The Tin Can was situated above the Sunset Strip Club in Bradford St, Digbeth. It was primarily an ‘alternative’ venue which played host to band like Southern Death Cult and Death Cult, Play Dead, Alien Sex Fiend,Shakin Pyramids, Roman Holiday, X Mal Deutschland, Balaam & The Angel, Theatre of Hate Zerra One, The March Violets but also bands like China Crisis, The Meltdown Experiment, New Model Army, Billy Bragg, Ellory Bop, The Meteors and most notably R.E.M. played there.

It became notorious though when a fan of Play Dead fell through the sky lights to his death. There had been a lot of trouble with skinheads in Birmingham at that time and fights erupted with Play Dead repeatedly leaving the stage. Details are sketchy but the fan fell through the roof and was found by guards. Play Dead smuggled some of their fans out in their van to avoid the marauding skinheads and never played Birmingham again.

This footage is taken from the Tin Can Club of Alien Sex Fiend in 1983 playing:

I’m Not Mad

I Am A Product

R.I.P.

Wish I Woz a Dog

Chris Cockel sent in this about seeing John Foxxx at was known as the Tin Can but was above the Sunset Strip Club.

One of the most memorable gigs I went to was to see John Foxx at the Sunset Strip Club in Bradford Street. It must have been in about 1985. He arrived about 2 hours late and then only played a few songs, but it was a classic.
Also, The Smiths at the Tower Ballroom, supported by James and the Red Guitars in 1984. I probably still have ticket stubs at my parents’ house in Moseley.
Rather bizarrely, my former scout master was in a band called the House Ghosts. They practiced in a flat cum studio in the Stratford Road opposite the old Sparkhill Swimming Pool. And gigged at the old Mermaid pub on the Stratford Rd, supporting the Membranes in about 1982/3. I remember it being a rather scary gig.