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Barbarella’s is one of Birminghams legendary venues. It stood on the site of what is now the RBS Bank in BrindleyPlace. If memory serves me right, the address was 37 Cumbernauld St.

Part of the Fewtrell family chain of venues in Birmingham, it was initially a disco type venue that quickly turned into a live rock venue hosting bands such as AC/DC and Queen. It’s legendary status however came with the onslaught of Punk in 75/76. Tales are numerous of the small but noticeable punk crowd who would turn up at Barbarella’s to see The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshee’s, The ramones, The Buzzcocks and local punks, The Killjoys, Suburban Punks and The Prefects, Sussed, Dansette Damage and others who would play as support. In between acts, the punks would pass over their own reggae records for Kevin the DJ to play. Like Punk, Barbarella’s was a fairly short term venue (although Dire Straights did record a live album there on the 4th July 1978 titled Birmingham at Barbarellas).

As with other venues, I’d love to get more memories, gig listings, photos and so on, but to kick us off, here is a mega rare photo of the Sex Pistols playing Barbarellas accompanied by a live recording on from the gig on 14th August 1976 of Flowers of Romance and I Wanna Be Me, sent in by Andy Marshall from the Sex Pistol Archives¬†

This is some incredible audio, of the Pistols in Brum. Were you there?

Just two weeks before the Pistols played Barbarellas, on the 31st July 1976, one of the all time greats of the heavy rock scene played here, the mighty AC/DC. What an amazing couple of gigs in the space of two weeks and so different! Where you there?

This is a rare recording of Rock N’ Roll Singer, made even rarer for being recorded live in Barbarellas in Birmingham! Enjoy.

Barbarella’s Rock Christmas Party



Howard Devoto, 1979

Howard Devoto - Barbarellas 1979

Substitute – Sex Pistols at Bogarts

So Paul Apperley, of the local punk legends The Prefects was at the Sex Pistols gigs and has sent us in these photographs of the Pistols on stage. These are, I think, the first time these photos have been publicly shown. These compliment the audio recording below, and capture the energy of the band and the completely different look. Bogarts was a predominately biker and rock club so to be confronted with the Sex Pistols, must have been, shall we say, interesting. I love the bloke sitting on what looks like the PA, and in the second photo, you can just make out part of the Bogarts sign.

As ever, I’d love to hear your memories of this gig. Where you there the night the Sex Pistols played at Bogarts?

Andy Marshall over at the Sex Pistols Archive¬†has just posted another recording from the Sex Pistols gig at Bogarts on 20 October 1976. This is a legendary gig in the history of Birmingham music as it was one of only two gigs the Pistols played in Brum (the other one was at Barbarella’s on 14 August ’76).

We are still after pictures, videos and memories of the gig, so if you were then then please tell us!

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