing that one of the biggest bands of the moment giving a free concert would be popular. This year instead of a big fuss there will be a Christmas parade. In … Continue reading “Winterval starts here”

Danny Smith: Merry Winterval

For those of you whose memory has been damaged by brolly spokes entering your ear waiting for some lights to be switched on, Winterval was the blanket catch all name for a series of council ran events that included Eid, Christmas and New Year. That turned, with the help of some lazy journalism and right … Continue reading “Danny Smith: Merry Winterval”

Pantomime Horse Grand National 2005

Sunday 4th December 2005 Watch the ‘behind the scenes’ video here Despite receiving a grand total of no pounds (that’s nothing, you tight-arsed little monkeys) in sponsorship, BiNS entered the third Pantomime Horse Grand National. Meeting the other competitors in the Bacchus bar (now open til 12pm relaxed licensing hours laws fans) at 12, we … Continue reading “Pantomime Horse Grand National 2005”