A free Bristow e-book: Concrete and Cocktails

Can you drink in all of Birmingham city centre’s independent hostelries in one day? Yes of course, although it might not be sensible.

An unchained psychogeographic adventure from the editors of Dirty Bristow—Concrete and Cocktails: a journey to Birmingham’s glitter-stained independent heart.

Concrete and Cocktails Cover

Download your free mini-e-book of our trip to the pub, and the pub, and the pub, and the pub…

You can get Amazon to send it direct to your Kindle (or  Kindle app) if you have trouble, don’t want to, or can’t self-load. Unfortunately we can’t do anything about the price bar set it as low as they let you (we promise not to go mad with the 30p royalties).  Go see on the Amazon site.

We’re very happy for you to distribute the files to anyone you like, it’s free, it’s good promo—but we’re happier if you direct them to this site so they can see our other stuff and hopefully buy a magazine or come to an event. Issue two is available to buy right now.

How’s about tweeting about this for us too?


Pier Review

We’re currently writing a full book, but we need your help. Financially mainly. We’re to take on the challenge of visiting every one of England and Wales’s 56 surviving pleasure piers in two weeks.

Piers are the phallic symbols of our desire to own the motherly sea; our Victorian forefathers covered them with the lace dressings of amusement to prevent the working class getting too excited. Since then they’ve rotted slowly, like Britain’s empire and its self respect. Those from Birmingham are perfectly placed to write about an ephemeral British seaside because that’s what the seaside is to them: a ghost, a Vaseline-smeared Shangri-La cobbled together from Carry On films, hazy childhood memories and nostalgia for a bygone era.

Go see all about it at pierreview.co.uk


Cover photo of The Nechells Park, on Nechells Park Road corner with Cuckoo Road in Birmingham, by Elliott Brown.
Concrete… on Kindle


3 birds swooping

Reel big fish

The first music I ever owned was a C90 tape with Ray Parker Jnr’s Ghostbusters and Thriller by Micheal Jackson on—I was a little obsessed with ghosts and monsters at the time. My mom picked up an old Walkman from a jumble sale and I listened to them over and over, each time listening to the whole tape just in case there was something else on there. There never was.

Bristow is many things and exists for reasons other than the vanity of its editors. One of them is exploring a format that while will still survive but has probably seen its seen its glory days as important cultural artifact. One of the funny side effects that the internet has is that it brings together creative types who pick up the old tech that its replaces and allows them to look at it afresh wander ‘what can we use this for?’. Hopefully somebody will do this for the cassette tape: we’re having a bash.

The durable tape was a small robust object that played everywhere, as opposed to the flat delicate record. Where every record was valued, dusted and its notes poured over, a cassette was almost disposable function and ubiquitous but by being so endlessly customisable. If you really tired even of a pre-recorded tape you could always fill up the holes on top and press Play and Record.

The cassette tape took some of the power back from the record companies. It was the first pirate tech where you could share your favourite songs, make mix tapes and not only own the music but take ownership of it. The quality tended to be a bit hit and miss but, hey, it was coming out of two tiny speakers encased in bright orange cushions while you walked down a busy high street. Of course after this came the the compact disc, a once again delicate, flat, unlock-able platform – unless of course you transferred it to tape.

Now the humble tape we’ve attached to the front of our magazine isn’t exactly re-inventing the wheel. It’s more of a homage to the magazines we bought as a kid. But we hope by making some take out their old Walkmans, car stereos or the old clock radio we will spark someone to look again at a the humble tape, a format that shaped our musical tastes, got us through long car journeys with our siblings and sound-tracked our teenage lives.

There are 250 copies thats come with this plastic piece of ultra-short term nostalgia, which features four new and exclusive cover versions on the theme of Beast by Birmingham’s most willing musical acts.

You can go and buy Dirty Bristow Issue Two — Beast here.

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3 birds swooping