Saturday, 17 December 2011

Obituaries: My Little Trashcam 2007-2011

I think i bought this Samsung trashcam about four years back when i started earning some regular scratch at Urban Village. It wasn't great, in fact the cheap Russian Jenoptik 5mp i bought the year before took a sharper picture. But it was small, the flash took a decent photo in dingy pubs and i could juggle it one handed with a pint of lager. But approx 1,700 photo's later tragedy happened, at an English Dogs gig it caught half a pint of cheap Cider square in the kisser. I wiped it clean but alas it's days were now numbered. First it's vision started failing (well the little shutters started sticking) then the gears started making an arthiritic grinding noise when extending the lens. Finally about a week back it tried, oh it tried dear reader but with a heart wrenching wheezy double beep it passed away in my hand in a half open rictus. Next week it's Christmas and hopefully i'll have a shiny new one but i'll never forget noisy fun times had with the little unassuming shutterbug..
Take some pictures of Angels (the good looking ones mind) and i'm sure we'll meet again.
Midge :'(

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ryan vs. The Flapper

 Well being a Flapper & Firkin regular and a Ryan's Gig Guide consumer i'm not gonna be stupid enough to take sides but this latest editorial did make me titter.


A shame that after some 15 years or so of listing the Flapper & Firkin's gigs for free (and never getting so much as a thank you!), Ryan's Gig Guide is no longer welcome there. I made the silly mistake of putting last months' copies of the guide in the wooden display unit which is (was) located on the wall on the way to the bar. Apparently it is (was!) reserved for The Fly. Shome mistake surely? Apart from the fact that I had to get the damn thing okayed by the then Area Manager, paid for the box to be made, delivered it and fixed it to the bleedin' wall, I can't think of a good reason why on earth I would have the temerity to believe that I could just drop the guides in there willy nilly! Well, after being told to take my guides away, I'm afraid I then felt it my duty to liberate the aforementioned display unit by ripping the fucker off the wall! I say rip, but a gentle pull was all it took - how on earth it lasted so long is beyond me! Only one other known example remains in the wild and I fear that it has also been removed from the now deceased JB's in Dudley. You should have seen the face on the Manageress! Gonna report me to the Police and everyfink for damaging her pub by leaving 2 screw holes in the wood. Yes dear, 1/2 inch screws do leave a shocking hole in a wall, unfortunately made all the more noticeable by the fact that the lazy bleeders who redecorated the place over the years couldn't be arsed to take it off the wall before repainting the place. I might go and leave some flowers there, or maybe erect a memorial plaque. I've seen quite a few gaffers come and go at The Flapper over the years, but this latest one really needs to get her head out of her arse, then she might be able to recognise when someone is trying to help get people into her venue. Ah well, there are plenty more important things to get into a flap about - geddit?"

Monday, 5 December 2011

Old Wharf Closes

   Being tucked away up the road from a sex shop opposite a coach station  The Old Wharf would be hard pushed to even make the final credits on 'Location Location Location' but  nevertheless there it stood defiant in it's back street boozer's finest livery . Music wise a truly independent pub which unlike some other City Centre venues didn't tie it's tour T to any particular style catering for Brum's Punk, Metal and Indie scene, regular home to Punks Alive as well as BSP Rock nights meant you knew you'd be sure to have ringing ears to keep your hangover company in the morning. The Digbeth cold nights rarely stopped at the front door but the backroom fireplace could hold it's own (providing someone did a 'pallet run'), the murals were cheery, the ceiling rickety and the beer was reasonable.

But alas austerity bites and it seems crowds are agiley struggling to tighten their belts without cutting themselves clean in half, so after five years Dave & Michelle have sadly taken the difficult decision to leave.  Finer hosts of the old school variety you couldn't wish to meet (though tbh i don't think i ever met Dave :S) now slowly being replaced with bland gastropubs, uniforms, name badges and those tills you operate with a plastic lollipop sticks. Both ably assisted by some fine (and patient) staff including Chris the sound dude who's one man noise wrangling skills averted many a potential disaster.

So another live music venue has gone leaving a gap (not least a geographical drinking gap between town and The Wagon and they're the worst type of gap) which is always a loss for Birmingham. I imagine it might just  re open at some point in the future but i doubt if it'll put gigs on again with the regularity or prestige of the previous years.

There's plenty of photo's to be found on Flickr which show the cross section it catered for unfortunately as with all photos of the good times they're just a faint shadow of the true ambience.

So lets hope the remaining Digbeth live venues can take up the slack and the punters keep them viable for the future.


Midge x
(photo courtesy of Iron Man Records)