Planning to fail or…

Well Lane Car Park

Or How I travelled to the Dirty Bristow Summer Fête and never quite arrived.

i should add in my defense of the following, much of the past week has either been spent either being at, or traveling to or from Hospitals. Or else trying to de virus and eventually wipe my laptop, Oh yeah, while still trying to stay on top of a 9 to 5 job. In short I have become accustomed to running around like a headless chicken on not enough sleep, food nor alcohol…

So I set out for the Dirty Bristow Summer Fête safe in the assumption I knew where it was, in my head it was the same place we saw Suspira at the opening of last years Supersonic festival, this turned out to be, well, wrong.

Things started quite badly when the bus driver of my local First Midlands bus service decided not to stop to pick up any passengers at my stop, this does seems to happen occasionally, the last time it did we were left stranded in Selly Oak but at least there was a pub next to us to kill some time in. Anyway, consulting the timetable it seems that thanks to the non stopping First Midland bus, in combination with their customer friendly timetable, I now had just over an hour to wait until the next one. Incensed by this, the fact the git hadn’t stopped and the fact I hoped to be home early-ish I decided to forsake alcohol and drive. What I should have done is gone home, looked up where the venue was and put my feet up for half an hour but thats hindsight for you.

All went well on the drive in, seems they’ve even resurfaced the dodgy road through Longbridge at long last. I got into Birmingham, parked up and set off towards where I thought ‘the Edge’ was. It took me a missed road to find the place and when I did it turned out that what I had in my head as the Edge was in fact Vivid. I’m not sure why I was sure this was the Edge, tumblers had dropped in place when I saw the name and even looking at the map I recognised a few landmarks and thought, yep, thats the place.

At this point I realised that I didn’t even know what street the Edge was on, but I figured if I went up and down the vague grid system of Digbeth I’d come to it eventually. I was supposedly a few minutes from the city centre and from its name I’d guess it would be on the outer fringes. After about an hour I’d certainly arrived at various Edges of the city however no luck on the venue finding front. At one point I saw a couple of people outside somewhere taking artistic style photos ‘aha!’ I thought but no, it transpired that they we’re just taking photos of the graffiti and posters on display. I realised after a while I was quite enjoying my little jaunt around Digbeth and, it having been such a manic week, a little peace and quiet and some walking was quite therapeutic.

As the sun began to set however I started to have doubts that I would ever find the place. Expanding my search to the other side of the High Street a little, though I was sure from past experience that this side was even more industrial and empty than the other. I walked down Warwick Street and then back over for one more sweep of Digbeth nearer the town, There was a band on at the Waggon and Horses who sounded rather good, if I’d not been driving I might have called it a day and gone in for a couple of pints and some noisy music, as it was I wandered onward. A couple of streets on I saw what I thought might just be the Mayor of Dirty Bristows car, however this was not a help, I even started following likely hip looking punters towards places in the hope someone would lead me there, you know you have little hope when this happens. A brief bit of guitar based indie noise on a an empty street bought a comfortable image of standing in a warm small space, beer in one hand, watching a band, was this it? no, turned out to be a recording studio.

Albert Street Development

As darkness fell I found I’d taken an increasing desperate circuitous route and ended up coming back into the town via Millennium Point and Curzon Street Station. By this stage my enjoyment in walking was on the wain, did I mention I needed the loo earlier? well I did, in fact I had ventured into the new Coach Station, nice as it is in there, they now want 30p for you to have a pee, thats ten pence over the odds, even the famous talking toilets of Much Wentlock are not that expensive. So…

While walking round the only things I could think of to help my situation were to find a computer with internet access [my phone is an antique and doesn’t ‘do’ the internet or else to ask someone, I had no luck in the first and a couple of blank looks in the second.
It probably shows how badly my brain has been working that it didn’t occur to me to phone up someone with a computer and get them to look it up for me.

So I took myself and my home grown tomato back home, I’m not sure how much beer two hours walking takes up but when I got back and offloaded the car I did my best to equal things out.

It looks like the launch was a whole lot of, slightly unusual, fun. I’m gutted I missed it but theres no one to blame but myself for that. I did enjoy my walk around though and hope the magazine breaks even or then some, then maybe there can be an issue 2 launch night at some future point.

If you’d like to make that possible, why not get yourself over to and buy yourself a copy, its only 4 quid and its sure to be great given some of the very talented people involved.