Our city

Top Tips – by English student Sarah Holmes

Birmingham can cater for all music tastes. Urban Coffee Company in Church Street puts on monthly open mic nights, Live Music Friday, where they stay open late and serve coffee and tea as well as alcoholic beverages.

Famous names that have played at the Genting Arena (formerly LG Arena) and the Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA Birmingham) include Little Mix, Robbie Williams, Dolly Parton, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga.

The O2 Academy and The Institute also have regular gigs and club nights. If pop isn't your thing, Birmingham is the only city outside the capital to have a world-class symphony orchestra, and the Symphony Hall puts on regular shows.

There's a host of great live music destinations to be found across the city – from sticky-floored pubs and intimate jazz bars to the famous O2 Academy and Jools Holland's Jam House.

Major rock bands and artists play regularly at the Genting Arena (formerly LG Arena), which is about 10 miles from the city, and the Barclaycard Arena (formerly the NIA Birmingham) in the city centre. For smaller gigs from local and indie bands, try Wulfrun Hall in nearby Wolverhampton. Local pubs also double up as venues for a range of music from traditional Irish to heavy rock.

Classical music finds a home at the Symphony Hall, an internationally acclaimed concert venue which is part of the International Convention Centre complex and home to the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Our own Conservatoire also has an excellent concert venue in the Adrian Boult Hall, where both student and professional orchestras regularly perform. Birmingham is also the home of the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, one of Europe's leading ensembles, which runs composition workshops and masterclasses at the Conservatoire.

Music journalism experience for Birmingham students

An online music magazine is offering Birmingham students the opportunity to gain professional freelance music journalism experience.

Electric Banana is a music news, reviews, gig and entertainment guide for the entire Midlands region. The website is currently looking for writers to contribute album reviews and also preview write-ups and reviews of the latest gigs in Birmingham.

The opportunity is a platform for students to build up their curriculum vitae on a large entertainment and arts website.

If you'd like to be considered as a contributor, please email a 150 word album review of your choice to Andrew Parker.

For more info visit Electric Banana's website