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This Student Guide is brought to you by: Editors: David O’Coy & Kerry Thomas Writers: Laura Booth, Jon Bounds, Ross Cotton, Erica Crompton, Krystie Daw, Francine & Erin, Annelise Francis, Laura Fraser, Rosaleen Gallagher, Hannah McCarthy, William Lambie, Louise Palfreyman, Tamara Roper, Danny Smith Photography: Martin Pickard, Lou Jones, Mr Hartnett Illustration: Gino Cullen, Meeno Kawaii Front Cover Illustration: Kris Jones

FUSED Magazine & AREA Culture Guide tel: 0121 442 6663 @fusedmagazine @areaguide Facebook: Fused Mag

Welcome to our annual Student Guide. We welcome you to Birmingham and the West Midlands with this handy pocket-sized publication packed full of information on where to go and what to do as you spend the next three years in this fine city. Keep it close and use it to navigate the not-so-mean streets. Pull it out in difficult ‘what can we do today?’ situations and impress your new student friends with your impeccable knowledge.

DISCLAIMER Reproduction of all editorial/images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission. We cannot be held responsible for breach of copyright arising from any material supplied. While we aim to make sure all information is correct we can not be held responsible for any incorrect entries. Readers should check venues before arrival. Views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily the publishers. This is a Fused Publication © Fused 2011 © Area Culture Guide 2011.


this is BIRMINGHAM We know that when you first move to a city the tendency is to stick close to the popular and central areas. However, once you’ve hit the Bullring and the main shopping area for the 20th time - and realised that yes, there are about ten Starbucks, two Gaps and three H&Ms and no, you haven’t been walking confusedly past the same one continually we urge you to jump on a bus and explore the ‘burbs.



Great pubs, listed buildings, a farmers’ market, a beautiful Georgian square (great to hang around in when the sun is out) with the prettiest church and, of course, many independent jewellery boutiques make up Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. If you’re feeling flush (or the Student Loan has just hit your account) then you could check out the Jam House or TV celebrity chef Aktar Isam’s Lasan restaurant. If, however, the funds are a little tighter then head to the Actress and Bishop for good-priced drinks and regular live music. Find out more: Getting there: A 20-minute walk from the city centre or the 101 from Colmore Row

The Rose Villa Tavern @RoseVillaTavern This old-style boozer, sitting in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, has been given a muchneeded contemporary update while still retaining its beautiful historic touches. The results are great and when you add in the mix of good pub grub, some choice weekend DJs providing the tunes and top-quality cocktails at just £4 from 4pm till 7pm you know you’ve got a great place to go.

The Lord Clifden 34 Great Hampton Street @TheLordClifden Tucked away in a terrace of run-down-looking shop fronts, you wouldn’t expect any public house along this road to be safe to enter, let alone cool. Having undergone refurbishment the interior now includes a selection of Banksy prints, cow-skin stool covers and a great jukebox selection. It screams hip yet still manages to attract the old regulars as well as people of all ages and backgrounds. 05




Birmingham’s Southside is certainly diverse. By day the Chinese community work and eat in the area around the Arcadian Centre and by night the streets are taken over by club kids, hungry shoppers, theatre-lovers and the gay community who also share this hub. Find out more: @BIDSouthside Getting there: A quick walk from the Bullring/New Street. Sunflower Lounge 76 Smallbrook Queensway For a mellow evening that feels more 60s than student, head to The Sunflower Lounge and embrace everything from funk and northern soul to alternative and French pop. Cheap drinks and mod music account for a casual night out; perfect for hanging out with friends. Wednesday night is the preclub hangout for the legendary student night at Snobs.

Birmingham Hippodrome Hurst Street @brumhippodrome Young theatre goers (16-21) get the chance of reduced price tickets thanks to the Hippodrome’s FIRST NIGHT scheme. It’s free to join and, once registered, members are able to get their hands on loads of £5 theatre tickets for some of the best shows in the region including ballet, opera, West End musicals, pantomime and international dance. Nightingale Club Kent Street, B5 6RD @nightingaleclub Want to dance all night, see huge celebrity names and lose all inhibitions along the way? There’s only one place for it; Nightingales, one of Birmingham’s most popular gay clubs. On Monday nights you can get selected drinks from £1 and on Wednesdays Kerrang! Radio takes over for the weekly student night ‘Voltage’. MuMu’s Unit B102, Arcadian Centre, Ladywell Walk MuMu’s sells the cutest stationery, from Hello Kitty cameras to Chinese fashion magazines. It’s a great place for students to stock up on the sweetest stationery or get inspired by all the cute items.

digbeth Eclectic music, vintage fashion and conceptual art are the order of Digbeth (or Eastside as you may hear it referred to). Birmingham’s creative characters spend their carefree time hanging out to hear the best in underground music, acts and out-there entertainment; you’ll be sure to rub shoulders with the abstract elites. Getting there: A 10-15 minute walk out of town from Selfridges


Vintage Fashion COW, 82-85 High Street, Deritend, B5 6DY/ Urban Village, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4AA/ The Vintage Fair, The Custard Factory,

If you love vintage then head down towards the Custard Factory. You’ll pass COW, a huge warehouse dedicated to all things well vintage. Carry on down the high street until you hit Urban Village, a perfectly formed vintage shop selling everything from classic Fred Perry to gorgeous dresses. And every few months for just £1 you can gain entry to the very popular Vintage Fair. 40 stalls are on hand with clothing and treats from the 1940s to the 1980s. The Rainbow 160 High Street, B12 0LD DJs, underground artists and eccentric performers congregate merrily at the sprawling venue that is the Rainbow. Between regular club nights and street festivals, you can guarantee an electric night out that is as memorable as it is mesmerising. Starting off as a pub, it has grown to include outdoor, cellar and warehouse spaces. Art in Eastside Art may not be obvious in the Digbeth area but galleries and artists are housed in old warehouse and office complexes - you just have to find them. Contemporary artist-led spaces Eastside Projects and Grand Union are based here and usually schedule openings on the same evening so you can move from venue to venue for new exhibition launches.


Moseley has a long-established reputation as Birmingham’s Bohemian quarter; but there’s more to the area than a bunch of scruffy types wandering around consulting their Muses. Getting there: Buses from the City Centre: 35/50 The Bull’s Head 23 Saint Mary’s Row, B13 8HW 0121 256 7777 @thebullshead Sister venue to the Hare & Hounds, the Bull’s Head provides an additional club party vibe. Prepare to dance your feet off in the upstairs room, courtesy of Leftfoot, while downstairs offers that socialising bar feel. Prince of Wales 118 Alcester Road, B13 8EE 0121 449 4198 @MoseleyPrince A big selling point for the Prince is its huge garden which works in hot sunshine or cold winter nights thanks to the number of heaters. Inside, the traditional-style bar has a great selection of beers, but if you fancy a different kind of tipple then the Hawaiian-themed cocktail bar serving up your favourite Mai Tai gives you chance to kick back and relax. The Cross 145 Alcester Road, B13 8JP 0121 449 6300 A great place to meet mates before heading out; you’ll find everything from salsa lessons to comedy and music. Twofor-one pizza night on a Tuesday is a great bargain and you can also pick up some nice cocktails too. The Fighting Cocks 1 St Mary’s Row With a happy-hippy vibe and understated boho decor, this gorgeous pub offers pretty decent food and a great range of speciality beers, lagers and ciders. The beer garden gets busy in the summer and there are heaters out there when it’s chilly too.




The large High Street of Kings Heath and its numerous side roads contain a plethora of interesting finds, from a cafe that initially looks like a garden centre (Kitchen Garden Cafe on York Road,, a pottery studio where you can make your own gifts (All Fired Arts on Poplar Road,, a pretty boutique that will make all girls go giddy with shopping desire (The People Shop on Poplar Road,, to venues that will make you want to stay out and party all night. Getting there: Buses from the City Centre: 35/50 Find out more: @KingsHeathbid / http://lovekingsheath. Hare & Hounds 106 High Street, B14 7JZ, 0121 444 2081 @hareandhounds Whether you want to enjoy a social drink, watch the next up-and-coming band, or simply fancy a dance at one of their DJ nights, the Hare is definitely the place to be. A buzzing atmosphere is brought together through a warm crowd of friendly punters and staff, and a wide selection of booze, all housed in stunning Victorian architecture that leaves everybody bathing in history and culture. Top Banana 14 York Road, B14 7RZ, 0121 444 2749 Imported directly from the USA, you’ll find everything from Barbour wax jackets and real fur coats to trucker caps and new Converse All-Stars, priced between £10 and £25. And if there’s anything else you’re after, the inviting staff are always happy to help. Cherry Reds 16 York Road, B14 7RZ, 0121 441 3155 @ilovecherryreds A cosy little hideaway, Cherry Reds offers some amazing food at student-friendly prices. Just check out the specials board to be amazed at how much you can buy for under a fiver, plus they offer a two-for-one cocktail deal everyday from 4pm to 7pm.








Disappearing Brum Marti DiBergi first saw the legendary Spinal Tap in a little club called the Electric Banana but advised us “don’t look for it—it’s not there anymore”. And the director of Kramer Vs Kramer Vs Godzilla is right; nostalgia is a fool’s game as Jon Bounds finds out. The gateway drug (which you student types will soon no-doubt experiment with) is TKTVP, street name ‘Talking about old Kids’ Television Programmes’. I could warn you that it will lead to superficial friendships, and that no matter how it makes those lonely first-year undergraduate conversations in the Union bar seem easier, it’s just building up an empty existence propped up only by Shine compilations in your work cubicle. But like a pusher, I’m going to attempt to give you false nostalgia for a past you’ve never seen. Let’s see if you can develop a simulacrum of a misty eye over these gone, or soon to be gone, Birmingham fixtures. Pebble Mill (pictured) In the 70s, 80s and 90s the BBC’s Pebble Mill studios in Edgbaston was the home of light entertainment. As well as local news, farming-radioHollyoaks The Archers and big Sunday night telly like cow-bothering All Creatures Great And Small, it took over our screens every weekday at 1pm for Pebble Mill at One. This used to feature proper stars, like Cliff 020

Richard, being utterly confused in front of a studio audience — it was great. What’s there now: Nothing, they knocked it down and ran out of money to build the proposed ‘science park’. Nearest modern equivalent: The Tesco at the back of the Mailbox is the best place to see minor celebs in uncomfortable situations, popping in for a Pot Noodle after being on Radio WM. Sputnik on Temple Street This was possibly Brum’s tiniest bar, with tiny, tiny, toilets always ankle deep in something wet. Underground, down some steep steps, you could barely see anything and the music policy was harsh to say the least. But it was friendly, and the beer was stupidly cheap. What’s there now? It was replaced by a bar called Red that I’m reliably informed “looks like the interior of a drug-dealer’s speedboat” (since closed). Nearest modern equivalent: Underground drinking is falling out of favour in Brum, but Scruffy Murphy’s in Dale End manages to block out all daylight by dint of being set into a multi-storey car park. Underpasses In Birmingham, voiceover man says, “the car is king”, and until recently this meant that pedestrians shuffled from point to point in a system


of subterranean tunnels like some Brummie Morlocks banished from the surface. But as in The Time Machine, the overground triumphed and now these have mostly been filled in — the only loss being those mini-newsagents you only see underground. What’s there now? In most cases roads. Where you can get knocked over on an equal footing with the drivers. Nearest modern equivalent? There are still some underpasses around; try the supremely named Paradise Place beneath Paradise Circus. The Incongruous Fishing Tackle and Gun Shop Just round the back of Marks and Spencer’s there lived a shop as full of curios as Bagpuss’s. W.Powell & Son Rifle Makers didn’t just sell guns, but proper green-welly and tweed outdoors wear. Miles from the nearest place where such upperclass pursuits could be performed — unless there was a little-known Perry Barr Hunt we didn’t, er, know about — it was nothing but surprising that it stayed open as long as it did. What’s there now? The building, and interesting it is too, houses a shop selling tat from catalogues. Nearest modern equivalent? You can probably buy all this sort of thing from Poundland these days can’t you?


Central Library Birmingham’s one true architectural masterpiece isn’t long for this world. In order to replace it with a much-needed mixed-use yuppie development, the brutalist structure is to be closed and then demolished. Although it’s now sullied by carbuncles of a McDonald’s and a Wetherspoon’s we thought it had turned the corner — at least the branch of owls-as-a-metaphor-for-tits bar Hooters has been removed. But no, soon the books are to be shipped out and the 80s can be built in its place. What’s there now? Central Library, just. Nearest modern equivalent? The ‘Tetris building’ is still just about with us along the road on Colmore Row (103), but hurry concrete fans, they’ll all soon be gone. Illustrations by Gino Cullen

STREET STYLE Brook Zhao Where do you like to go and eat? There is a brilliant French restaurant I have just discovered called Chez Jules.

2. Charlotte, 21, Student Where do you like to go around Birmingham? The Electric Cinema by New Street is definitely worth a visit.

Lianne, 25, Teacher Where do you like to shop? Well I travel quite a lot so it’s nice when I’m back to pop into the shops like Selfridges.

5. Nikky, 24, Style Advisor Where do you to go to eat? My favourite place has to be Pushkar on Broad Street.


6. Carl Hind, 32, Project Manager Where do you like to go out? The Rainbow is a great place for a night out.

Matthew, 28, English Teacher (pictured) Where do you think is good to go out? Snobs is a good night out.

8. Roxana, 21, Student Where’s good to go out for a drink? The Sunflower Lounge.

Words & Images: Krystie Daw

Kate, Style Advisor Where’s good to go out for a drink? Brindley Place is really underrated, and Bacchus is quite unknown but lovely inside.


TEN FILMS TO GET YOU THROUGH YOUR FIRST SEMESTER The first term of university life can be hard: a new city, academic pressures, washing machine settings and strangers for housemates. Films are a great way to make friends, whether it’s by watching them, talking about them, or going to the cinema. They’re also good to drop into seminars (where relevant, obviously). Hannah McCarthy picks ten films to make you cleverer and make you friends. Top 5 films to impress your lecturers Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles’ film is considered the greatest of all time; its focus on the corruption of power with the media is becoming even more relevant. Throw a ‘Rosebud’ reference into your lecture and you’ll shoot to the top of the class. Sunset Boulevard (1950) Billy Wilder takes a swipe at Hollywood in this tragic and blackly comic tale of a washed-up writer and a once-great star who has lost her shine. A Matter of Life and Death (1946) David Niven is an RAF pilot who, due to an administrative mix up in Heaven, is given a second chance at life, then must defend his right to stay alive. If you’re struggling with the opposite sex, take some tips from the opening scene. The Searchers (1956) Probably the greatest Western of them all, from the dream team of John Ford and John Wayne. Trivia for extra brownie points: Wayne’s stance in the final shot is a tribute to late actor Harry Carey, whose wife and son feature in the film. Godfather (Parts I and II) (1972, 1974) OK, we’re cheating throwing both parts in, but you can’t split them up. The perfect combination of director, cast and storyline. And if you managed to escape being traumatised as a child by a certain incident involving a horse, your time has now come. Top 5 films to impress your friends Memento (2000) This early Christopher Nolan film shows why he’s now the current king of directors. Shot in reverse chronological order, this can spark many conversations as you try to piece the whole thing together. 026

Pulp Fiction (1994) Tarantino got John Travolta back on the dancefloor and embraced the true meaning of the MacGuffin. It’s the go-to film if you ever want to order a quarter-pounder with cheese in France.

The Lives of Others (2006) It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, and rightly so. A tense, beautiful tale of life in East Germany. Watch it for the late Ulrich Mühe’s heartbreaking performance.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005) Quirky, farcical, mysterious and with the coolest title sequence, it has the genius combination of Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan. Introduce your new friends to it, and they should love you.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) A good one to get debates going, this rewards repeat viewings. It’s nice to see Jim Carrey taking a break from his usual shtick, playing a man trying to erase his exgirlfriend from his mind. 027

Get Knitted Stitches and Hos are a group of knitting enthusiasts who hold a monthly social at the Hare & Hounds pub in Kings Heath. The group also partake in graffiti knitting, which sees them brightening up our urban landscapes with their multicoloured wool. Ross Cotton caught up with one of the founding members, Sara Fowles (@needlesandhooks), who recently completed a commission of knitting decorations on Skegness pier as part of So Festival. 028

“We started in 2005 as a group of us, four or five initially,” says Sara. “It was one of those in-the-pub conversations where we were sitting around and the subject of knitting came up. We’d seen some stuff on the internet; there was a group in London called Cast Off, who had a regular night, and there was also a knit graffiti group called Knitta who were based in the States.”

“The original idea was that it was all measured, designed and made for parts of the Bullring,” says Sara. “But when we went to install it, the security guards came out and told us to leave in no uncertain terms. So we just re-appropriated the stuff we’d done; for example, big circles that we made were almost the perfect size for postboxes. It was a happy coincidence.”

“They were tagging stuff,” explains Sara. “It was like, oh well, we could be something in the middle. It should be in the pub ’cos the best things are always in the pub.”

“We tend to do it quite late at night or unbelievably early in the morning. I do really love that kind of blinkand-you’ll-miss-it. I think with the knit graffiti, especially the stuff we did in Birmingham, it had all gone in about two days. The scarf around the floozy had gone by the end of the day.”

“We always thought that if it was a disaster, at least we could drown our sorrows. And if it was a success, we could still have a drink; it makes us sound like a bunch of alcoholics!” It’s clear that Sara is keen to break the stereotype of stitching, as the monthly knitting social “attracts quite a good mix of people. A lot of people, who have never been to the night, think that it’s all grannies,” says Sara. “There’s kind of a resurgence of young people knitting which is great. We do have boys come; it’s thought of as exclusively female, but because it’s in the pub, it is more accessible.” Sara and her gang have also tagged Birmingham landmarks such as the ‘Floozy in the Jacuzzi’ (the city’s large fountain feature in Victoria Square) with their knitting, a project that started out quite differently.

You might wonder exactly how Sara managed to graffiti such an awkwardly positioned monument. “I rolled up my jeans and waded in, like a good guerrilla artist. A little bit of water isn’t gonna stop me!” So keep your eyes peeled over the next couple of months for some woollen wonders. “There are plans afoot,” says Sara. “Birmingham is quite brown and our mission is to inject a little colour.” Stitches and Hos hold their welcoming free knitting social at the Hare & Hounds (hareandhoundskingsheath., every last Tuesday of the month, so why not join them for a drink or two, meet some new people and take a break from the books. 029

REBECCA SHORT When Rebecca Short started her BA Fashion Design course at Birmingham City University three year’s ago she would have been hard-pushed to guess that one of the world’s most popular cultural icons would be wearing a piece from her final year collection. When Lady Gaga’s stylist spotted Rebecca’s designs during graduate fashion week she asked if she could borrow a piece. The next thing Rebecca knew was her neoprene dress (far left) was snapped by the world’s paparazzi and Rebecca’s name was all over the press.


What made you choose the fashion course at Birmingham City University originally? The University has great links with industry and a lot of visiting tutors, which I found really helps you to understand the way the fashion industry works. Also the facilities and teaching staff were great which was another attraction. Coming from a small town I really loved the excitement of the big city life. There is so much to do so I spent a lot of time exploring, finding cool places to go. Were there any fashion stores that you would head to in Birmingham for inspiration or favourites to buy your own clothes? I love COW, the vintage store which is in Digbeth. You can always find some quirky pieces in there. I also love Bullring, my favourite stores being Cos and Topshop.   Can you tell us a bit about your final collection? The theme for the collection was looking into negative space. Whilst carrying out the project I looked at various artist’s work including Gordon Matta-Clark, Rachel Whitread and minimalist artists Donald Judd and John Pawson. I used their work to help inspire experimental ideas, draping on a stand and then designing from the shapes I had created.   Now you have celebrity clients is there anyone else you would love to design for?

With Gaga being one of the fashion icons of the moment, it sets the bar pretty high! I would also love to see Kate Middleton in one of my designs! Do you have any tips for new students coming to Birmingham? Explore the city! The German Christmas market is fab (November to December). I would defiantly recommend going there. It’s a great place to go with friends and you can also take your parents when they visit. The full moon party at HMV Institute is pretty fun, and there are always some great things on at the NEC in Birmingham. I would definitely recommend the Clothes Show Live and Style Birmingham Live for those fashionistas. Rebecca’s tips for: Going out: Face at Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth is pretty cool. Meeting Friends: Heading down to the Student Union and getting involved with societies as a fresher. They are really good ways to make friends. If you were getting dressed-up for a special night where would you head: I would say Mechu (Summer Row) or Brindley Place. Where do you think are the most stylist places to hang out: The Custard Factory, you get a lot of cool, quirky and individual styles around there. 031

How To Get Laid On The Cheap*

Attention my loveable student friends! You have come to our fine city, clearly the best in the UK, to pollute it and corrupt it with your stupid haircuts and braying voices, your rugby shirts and university hoodies, your parents’ money and your unearned loans (which you will spend on Ugg boots - seriously, just don’t. They are utter shit and garner nothing but raw contempt from everyone) and your Never. Ending. Quest. For. Sex. Don’t go thinking you are different. You are the same as everyone else who comes through, year after year, guffawing like twats in your student bars until, three months in, you discover the over-priced drinks. After a while you come across one of the awful student-centric club nights that shark-eyed opportunists put on left, right and centre to relieve you of your unearned cash. Well not this year my Hollister-clad pretties. This year you have the glamorous and debonair WolfDisguisedAsMonk to take you by the tiny, trembling hand and lead you through the mean streets of Birmingham, your home for the next few years, and show you exactly what is fucking what. 034

This guide is guaranteed to get you laid or I will personally reimburse you for the full price of this here magazine. So follow me, my children, and pay close attention, this could save your life one day. So let’s take it from the top. Somehow you have tricked someone into liking you. Maybe it’s the popped collar on your Ralph Lauren polo-shirt and sockless deck shoes (fellas) or maybe it’s your tits (ladies), but for some reason they like you. So what do you do? Where do you take them? CAFE SOYA Upper Dean Street, B5 4SG and Arcadian This is an amazing Chinese/ Vietnamese restaurant - think Wagamama but half the price, you don’t have to sit next to strangers, and your date will be impressed by your mad connects. Plus portions are massive and unfeasibly delicious. WAREHOUSE CAFE Allison Street, Digbeth Warehouse Cafe offers a continually evolving vegetarian and vegan menu and is constantly in the top five Birmingham places to eat on Tuesday is two-for-one for students as long as you book in advance.

AL FRASH 186 Ladypool Road, Sparkhill, B12 8JS How could you live in B-Town and not have a balti? In fairness I could mention any number of balti houses on Ladypool Road (the beating heart of the Balti Triangle) but this one happens to be my favourite. Like most of them you can take your own booze which keeps costs down and again the main dishes are wicked and offensively cheap. So tip well. Well, that went well. You’ve eaten, they still like you. What now? Cinema, obviously. ELECTRIC CINEMA 47-49 Station Street, B5 4DY The UK’s oldest working cinema is a little bit pricier than the multiplexes (though think of how much you’ve saved on food) BUT offers an intimate environment to watch either box-office smashes or arthouse curios. If you really want to impress then you can book out a sofa and have booze brought to you from the fully licensed bar during the film. Don’t get hammered and show me up for recommending it. So anyways, the night is young; where now? FANTASTIC DAMAGE 2nd Thursday of the month at Bulls Head, Moseley, B13 8HW 035 FanDam is an underground, leftfield hip-hop night that is well worth waiting for. The drinks are cheaper than Wetherspoon’s, and for the two quid door tax (free before 9pm) you’ll hear some of Birmingham’s finest drop tunes you probably won’t have heard before mixed with stuff you love. FACE Weekly Saturdays at The Rainbow, 160 High Street, Deritend, B12 0LD THE place to be on a Saturday night for all dance music aficionados, the Rainbow Courtyard has gone from hosting local DJs to attracting big names like Mr C, Claude Von Stroke, Erol Alkan, Jamie Jones, and Derrick Carter. In the Rainbow pub itself you can bounce to the sounds provided by all round “entertainers” Hasselbaink DJs and friends. Follow Hasselbaink on Facebook and every Saturday they give away guestlist and cheaplist places. KEEPIN’ IT SOULFUL Weekly Fridays at The Victoria, 48 John Bright Street, B1 1BN www.thevictoriabirmingham. You’ve got the irrepressible Soul Food Project boys and the legendary Takin’ Care Of Business (keep an eye out for them, they are literally all over the place and they always insist that 036

you have a good time) spinning nothing but the finest in soul, funk, rock ‘n’ roll and alternative. It’s free in too, in case you spent too much money on a sofa and absinthe cocktails at the Electric. So you went out of a Saturday, you got lucky (obviously, because you followed this guide), and you want to do something on Sunday. HOTT DATE Monthly Sundays at Bulls Head, Moseley, Birmingham Birmingham’s favourite, sexiest and oldest party starters, Chicks Dig Jerks, cordially invite you to their legendary daytimeclubnight (yeah, I know), Hott Date. With countless bands and all the greatest DJs to ease you through Sunday before you have to pretend you’ve lost your date’s phone number and face a hard Monday hiding under your duvet crwanking to Jeremy Kyle. If you follow this guide carefully then you will at least get your nuts slobbered on (fellas) or a lovely box of Milk Tray (ladies). Thanks? Don’t mention it. I will accept oral sex and/or drugs by way of gratitude. *None of this really applies to straight girls. Just tell the fella you’re interested. That’s all we need.

death in vegas It’s been seven years since the last Death In Vegas album ‘Satan’s Circus’. In that time Richard Fearless upped sticks to New York, formed raw-power rock ‘n roll band ‘Black Acid’ and went to back to college to study photography. “I’d been doing Death In Vegas solidly since I was at art school,” says Richard. “Because I was doing the artwork and the videos, it felt like it was taking over my life. I didn’t feel like there was anything else. Everything got a bit heavy. Our tour manager died while we were on the road. I just needed to step away from it, which was at least part of the reason I went to New York. When I got there, I went to college, to study large-format photography, which has been a big influence on this record.” Some of Richard’s darkroom favourites include Alec Soth, Joel Meyerowitz, Stephen Shore, Philip-Lorca deCorcia, William Eggleston, Larry Clark and Diane Arbus. He explains how studying influenced his music: “Desolate Americana landscape work was mainly what I was taking and doing a lot of traveling on the road. This always has an effect on me musically as your traveling such long distances, thinking so much. 038

These huge panoramic views go on forever, Long songs which are not over-crowded with music that it giveS you space for visual thought. I think there’s always been that sense of space in my music, like that open expanse of light you don’t get anywhere else but in those wide open spaces. I think it’s in all the music I like, and those great American photographers I like.” However Richard believes you have to go way back to the 60‘s to find examples of bands that mix music with stunning visuals to produce exciting live shows. “I think you’d have to go back to Grateful Dead and early Pink Floyd. [I] can’t think of anyone who’s blown me away with a visual performance. Lots of people spending shit loads of money but the visuals are just crap. But as for record covers I think it would have to be Robert Frank’s cover for Exile on Mainstreet. I would spend hours looking at it when I was a kid, the edgy Americana photography interspersed with band imagery; it just looked so fucking cool. In fact the photo that I shot inside the cover of Scorpio Rising was a direct homage to that sleeve.” Having worked with a host of guest vocalists on earlier albums Fearless was keen that the new release wouldn’t be bogged down by the cult of celebrity. “I was sick of getting questions about what it was like to work with Iggy (Pop) and Liam (Gallagher) and felt like that overshadowed Scorpio Rising. Obviously it was fantastic to work with such people but it wasn’t all the records were about. So yes I decided to hand in an instrumental record and it be purely about the music. Then I did Black Acid, started to sing myself, and made a conscious decision not to work with a load of guest vocalists on this album.” So, why the decision to make a new Death In Vegas album now? “I have amassed so much material over the last seven years it seemed the right time to gather it all up and start putting out some records. While I was living in NYC I was putting stuff into two camps; Black Acid and Death in Vegas. As soon as I moved back to London from New York, where I’d been living over the last six years or so, I realized I wanted to release again as D.I.V.” Trans-Love Energies is released on 26.09.11. Death in Vegas play 02 Academy Birmingham on the 8th December, 2011.


Student days Who says musicians aren’t a brainy bunch? For every Liam Gallagher there’s a Dr Brian Cox and what better time in your lives than to get together with a few like-minded souls and start that slowcore-skiffle-dubstep fusion band that will be massive in 2012. We asked some of our fave poindexter popster types about their heady student days... David Ford What do you remember about your first day at Uni? Having been enticed by an insistence that the Drama degree course was a serious academic undertaking and absolutely not a fluffy exercise in actor training, my first day was spent stood in a room surrounded by other young adults pretending to be trees, birds, prawns and the like. I decided very soon that I would be dropping out.   What was your fave meal to cook? There are few finer things than baked beans on toast. As a refined adult, I now embellish my favourite student meal with classy add-ons: grated Emmental, cracked black pepper, a side salad of rocket and capers and a splash of balsamic vinegar, or maybe just a fried egg and a dollop of HP.

Big Deal What were you like after five Tequilas in the bar? KC Underwood: Asleep. In someone else’s bed. I once urinated in a girl’s bed that I had met that same evening, dyeing my skin blue, the color of her pristine bed sheets. We instantly became, and are still, very close friends. 040

Cloud Control What advice would you give new students? Ulrich Lenffer: They say university is some of the best years of your life, so if you aren’t having fun, try harder. What were you like after five Tequilas in the bar? A drunken Mexican.

Fallulah What did you do on your last night of college? In Denmark it’s tradition to go on a tour de house with your classmates. You get driven around by a tractor, with a wagon behind, where all the students stand. You get really drunk, because you drive around to everyone’s homes, where your family await in the garden with drinks and food. This takes all day and all night. And the goal is to see the sun rise. Just when we were about to take off, I banged my head into a big wooden pillar in the wagon and completely blacked out. I had the worst headache for the rest of the day, and felt really bad, so it wasn’t a big success. 041

I Am A Camera What Advice would you give new students? Ian: Have a great time but learn enough so you can get a great job to pay off that freakin’ loan. In Fear of Olive What do you remember about your first day at University? Arv Teeroovengadum: Getting lost a lot! I forgot where my flat was and I had no idea where my Uni was. It was pretty overwhelming having come from a much smaller town to a city I had only visited once before. I had a KFC that day so there was a small victory in there somewhere. 042

Penguin Prison What and where did you study? I studied at Bard College in upstate New York on the Hudson Valley.  It is sort of near Woodstock. Bard is a very bohemian, out of the mainstream kind of place.   One could always find someone doing a crazy project all over campus.  One student tried to build a spaceship and had a launch where he attempted to go into space.  Another student didn’t leave his dorm room for a substantial amount of time and was always being filmed by his next door neighbour for a documentary. What do you remember about your first day at college? I remember walking in on my roommate doing something that should only be done in private.  That was crazy.

Johnny Panic What was your fave meal to cook? Rob Solly: I was on a tight budget and I needed calories because I was active with training, studying and the band so it was a pasta mash sandwich. Two slices of toast with pasta and instant mash inside, salad cream, and if I was lucky, some cheese.

Jaguar Skills What was the most memorable time you had as a student? I broke into London Zoo once. What did you do on your last night of college? I hired a car, drove it 150mph, listening to the first NWA album on full blast.


mend: Garland Make do and Butterfly e iv t ra o Dec Why spend your time at uni digs in uninspiring surroundings when with a little creativity you could make something pretty to hang on your walls? Here is how... What you will need: Patterned paper, at least 18 x 13cm for each butterfly Butterfly templates Pencil Scissors Baking twine, string or coloured wool Optional: glue INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Draw and cut out two butterfly templates, or find your own decorative shape, such as birds, flowers or even teapots! 2. Fold your patterned paper in half, patterned side on the inside so you end up with a folded rectangle of 9 x 13cm. 3. Place your butterfly template onto 044

the folded paper. Make sure the top of the wings touch the folded edge. Draw around your template with a pencil. 4. Cut out your traced butterfly through both layers of paper. Take care not to cut through the top edge where the wings meet; you need them to stay connected.

1. A

2. A

3. A

4. A

5. A

6. A

5. Fold your butterfly the right way round and repeat for the amount you want. Cut the desired length of twine, string or coloured wool. Tie a loop at both ends to attach to a nail, hook, pushpin, curtain pole end etc. in your room. 6. Simply balance your folded butterflies upon the stretched twine, spacing them evenly across the length of it. If you want, you can glue the insides of the butterflies together to encase the twine inside the folded shapes. Or you can leave them as they are for easy disassembling & storing. Tip: you can get your friends to write you lovely messages inside the butterflies along the garland as they come to visit your new space! If you’d like to learn more crafty snippets then Francine and Erin run a variety of fun workshops throughout the year from their base in the Jewellery Quarter at Creative Open Workshops. 045

Image courtesy of Supersonic

Welcome Student

This is my city, a city of concrete, booze and the friendliest people this side of the Watford Gap. Please excuse the mess, we’re having a bit of work done. Actually, get used to the cranes; Birmingham is a city of change, constantly evolving and growing. You probably had your own reasons for choosing Birmingham, and the reasons people fall in love with the place are just as varied; it’s big enough to be a big city but small enough to run into people you know. Its open, burgeoning creative scene is far from the closed doors of other cities’; and not least of all its location. Birmingham is the grinning spider sitting in the middle of the country’s web of roads and rail lines. There are many ways of finding out what’s going on; magazines like this one, websites like, or even the infranet - the posters and graffiti, fliers and whispered recommendations overheard in pubs and bars. Now, as a student you’re going to be tempted to stay safe in the same uni bars or you may be attracted to the dumb glory of cheap shots and cheaper sexual encounters. And that’s fine. But this city won’t really open up until you start to seek out our underbelly. Take a chance, stray from the beaten path and a world of weird cinema, fringe music, and crackpot citizen scientists will be yours to explore. Your Shadow Mayor, Danny Smith. 046

The Flapper Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row, B1 2NU 0121 236 2421 Sitting next to the canal, I would say it has the best beer garden in the city centre. It’s spacious enough for two pool tables and attracts a varied, no hassle crowd. Its real pull is the gig room downstairs; a sweaty crucible and obligatory stop for all the best of tomorrow’s bands. You’ll often find me upstairs enjoying the free WiFi, drinking enough so when the next deadline hits it doesn’t hurt too bad. Supersonic Festival 21-23 October, 2011 The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA Most music fans will already have heard about this. For the music fan whose taste runs a little bit wider than boring hypocrites mining the same seam of dull stadium pop for the last twenty years (yes, I know Achtung Baby is a great album. But nothing since) or R&B singers whose jerky angular dancing and faux feminism is probably setting the cause back ten years or so, then Supersonic plays host to boundarypushing artists whose music will be influencing mainstream musicians for years to come. To find something more you have to go out, speak to the locals, read our walls and take some chances.



All images courtesy of Lou Jones

Fashion in Birmingham If you’ve got individual style and fashion panache aplenty then chances are a random person eagerly approaching with a camera has asked to take your pic for a style blog. If you have no idea what we are talking about then it’s time you got your fashion-on and who knows? Next time it could be you. The fashion blogger phenomenon is reaching new heights with sites representing trends in cities all over the world, and Birmingham is no exception. Regularly hitting the streets of Brum is Style Kaleidoscope’s Lou Jones: image-taker and fashionista spotter. Her blog “represents Birmingham’s multicultural melting pot of fashion, capturing people from Europe and beyond, as well as Birmingham’s born-and-bred.” We caught up with Lou to find out about more fashion Brummie style. 049

Why do you think it is important to capture Birmingham’s street style scene?   I would love to play a part in putting Birmingham onto the UK street style map. I guess when most people think of finding street style blogs in the UK, they would search for one that documents London style; but there’s plenty going on right here in Birmingham. I’ve blogged people from Barbados, Belgium, France, China, Japan and Spain it’s interesting to see how differently people dress around here. How would you sum up Brummie style? This year, it’s been heavily vintage, with a hint of Chloé. Lots of glasses, hats, turn-ups and undercuts. All in all, smart but very cool.  You’ve captured some very cool fashionistas; what kind of style do you admire? Nothing thrills me more than seeing someone with crazy, wild hair. The bigger the better. The best thing to see out there is someone who

has a very strong sense of their own style. They are the most confident people, as they have their self-image totally sussed out and are rocking it, regardless of current trends.     What makes you choose a person to photograph and include on your site? I have to believe that my readers would be inspired by the person’s appearance. I try to keep a variety of looks on the site so that’s a factor as well.   050

Lou’s fave place to: Take a picture: Corporation Street it’s uphill so people walk a bit slower, which means I can get a good look at their outfits! Go for food: Jamie’s Italian (Bullring) - seriously amazing bread, olives and pasta. Plus, I love the atmosphere in there. Meet with friends: The Loft in the  Pavilions (top floor dining area), because it’s really relaxed.  Show off to visitors: How the Bullring is split into pieces and levels.  Get drinks/cocktails: The Old Joint Stock (Temple Row West opposite St Philip’s Cathedral), because it’s just Victoriana heaven.  Are there any designers, illustrators or artists from the city that you admire? Lov Li Design at the Custard Factory ( Rachel Taylor designs lush, gorgeous cards and wrapping paper. Pam Cheema runs Frock On Vintage (at the Custard Factory & Topshop Bullring / She hand-picks the most amazing vintage gear. I buy all my vintage from there! Bunny Bissoux, who is an artist/ illustrator ( She is mighty stylish and her drawings are achingly cool. These people are just three of the reasons I love Birmingham. There are so many creative people around here, it’s hard not to feel at home.

Go shopping: H&M is my fail-safe. Find the best fashion kids for your blog: The Bullring area never lets me down.


vintage In a decade that made way for Chavs, Goths and Primark, it was ‘Vintage’ that really became the smuggest fashion expression come the early noughties. A term that meant ‘You want it, but you can’t have it, or get it – anywhere’ escalated into a whirlwind of one-off musthaves. Having ‘vintage’ always meant early-morning junk shop rummages and jumble sale rampages, or even a raid on Nan’s best wardrobe. Now things are so much easier. Flea markets and vintage shops pride themselves on 20th century finds and car boot sales and charity shops offer rarities at throw away prices. Okay, so it’s not quite what Chanel would call “archive”, but it’s a special bit of the past that you won’t see on anyone, anywhere. In an age determined by our bank balance, the avoidance of looking like any other skinny jeanclad scenester often would involve an evasion of big-chain, big-name stores. Be it a yearning for individuality worthy of jaw-dropping glares or an economic struggle that suffices a boycott of the high street, wearing vintage handles both. It’s all about creating a look. Some keep it strictly by the classic street-chic book, some mix it up a little. The trick is not to overdo it. Mixing up decades, even mixing up vintage pieces, can often look so wrong. Keep it classily subdued and update older articles with accessories. Steer clear of high street’s attempts at ‘vintage’ rails and stick to those who sold second-hand first, pinching the past and your purse strings. Words: Laura Fraser / Images: Mr Hartnett



Images by Mr Hartnett 056

the carpels’ guide to birmingham music

So you’ve landed in Birmingham and you need to know where all the best places are to go out. We’re at your service, with help from home-grown band The Carpels. Currently to be heard on every station going with their new single Handshakes, the five definitely know their way around town. So we thought who better to provide you with a guide to Britain’s second city? We caught up with Jacob McQue, drummer with The Carpels, and frontman Dylan Williams. Jacob explains: “Yeah, so we started at the Academy, which puts on local bands as well as the bigger names, then moved swiftly on to The Rainbow (Deritend High Street, Digbeth). It’s a great place to gig. The Bulls Head (St Mary’s Row) in Moseley is good too. “Gig-wise, I always thought if you want to see a really good band you’d go to the O2 Academy, and they do showcase local acts, but they tend to have a focus on touring bands and it can feel a bit corporate itself at times. The HMV Institute (High Street, Digbeth) is nice to look at and puts on good bands, quite weird choices sometimes and a bit kooky but definitely different. The bottom room is really nice to look at (it used to be the old library) but it wasn’t made for gigs so from a band’s point of view the sound isn’t always that great.  But it’s good for


bands that you aren’t generally going to see anywhere else in Birmingham. They tend to grab bands from all over.” Dylan says: “If you want a really good night out then go for smaller venues, and don’t be afraid to try them out. The Rainbow is where you can see anyone and everyone.” Dylan also recommends The Adam and Eve (Bradford St, Digbeth): “It tends to be more like just a good pub to go to. It’ll always have a good band on and some of the better after-parties in town so if you want somewhere good to go at two in the morning The Adam and Eve is the place to go.”

Dylan’s thoughts move across town: “The Yardbird (Paradise Place, B3 3HJ) is a good summer pub. They do gigs but it’s not necessarily set up as such, it’s quite small and they’ve kind of crammed a stage in. It’s an intimate venue, kind of clean-cut for a pub and with its roots in jazz, just a bit different from all the other pubs in Birmingham. Well worth checking out.”

Jacob adds: “Don’t forget The Victoria (48 John Bright St, B1 1BN) ... and The Island Bar (14-16 Suffolk Street Queensway, B1 1LT) next to the Alex Theatre, and The Sunflower Lounge (76 Smallbrook Queensway, B5 4EG). OxJam Festival in October is good ’cos you can go between The Island Bar and The Victoria and you’ve paid your £7 and can just see loads of really great bands.”

CLUB NIGHTS The Carpels aren’t what you’d call hardcore clubbers, but here are their recommendations for a top night out: Propaganda, O2 Academy: Friday nights 10pm-3.30am £4 door. JamJah at The Bulls Head, Moseley: Monday nights 9-12pm, free entry, Fantastic Damage, The Bulls Head Moseley: Second Thursday of each month: leftfield hip hop night. 8pm start, £2 door. Drinks promos. Zombie Prom: Rainbow Warehouse: 9pm-2am, £5 door. Big club night, always packed, cheap drinks and DJs. Go there and then go to the Zombie Prom after-party at the Adam and Eve.

OxJam is a music festival that runs throughout October showcasing the best bands while raising money to save lives around the world. It’s organised by volunteers who know their local music scene and The Carpels are playing The Victoria so be sure to check them out. More info at

BANDS Birmingham is currently incubating a very exciting music scene all of its own. It’s a scene that blends dubstep, indie, alternative and electronica and once you’ve experienced it you’ll definitely be left wanting more. And right up there with The Carpels are Tantrums. 059

Dylan says: “Tantrums are undoubtedly the best band in Birmingham at the moment, have been for ages, and will be for a long time to come. They have a different take on indie music. They’re just cool, and have this amazing energy when you see them live. Then there’s Troumaca who I suppose you’d describe as dub indie. They used to be the Scarlet Harlots who were like our idols back in the day. As Troumaca they have taken it further, and their music is like no other band. Kind of a new angle on dubstep in that it’s quite chilled. That fits the general move away from aggressive dubstep. They’re really good live too. Good harmonies.” Jacob recommends: “Check out Swim Deep, a four-piece band with an LA beach sound; fuzzy, ambient, summery, well worth looking out for... Peace are another great band, dark, kind of glitchy guitars that complement each other with driving rhythms; very good live, they put on a great show without looking like they’re trying too hard - when you get a performance from a band as well as good tunes, you can’t argue with it really.” Follow The Carpels at Facebook, Myspace and @thecarpels on Twitter. Their single Handshakes is out now on One Beat Records. Louise Palfreyman 060



We love great competitions and we’ve got a tasty haul of goodies to giveaway from tickets to events, mobile phones and vouchers to make your digs home-from-home. Entry details are on page 65.

Sony Ericsson Xperia arc

Don’t miss out on your chance to win a sleek smartphone from Vodafone. The Sony Ericsson Xperia arc is ultra-slim with an extra-wide touchscreen at 4.2” and incredible Sony BRAVIA HD quality, making it perfect for showing off photos to friends or checking out YouTube videos. It also has the latest Android™ operating system and 8.1 megapixel camera, so it’s great for capturing those special moments. Not only that, but its lightweight feel and arched design also mean it’s as comfortable in your pocket as it is in your hand. Entry deadline: 14.10.11

Art Disco

Win a £50 Gift Card Art Disco specializes in hand screen printed clothing for Men and Women printing entirely with Eco-Friendly inks and on 100% Organic cotton. Their uber cool graphics are iconic, bold and timeless meaning you’ll spend this gift card in 20 seconds flat! Entry deadline: 14.10.11



Clothes Show Live, the UK’s biggest fashion and beauty event returns for its 23rd year with even more fashion, beauty and shopping than ever from the 2-7 December at Birmingham’s NEC. With hundreds of leading fashion and beauty brands, non-stop catwalk shows, hair and beauty demonstrations, leading industry experts and the UK’s favourite celebrities - it’s the ultimate girls’ day out. And what’s more, you could be going for free. Head to clotheshowlive. com for full details. Entry deadline: 14.10.11

Style Birmingham LIVE

Win one of 10 pairs of the hottest fashion tickets in town. Style Birmingham LIVE, the must-attend fashion, beauty and shopping event of the year is back from 23-25 September, hosted for the second year running by gorgeous George Lamb! Each ticket is valid for all three days and includes: A seat at the stunning Catwalk Show staged at the Town Hall on Victoria Square, showcasing the latest collections and trends for autumn and winter 2011, plus a fashion ‘Q&A’ hosted by George Lamb together with celebrity stylist Bradley Taylor. Access to in-store fashion and beauty events in participating city centre stores and centres, including House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, M&S, Bullring, The Mailbox and Pavilions. An exclusive limited edition shopper bag designed by internationally acclaimed Birmingham born designer, Osman Yousefzada. Entry deadline: 14.09.11 063


Win a FREE day out for you and 3 mates

(Entry deadline: 14.10.11) Drayton Manor Theme Park, Staffordshire, is offering you the chance to win four tickets for an adrenaline fuelled day out. Drayton Manor’s white-knuckle thrill rides, include the 54m high drop tower, Apocalypse, Shockwave, the UK’s only stand up roller coaster; Pandemonium, a petrifying gondola swing; and the terrifying Maelstrom. There’s also two cracking water rides, Splash Canyon and Stormforce 10, guaranteed to get you soaking wet, and a 15-acre zoo. Twitter: @draytonmanor Facebook: DraytonManorPark. Drayton Manor Theme Park, near Tamworth, Staffordshire, B78 3TW

The Bluebeards Revenge The Ultimate Shaving Experience has arrived - and we have a luxury set to giveaway. The Bluebeards Revenge is a premium quality men’s grooming range with active ingredients to specifically reduce beard growth as well as tackle common shaving problems like razor rash and burn. Set includes: Shaving Cream £9.99, Post Shave Balm £9.99, Pre Shave Oil £9.99, “Doubloon” Shaving Brush £6.99, Anti-Perspirant Deodorant £3. bluebeards-revenge.couk/shop/ Entry deadline: 14.10.11


Win a Storm watch

We’ve got two Storm watches to giveaway. Renowned for their exclusive watches a n d distinctive s t y l i s h f a s h i o n accessories this is a great prize to keep you on track and on time for those all important lectures. Entry deadline: 14.10.11

Spin Collective

Win a £50 Voucher Wall stickers, decals, transfers and graphics are the ideal way to brighten up a boring room and we have a £50 voucher for you to choose one that helps you put your stamp on your room. Entry deadline: 14.10.11


Win a £50 voucher Get dashing digs and create your new home away from home with the help of Dunelm. Whether you need the necessities of pots and pans and fluffy towels or maybe you looking for some cute pictures or a bedside lamp to help get you through the late night reading lists you can choose. Entry deadline: 14.10.11

Help: clear skin packs

This natural skin supplement helps reduce the appearance of blemishes and spots and we have 6 x treatments worth £9.99 to giveaway to keep you skin radiant and gorgeous. Available from Boots, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett and Waitrose as well as Entry deadline: 14.10.11

ENTRY DETAILS: Send your name, address, telephone number, D.O.B. to: putting the name of the prize you want to win in the subject box. Check deadlines dates on individual competitions.


online birmingham With enough blogs, fan pages and tweets to give you reading material for days on end, we present a pick of the best sites to get much-needed info on what’s happening. Great for whenever you’re at a loss for something to do, Live Brum has all-day listings for most of the major venues in Birmingham. Whether you’re looking for an open mic night or cabaret, or when you simply want to get pissed and you’re sick of Snobs, Live Brum will have every option going. Handily giving you direct links for the appropriate ticket sellers, Live Brum is a one-stop shop for those bored, feeling flash, or looking for something a bit different. ‘I Know This Great Little Place in Birmingham’ Often, you don’t have to look further than Facebook to find an answer for the simplest of questions. ‘I Know This Great Little Place In...’ has a page for most cities, and is a forum for people with queries, or secret favourite haunts to share. Often somewhere for local businesses to advertise themselves, ‘I Know This Great Little Place’ is worth joining, for the time when you’re looking for a second-hand bike or you just want to know where to find a great bagel. 066

morecanalsthanvenice. More Canals than Venice is a tip of the hat to Birmingham’s watery, if little-known claim to fame. Run by the Solihull-based PixieSixer (@ PixieSixer), MCtV, in the same vein as Birmingham, It’s not Shit, aims to highlight the under-appreciated talent that manifests itself in Birmingham. Featuring a Mini Guide of all the good things in and around town as well as a lengthy blog roll of others to follow, More Canals than Venice is personal, charming and well informed. Worth a follow on both wordpress and twitter. Birmingham’s comprehensive style blog. Updated regularly with some of Brum’s best-dressed citizens, it hosts a collection of the most beautiful and bizarre the streets of Birmingham have to offer. Uber Brum is the baby of Jack Adams; snapping since 2009, the site is a wealth of well-dressed treats, from fur to cape wear; search out inspiration and outfit titillation. www.FUSEDMAGAZINE.COM Of course you have to check out the Fused site where you’ll not only find great features on music, art, fashion and travel but you’ll also get the digital version of the latest of our monthly ‘Area’ culture guides and join the mailing list for party and events. Tamara Roper

Student Guide 2011  

This is the Student Guide 2011 for Birmingham and the West Midlands. The guide is independently produced by Fused and is packed with great a...