Is this really happening? A lockdown meme has come to life on the streets of Birmingham. No doubt you’ve seen this image before. A simple photo of four lads in very tight trousers having a good time together outside All Bar One. It became a viral sensation in 2020 for its portrayal of stereotypical British lads and gripped the Internet’s attention. We blame the hold lockdown brain had on everyone at the time.
According to Know Your Meme, one of the earliest memes was uploaded by Twitter user BoxeoDeBlog on May 19 2020 who tweeted, “AJ batters Muhammad Ali …” alongside the photo. People repeatedly reshared the image across social media, adding their own takes on the conversation between the boys – named Alex, Jamie, Kevin and Connor.
The meme hit even higher heights when it clashed with a sea shanty sensation also taking over TikTok (yeah we told you it was a weird time) with one clever user deepfaking the lads to sing along. Now these Birmingham and Coventry legends are being commemorated with a statue by the barmy Brummie artist, Tat Vision.
Tat Vision’s style can only be described as chaotic. Using supplies mainly found in charity shops, he makes trippy and odd art that combines papier-mâché, felt tips, pencils, plasticine, video and more. He has made this statue using “mannequins, papier-mâché and very tight jeans” and it will stand outside All Bar One near New Street Station.
The original photo was taken in the very same spot. And the statue will appear on Saturday (August 27) as part of Birmingham Weekender Festival. Over 100 free events at Bullring and Grand Central will be available at the festival. This includes Brum’s Big Splash – a 60-metre long slip ‘n’ slide installed on Central Street.
What exactly will happen to the statue after the festival remains to be seen, but Tam Vision hopes it can stay forever. “I’m making a tribute to those mighty fellas,” he said. “Just like Greek statues of old.” We think the rain might have a thing or two say about that, however.