Birmingham, not only birthplace of once entirely new music genres as Heavy Metal or New Romantic, but also home for globally renowned bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, or Duran Duran. Step into Brum’s vibrant live music scene.
With a history dating back well over half a century, The Diskery is really worth a visit if you are a music enthusiast. CDs, DVDs, or vinyl - they even have cassetes to offer. You’ll mostly find older stuff including Classical, Swing, and Jazz but that gives the store its unique atmosphere. The staff is really competent and sometimes you are even offered a cup of tea when chatting with them about music and artists. Don’t forget to check the back part of the store, it’s a haven for music lovers.Read More
This tour will lead you to the northern part of Birmingham. Learn about the industrial environment the members of Black Sabbath grew up in. That’s where Heavy Metal was born. Take a step back in history at Aston Hall before heading to the home of Aston Villa Football Club.Read More
The Broad Street Walk of Stars is a walk of fame-like installation on Broad Street’s pedestrian pavement. It honours people from Birmingham or with significant connections with the city who have made significant contributions in terms of music, television, film, radio, theatre, sport, business, and literacy. Among them of course Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi. Why not take a picture of you with your favourite star?
To your right hand side, you’ll see the Hyatt Regency. It has been erected where once the Rum Runner was a night club on Birmingham’s Broad Street. Opened in 1964, finally demolished in 1987. Regular late night clientele were Black Sabbath. In 1971, Osbourne met his first wife Thelma at the Rum Runners, as she was working there. Other famous employees were members of the band Duran Duran. Before they broke big worldwide, they were working the door, bar-tending or covering DJ shifts at the club. John Taylor and Nick Rhodes formed the band in 1978 in Birmingham and later even became the resident band at the Rum Runner as the club nurtured Birmingham's very brief New Romantic movement. Watch the 1981 song Planet Earth in its Rum Runner version here to catch a glimpse into the former venue.
Take a stroll through the inner city of Birmingham. Linger in authentic record stores. Take your tourist pictures stopping at important sightseeing spots such as Birmingham Cathedral. Visit historical places of legendary former venues. End with a unique shopping experience at Bullring & Grand Central.Read More
The album front and back cover for Led Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album which is generally referred to as Led Zeppelin IV shows a painting hanging on a wall on a partially demolished house with a high-rise apartment building looming in the background as you can see here. The actual location of this place is Salisbury Tower in the Ladywood district of Birmingham. Try to catch the exact location of the place with the known view.
Led Zeppelin IV was released on 8 November 1971 and was a legendary bestseller.
subTOURING isn’t about mainstream sightseeing. It is travelling inspired by music. A hand-picked guide from passionate music lovers for enthusiasts of Rock, Indie, Metal, and Punk tunes. Offering a unique music travel experience in Birmingham.
Get your authentic music experience in and around Birmingham.EXPLORE THE MUSIC MAPS
Up for a weekend trip with concert in Birmingham? Check out the venue city guides focussing on before and after the concert. Get our best tips for accommodation and day activities including record stores as well as bars and restaurants.
Get the most music out of your trip. Hit the road. Follow your band.GET YOUR GUIDE
Sightseeing inspired by music
In Birmingham, follow the traces of Punk, Heavy Metal, and the New Romantic Movement. Find out how the city’s industrial history laid foundation for completely new music genres. Enjoy unforgettable nights in one of the numerous live music venues. And be thrilled by Aston Villa’s ardent fanbase.
Explore hidden music gems when on tour. Discover music stories beyond the common sightseeing spots. Where history of Rock is revealed and brought to life again.
This tour will lead you to the northern part of Birmingham. Learn about the industrial environment the members of Black Sabbath grew up in. That’s where Heavy Metal was born. Take a step back in history at Aston Hall before heading to the home of Aston Villa Football Club.EXPLORE
Take a stroll through the inner city of Birmingham. Linger in authentic record stores. Take your tourist pictures stopping at important sightseeing spots such as Birmingham Cathedral. Visit historical places of legendary former venues. End with a unique shopping experience at Bullring & Grand Central.EXPLORE
Get your authentic music experience
Birmingham is one of the major cities in the UK when it comes to huge concerts as well as intimate venues. The pulsing live music scene attracts not only world-class stars, but also creates an atmosphere for supporting local newcomers. The city in the Midlands is heavily influenced by its industrial heritage.
Check out the venue and festival guide below to get our best tips for accomodation, day activities as well as bars and restaurants before and after the gig.
Get your authentic music experience in and around Birmingham with subTOURING.
Use the map to discover the venues in Birmingham with surrounding places to enjoy before and after the gig.
Music, especially Rock and Heavy Metal, is and always has been crucial to Birmingham.
To see world-class performers, head to Arena Birmingham. For more intimate evenings, The Actress & Bishop offers small but yet incomparable live acts. If you’re up for a giant outdoor Rock festival, why not spend one weekend in early summer at Download Festival nearby.
For more live music experiences, explore our full list of venues and festivals.
British Extreme Metal at its best
Birmingham’s New Romantic movement
Birmingham founders of Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal from West Bromwich
Mixing Rock influences from Birmingham & London
Dark Indie Rock since 2002
70s Punk from Brum
Where music influences mingled to form new genres
Birmingham aka Brum is the birthplace of once entirely new musical genres such as Heavy Metal and New Romantic and home for world-famous bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Duran Duran, or Led Zeppelin. Boasting with huge gig venues and intimate basement bars, if offers a vibrant live music scene, hosting global acts as well as supporting local bands.
The city’s culture of popular music first time evolved in the mid-50s, and by the early 1960s Birmingham's music scene had developed into one of the largest and most bustling in the UK. The following years will define the city’s characteristic in terms of music: the refusal of its musicians to conform to one single genre. This diversity and culture of experimentation has made Brum a fertile ground of new musical styles, of which many have gained global influence. Led Zeppelin formed in 1968, marking an significant mixture of the musical influences of the two cities London and Birmingham. Heavy Metal was born in the Midlands city in the early 70s by combining the melodic pop of Liverpool, the high volume guitar-based blues sound of London with compositional techniques from Birmingham's own Jazz heritage. Society’s industrial basis has also played a significant role as early Heavy Metal artists such as Black Sabbath described the mechanical monotony of industrial everyday life, the desolation of the post-war urban environment, and the hammering sound of factory machinery as influences on their tunes. These were the days when Brum’s famous night clubs provided a breeding ground for Metal and Punk by hosting local bands like The Killjoys. Ran from 1968 to 1971, Mothers in Erdington was the ultimate hippie venue in town.
As the 1980s arrived, the New Romantic movement with supergroup Duran Duran was born. Napalm Death with their Grindcore style evolved from fusing the influences of Extreme Metal and Hardcore Punk. On 2 May 1980, Joy Division took stage at Birmingham University's High Hall for what would be their final concert. The post-punk band rushed through 11 songs in about 45 minutes. Highlight of the evening was the debut of their brand-new song Ceremony. This would be the only time Joy Division ever performed the track live. Listen to a live recording here. Frontman Ian Curtis had to be helped off the stage during the second-to-last song and sadly, about two weeks after the gig, on 18 May, he took his own life.
In the new millennium, The Editors took stage: a Dark Indie Rock band, having formed in Birmingham in 2002. Nowadays, centuries after Black Sabbath was released, Birmingham is still not a pretty place at all. On first glance, it may be one of the gloomiest and most desolate places you have seen. But let’s give it a chance - immerse into its live music scene and night life, chat to some Brummies - and in the end, you will love Brum.
Also check out Birmingham Music Archive for interesting stories and facts regarding the music history of the city.