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April 2016

Suki10c from rags to riches

Issue 1


and everything in between

Magic door opens up

what’s in store for the next big night out

Plus the perfect night out in Digbeth... we’ve done it all for you!

Hannah Brown

Talks EP’s, CD’s and tattoos Digbeat


Contents 2 Digbeat


Need to Know


8 Why don’t you Suki10c?


Top 5 Venues

16 Hannah Brown

14 The Custard Factory

32 Bring Bassline Back!

26 Q&A with Magic Door

24 Night Out in Style

34 Upcoming gigs

And the rest... 13 Bizzle’s Back in Brum! 20 People Stand Together 22 A Little Piece of History 23 VIP Record Fair 29 Mr Macee Hits Back with Mercedes 30 Dedication to Alfie Bird’s 31 GLAS Party

10 MADE Festival is Back!

From the Editors Dear Readers, Here at Digbeat we have put together this magazine just for you, so that you can keep up to date with everything that Digbeth has to offer. We are a team of music industry and journalism specialists that have brought together our passion and creativity to produce a magazine filled with everything you need to know about music in Digbeth. We hope you enjoy it! Love, Team Digbeat Holly, Lauren, Lucy

X Digbeat


DIGBETH DIGBETH Welcome to Digbeat!

This magazine is all about Digbeth and the many wonders it has to offer. From The Custard Factory to Rainbow, The Night Owl to The Institute, there is something for everyone. The small but jam packed area can be found just on the outskirts of Birmingham City Centre, less than ten minutes walk from the Bull Ring, with a range of things to do. Digbeth is one of the most distinctive parts of the city and is home to likes of independent shops, art and music venues, and plenty of places to eat and drink. As part of the Creative Quarter, Digbeth certainly lives up to it’s name, showing off the brightly coloured buildings in The Custard Factory and the artwork that is unmissable.

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LAs well as being home to eye-catching designs, Digbeth is also famous for its amazing venues where many festivals have taken place, spilling out onto the streets for St Patrick’s Day and taking over the town with The Colour Festival at the Rainbow Venues. But considering our magazine is all about the music, it wouldn’t be right to not mention the amazing music venues Digbeth has to offer. The O2 Institute, The Rainbow Venues, and Unplug have all been a massive part of the Birmingham music scene, with acts such as Pink Floyd and Arctic Monkeys playing here, as well as some A-list DJ’s. In this magazine you will find news, interviews and all things Digbeth as we keep you up to date with the latest gigs, events and music gossip so that you won’t miss out on any of the exciting variety of events that Digbeth has got to offer you.

Image Courtesy of Ian Halsey







Digbeth is home to many great music venues, holding events of all genres there is always something for everyone. We have put together our list of the top 5 venues that you need to visit.

The Rainbow Venues

Easily one of the most well-known venues in Digbeth, The Rainbow Venues is a guaranteed fun night out. Made up of the pub, courtyard and the warehouse, this venue has something for everyone. In the pub you’ll find everything from live acoustic music to spoken word concerts, and an atmosphere that can range from chilled out to a lively Friday night. The Warehouse has been host to some world famous DJ’s, and can promise an amazing atmosphere for those of you that love anything from drum and bass to electro and house music. It is often home to festivals such as MADE and Jesus, where acts such as Chase and Status and DJ Annie Mac have performed, and where crowds often spill out onto the famous Rainbow Tunnel.



Size is not an object when it comes to Suki10c, as despite being one of Digbeth’s smaller venues, it still packs as big of a punch as the rest of them. Noticed as one of the area’s independent clubs, it is undeniably eye-catching to passers-by as the detailed graffiti done by local commissioned artists on the exterior of the building certainly gives it that extra edge. Also known as ‘Suck It N See’, the venue has a limited number of spaces, but comes with an extra courtyard for time to socialise in between all the dancing. From chilled out Reggae nights to more hardcore dance, this unique venue is definitely not one to miss out on.

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O2 Institute


The Institute started off as a Methodist congregational chapel in 1908…oh, how it has changed over the years! After serving as many different venues, it finally landed as the popular O2 Institute and went through a £4 million refurbishment in 2010. It’s intimate without being crowded, meaning you feel close to the music as well as avoiding being squashed in an angry mosh pit/ rave. Some of the artists that have performed there include Arctic Monkeys, Pink Floyd and the Cure, as well Disclosure, Lethal Bizzle, George Ezra… The list goes on and on, and as you can tell it is host to artists of all genres. The variety and history of the building just adds to the atmosphere of a gig, and makes for a perfect venue.


Another venue that sums Digbeth up to a tee, it Unplug. This venue is home to massively diverse styles of music, so it caters for everyone. Whether it is electro and DnB, to acoustic chilled out performances, this place has something for every music lover, all while highlighting Digbeth’s unique and fun atmosphere. There are two floors to choose from; upstairs provides comfy leather couches and DJ booth for the more relaxing nights, whereas downstairs is made for dancing. The venue is perfect for whatever kind of night, it’s intimate feel makes the gigs seem that more personal, as well as providing the perfect amount of space to dance the night away. Known for its cheap drinks, Unplug is the place you’re looking for, whatever night it is you are after.


The Night Owl

If you are a fan of Motown, the Night Owl is definitely the place for you. With music throwing you straight back to the 60’s, you’ll be at the heart of Northern Soul as you prepare for a night of dancing until you drop. This venue is so unique it even comes with a lifetime membership for those die hard dancing fans. To ensure that you have the perfect space for dancing, the Night Owl even comes with a sprung wooden dance floor so that your moves are the real deal. Putting a modern spin on the vintage interiors, the club was decorated by the people behind the quirky interior at Alfie Birds, therefore creating that classic retro vibe that suits the Northern Soul music that will get you moving. Digbeat


Why don’t you Suki10C? Digbeth is known for its creativity, its uniqueness, and its love of bringing something completely new and different to the rest of Birmingham.

for Dave, as on first glance the pub was not the venue he was hoping for.

artists chosen by Dave.

‘The whole ethos of the venue is ‘creative expression’, that’s that it’s ‘A mess was an understatement. It about. Whatever that is.’ was bad. Piles of wood, you could The upcoming event City of A place that flaunts this better see up the top floor, scrap thieves Colours is a festival that promotes than any other venue is Suki10c. had torn the place apart, rain water up and coming Birmingham based Amongst the grey Birmingham pouring in. I thought there was no urban artists. And to celebrate it, buildings, away from Digbeth high way I can do this.’ Dave has decided that the club will street, stands this small in size but be completely “The whole ethos of the big in personality, brightly Disheartened but redecorated. decorated gem of a club. Started not discouraged, Despite being venue is ‘creative up 4 years ago by music enthusiast Dave persevered ‘gutted at the idea, expression’, that’s that it’s Dave Whittall, it has since been through the word, personally I would transformed from a former his ambitions about. Whatever that is.” love to keep it backstreet pub to a lively nightclub, fuelled by a tragic there forever’, home to many different music loss of a good the club will be nights ranging from old skool rave friend. ‘A good friend of mine redecorated by trusted artists, nights to grime takeovers. was killed in a car crash, and that’s which is lucky considering he is when I thought within a blink of allowing them to paint whatever We met up with Dave and he told eye everything is gone, and that’s designs they want. ‘The artists we us all about how Suki10c when I thought let’s just go for it.’ use are brilliant, so we trust them (pronounced ‘Suck it ‘n’ see) and I know that their level of talent became the hit venue that it is So he got the keys, and decided is such that I know that it’ll look today, and we discussed everything that in the space of six weeks, good. It’ll be interesting to see.’ from the very beginning of the leading up to the bank holiday venue to the upcoming events that of the Royal Wedding, he spent As for the future? Well, there’s everyone can expect, and some creating the vision that he wanted, plenty to come. With a non-stop scientific facts about music thrown so that they could open the entire schedule for the club, Dave hopes in for good measure, just to weekend non-stop. to get constantly busy, after taking educate you all a little bit further so many years to establish it as a ‘nice you can impress your friends. ‘We spent a solid two days painting niche underground venue’. But the entire place, stuck a barbeque we are sure there is no worry of ‘I wanted my own venue for years outside and just did it. All black, that, as the recent club nights have and I’ve always been a fan and been everything – walls, ceiling, floor.’ proved more than popular, with involved in music in one way or For anyone who has seen the venue nothing more than a Facebook another. So when it came to the before, (and for those of you who post and word of mouth and the club, I would walk past the pub haven’t, how can you miss it?!) it is club is full. when it was all boarded up and covered top to bottom, inside and walk past it and think ‘I wonder…’’ out, in amazing, detailed graffiti ‘It’s in my blood. I love music. However it was not all plain sailing designs, painted by a handful of Music connects on a different level, 8 Digbeat

Images Courtesy of Rang-Zeb Hussain

and scientifically it acts differently in you, it’s a direct link to your brain. It’s the first thing you hear, and everyone has a connection to music.’ One thing is for sure, that Dave’s passion is not going anywhere anytime soon, and it is what makes Suki10c the ‘underground, fiercely independent and unique’ place it is today, and without him none of this would have been possible. And Digbeat for one are more than excited for what is coming next from him. Watch this space!

Did you know... - Dave was a DJ and is all about dubstep and reggae vibes. - Dave was the first person to bring dubstep legend Borgore to Birmingham, after being put in contact with him through a friend, performing a night in Brum.

To find out more about Suki10c, find them on Facebook - Suki10c Or find out about upcoming events on pages 34 - 35.



MADE FESTIVAL IS BACK! “The Rainbow Venues and Weird Science presents MADE Birmingham! A celebration of arts, music and culture in the second city!”

MADE FESTIVAL IS BACK! “The Rainbow Venues and Weird Science presents MADE Birmingham! A celebration of arts, music and culture in the second city!” For the 3rd year running MADE festival is back! Hosted in Birmingham every year this two day festival attracts people from all over the country to celebrate the music, arts, and culture. For the past two years The Rainbow Venues and Weird Science have not failed to disappoint, consistently providing us with the hottest music lineup including a variety of music artists and DJ’s. With the festival taking place within Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, the event will be spread over a number of venues situated within the Digbeth Triangle. Partying from midday to midnight you will witness and experience various music cultures, and entertainment as MADE 10 Digbeat

festival includes a variety of stages that present diverse dance music genres. This event will be taking place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of July this year and with four well-established headline acts now confirmed, as well as the phase 2 line up release displaying hit house music DJ’s, we can already foresee the excitement this event is going preserve. The headline acts include: Brit and Mobo award winning dance music band, Rudimental alongside; chart topping London grime artist Stormzy; Drum and Bass pioneering DJ Andy C and Dutch electronic music trio NOISIA. We can also look forward to performances from Low Steppa, Redlight, Chris Lorenzo plus many more, as the phase 3 line up is still yet to be confirmed! Tickets are currently selling on second release so be sure to grab your tickets quick before they go! Tickets are available online at

Image Courtesy of Luke McGovern








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Image Courtesy of James Gray-King

Bizzle’s Back in Brum! Hugely celebrated Grime artists Lethal Bizzle has announced he will be bringing his UK headline tour to Birmingham! That’s right, Lethal Bizzle will be taking the stage again at Digbeth’s very own 02 Institute to spread his energetic excitement about his new music. After the release of new single ‘Fester Skank’, we can gain an insightful idea regarding just how crazy this event is going to be, as Bizzle never fails to provide us with the most enthusiastic shows. Lethal Bizzle exploded onto the music scene in 2003, and since then

he has continued to provided us with the most demoniac music and catchy lyrics that you will be sure to sing along to after a few listens! Bizzle tells fans “It’s gonna be my most exciting tour to date. Doing tracks from old to new & exclusive new music from the new album. You know it’s gonna be Dench!’ Therefore we can expect to hear some of his most classic and iconic singles including MOBO award winning ‘POW’.

to miss. He will be performing at the 02 Institute Saturday 7th May 2016 and with two previous sold out headline tours you will need to snatch up the tickets quick! Tickets are available from:

With only 6 dates announced for his ‘Denchchat Tour’, this is something you should be sure not Digbeat


Things you need to know about...

The Custard Factory

If you say Digbeth to anyone from Birmingham, you can guarantee one of their top responses would be ‘the Custard Factory’. A place that is full of colour, culture and creativity, The Custard Factory has something for everyone. From vintage shops to art galleries, there is a wide range of things to do, for people of all ages. Only a ten minute walk from the Bull Ring, The Custard Factory is eye catching from the minute you spent into the vicinity, offering over 15 acres of converted riverside factories which are over 100 years old.

Although you’d be wrong thinking you can find rooms full of custard (a bit disappointing, I know), you’ll feel instantly better when you walk towards a more grown up and quirky version of Balamory, with many an eye catching colour decorating the many buildings. The Creative Quarter certainly lives up to its name, with bright graffiti lining the walls and a giant tree man (you’ll get what we mean) to welcome you to the area. There are over 500 businesses in the vicinity, ranging from independent clothes shops to record labels, as well as some delicious food on offer.

If it’s glamour you’re after, look no further than Le Keux Vintage Salon, found in within The Custard Factory. From the minute you step in to the salon, you will feel like you’re stepping back in time to the 50’s, full of retro glitz and glamour. Offering a range of beauty treatments from vintage hair and beauty makeovers, to waxing, facials and even the extra special change to take part in a retro photoshoot. As well as that, you can indulge in special hen party packages, afternoon tea, cocktails and even burlesque! Not only is it perfect for women, it also offers a pool table, games room and roulette tables for the men who also love being groomed.

The Custard Factory is also a place to shop till you drop! With over 30 independent and alternative shops, there is something for all styles, ages and budgets. If normal high street wear isn’t your kind of thing, then head down to the many shops that offer vintage apparel and more modern trends, as well as shops specifically for skaters, teddy bear lovers and jewellery fanatics. And what better place to shop than at the longest standing shop in The Custard Factory, Urban Village, which has been going strong since the 90’s. It sells great vintage clothing at affordable prices, with pieces and accessories highlighting from the 60’s and 70’s. To fill your appetite, The Custard Factory is full of places to have a bite to eat. Whether it’s just a little something – Another Pop Up is a perfect for this, serving nutritious breakfasts and lunches, or something a bit fancier, such as The Mockingbird, there is something for everyone. An extra bonus is when there is a festival taking place and the area is filled with different street foods… mmm. The Mockingbird is another unique venue, which provides highly acclaimed bistro food and many different craft beers, wines and spirits. And while you enjoy the delicious food, you can look forward to enjoying a play, film or music which is shown in the 101 seat theatre. Food and entertainment all under one roof, ideal!

DID YOU KNOW... The Custard Factory got it’s name when a qualified chemist, Alfred Birds, decided to make a powdered custard mix that didn’t contain eggs and yeast to cater to his wife’s allergies, what a gent. This in turn lead to the naming of The Custard Factory, the old music venue Alfie Birds (R.I.P) and the invention of easy to make custard, bonus! Digbeat


Hannah Brown

Image Courtesy of Sam Frank Wood

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We caught up with Birmingham’s newest upcoming artist to talk EP’s. CD’s and tattoos. When did you start writing music, start getting into it? I guess it first started when I was young, just writing lyrics. I mean they weren’t any good but I must have been about 11 and I started playing guitar at that time as well because I wanted to just be able to play so I could sing to play. I didn’t really take it seriously until I came to Birmingham and I studied music at University.

What was the purpose of you getting into music? Was it a family thing? My mum always had a guitar in the house so it was sat there just gathering dust as she never really played it. My dad, he wasn’t musically inclined either but there was always music playing but no sort of instrument playing. I just picked up her guitar one day and thought this feels right.

Who are your musical inspirations? I mean I guess most contemporary female singer songwriters so there’s Katie Tunstall, Lucy Rose, Rae Morris and Laura Marley is a big one for me. Although I don’t really take inspiration because she’s very imaginative in her lyrics but I really like her style, but I then I guess she gets it from Joni Mitchell.

You write all your own music but where do you get the ideas and inspiration for that?

mean he was teaching 16 hours a week but managing as well on the side. Perfect timing really.

Literally just if I am having a bad day and that really seems to be the only thing that works for me, just getting that emotion out. Just feeling a bit better about it and I guess that is how I sort of process everything that I experience throughout my life.

How do you find working with your label, are they supportive?

“He’s not trying to influence me or anything like that, it’s just I love your music so lets do something with it.” How old were you when you were signed to Access All Music? I must have been 21, so yeah 3 years ago. It was during University, it was towards the end of my second year.

Did you approach them? Well one of the great things about my course is that although they had regular tutors they did also have people who were experienced or are experienced in the music industry. So, my business teacher is now my manager, so he just picked me up from there but I

Yeah, I mean I couldn’t be any luckier. Just because, and my manager Geoff would say it himself, he says ‘I’m only being selfish because I love your music so much so if I can hear it all the time I will.’ But that is great to have someone that really has got my best interests, so it’s not all about making as much money as possible and it’s just about focusing on the music and getting that right and he is fully in support of that, and that’s great. He’s not trying to influence me or anything like that, it’s just ‘I love your music so lets do something with it and that’s good.’

If you could collaborate with anybody who would you choose to collaborate with? That’s a tough one. There’s a male singer called Sivu and he does some really sort of mellow folk music it’s really nice. It’s dark, its deep and I really like that. He’s got his own style and I’d love to collaborate definitely with a male voice.



You have an EP coming out soon. What can we expect from that?

It is yes, it’s work in progress. It’s going to be ready around May/June, definitely early summer.

A lot bigger sound than what How will it be available? most people have heard before, so I’ve just been me We should be doing physical and my guitar as of recently. copies. That’s one of the main I’ve been working with a things, gigging these days; I couple of producers so I’m think it’s such a great going to get that big sort of marketing tool. If you can produced sound with a lot give it to them there and then, more instruments. It’s going that’s great. I mean people say to be more in your face, CD’s are a dying form but I feistier I think. I’m growing don’t think so. Especially not into being just a bit bolder for unsigned with my music artists and it “I think if you can and a bit more will be on most you know, just play acoustic and digital platforms. out there. Not as people want to listen shy as I used to then that means that Have you be.

you are probably a done gigs Do you prefer really good musician.” outside of acoustic or do you prefer the whole big production?

I think they are both equally great in their own way. I think if you can play acoustic and people want to listen then that means that you are probably a really good musician, but there’s nothing that beats that big sound that you can just create so much emotion from.

Have you got anyone featured on your EP or is just you? It’s just me at the moment but obviously the producer I’ve been working with but I mean it could be, I’d really like to collaborate with a few string players.

So is the EP something you’re still working on at the moment? 18 Digbeat


I haven’t as of yet but I have a gig in London coming up soon. Yeah because there’s a guy who is supporting me at my gig, we are doing a sort of gig swap so he plays my gig and I play his so it’s great in that way.

Where would you see yourself in five years, what is the goal?

Tattoos are a way I like to express myself. I have 7 now.

The goal is to be able to do what I love professionally really. I mean I work at the moment part time in a café. But it would be nice to finally be able to just focus entirely on music. So definitely that and I would love to be published, I would love to write songs for other people as well as just myself.

I love art in most forms. Tattooing or even magazines I love font and graphics and it’s something I do want to get into eventually.

Three quirky facts about yourself ?

Without music I would be … soulless.

We developed some questions were you could fill in the blanks (a bit cheesy we know) …

Image Courtesy of Sam Frank Wood

Music is … my passion. Music makes me feel … full of life. Should I be funnier?

Is Digbeth a main place you gig? I did play at the Oobleck at Alfie Bird’s but I would love to play at The Rainbow, The Old Crown is picking up gigs and Birmingham promoters have been doing things there. I love Digbeth and I do wish there was more attention on it.

For all the latest updates on Hannah follow her here: Facebook: hannahbrownuk Twitter: @hannahlizzy Instagram: hannahbrownuk



People Stand Together “It was a vision of people coming together as one with one ingredient which was music” PST is an independent nightclub based within Digbeth, which supports Birmingham’s local underground music scene. Their vision of uniting individuals based upon the key ingredient, music, was developed during the 80’s when the man known as Pecker embraced his passion for heavy weight dub music. Since 2010, PST has worked self-sufficiently to host the most popular reggae and dub nights. They offer 3 floors to explore including the basement, ground floor, and first floor. Each floor provides a variety of musical dub sounds through advance sound systems, and open areas to dance until the sun comes up. With the emphasis of basing their club night upon underground music, PST consistently delivers unique events, which differ to any other venue within the Digbeth area.

PST provides a number of incentives for their club members, which include: - Half price entry on all promotions - Drinks vouchers - Entry into prize draws - Reservations for big promotions Therefore signing up to their club membership will be well worth your while! Nevertheless, nonmembers can still attend the nightclub and witness the PST experience as an inclusive atmosphere and great music is guaranteed. Visit for more information regarding upcoming club nights and events.

Image Courtesy of KylaBorg

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Image Courtesy of PST



A Little Piece of History

If History is your kind of thing, look no further than the Old Crown Inn. Established in 1368, it is one of Birmingham’s oldest pubs, even keeping its black and white wooden timber frames within the building, continuing its authentic historical feel. It has been an integral part of Digbeth for centuries, serving the locals and new comers, declaring itself ‘Birmingham’s Oldest and Friendliest Pub’. As well as being a place steeped in history, it was also a home to many a night of live music, where upstairs bands would play and bring the crowds in. Nowadays 22 Digbeat

they have a weekly acoustic session curated by Birmingham promoters, as well as food offers if you needed any more convincing to go down there! The pub is recognised for its history, and is worth a visit just so you can admire the inside which takes you straight back in time. Now it’s a venue where any sort of night can take place. If it’s a relaxed meal you’re after, look no further as its delicious meals offer both traditional and exotic style food. The Old Crown has been featured in the Birmingham Post for The Coffee Club, where you can cosy up next to the fire

and relax. Although don’t let the calm sounding vibes fool you, as this place can be lively on Friday Night, particularly during St Patrick’s Day celebrations, where the crowds swarm to enjoy a drink in the traditional Irish quarter. And afterwards, why not stay the night in one of their rooms and enjoy a B&B service. This place has it all! Whether it’s food you fancy, or a night out, or just a little place to stay, The Old Crown Inn offers it all, and what’s better is you are surrounded by history whilst you’re there. There is something for everyone to enjoy.

Look out for…

VIP RECORD FAIRS Britain’s biggest selection of records, CD’s and music related – ALL FOR SALE

photographs. Basically anything music related as the world is your oyster with VIP.

For 25 years VIP Record Fairs has been providing us with opportunity to buy and sell nything to do with music at a VIP show. Therefore, on attendance to a VIP fair you expect to see anything from CD’s, videos and vinyl to artwork, tour jackets and

With the mass amounts of sellers you can expect to find original and unique memorabilia as they pride themselves in offering the best selection of Indie, Pop, Soul, Rock & Roll, R&B, Doo Wop, plus many more. Any genre or era is typically obtainable with VIP,

which is why it is a fair that cannot be missed! The fair is filled with rarities and bargains and additionally provides you with the opportunity to meet and chat with specialists from all musical backgrounds. So not only can you expand your collective music obsession, but you can also enhance your musical knowledge and discover exclusive music mementos.

Top 5 reasons why the VIP fair is the best place to buy… 1. Meet the seller. Meeting the seller’s means you get to discover more about the product you want buy. You can quiz the seller on the about the products historical background and even barter for a better price! 2. Check product condition. Attending a VIP fair provides you the opportunity to inspect the product before you purchase. Therefore you can ensure satisfaction with the item the second you buy it. 3. Postage costs. Purchasing at a fair means no postage costs! It also eliminates the time you would have to wait for the product to be delivered. 4. Cheap new product. Due to the excellent service VIP offers to its sellers, this means that dealers at the fairs are able to provide the best product prices. They are often 40% cheaper than prices seen in local high street stores. 5. Great day out. Visiting a VIP fair means you are able to converse with new people and make friends with like-minded people who share similar musical tastes and interests.

The Details When: Saturday 7th May Where: The Custard Factory Price: £2 Opening: 10am Image Courtesy of Carlos Lorenzo



Night Out in Style Here at Digbeat, we know how hard it is to choose where to go for your night out in Digbeth. With so much to offer, it’s hard to know where to begin with planning your night. What sort of night do I want? Where do I want to eat? Am I ready for a full on rave?! To make your lives easier, we have put together different nights out that are ideal in Digbeth that starts with predrinks, then food, then the after party. Instead of wasting your time worrying over where to go, follow our advice for the perfect night, whatever you fancy.

Hennessey’s Bar Heading into summer, where perfect to start off your night that a beer garden. Heneessey’s bar offers a huge terrace with plenty of seats for you and your friends to socialise in the beautiful British sunshine (well, we can dream!) The perfect start to the night.

A Chilled Night Out Digbeth Dining Club


After suitably quenching your thirst in the beer garden, you can then head over to Digbeth Dining Club which takes place at Spotlight and offers all the food and drink you can dream of and more. With all the street food imaginable, which comes in at a very affordable price, you will be spolt for choice as you enjoy the best locally sourced food that is prepared right in front of you. If eating, drinking and dancing is up your street, this is the place for you.

Now don’t think we’re cheating, but to finish your night at Digbeth Dining Club at Spotlight, you can just venture into Spotlight itself and enjoy the music in there! With comfy leather sofas, quirky décor and chilled out mood lighting, this is the perfect place to wind down your night.

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A Mad Night Out

Original Patty Men To line your stomach before a big night out, why not try Original Patty Men who have the best burgers in Birmingham. Selfproclaimed ‘ourveyors of filth’, these guys offer a range of burgers and sides, as well as many craft beers and spirits to get your night started.

The Old Crown Inn To properly start off your crazy night, head down to the oldest pub in Birmingham for a couple of pints. Age is just a number with this place, as this it can get pretty lively on a Friday and Saturday night and can be the ideal starting venue. With live music there to brighten up the party, this pub is sure to get you in the mood.

Suki10c For a proper night out, this is the place to go. It might only be small in size but this club has enough personality to bring the biggest night out. Decorated in colourful graffiti inside and out, this place is bouncing and will guarantee you fun, dancing and some amazing tunes, ranging from grime to old skool raves, whatever takes your fancy. Be prepared for a night full of dancing at this place.




Magic Door How did you come up with the concept of Magic Door? We wanted to bring an element of fun back to clubbing, with the focus not just being on the guest DJs. Myself and fellow promoters Jit Patel,Will Power and Megan Chandler, have all been heavily involved in the club and festival scene for many many years and we wanted to create an experience that wasn’t limited by a venue or music scene. We had noticed the industry was getting a bit stale and there wasn’t many places a big group of friends could all go and party together.

What makes Magic Door different from other club nights? There are lots of little things that make the night unique but the main things are, firstly, the people! Or more precisely, that all those who step through the Magic Door become an intrinsic part of the night. Also the places we hold the events in; we use venues that offer a blank canvas for us to build a completely new environment in so we are not limited by most clubs homogeneous feel or reputation 26 Digbeat

Images Courtesy of Dean Brennan

And without doubt the party! All the little nuances that create the experience result in a party that i’ve never experienced before in 20 years of clubbing / promoting What influences your ideas for Magic Door?

Off the top of my head? Movies, art, theatre, festivals, music, friends, fun, partying, experience, visuals, surprises!!

Why are your club night based around dance music? Are there any other music

genres you would consider using? It’s based around the party and the music tastes of those involved. We dont play commercial music but we also dont play underground music that alienates those who dont follow the scenes. We get regular feedback from people who aren’t necessarily into dance music but still say ‘ I dont like house music, but i like magic door’ and that’s because the experience is more than just the music or the guest DJs. We don’t even announce who the guest DJs until the night

as we dont want that to be the defining reason that people come. Plus it makes a great surprise! That’s not to say the music isn’t important’s planned to fit the journey of the night in a very specific way. we make sure the right DJs play the right music at the right time so that the night unravels itself. its all about timing. And when we have the space we do play other genres. There is always a 2nd room playing a more disco / soul sound and we’ve also had a 3rd room playing ‘guilty pleasures’ in the past.

Why do you chose to base your nights in Digbeth? (When in Birmingham) Digbeth, for us, is the obvious choice. The spaces it has to offer are perfect for our concept and it is the heart of the underground club scene.

What can we expect when attending a Magic Door event? I think its more about what you wont expect! And I wouldnt want to give any secrets away for future events. What I can say though is that its always a proper party

We have noticed that you will be working at Lunar festival again this year, what made you decide to take part in the event again?

very special event we are keeping a surprise.

The people behind Lunar festival have a very similar mind set to ours - they want the event to be a multi faceted experience. The space they give us to use is also perfect for Magic Door. We also appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a new festival that is growing in both size and popularity and hope to continue on with them in the future.

We are always looking for exciting new and unusual spaces, in the UK and watch this space!

“Digbeth, for us, is the obvious choice. The spaces it has to offer are perfect for our concept and it is the heart of the underground club scene.” What else do you have in store for 2016?

Do you have any plans to take the event overseas? e.g. Ibiza

How can we buy tickets for your events? Next event is Birmingham on April 29th accessible at residentadvisor. com. Lunar festival we are doing the Saturday night (June 4th) Love International (Croatia) we are doing 1st July Check out: Facebook: magicdooruk for further announcements!

Continuing on in Birmingham, obviously, another couple of outings in London and other possible cities, our annual pilgrimage to Croata (to the newly created Love International festival), the return to Lunar festival and a Digbeat




What we do

How it works

Epitome is on the look out for all independent musicians ­ from an array of different genres ­ who would like their music to be played in some of the best independent retailers in the Midlands. 

Epitome acts as an intermediary between musicians and retailers. We create tailor­made playlists for our clients in the retail industry, using your music. If you would like to find out more, then have a chat with us at:


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Macee Hits Back With Mercedes Mr Macee is back with a new song and a new vibe. After the success of his first single, Money + Power, he’s made a comeback alongside Alex Campbell to give us Mercedes. The 21 year old artist is Birmingham born and bred, and is a well-known grime artists throughout clubs in the area. His passion began when he was just 4 years old, when he discovered a talent for reading, writing and poetry. Combine that with a love of music and you get Mr Macee, a strong contender in the Grime scene in Birmingham. With music written that is based on experiences around him, his music certainly has the feel of someone who loves what they do. He has performed across the country, from Hennessey’s Bar in our very own Digbeth, to the RoundHouse in Camden, which has been home to acts from Joey Bada$$, to Signma, to Kodaline; acts from every genre of music has performed here, and gone on to be chart topping artists.

understands my lingo’, just like we understand his as he raps about the girl named Mercedes. The chorus is no doubt to get stuck in your head as well, with the smooth melody of the track name repeatedly sang throughout. Alex Campbell is certainly a welcome addition to Macee’s track, adding the soulful sounds in the chorus and the bridge, which are sure to be going round your head all day. The combination of Mr Macee’s clever lyrics and Campbell vocals, as well as the added synth melody that is heard throughout the whole

song, it is a tune that you are bound to be singing for weeks. The song builds and breaks down in just the right places, with a seductive feel to it. It’s the perfect song to chill out to, and will no doubt be part of the soundtrack to your summer. Find all of Mr Macee’s music on Soundcloud.

And there is no doubt Mr Macee is headed in the same direction with new track Mercedes. The slow intro and soft vocals by Alex Campbell is different to his usual more upbeat style, creating a chilled out vibe with elements that are similar to hit artists The Weeknd. Once Mr Macee joins in with his lyrical genius, his rap rhythm is relaxing to listen to as his timing and words just fit together. As he raps, ‘she Digbeat


Dedication to Alfie Bird’s It is with a heavy heart and tears in our eyes that we write about the closure of one Digbeth’s best loved venues. Aflie Bird and The Oobleck has been home to many a night out, gig and just good time in general, but now the doors have closed after just two years of bringing another place of fun to Birmingham. A statement on their Facebook page proved that this sad news was true, saying: ‘As some may have been aware by now, we have some bad news to communicate. ‘It is with a heavy heart that we at Alfie Bird & The Oobleck need to admit defeat in our ongoing challenge to get a live music venue within The Custard Factory to work for the long term, and as of immediately the venue will be closed permanently. ‘It’s been a long 2 years of struggling with our overheads under tough conditions, and has come to the point of no return.’ With the sad closure of the venue, it means the

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loss of another place for live music nights. With the likes of our own Hannah Brown playing at The Oobleck, it will leave a big gap in a live music venue heart. For the upcoming nights out that they have planned, the event have promised that they will find alternative venues so that ticket holders don’t miss out on any events that they have planned. We will massively miss the pool-side location, with its quirky experiences and funky décor, it certainly was the place to go. As well as all the amazing food, they also served bespoke cocktails that were a work of art. And no longer will we get to feel like a kid going to Narnia again as we push the secret bookcase door which led downstairs to the Oobleck… However Alfie Birds & The Oobleck will be sorely missed, and will forever be in our hearts. R.I.P

! Y T R A P S


“There is a place, like no place on earth. A land of hedonism, wonder and mystery. Here, anguish and cares are left behind. Only happiness, amazement and extreme states of euphoria exist. Some say that only the real ravers will survive!” GLAS is a concept which was developed during 2008 setting out with the objective to be different. The notion was enforced to unify ways of life, choices and different scenes, and 6 year later we can be sure that their objectives were achieved. With boundaries being tested and twisted, GLAS have provided us with the most memorable events which have consisted of 80’s Rave’s, Wig Parties, SuperPrides, Street Closures, Monster Bashes plus many more. And if the wacky themes were not enough to catch our attention they also use global entertainers and DJ’s to ensure their events are unique and inimitable to ensure an experience like no other. Their most recent event took place Sunday 27th March, where they hosted an all-day rave at The Central Hall in Birmingham. With the sensational DJ EZ as the headline act, rest assured expectations were sky high for the Easter Sunday rave. Nevertheless GLAS did not fail to disappoint. They carefully selected an extravagant assortment of DJ’s which included the likes of Pete Graham, Low Steppa, and Kiddo to warm up the crowd for the extraordinary DJ EZ! He showcased his incredible talent on the 1s and 2s mixing a variety of music from Grime to Garage to House. His performance was followed by popular DJ Marc Spencer and finalising with UK garage band Artful Dodger. The atmosphere

created was mind-blowing, from the unique venue selection to the pyrotechnics, lighting and music so brash you could feel the bass run through your body! GLAS most definitely lived up to the high standards expected. So if you missed out on this amazing event don’t be alarmed as GLAS will return again May Bank Holiday weekend! GLAS specifically host their events in Birmingham City Centre with the vast majority being held within Birmingham’s Creative Quarter, which is fantastic news all you Brummies as it is just on your doorstep! They are taking their next event back to the warehouse, therefore we can expect this event to be located within the Digbeth area. With 3 confirmed arenas and an outdoor venue transformation, we can expect nothing less than an amazing night from GLAS as headliners Amine Edge and Dance have already been established. After consistently selling out shows be sure to get your tickets quick as we can assure you this will be an event you don’t want to miss! For more information regarding GLAS and their upcoming events visit: or facebook. com/glas Tickets are available at: Digbeat


Bring Bassline Back! Attention all Bassline Fans... Yes, you heard correctly, bassline is taking a stance in Birmingham’s Boxxed. The Midland’s bassline gathering is being hosted in Digbeth in April where classic bassline DJ’s and artists will be reuniting for that 4x4 sound. The event includes 50+ DJ’s including Birmingham’s very own DJ Russke, Antix and Bass Boy. Additionally, headlining we have the classic Bassline DJ, DJ EJ who provided us with the most iconic 4x4 mixes throughout the years with volume mixtapes ranging all the way from 1-38. And if that wasn’t enough we also have Gemma Fox who gave us the definitive Bassline banger ‘Boxers’, as well as Katie May with ‘You’re the Only One’, Trilla with G-Star, True Faith with ‘Freak Like Me’, plus many, many more! With the most incredible music line-up this is an event you should be sure not to miss.

the Creative Quarter has enabled to the event to set up 4 different stages! Therefore you can be sure flicker between them all to find the most appropriate bassline beat to skank to. With the event starting from 10pm until 6am, you can party all night long to great music with great people! The event will take place on Saturday 16th April 2016 and tickets are available from www.skiddle. com but they are selling out quick! So be sure to grab yours and ensure you don’t miss out on this unforgettable night. Address: 105 Floodgate Street, Digbeth, Birmingham,B5 5SR Website: Facebook: The Midlands Bassline Gathering

As the event is hosting its debut in Birmingham, what better location than our very own Boxxed. The 100,000 square foot warehouse situated within

Here are our top 10 recommended tracks to get you ready for the gathering! 32 Digbeat

1. Trilla - Etap 2. Gemma Fox - Boxer 3. Amnesia - Pum Pum Huge 4. Slick Don - Bum Brownin 5. Marika - Weekend lover 6. Kaisha Smith - Show Me Love 7. Jenny Jones - Over Love 8. Kym Myles - We Gotta Love 9. Katie May - You’re the Only One 10. True Faith - Freak Like Me (UKG)

Image Courtesy of Ecko HQ



Upcoming Gigs April 06.04.16 – Krept and Konan – 02 Institute 08.04.16 – The Acid Experiment – LAB11 08.04.16 – Esoteric: The Launch – SUKi10C 09.04.16 – B35 – Spotlight 09.04.16 – Rally Special with Glyn Preece – The Night Owl 13.04.16 – Funeral for a Friend – 02 Institute 14.04.16 – Conan – The Rainbow Venues 15.04.16 – Seedy Sonics presents Doorly – The Rainbow Venues 15.04.16 – Koko Friday with Steve Cradock – The Night Owl 16.04.16 – Blackdown and Parris – PST 16.04.16 – The Midlands Bassline Gathering – Boxxed 17.04.16 – Payback Live Radio- PST 21.04.16 – Ben Haenow – 02 Institute 22.04.16 – Koko Fridays with Lil Scottie and Soul Time Steve –The Night Owl 23.04.16 – Funshun – LAB11 23.04.16 – St. Georges Party – The Night Owl 26.04.16 – Shakey Graves – 02 Institute 29.04.16 – MK Presents Area10 – The Rainbow Venues 29.04.16 – Shepdog (Nice Up!) - PST 30.04.16 – Blood Ceremony – The Rainbow Venues 34 Digbeat


Collie Buddz at 02 Institute

01.05.16 – TRML ft. The Martinez Brothers and Jackmaster – LAB11 01.05.16 – GLAS Presents Amine Edge and Dance – Boxxed 03.05.16 – The Bluetones – 02 Institute 07.05.16 – Listening Sound Presents Rupture vs Skutta Round 3 – PST 07.05.16 – Lethal Bizzle – 02 Institute 12.05.16 – Rend Collective – 02 Institute 13.05.16 – Northern Soul All Nighter – The Night Owl 13.05.16 – OathBreaker –- The Rainbow Venues 14.05.16 – Fuse – The Rainbow Venues 14.05.16 – Unified Beatz - PST 20.05.16 – Pagoda: Brame and Hamo – LAB11 24.05.16- G Eazy – 02 Institute 25.05.16 – Night Beat – The Rainbow Venues 26.05.16 – Club DV8 Reunion – Amusement 13 28.05.16 – Roller Disco – Boxxed 29.05.16 – Elrow Birmingham: The Trip – The Rainbow Venues G Eazy at 02 Institute

Image Courtesy of Han Kim


03.06.16 – Godskitchen: The Last Dance – 02 Institute 03.06.16 – Seedy Sonics Befestival Carnival Magnifco – The Rainbow Venues 04.06.16 – Ouse – Boxxed 04.06.16 – Playaz – The Rainbow Venues 10.06.16 – Moseley Folk Presents John Grant – 02 Institute 10.06.16 – Northern Soul All Nighter – The Night Owl 10.06.16 – Dancehall Fridays Mad Dawg Gecuss Bash - PST 17.06.16 – Absolute Bowie – 02 Institute 25.06.16 – Earl Gateshead - PST 28.06.16 - Collie Buddz - 02 Institute

Image Courtesy of Kevin Cortopassi



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Images Courtesy of Rang-Zeb Hussain

Digbeat Issue #1  

Giving you all things music in Digbeth.

Digbeat Issue #1  

Giving you all things music in Digbeth.