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Celebrate the Anniversary of The Rolling Stones Birmingham Debut on Sunday 24 September

ABOVE: The Rolling Stones photographed in 1963 shortly before their Birmingham debut at the Ritz Ballroom

Come On down to Fletchers Bar on King's Heath's York Road on Sunday 24 September where Satisfaction is guaranteed as  we celebrate the 54th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones first ever performance in Birmingham at the old Ritz Ballroom.

Formed in London in 1962 by Brian Jones after he met up with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards who had been childhood friends, the Rolling Stones started out as a blues group taking their name from the title of a song by Muddy Waters. For the whole of 1962 they played exclusively in the London area. But all that changed on 7 June 1963 after they released their first single a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On". Just a few months later on 14 September 1963 they played one of their first ever gigs outside London and their first ever in Birmingham at King's Heath's Ritz Ballroom. Joining Brian, Mick and Keith on the tiny stage were Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. The day after they returned to London to play at the Great Pop Prom at the Royal Albert Hall! And when they returned to Birmingham the following year they played the much larger venues of the Hippodrome and the Town Hall. They then went onto become the world's greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world selling over 200 million albums.

From 3 to 6 pm some great local musicians including Get Stoned, Goodall, Mr Apollo 3, Ant's Cover Up, The Mighty Crawdaddys and Harmonica Bob and Oz will perform their interpretations of classic Rolling Stones songs at Fletchers Bar & Eatery directly opposite the burnt down ruins of the old Ritz Ballroom.

Get your tickets now for this hugely popular annual event that usually sells out in advance.




Read Mike Lockley's Sunday Mercury article about our anniversary event and The Rolling Stones 1963 gig at the Ritz by clicking on the link below:-


Local Government Ombudsman to begin investigating complaint over Council Delay in deciding Asset of Community Value nomination

ABOVE: 4 Years ago on 27 March 2014 fire destroyed the former Ideal Picture House, Billiards Hall, Ritz Ballroom and Bingo Hall at 2 York Road

An investigation has now begun by the Local Government Ombudsman into Birmingham City Council's delay in deciding whether or not to list 2 York Road as an Asset Of Community Value.

Kings Heath music lovers have been demanding a change of tune from City Council chiefs for some time because they are refusing to decide the future of the site of a former dance hall where sixties legends including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones made their Birmingham debut and members of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, The Move, The Spencer Davis Group and Slade cut their musical teeth.

Four years ago on 27 March 2013, the building that had been home to the Ritz Ballroom throughout the sixties and early seventies was destroyed by fire.

Campaigners are demanding the land at 2 York Road is listed as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ as an important step in realising the dream of creating a suitable tribute to the venue’s rich musical heritage. The land was originally the site of a cinema and billiards hall before being converted by legendary Irish couple Ma and Pa Regan into a ballroom and then a bingo hall.

The campaign has gathered wide support from local residents and businesses.

Co-organisers Bob Prew and Ken Whittaker said: “We have sent the Council leader legal advice that the Localism Act requires them to list the site. We are very angry and concerned that the council believes they are above the law and can simply ignore the eight-week mandatory time limit for making such decisions. They have now taken over 15 months to not make a decision. It also seems to us that they have no effective complaints policy. There are now growing demands for something to be done about what has become a derelict eyesore in an otherwise increasingly fashionable area and for us to be helped to realise our dream of making the Ritz rise from the ashes as a community resource celebrating its amazing heritage.”

The plans are to build on the site a performance space and a museum that tells the story of the site.

Further fundraising for this ambitious project is taking place on 4th June at the Hare and Hounds next door to the derelict site when John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird’s favourite tribute band The Mersey Beatles perform a special show to jointly commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the release of the Sgt Pepper album and the 54th Anniversary of The Beatles third and final appearance at the Ritz.

Tickets cost £15 cash from the Kitchen Garden Cafe or £15 + booking fee from www.skiddle.com/e/12922152

Bob Prew added “Liverpool earns millions of pounds from musical tourism. Birmingham could do the same if the Council started to promote our musical heritage in the same way. Listing 2 York Road as an Asset of Community Value would make a great start”.

BELOW: One of the 4 murals that tells the history of 2 York Road designed by graffitti artist Hoakser

Out Of The Shadows return to play great Rock'n'Roll music at Fletchers on 7 May

Come to the eagerly awaited return to Fletchers Bar on Sunday 7 May of the award winning Out of The Shadows in fantastic 3-hour rock'n'roll show starting at 3 p.m. And wear your dancing shoes because this multi-talented group have had the audience dancing in every conceivable space on their last two appearances here.

Hailing from Stourbridge, they have regularly been voted Top Club Act by regional club entertainment officers and audience members. They are a great good time rock 'n' roll band. Expect to hear some of the greatest vocal hits from the late 1950's onwards from Eddie Cochran's Summertime Blues through to Dire Straits' Walk Of Life as well as a few of The Shadows' greatest instrumental hits.

If you have not seen them before, don't miss out again as another great Lazy Sunday Afternoon's entertainment is guaranteed.

Advance Tickets cost £4 from Kitchen Garden Cafe or £4.40 from www.wegottickets.com/event/392459

Any remaining tickets will cost £5 on the door.

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