A new Birmingham venue and ‘vinyl bar’ opened its doors to music fans in November with a huge four-day launch featuring 45 bands, musicians, artists and DJs from across Birmingham and the Midlands.
Dead Wax Digbeth hosted a series of specially curated free events running across its three spaces from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 1 December - including two all-dayers, late-night DJ sets, rare live performances and acoustic sets.
Some of Birmingham’s hottest live acts, including Swampmeat Family Band, Brain Food, Violet, RISCAS, The Empty Page and Wax Futures took o the stages at the 120/230/100-capacity multi-room venue, formerly punk, rock, metal and alternative haunt The Wagon & Horses in the city’s creative quarter of Digbeth.
Fully transformed by Brighton’s Laine Pub Co, Dead Wax Digbeth features a renovated and expanded building incorporating live music spaces both upstairs (120 capacity) and outside in the ‘Duck Bath’ yard (230 capacity).
The main bar area (100 capacity) will present a craft beer offering from Beavertown and Laine Brew Co. alongside guest draft lines from local breweries including Dig Brew Co, plus a Dead Wax Pizza menu with fresh carnivore, vegetarian and vegan choices overseen by city food tastemaker Anthony Duffy.
Music fans and vinyl lovers will be encouraged to choose and play albums and singles from the bar’s large 4000 record collection as well as enjoy vinyl-only sets from a diverse line-up of DJs in a bright and vibrant setting in the heart of Digbeth designed and created by local artists.
A mural, curated by in-demand street artist Gent48 featuring influential Birmingham bands, musicians and DJs including Big Bear Records, Birmingham Promoters, Catapult Club, Chicks Dig Jerks, ColdRice, Die Das Der, Distorted Tapes, Iron Man Records, Punch Records, This Is Tmrw, and Sweat amongst others will complete the visual identity for this latest addition to the city’s live music landscape.
The launch comes as good news in light of a number of concerns around Birmingham’s music and pub mainstays with city-centre venues including The Flapper, Scruffy Murphy’s and the Eagle and Tun all under threat from closure due to redevelopment.
Leading city live music bookers Birmingham Promoters, KILLER WAVE, Sonic Gun, and DIE DAS DER have all leant their industry expertise and support to the new venture, managed by former Sunflower Lounge boss and recording artist Ben Drummond.
Speaking ahead of the opening, Drummond said, “Its an incredibly challenging time for venues and bars in the city and across the UK so we’re doubly thrilled to be bringing Dead Wax Digbeth to life this week with a team that has worked very hard to create a very special offering. We’re hugely grateful to all of the local creatives who’ve helped us put together a full and exciting launch weekend programme and we look forward to contributing to the city’s cultural fabric, live music offering and UK touring map over the coming months and years.”
20 DJs from a number of well-known city music brands took part in the opening weekend, including Cherry Bomb, Distorted Tapes, Kaleidoscope, Night Owl, Sweat Club, and Takin’ Care of Business, whilst the live billing boasts 25 live acts drawn from Birmingham and the Midlands’ flourishing indie, psych, art-rock, acoustic, rhythm and blues, heavy, punk, soul, math and pop scenes.