Birmingham boozer Scruffy Murphys shares next steps after 20 years serving rockers
Iconic Birmingham boozer Scruffy Murphys looks to the future after receiving a prestigious gong to mark his 20th birthday.
Scruffy Murphy’s has been a beloved downtown concert venue since 2001, serving Red Hot Chili Peppers, Noddy Holder, and Lemmy of Motörhead.
But it was hit hard during the pandemic, and in December 2020, fans mounted a final, desperate attempt to save the facility that was once dubbed the “House of Rock”.
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Now founder Paul Phillips has said where he hopes the establishment will go next after receiving an award to mark its two decades in business.
The gong was presented to Paul at the Newton Street bar by the building owner, Star Pubs & Bars. The bosses said it was to recognize the contribution the venue has made to Birmingham’s music scene over the past two decades.
Over the years Paul, who previously worked in the automotive industry and had no musical background, invested over £ 300,000 to keep Scruffy Murphys at the top of his game.
The pub also provided performance opportunities for emerging Brummie talent, many of whom have signed musical contracts.
It started life as an unloved Irish bar and was transformed after Paul spotted a gap in the market for a rock venue.
Soon it became a global phenomenon, gaining a reputation and hosting over 5,000 rock and heavy metal bands.
Renowned artists such as Foggy Molly and Acey Slade of Murderdolls, who would normally perform in front of thousands of people, even stopped by to perform in the 130-seat venue on a tour of the UK.
“It has been a difficult 18 months for everyone,” said Paul.
“The hospitality and entertainment were especially hit. The price of the fence was mind-blowing. It was the support and encouragement from our subscribers that got us through, I can’t thank them enough.
“At our lowest point, they’ve even raised over £ 4,000 to help. When we started Birmingham had a lot more places like Scruffy Murphys. Now there are only two of us.
“I never thought I would be here 20 years later. I couldn’t have done it without the support of a fantastic team of staff.
“We are now serving the children and grandchildren of some of my original clients. After going through three blocks, our next goal is to see some new Superstars start their careers here. “
BrumWish 2021 aims to deliver thousands of Christmas gifts to young children in need across our city – the homeless, the vulnerable, children in care and children with little.
This year’s appeal is bigger and better than ever – as we’ve partnered with our # Toys4Birmingham partners including Thrive Together Birmingham, Birmingham Playcare Network, Edgbaston Foundation and Birmingham Forward Steps.
Are also involved Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Barnardo’s, Spurgeon Children’s Charity, The Springfield Project in Sparkhill, St Paul’s Community Development Trust and Your Local Pantry, which operates food centers in 12 locations across Birmingham and the Black Country.
Three days of giving, held at Edgbaston to receive new and nearly new gifts of gifts and books, are now over.
You can buy a gift from #Brumwish Amazon Wish List here.
You can also donate cash, which will go into a fund held by a charitable partner to be used to fill in any gaps or purchase specialized toys for children with additional needs. This is the link to donate.
Jacqueline Frow, Zone Manager of Star Pubs & Bars, added: “It is an honor to present this award. Paul put all his heart and soul into Scruffy Murphys and made it one of the best indie rock pubs and concert halls in the UK.
“It is a true Birmingham institution and adds to all the city has to offer. It was the most difficult time the live music industry has ever seen. It is a tribute to Paul that Scruffy Murphys has to offer. survived and prospered and we wish him many more years at the helm!
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