A Letter From… Birmingham #4

The latest Brum news...

Dear Clash Music Readership,

It’s Birmingham here, or at least, a boy from Birmingham with his head buried in what’s poppin’ in the big B.

Birmingham is now known as B-town. This is something we all are adjusting to here in Birmingham, I mean B-Town. Swim Deep coined the term, being the trend-setters that they are. Speaking of the Swim Deep boys; they, like Birmingham’s reputation for music, have gone from strength to strength. They are experiencing what is now known as ‘doing a Peace’.

Peace being Birmingham’s ballsy break-through band, have signed to Columbia. No biggie. To shout about it, they convinced the label to put up a massive billboard in Digbeth with their handsome faces alongside the statement: WHAT THE FCK BIRMINGHAM. Of course, the U had to be taken out as to not offend those who like to write into newspapers to express their rage over things like young people sitting at the back of buses.

Black Market Empire come from a different spectrum of Birmingham’s love affair with the six string to Peace and Swim Deep but they are set to be swept up in the frenzy surrounding B-Town pretty soon. With their new manager Maz, they are ploughing ahead, winning hearts and minds with their throw-back sound to the anthemic and romantic days of 60s rock’n’roll. They released their double A-Side single ‘Vultures’ / ‘Scared Of You & I’ last Monday (a double A-Side is always a sign of self-confidence and good quality tunes). They told the world about it at the Adam And Eve pub with a launch party complete with support from leather-jacketed lads The Bombergs.

The Bombergs are still at it. They released single ‘Soft’ through Speech Thewapy records as a free download. It’s give give give without any take when it comes to The Bombergs. They seem to play gigs all the time; it’s as if their life is one big gig. It’s cool.

Another band to keep your eyes open for is Wide Eyed. Ex-Corelli guitarist Tommy Greaves has got together a new gang of guitar-wieldin’, shoe-gazin’, pedal-stoppin’ dudes who have crafted a sound of their own: both familiar and strange. Soothing murmurs are juxtaposed with tinnitus-inducing guitar squall. With psychedelic influences and pop ambition, they can’t go wrong. They have appeared as a very loud blip on the radar of Brum Notes magazine and will soon be playing a show alongside Jaws at the O2 Academy in B-town curated by the mag on the 18th August. Be there or loose hair. That’s not a threat; I just think the disappointment you’ll endure if you miss it might make your hair fall out.

While we are on the subject of B-Town’s favourite new day-dreamers: Jaws, there’s another date to be scribbled down in one’s diary. They play One Beat Sunday, kicking off for one day and one day only at the Mac in B-Town. They will be sharing the same stage as The Carpels, Swim Deep, The Jacarandas and a whole host of youthful new talent. One Beat Sunday aims to challenge the idea of having a quite Sunday putting your feet up. They aim to bring you bands that want to make you put your feet down on the dance floor.

P.S A brand spanking new club night called UGH is kicking off at The Rainbow on Friday the 13th July. So if you aren’t one of these superstitious people who don’t even leave the house in case of sudden bad luck then get on down and boogie to Mafia Lights, Mowbird and Moscow Youth Cult. Lots of bands beginning with M to go ‘Mmmm!’ at. Oh, and Pete Doherty’s producer Adem Hilmi is DJing. No biggie, it’s just a regular day at the office for B-Town.

Tweet me about what you love about Birmingham: @SecretAdmirer60

Words by Jack Parker

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