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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Costers; last chance to see

I’m sitting in Costermongers-the pub that’s underneath Priory Square, nursing a diminishing hangover and my second beer, if you have never been here Costers is one of the last “alternative” bars in Birmingham and by “alternative” I mean alternative to the other bars in Birmingham where the music is bland an inaudible and the patrons wear something other than black, a place with, you know, character. Costers is an underground bar in the musical sense and also the very physical sense, it’s a windowless barhole painted black.

Ten years ago there were six or so places like this an angry young man could go to be young and angry but now two and before long there won’t be any, they’ll be replaced by minimal gastro pubs, bland artifice not designed to appeal just designed not to repel. Already the black décor is being painted over with a colour that comes in a tin called “Coffeehouse Bland” and the antique torn posters have been torn completely. Its even been given a non-smokers area! I’m not entirely sure that’s supposed to work in what is, basically, a concrete bunker.

Although saddened I’m not entirely surprised by the decline of this sort of bar, its partly due to the tightening of the drink laws. I started coming here (or places just like it) when I was an earnest sixteen year old and even then I was a late starter. Nailing your colour's to the mast and flying your freak flag is a young person’s game, so pubs based around one type of music or attitude will obviously be more popular with the young and sincere.

Mostly Rock pits like Costers are doomed because the narrow market. The weird and wired make it very clear that if you dont belong, you’re not welcome. This makes for a very loyal clientele, but also a very restricted one and in a culture of increased homogenisation, where kids don’t claim allegiance to any particular style or attitude because there exposed to a bland mixture of them all, one that won’t be replaced.

So come to Costers while you still can, you probley wont like the music, the seats aren't comfortable and unless your body has been modified in a interesting way, you wont be welcomed. But at least it will be decorated like every bloody Wetherspoons you’ve ever been to.

2 Comments:

Blogger Idi Sealey ranted..

You never took me to 'Costers' !!
Easy dude, how has your week been? I have had a cold, because I'm a bloke though i call it Meningitus. I quit my new job after two days, it was cold calling! Shite. U up 4 doin somthing next week? Maybe we could go and put the world to rights over a pint of blood, or somthing?

11:04 AM  
Blogger Idi Sealey ranted..

PS i've changed my page to http://eatcrisps.blogspot.com
its not rhymekak any more.
Speak 2u later, go and read some of my shit, ive put on about 20 rhymes since u last saw it.

11:07 AM  

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