Rotunda Industries- Birmingham Creatives 1, Adam Regan, The Hare & Hounds
Adam is wearing our Hip Hop t-shirt
What would Birmingham be without its inhabitants?! It's our people that make our city truly special, so why not get to know a few of our Brummie compatriots a bit better?
Our first interviewee is Adam Regan: renowned DJ, producer, promoter and venue owner.
What are your earliest memories of Birmingham?
I was born in Birmingham at the QE, but until I was four years old we lived in Halesowen. My parents were from Bordesley Green, so my father used to drop my mother & brother off at my nan's and I would go with my dad to St Andrews.
Where did you hang out?
I grew up in Harborne and hung out there. My mom worked at the university and we knocked about the campus quite a bit, which was great, using the sports centre, etc! When I started going "out out" we'd moved to Selly Park, and Moseley was the place for first drinks. The Traf (Now the Patrick Kavanagh), The Jug and the Fighting Cocks, they were very different places then. Moseley was very different! It was a bit crusty, a bit student-y, a bit bohemian. It certainly wasn't the moneyed place it is now.
Your bus route?
The 11. I used to get the 11 from Harborne to Kings Heath because I went to King Edwards Camp Hill School. The outer circle.
What was the first record you bought, and where from?
Adam and the Ants, Ant Music, bought from the Woolworths in Kings Heath!
Do you still have it?
Yes, I love it! I was obsessed with Adam, I tried to look like him, but managed the stripe and that was probably about it!
A future fancy dress outfit?!
What are your three most memorable gigs in the city?
UB40 at St Andrews, obviously being a Blues fan and a big UB40 fan. On the bill was The Pogues, Robert Palmer and Ranking Roger!
What I really loved was Burt Bacharach in Moseley Park- a really nice sing-a-long kind of gig.
And finally Charles Bradley at the Hare & Hounds.
What's your favourite past or present club?
Snobs had a night that Dick ran called 'Breathless'. It was a house night with him, Lee Fisher and Neil Macey as residents. I wasn't a massive fan of house when it first came out, but by '91 I was really into it. An amazing club!
Who are your favourite bands and artists from Birmingham?
UB40 would definitely be up there. Also Rockers Hi-Fi for the connection with DJ Dick. And probably Steel Pulse & Troumaca!
Did you ever fall out of a club and visit Mr Egg?!
Many, many, many times! I used to DJ at 52 Degrees North, which was on the corner of The Arcadian, and we regularly used to come out and have a "full house" for about £1.99!
Where would you go out for a nice meal in Birmingham these days?
There's loads of places. I always love Eat Vietnam, I think Ming has done incredible things there. I love The Plough if you want to go out with the family, it's a really well run pub and a nice environment. For a posh meal, Carters of Moseley.
What's your favourite Birmingham park?
Highbury Park, without a shadow of a doubt! I love it, it's my spiritual home. During the pandemic I visited every day, walking around in the lockdown with a friend, my mom or my partner Alex. It became a ritual.
Have you learned to appreciate nature since Covid?
I've always been a fan of nature but have definitely learned to appreciate it more. I go to North Wales quite a lot, my parents have had a bungalow on the beach near Caernarfon since I was a kid. I love the wild landscape. I also love the other local parks, Kings Heath, Moseley and The Bog! There are loads of places to go around here. And Cannon Hill once you go off onto the Smuggler's route, the little path by the allotments. It's amazing! But Highbury Park with the parakeets- my mom is obsessed with them!
What are three local businesses that you would recommend?
Polar Bear Records on York Road in Kings Heath- we all need music in our lives!
The Spice Merchant, on Poplar Rd.. The food is great but also Abid is the 'King of the Heath'! He's the best host, there's no one like him.
Black Market Barbers, also on York Road(!) They're good lads and they're my mates.
Can you recommend any future artists that we should look out for?
There is an artist at the moment who I am absolutely obsessed with, called Lady Blackbird. I can't stop playing her album. She has a hint of Billie Holiday, Nina Simone and Back to Black era Amy Winehouse. She's an incredible singer, a tortured jazz/soul kind of voice. The album is called Black Acid Soul.
That's the thing about lockdown, I got deeper into listening to loads of music, listening to albums. Myself and Matt Beck have put together a playlist called Vibrations, and it's just music to walk around Highbury Park to. (The playlist is available here.)
Finally, your favourite colour?
Blue, of course!