REVIEW: live music from Henry’s Blueshouse relaunches at Snobs

Henry’s Blueshouse relaunched its live music gigs last night at Snobs, Birmingham’s most famous nightclub on Broad Street.

Snobs began life in Paradise Street in 1972 before moving to Smallbrook Queensway a decade ago. It relocated to Broad Street in March this year.

Now legendary city music promoter and Birmingham Jazz Festival founder Jim Simpson has moved his fabled Henry’s Blueshouse back to the venue at 200 Broad Street.

Henry’s was hosted here last year when it was still Velvet Music Rooms, although Snobs has now completely redeveloped the venue. Henry’s will now be playing at Snobs every Tuesday night, with more live music at Birmingham Rocks each Sunday. Watch our mini video of the launch here:

The irrepressible Jim was also out on the pavement last night, asking passersby if they would like to come in to enjoy some free live music.

Jim welcoming music fans to Henry’s.

Henry’s relaunch night starred the stunning guitar, drums and harmonica trio Jimmy Regal and the Royals, who had travelled all the way from South London for the curtain raiser. Jimmy’s playing the harmonica in the main picture above.

Although the venue’s stage lights unfortunately weren’t operating, the show was brilliantly illustrated with a backdrop of photographs taken by Jim S in the 1960s of music legends, including one of Bill Haley and the Comets.

Jim’s picture of Bill Haley and the Comets smiled over the Henry’s audience on Tuesday.

Other featured subjects ranged from Mick Jagger to Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Nina Simone and Little Richard.

Jim Simpson’s picture of The Move was displayed at the launch night.

Jim also displayed his definitive early pictures of future Birmingham legends from The Move (a forerunner of ELO) and The Spencer Davis Group, amongst many others.

The Spencer Davis Group pictured by Jim Simpson in his own car!

In a bold move, Henry’s is set to mix live music with big screen Euros 2024 in the weeks ahead, once the elite international football championship begins in Germany on 14 June.

In between Velvet’s closure and the relaunch at Snob’s, Henry’s had enjoyed a six-month residency at O Bar, further down Broad Street. But did you know that Henry’s was first launched in the late 1960s at The Crown on Station Street?

It was back in 1968 when Jim first put Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward on to the stage, at that point known as Earth. Jim went on to be the band’s first manager when they emerged as Black Sabbath.

But back to the future, Jim said: “It’s great to be back at this address – the people running Snobs, like owner Wayne Tracey, have done a great job getting rid of the central staircase on the ground floor to really open the room out.

“After the warm weekend it’s a shame there was heavy rain and a bitterly cold wind in early June just at the wrong time for people venturing out, but the sound is brilliant and our nights will get better and better.

“We have a fabulous programme lined up for the rest of June and the plan by the owners is for us to have live music on at our end of the room while they show live Euros football at the other – that’s very innovative and it’s going to be quite a mix.

“Hopefully England – and Scotland – can rock themselves all the way to the final with our help!”

Henry’s Blueshouse regular Andy Peet said: “Snobs has done a really good job transforming this venue. It’s great to be back at Henry’s… as well as the free music with a brilliant band, I can’t believe how cheep the beer is, too.”

Henry’s back in its new Snobs home at 200 Broad Street.

That’s because although the music starts at 8pm on Tuesdays, the ‘Happy Hour’ prices last from noon until 9pm Monday to Thursday, with two pints of Hobgoblin, Carling or San Miguel costing £4 each.

A guest book passed around the audience for punters to sign attracted some lovely comments. One fan wrote: “Thanks Jim for keeping the Blues alive and kicking in Brum. You deserve an OBE (Old Blues Legend).” Another, Helen, added: ‘My 70s home was the original Snobs, so this is a bit of a welcome home!’.

Snobs also serves food daily until 8pm and its club nights remain on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – admission from 10.30pm.


Henry’s Blueshouse – Tuesdays
• 11 – Mississippi Macdonald
• 18 – Rich Dickinson’s Driving Force
• 25 – Honeyboy Hickling Blues Band
• Free admission, doors 7pm, live music from 8pm.

Birmingham Rocks – Sundays
• 9 – Jo Baldwin Project
• 16 – Smokin’ Eskimo
• 23 – Jamie Thyer & The Worried Men
• 30 – The Official Deceivers
• Free admission from 6.30pm.

Pictures and video by Graham Young (with his pictures featuring pictures by Jim Simpson!)


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