Today’s adventure in Birmingham Music is the asian fushion beats of Swami who are a critically-acclaimed nationally and internationally for their the Indian pop/alt/bhangra. Though ‘Swami’ traditionally refers to a Hindu teacher, the name is an abbreviation of the English phrase ‘So Who Am I?’. Now some four albums in Swami continue to go from strength to strength are show the diversity of the music coming from the city.
Where to start with the Spencer Davis Group? A brilliant slice of blue eyed soul with a sound akin to the legendary Stax house band Booker T & The MG’s, and just as tight, it is the amazing vocal prowess of Stevie Winwood that still excite. To think this sound, the band and vocals, originated in Birmingham is still extraordinary.
Stevie would go on to help form the supergroup Traffic and is still a relevant and revered artist today, his brother Muff became a well known and powerful music industry executive and members of the Spencer Davis Group are still touring.
The fact that Island Records has named their book celebrating 50 years of business after a Spencer Davis Group track – Keep On Running – says it all.
What is there to say about Misty’s? Grandmaster Gareth keeps coming up with ideas and gets the music out there, a long time involvement with Birmingham and music and a committment to local music means Misty’s have a strong following. Now beginning to get wider audiences and recognition, not that I think they care, Misty’s could be on the verge of that big breakthrough. Certainly their music and humour deserved to be heard by as many people as possible.
This takes me to a 50’s noir film type of place every time I listen to it. Formed in the early 80’s this turned out to be their most popular record – a perfect Sunday afternoon track. Singer Rob Shaw went on to record as Mighty Math. Enjoy!
A lost post punk band from the eighties, this is a band that definitely never got the recognition they deserved like others of the time such as the brilliant Gang of Four.
Great funk driven bass with a charismatic singer, Lesley Woods, they were a major influence on the riot grrl movement. Enjoy
Keeping the tradition of women bands and singer-songwriters alive (more of which later in the month!) that deserve more recognition, come Poppy and the Jezebels.
Young, talented and with a great attitude Poppy and the Jezebels are gaining quite a bit of recognition around the country witnessed by them appearing at the Isle of Wight Festival next week. Following in the tradition of, and influenced by, bands like the Slits, Blondie and Cat Power big things are expected of the band. Enjoy.
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Starting his musical career as a dj at the infamous Rum Runner club, DJ Dick formed Rockers Hi-Fi with BiggaBush in 1992.
Never to break through in terms of sales, Rockers Hi-Fi were much admired, certainly around Europe, where the still retain a strong following.
They became in demand as re-mixers working with acts like Kruder & Dorfmeister and the Thievery Corporation.
Their most well known track was Push Push but we’ve chosen their last ever video for today.
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Known for his role as one of the original members of Duran Duran, Stephen Duffy is a consummate songwriter.
He went on to form The Lilac Time, was probably best know for his ‘Kiss Me’ song under the guise of Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy and eventually wound up writing for Robbie Williams.
This track shows his willingness to take different directions with his music and is taken from the album Lilac Time and remains my favourite Lilac Time song although it remains a mystery as to why it’s called Trumpets From..
This is a perfect summer record. Enjoy and search out his other material.
If anyone would like to write an entry page for The Lilac Time it would be great!