I asked the people of Birmingham which is the city’s best band & got some great responses

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Birmingham boasts some brilliant bands and musicians - Duran Duran, UB40, Black Sabbath - to name just a few, but which is the best, and is there a definiteive Brumie sound?

Birmingham has always been a hotbed of creativity and as such has produced some of the most iconic musical acts the world has known. I’m out here on the streets of Birmingham to find out from the people here which of the local bands stand out most in their eyes and why.

Many icons in popular music, both new and old, hail from Birmingham. The cultural events surrounding the Commonwealth Games highlighted many of these on the global stage.

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Perhaps a testament to this city’s diversity though is that it’s difficult to pinpoint a defining sound. Liverpool brought us that Merseybeat sound which developed into Britpop, the Madchester scene which despite it’s broadness carries an undeniable sonic thread that screams Manchester, and London bought us many urban styles such as garage and grime - all of which are defining sounds of British music culture as well as their respective cities.

So which Birmingham bands are the best and does the city have it’s own definitive sound?

Maxine says: “So I think the most iconic Birmingham bands, for me, would be Duran Duran and Ub40. And I guess it’s because I grew up in the 80s. They just bring lots of amazing memories. Duran Duran just had such a wide reach to the audience of the 80s. And UB40 was a little bit different to Duran Duran, but still had some really awesome songs like Red Red Wine, so they would be the ones that I think are the most iconic for Birmingham”

Maxine in Birmingham shares her thoughts on the most iconic musical acts from the cityMaxine in Birmingham shares her thoughts on the most iconic musical acts from the city
Maxine in Birmingham shares her thoughts on the most iconic musical acts from the city

Oliver says: “I have to say off the top of my head, I’d say Black Sabbath is probably up there. Just in terms of what I listened to with metal. They pretty much inspired a lot of how songs tend to sound and structure, at least what I listened to, so my guess would be Black Sabbath for the highest impact.

Oliver shares shy he believes Black Sabbath are Birmingham’s most iconic bandOliver shares shy he believes Black Sabbath are Birmingham’s most iconic band
Oliver shares shy he believes Black Sabbath are Birmingham’s most iconic band

Lyle Bignon, Music and NTE consultant says: “The definitive sound at Birmingham, is the sound of many genres, asset has provided a rich and fertile ground for decades of musical experimentation.

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“There’s so many culturally vibrant communities who’ve visited and stayed here and added to the most amazing ecosystem with lots of different sounds and styles.

“And we know that our parents and grandparents likely had a musical tribe of their own. It might have been reggae, punk, soul, classical, but certainly these days, particularly with the advent of digital technology and the way that we consume music, I would say that we are a playlist city.

Lyle Bignon, Music and NTE ConsultantLyle Bignon, Music and NTE Consultant
Lyle Bignon, Music and NTE Consultant

“So we have lots of different influences. And it’s very difficult to say that there’s one overriding sound. I mean, we look at you know, the last 50-60 years where we’ve had Rhythm and Blues, Brum Beat, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, Two-Tone, we’ve had a Hip-Hop scene here since the mid-1980s, which has emerged into Grime.

“We’ve got a great Electronic Music heritage, but I think whereas other cities across the UK may have used their particular scene to market that city as a destination, Birmingham has always kept it pretty cool and it never really singled out any one genre.

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“Until the decision to push Heavy Metal and obviously, the Home of Metal project was massively successful. I feel that there are a lot of other genres that Birmingham contributed to and helped to shape but essentially there isn’t any one sound of Birmingham. We are the sound of many.”

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