Encyclopædia - Birmingham
I have never been to any of these places and don't know if any are good, bad or ugly. At the present time this is more a list of things to check out.
[update] I have been to some of these places now (well, past them) so I'll add bits and pieces to some. This is still very rough, I don't know how I'm going to end up presenting some of the stuff I'm writing below.
First things first - I haven't been able to get a 'handle' on Brum yet - with London I had a head start in that there are many well-known landmarks, but while Brum has the landmarks they aren't world-famous, so until I learn more about what's what I'm going to continue finding it difficult to get around. It doesn't help that Brum has a road system and a pedestrian system on a few different levels. F'rinstance you go into a shop, look at the store directory assuming you're on the ground floor when in fact you're on a lower ground or sub-ground or first floor. I love the whole concept of split-level cities by the way - part of London I like is that around Charing Cross / Embankment where there are passageways that start off on ground level, go through about five different architectural styles and end up having to go down two flights of stairs to get to the ground. Then you turn around, nip through a station, go through arches, around corners and down other passages between two halves of the same pub. But this page is about Brum, not London, so I'll stop right there.
Something I'm going to have to note when I spend more time there is the roundabouts - some of which have landmarks (like the one with the pagoda, or five ways). Anyway, I'm rambling now...
the Mercat (Cafe Transylvania, 25 Bradford Street, Digbeth). Initially difficult to find, I think it'll be much more traversible on foot (no one-way system to contend with).
the Squeg (Square Peg, Temple Court, 115 Corporation Street, B4 6PH, not a goth pub, free parking after 18:00 at the side of Snow Hill station, about 3 minute walk away). The preceding was gleened from mailing lists and other internet sources. In addition to this I'm going to say - it's a Wetherspoons pub, and just across the road from Forbidden Planet (also not far from some Goth shop that I neglected to take down the name of).
the Briar Rose (on Bennetts Hill just off New Street, a Wetherspoons and cosy, apparently).
[update] I've actually been in this one - it was the first of my 'list' that I managed to find upon looking at a map outside New Street (I would have looked for the Squeg, but Corporation Street looked awfully long and the car was parked at one end, so I would have had to head down it at the end of the day anyway). Typically Wetherspoons pub really - friendly staff, very busy (this was early afternoon on Saturday), but we managed to get a table straight off, which we exchanged for a larger table in anticipation of food. Normal Wetherspoons prices, cheap for two (selected) meals, as per. Toilets remind me of those in the Knights Templar in Chancery Lane (yes, I know that's kind of a strange comment to make, but, next to the prices and no music policy the toilets are one of the notable things about Wetherspoons - they always seem to get creative architects in).
Edwards No 8. Couldn't find this, though I've got a map reference for next time I look for it.
Lower Severn St
Scruffy Murphy's (Dale End, near the courts, academy, pub). Looked for it, only found Toys R Us (actually I wasn't really looking for it, but I found myself on/in Dale End, but still didn't find it).
FNGS (Friday Night Goth Shite, upstairs function room in the Bristol Pear, Bristol Road, Selly Oak). I don't know where Selly Oak is, but I'm led to believe it's nowhere near the centre so haven't looked for it. Okay, just looked it up, Bristol Road is bloody long, making the Bristol Pear between two and four miles away from Brum city centre, depending on where on Bristol Road it is. Not somewhere I'm going to go until someone else gives me good directions ro better yet, shows me.
Unit 452, Bull Ring Centre, Birmingham B5 4PX. Couldn't find this, doesn't appear on the Bullring directory (either type - hard copy or software) so I'm going to assume for the time being that it closed down.
Forbidden Planet Superstore
38 Priory Queensway, Birmingham B4 7LA. This one I had more luck finding, unfortunately only after it had closed.
Nostalgia & Comics
14-16 Smallbrook, Queensway, Birmingham. The first of the places on this little guide that I'd been to before - it was almost exactly as I had remembered it from fifteen years ago, except for the changes in material sold (the direct comics and collectables market has changed, after all). The section of town it was in is how I remembered all of Birmingham being, so I was quite surprised to find that the rest of the city (centre) has the character it does.
Costermongers. Underground, near Oasis market entrance. Rock, alternative pub.
Mercat / Cafe Transylvania. 25 Bradford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham. Saturday Goth night.
Bristol Pear. Upstairs function room. Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham. Home of FNGS (by the Birmingham University Goth Society, though it went to Scruffy Murphys for a while).
The Gunbarrels. Corner of Edgebaston Park Road and Bristol Road, Selly Oak. Student pub.
Whitefriars. 114/5 Gosford Street, Coventry. CovGoth gathering place. Used to be Goth-friendly, under new management 2003.
The Bacchus Bar. Near New Street Station and the City Museum. Expensive, used to have an unfriendly doorman.
Square Peg / Squeg. Temple Court, 115 Corporation Street, Birmingham B4 6PH. Wetherspoons. BrumGoth and Tainted meet there on Thursday nights? Don't go on weekend nights (trendy).
The Foundry. Near Edwards No 8, near Beer Kellar. Rock pub, closed down?
Bennetts. Opposite Briar Rose, Bennetts Hill, Birmingham.
Tap and Spile. Off Broad Street, next to canal, Birmingham. Serves proper cider.
Sputnik. Off New Street. Underground, rock, Goth, indie music.
Flapper and Firkin. Back of ICC, (near Broad Street), by the canal, Birmingham. Rock, Goth, indie. Studenty, some live shows in the basement.
Bizzy Lizzy's. 81-91 John Bright Street, Birmingham B1 1BL. Alternative pub. Thursday nights for a while, but stopped.
Gallows. Next to Edwards No 8, John Bright Street, Birmingham. Heavy metal pub.
The Brook. Opposite Birmingham University (between Harrow and Alton Road), Bristol Road, Birmingham. University of Birmingham RockSoc meetings held here.
The Jug of Ale. 43 Alcester Road, Moseley B13 8AA. Alternative pub, live bands (punk, indie).
Scruffy Murphy's. Dale End, Birmingham. Live bands. The Brain Dead Collective / Stigmata met there.
Ye Olde Foundry. King Street, Dudley. Bikers pub.
The Giffard Arms. Opposite Metrofox, Victoria Street, Wolverhampton. Run by Metrofox people. Goth, EBM, industrial nights at weekends, late night opening.
Royal London. Opposite the Varsity. Alternative pub. Rock night on Sundays, moved to Mondays in 2003.
The Dog and Trumpet. Hertford Street, Coventry. Alternative, nu-metal pub, late opening, dancefloor. Home of Asylum, monthly Goth night. Also home of Shriek!
The Old Windmill. 22 Spon Street, Spon End, Coventry, CV1 3BA. CovGoth hang-out.
The Flanker and Firkin. Corner of New Union Street and Greyfriars Lane, Coventry. Rock, Goth friendly pub. Hosted Heresy for a short while.
The Golden Cross. Near the Cathedral, Coventry.
Inspire. Christ Church Spire, New Union Street, Coventry. Mostly alternative, Goth-friendly.
Hand and Heart. Far Gosford Street, Coventry. Biker, rock pub, Goth-friendly. 70s / 80s rock night once a month.
The Courtyard. High Street, Coventry. Live bands.
Club Phoenix. Corner of Cox Street, Gosford Street, Coventry. Formerly The Campbell, trendy student, but rock, metal, Goth night on Wednesdays.
Rock Cafe 2000. Ring Road trading estate, Stourbridge, West Midlands. Live music.
The Rock Station. Near Stourbridge Bus Station, Stourbridge, West Midlands. Alternative pub with some bike shows.
The Meeting Place. High Street, Stourbridge. Used to be known as The Exchange. Bikers, hippies.
The Mill House. Corner of Marsh Hill and Ivyfield Road, Erdington. Family pub.
Old White Rose. Lichfield Street, Bilston, WV14 (?), West Midlands. Biker, alternative pub.
The Littleton Arms. 40 Littleton Street East, Walsall, West Midlands. Metal pub, plays metal, rock, punk, Goth.
- Birmingham Bizarre Bazaar. The Nightingale Club, Essex House, Kent Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 6RD
- Central Library
- Edwardian Tea Room. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlin (sp?) Square. Bit expensive.
- Victoria Square
- Electric Cinema. Station Street, Birmingham B5 4DY
- St Philips Cathedral. Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2QB. 18th century English Baroque by Thomas Archer, stained glass by Burne-Jones.
- Perrott's Folly and Edgbaston Waterworks. Waterworks Road, Birmingham B16 9DD. 18th century tower next to Waterworks. Allegedly inspiration for the Two Towers.
- Sarehole Mill. Cole Bank Road, Hall Green, Birmingham B13 0BD. Last working water mill in Brum. Inspiration for The Shire.
- Coombe Abbey. Coventry.
- Coventry Cathedral. Priory Row, off Priory Street, Coventry (near Coventry University). Bombed in second World War, never rebuilt.
- St Mary's Guildhall. 14th century.
- Birmingham Canal Network. Renovated since 1997. Gas Street Basin features pubs, bars and the Sea Life Centre.
- All Saints Parish Church Graveyard. Birmingham Road, Allesley, Coventry. Opposite the Rainbow pub.
- Birmingham Ghost and Graveyard Walks
Brum / West Midlands
- Tainted. Chat list, organises meetings, trips. Discounts to Contamination and some local shops (2000, still applicable?)
- BrumGoth. Discussion, low-traffic. Monthly draw for free entry to D_K (2001, still applicable?)
- Teen BrumGoth. Under 18s only, so I don't know anything about it.
- Zesty's WhoreHouse. Replaced the BrumWhorehouse. Open posting policy.
- W-M-G-A. West Midlands Goth announcements list. Announcements of events by promoters or interested parties, no discussion (save that for the above lists).
- Heretics. Cov.goth discussion, moderated, restricted membership. Sometimes chatty, not much IT and politics.
- cyb3rcats. Now defunct?
Brum / WM
- Birmngham City Council What's On Guide.
- Grebo Heights.
- Guide to the West Midlands
- Metrofox. About Metrofox, Skindeep and the Giffard Arms. Pretty nasty flash site which might have some useful information, but you'll never get to it.
- Wolves Civic. Gigs, club nights, etc.
- Goffbeat. University of Warwick Goth page.
(some of) the sources
- brain dead collective