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GigPig's guide to indie venues: Birmingham

The Second City has never played second fiddle to anywhere else when it comes to music. Its history is as rich as it is diverse, from Black Sabbath to Dexys Midnight Runners to UB40 to The Streets to Fine Young Cannibals to Laura Mvula, Birmingham has birthed a procession of the UK’s most important artists over the last 50 years.

And not only does Brum have the musical chops to rival any city on the planet, it also boasts an insane collection of indie venues to enjoy the modern era’s top acts in as well as the incoming icons of tomorrow.

Actress & Bishop

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So where better to start than the ‘original and best’ independent live music venue in the city? Actress And Bishop is a gem in the Jewellery Quarter, where all manner of acts are gracing the stage every single night of the week. Every Wednesday is open mic night, so why not get down there and make a name for yourself?

The Asylum

Channeling the city’s history with the heavier side of the scale, The Asylum would make the likes of Sabbath and Napalm Death feel right at home. Alternative club nights and plenty of live metal will keep heads banging well into the night throughout the week.


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Over at Minerva Works, Centrala Space is a Midlands Mecca of Central and Eastern European art and artists, while also being one of the most unique and exciting live music venues in the city. Bringing together diverse audiences under their roof to share experiences as one progressive community.

Centrala is an immersive space for some of the brightest creative minds in the country. And you can catch some truly brilliant club nights and live acts there atop a whole heap of culture.

Night Owl

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If time travelling is more your bag, then The Night Owl in Digbeth is your place to throw shapes all night long. Rugs can well and truly be cut up to their retro soul, r&b and 60’s nights, spinning everything from funk to garage to latin, psych, disco and beyond. OUT…OF…SIGHT.

Dead Wax

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Staying in Digbeth, Dead Wax is part vinyl bar, part gig space. The result is one of the brightest, thriving spots in the Midlands, with some seriously sensational club nights packing the place out every week. Indie, electro, punk, hip hop and everything in between all have a home here and so will you the second you step through their door.

The Sunflower Lounge

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The fantastically named The Sunflower Lounge is another wondrous venue in which to discover some of Birmingham’s countless emerging talents, while The Crossing has laid on gigs from the likes of The Twang and Pussy Riot over the last year and, rather brilliantly, have Creedence Clearwater Revival passing through later this month. The Dude would definitely abide.


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And, if you fancy taking in a show that also protects mother nature, why not book a ticket for a gig at Suki10c, which is Birmingham’s only eco-music venue, powered by wind farm generated electricity, where the straws and cups are 100% compostable. Watch a gig, save the world.