29 Things Only 90s Brummie Indie Kids Will Remember

Birmingham in the 80s and 90s was a magical land of Snobs, Pots, and Flappers.

1. “Snobs” has a whole different meaning to you.

Most people think of posh toffs or Hyacinth “Bouquet”; you think of this club.

2. You remember how disgusting its floors were.

And still are, apparently. You can see why shoegazing stopped being a thing.

3. And what’s with that wall that looked like the insides of an old school TARDIS?


4. “Flapper” doesn’t bring to mind a 1920s dancer, either.

Instead, it reminds you of some amazing nights out where at least one of your friends ended up in a canal.

5. If you’re a guy, you probably asked your Erdington barber for an Ian Brown haircut.

6. But instead, you ended up looking like Ian Beale.

Didn’t that happen to everyone?

7. And you got your second-hand Levi 501s and retro threads from the old Folio 50 shop in Digbeth.

Don’t look for it; like everything it’s not there anymore.

8. While Brum indie girls got their plaid shirts and DMs from the Oasis Market.

Flashback to my youth! Nice to see @OasisBirmingham still there in Brum

— Jon (@SnowdoniaJack)

But never from the Blur Market. #IndieJokes

9. You like to boast about Birmingham’s proud indie heritage.

Like the fact that R.E.M. played their first UK gig above a strip club in Digbeth. No wonder they lost their religion.

10. And, on a more solemn note, that Joy Division played their final gig at Birmingham University.

Remembering Ian

— Joy Division (@joydivision)

We’ll never forget.

Joy Division / Via Twitter: @joydivision

11. You saw indie legends like The Smiths and New Order at The Tower in Edgbaston.

The Tower Ballroom might not look like much, but it hosted gigs by some real indie heavyweights. The Happy Mondays played there as well.

12. You still refer to the pub by Aston University as “The Pot.”

@pweiofficial at The Pot of Beer now @GostaGreenPub Birmingham - signed photo card @iamclintmansell @JeSuisCrabbi

— Indie Rewind (@indiekid1974)

Gosta Green is a crap name; to you it will always be The Pot of Beer.

13. And you remember this place as the Barrel Organ

Think Cheers, with a lot more goths and indie kids

14. Despite Birmingham’s distinctive lack of coastline, you regularly drank at a pub called The Ship Ashore.

Why was it mounted on stilts? No one knows.

15. You have fond memories of Ol’ Blue Eyes

Synatra's - Birmingham April 1989 indie gigs

— Indie Rewind (@indiekid1974)

(And you don’t mind spelling mystakes)

16. And this bar was the only place that mattered in the West End.

Flickr: ell-r-brown / Creative Commons

R.I.P. West End Bar. You may be gone, but you won’t be forgotten.

17. Tuesdays was all about The Click Club at Burberries.

Yes, there really was a time when you could go and see a Pixies gig on Broad Street, honestly.

18. And Sundays revolved around The COD Club at Piranhas.

Do you remember the COD Club, by Alpha Tower Birmingham? http://t.co/8SzRNHNyL1

— BirminghamMusicArch (@brummusicpics)

It’s where The Stone Roses played their first Brum gig, and if that isn’t exciting enough, it was also right next door to where classic darts-themed quiz show Bullseye was recorded. Smashing.

19. You probably remember when The Happy Mondays played Digbeth’s Irish Centre.

Been enjoying @Happy_Mondays all day and it's got me well in the mood for tonight 🍻🚧 Who's out? 👀

— Factory Manchester (@FAC251)

Bez can’t remember it, though.

20. You were confused by the disproportionate number of bands from Stourbridge* on the Brum indie scene.

@thewonder_stuff 'Spot The Ball' for NME, 1991. At @WFCOfficial Bescott Stadium.

— Miles Hunt (@mileshuntTWS)

*Yes, we know that Stourbridge is in the Black Country, which is completely separate to Birmingham. This cannot be stressed enough. Don’t sue us.

21. Although Brum did produce some damn fine indie bands too.

One of them even named an album after a local suburb.

22. The cool bands all played at the Aston Villa Leisure Centre.

Which really annoyed Birmingham City fans. Even the Bluetones wouldn’t play at St Andrew’s.

23. Your indie records were released on indie record labels and you bought them from indie record shops.

You took your independence seriously.

24. You listened to John Peel on Radio 1 as if your life depended on it.

You can listen to John Peel's legendary record collection at the V&A today. https://t.co/KEx7afuXvv

— The Vinyl Factory (@TheVinylFactory)

Although Robin Valk’s gig guide on BRMB was of more practical use.

John Peel Archive / Via Twitter: @TheVinylFactory

25. And you remember the NME before it went glossy.

You loved the smell of newsprint in the morning.

26. You didn’t really give a shit about the whole Blur vs. Oasis debate.

But to keep the peace, you could always go and see Blur at The Foundry.

27. Plus you could see Oasis at The Jug of Ale.

Rare @oasis ticket The Jug of Ale Birmingham Monday 28th March 1994

— Rob @TheBritPopStore (@Britpopstore)

But can we all please agree that Pulp are better than either of them?

28. You remember the exact day that Britpop finally died.

Virgin Records

Just zigazig the fuck off.

29. But you know that the Brum indie scene will never die.

We're thinking of doing a small run of these who's interested in buying one ?

— Snobs Nightclub (@snobsnightclub)

See you in Snobs later, yeah?

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