Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Resuscitate the Rainbow...

Birmingham home to Brummies, once upon a time home to me also, like Simon le Bon, I like to think of myself as an honorary Brummie. A place I hold in high regard yet not without its downfalls, for example it has its ginormous overdeveloped Oxford Street inspired centre which save the rag market and Digbeth is a haven for chain stores and discount shops. I sense traffic is now a problem in all major cities, however none more prevalent in Birmingham, however there seems to be no workable solution (aside the talk of congestion charging) in place. The problems that face Birmingham are simple ones, too many people not enough space in the centre, creative, edgier nights are slowly finding spots outside of town. Places set to step forward and take the crown are Moseley, Kings Heath, Digbeth and Hockley, all of which contain excellent pubs and parties hosted by forward thinking music promoters, it would be great if the fashion and music shops that supported these were to follow.

Sunday I attended Below - a minimal tech night - hosted at the Rainbow in Digbeth, an excellent venue, which is under threat due to complaints from a new development of flats (which makes me pose the question which was there first – the pub or the flats?). UB40 recently played a gig to highlight the pubs plight - all money raised from ticket sales went towards sound proofing the roof. The main bar is still retains its original features with a grand bar in the middle, decorated with candor and compassion it incorporates its current usage and past history, with art on the walls and graffiti elements. The bar could have been stocked with a little more forethought, disappointingly the resident drunk turned out to be the landlord. However this doesn’t detract from the beauty of the place, the rear once a garden, now a roof warehouse space with graffiti, plants, fairy lights and installations is a soft intimate stead for bands and dj’s to do their thing. Below is best judged by the non-arrival of two its (I believe) three promoters, an excellent night was had by all those who attended, however I sensed it was nearing the end of its glorious run spanning a good five (if not more) years. I left hoping for projects, more nights and more life into the Rainbow!