Musical memories last a lifetime

Posted on Wednesday 5th December 2012

The new Bramall Music Building

To celebrate last month's official opening of the Bramall Music Building, we asked you to share your favourite musical memories from your time at Birmingham.

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories, below is a selection of our favourites. If you would like to contribute your own musical memories or view the whole discussion, please visit the University of Birmingham Alumni and Friends LinkedIn group.

Phil Merrell (BEng Engineering Production and BCom Economics, 1990) was social secretary for Guild Entertainments and remembers booking Blur to play at the Cellar bar: ‘At one point the room was overflowing – officially the fire limit was 220 people, but the estimate was around 350 in the room and many more on the stairs. Beer sales dropped, because it was impossible to get to the bar. No one cared though as they sang some of their best material including future singles like She’s So High and There’s No Other Way.’

Penny Wallington (BA French Studies, 1983) recalls watching many great acts, but her fondest memory was watching a friend perform: ‘My most striking memory was of my friend Pete Coates' recital in the Barber Institute as part of his music finals, obviously a nervous time for him. The grand piano had to be moved to the front of the stage by a couple of stage hands and as they shifted the majestic grand, one of the legs completely gave way and the whole piano crashed to the floor with an incredible sound. After a few moments of stunned silence, a whole bunch of people ran on to try and pick it up, and also to calm Pete, who, ever the professional, managed to perform as if nothing had happened.'

Bob Eastoe (BSc Mechanical Engineering, 1983) recounts his freshers’ experience: 'Freshers '80, I got to the venue with minutes to spare and found that there was plenty of room at the front. Great, we thought as we all piled to the front. Big mistake - it was Slade and the first note nearly knocked us over!'

Thank you to everyone who shared their stories. To view more and to add your own, please visit the University of Birmingham Alumni and Friends LinkedIn group.