From the wonderful Paradise Circus Live, a sketch about the how breeding gets you everywhere: By the early part of the 1900s the Lunar Society had lost its glimmer. The French Revolution and the riots in Birmingham have driven Joseph Priestley to America. The second generation of Lunartics aren’t quite up to scratch and as for the third… Lunar Chairman: So, Mr Galton, you’d like to join the Lunar Society? Francis Galton: Call me Francis, please. Like my father and Grandfather I’m nothing if not humble.

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As Digbeth’s Silicon Canal flows slowly to the self-operated lock of recuperation, Jeyklan Hyde investigates new disruptive businesses and collectives coming out of the edgelands of Brum. From her hub of a boutique flat-roofed pub, she meets Brumtreprenuers taking traditionally working class culture and adding that 5G spin… Birmingham’s social media scene, oh yes, you heard of it about ten years ago, and then nothing happened. Birmingham never made the app that banged its own drum or blew its own trumpet, apart from Dion Dublin’s Digital Dube, so we just stopped paying attention. You might think it’s not worth bothering, that the gig economy here just means UB40 tribute acts earning a bit to top up their dole, but if you actually go there…well, it’s worth it, I mean if you’re there already. “These new shops they have where people do eco shopping by buying muesli from …

Out of the Woods: why Brum’s edgelands are the hottest place for new tech start-ups Read more »

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We normally use this intro to set up the article, to tell you why Danny is writing about what he’s writing about, but this time he raises the curtain on that himself. What we can do is say that even if you don’t find the idea of Birmingham raising its profile in the pornography-making world palatable, it’s a growth content industry and Brum becoming a hub for it is still ten times more likely than Andy Street persuading Channel 4 to do anything but tell him to go fuck himself. Danny’s heart’s in the right place, even if that’s the last time in this article that a body part is correctly situated. Stepped on a snake and slid back down to Birmingham. Tired, grumpy, and trapped in a city I escaped two years ago. The continuing adventures of a man lost in his own city. Hoping that …

Danny Smith: Danny does Digbeth Read more »

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At Paradise Circus we try our hardest to compete for web clicks, and we’ve noticed that glowing reviews of bars in the city centre must go down well considering how many the Evening Mail publish online. What time and when did we send Danny Smith to get all ‘wow Brum’ at a boozer? Erm, we’ll tell you after these messages. Stepped on a snake and slid back down to Birmingham. Tired, grumpy, and trapped in a city I escaped two years ago. The continuing adventures of a man lost in his own city. Hoping that the next leap, is the leap home. There is certain received wisdom in the pub industry, ways of doing things that can’t be deviated from. Edicts not learnt from working behind the bars, on doors, or in cellars every night, but from spreadsheets, focus groups, and uninspired middle management types. These are …

Danny Smith: Shiny cappy people Read more »

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Christmas comes but once a year, apart from for Roy Wood, who must have a terrible time getting his bins collected. Like everyone else in Brum, are we right, we’re here all week. Try the rotting fish in the black bag on the street corner. Anyway, Christmas, web clicks, we asked Danny to riff… Stepped on a snake and slid back down to Birmingham. Tired, grumpy, and trapped in a city I escaped two years ago. The continuing adventures of a man lost in his own city. Hoping that the next leap, is the leap home. Birmingham changes over Christmas. The wolf of capitalism takes a long German shit right in the middle of its chest, and it’s filled with day drinkers, night shoppers, and a huge homeless population seemingly invisible to the other people. For a sensory seeking freakman like me it’s a wonderland of lights, …

Danny Smith: The seven wonders of Birmingham Christmas Read more »

If you haven’t already, listen to this audio recording right now. What do you hear? Some people hear the name of the car race that was held on the streets of Birmingham city centre in the 80s, where as some hear the Mayor of the West Midlands – who has been spending time trying to bring the car race back rather than doing, y’know, anything useful like tackling homelessness in the city – being insulted. If you heard the second answer, you’re technically correct. Apparently it’s all due to your hearing, and gullibility. It’s like that other thing on the internet where some people hear the word ‘laurel’, which you might win for winning a car race, and ‘pranny’, which you might be if you where an elected official and spent your time working on vanity projects rather than sorting out the people who are homeless, or hungry in …

People hear two different things from the same audio clip and the internet is going bananas Read more »

Like Neville Chamberlain before you, you have the opportunity to hold in your hand a piece of paper. And, per page at least, it could have fewer lies on it. Why not buy 101 Things Birmingham gave the World right now? A fantastic Christmas gift. But there wouldn’t be books about Birmingham without the work of the 18th century’s Thomas Warren, who was the first publisher to come from Brum: and let’s face it no-one from anywhere else was going to publish them. From his house over the Swan Tavern on the High Street, he founded a modest book making empire, and eventually a book shop. No records of the shop remain, or of any other independent bookshop in Birmingham at all. Warren edited and published Dr. Samuel ‘Dictionary’ Johnson’s first book – a translation of Jerónimo Lobo’s Voyage to Abyssinia – which was a huge success …

101 Things Birmingham Gave the World No. 81: Books about Birmingham Read more »

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