Looking for a boogie in B-Town? Here are 5 top places guaranteed to put a spring in your step
Updated: Jan 19
Written by Charly Humphreys
Mentioning the city of Brum to a born-native usually leads to nostalgic thoughts of the incense filled air floating through Oasis market, orange chips, or waiting at the meeting point in Pigeon Park for your friends on a Friday night. However; If you’re less versed, or one of those south-of-the-M25 inhabitants, you might just frown and ask us to do the funny accent.
Either way, Birmingham plays host to an abundance of local indie venues that are breeding grounds for impressive, new talent. Forget Broad Street; go searching slightly further afield and you’ll come away with a new Spotify playlist and a pair of sore feet.
Here are some of my favourite places that best describe the vibrant and welcoming alternative music scene that Brum has to offer. Gather your pals.
1. The Sunflower Lounge
Fancy a convenient yet uncompromising boogie to some live music without the schlep or expensive taxi? In that case, The Sunflower Lounge should be the first on your list. Just a few yards from New Street Station, this small indie is a treasured hub for all the latest raw talent in the city.
2. The Sun On The Hill
A classic local with an indie twist, The Sun on The Hill offers entertainment for all with live music being at the top of the list. If it’s two stepping pre-drinks you’re looking for, then pay this firm favourite a visit in the heart of the city and soak in the appropriate Brummie décor!
3. The Flapper
Cheap, cheery and rock n’ roll, you can always rely on The Flapper for an authentic sticky floors and Red Stripe kind of night with a striking view of one of Brum’s many canals. Almost a victim of housing redevelopment, this iconic venue was saved from the bulldozer right at the eleventh hour and we couldn’t be happier! You’ll find regular live music with the added sweetener of an arcade, pool tables and a sociable beer garden, making this place one of the most enjoyable nights in the second city.
4. The Asylum
Erring more on the emo side, The Asylum is a purpose-built venue hosting its most popular event, Total Uprawr. It’s arguably Birmingham’s biggest alternative night, playing 00’s emo tunes to belt out with your mates to your hearts content. If cheap drink deals and nostalgic Pierce the Veil nights tickle your fancy, then this classic venue is not to be sniffed at.
5. The Night Owl
The Night Owl is without a shadow of a doubt one of Birmingham’s finest (and authentic!) Northern Soul and retro club situated in the middle of eclectic Digbeth. If a colourful, characterful night is what you’re craving in the Creative Quarter in Brum, then stop right here. This really is a venue for all and you can always count on coming away with some amazing new friends and a soul full of soul.
Of course, Birmingham is brimming with unmissable talent, lively hangouts and unbeatably cheap pints, but this list is a solid place to start if you’re just starting to dabble in the city. Music fans, find your best pair of Doc Martens and get shuffling!