BA (Hons) Music Journalism student Filipa Gaspar attended the launch event of the latest addition to Birmingham’s thriving live music and clubbing scene – Dead Wax. Here’s her review of the grand opening.
Digbeth’s newest live music venue launched its first big opening party on the last Thursday of November and it was a complete success!
Amongst the diverse music spaces around this area, Dead Wax brought a different concept and motto into town: Beer, Vinyl and Pizza, which obviously couldn’t leave anyone indifferent.
Dead Wax’s indoor space is beautifully embellished with a sea of lights, making you travel back in time to the 80’s gaming era and decoration. Clearly everyone looked extremely amazed with the place, by the way they contemplate every single angle. As an interviewee told me, ‘It is kinda like The Ruin, but with an acid trip on top!’.
The music played inside the bar comes directly from an in-house library of more than 4000 vinyl records. If you want, you are free to get involved as a DJ and even bring your own records!
Outside, the vibe was completely different – a super tropical environment, with a cute bar called ‘Duck Bar’, which includes awesome and tasty craft beer from both local and outsider breweries. Laine Ripper Session IPA is out of this world, you should definitely try it!
It is important to mention that every staff member was incredibly friendly and lovely with everyone and I felt each one of them were totally proud of the place they were working at.
Whilst people were enjoying the great quality pizzas that Dead Wax offers, there were a few DJ Sets of Cherry Bomb and Carlton Wainwright, warming up the cold night of November.
The crowd was cheerful, and their opinions were all in line, as someone said to me, “I really like it! There is a lot to look at, it is really colourful. I’ve been in here before when it was The Wagon and The Horses, and I like that they kept it very similar to the original layout downstairs. I just went upstairs and it completely blew my mind. The venue is amazing!”.
At around 9pm, psychedelic troupe The Good Water were set to open the venue for the first time. Lead singer Rob Clements said, “I felt quite honoured really! It was really nice. I mean, we were the first band to play through the PA and the equipment, so it was a bit unnerving, but the sound was great! The sound engineer has done our sound quite a few times, so he knows what we do. We really trust him.”
A firm and quality band, soaked in pure rock ‘n’ roll with psychedelic roots, stirred the crowd that at first looked really shy. But, with their catchy chorus’ and electrifying riffs, no one could escape.
The headline slot for the night was saved for high energy quartet Swampmeat Family Band whose gig was full of intensity, mixed with twist-steps from the crowd. As their drummer told me, “Everybody was happy, just wanted to dance, sing and jump around, they were all younger than me, so they know how to have fun (laughs)”.
Their dazzling attitude combined with Surf Rock and Americana it was a truly Rock and Roll show. Swampmeat Family Band were definitely a top choice to end the night on a high note!
For Swampmeat Family Band, playing in Dead Wax for the first time was “An absolute pleasure. I mean, we love playing together anyway (we’re good friends), but to be able to do it here in a new venue and with our friend Ben who’s managing, was great! We will do anything for him anyway. So, to be asked to play here for the first night with The Good Water as well was an honour!’
This night was also a tremendous honour for the ones who were present. Dead Wax achieved what a successful new business venture needs to acquire: trust, quality and freshness.
This pub is full of events of which you can and must attend asap, including Stuart Woolfenden on the 1st of February, Broken Hands on the 14th of February and much more available here.