News Stories

Phoenix

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Phoenix: formed by Rick Jones of Scarlet Fantastic. Line up Rick, Amanda Porter and Richard Porter via Mike Davies

Rumblefish

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RumbleFish press shot. Via Mike Davies

 

Rumblefish were a UK indie pop group, formed in Birmingham in 1986. After several releases on independent labels they were signed by East West who issued the band’s only album while still together in 1992.

The band was formed in 1986 with a line-up of Jeremy Paige (vocals, guitar), Dominic Crane (guitar, keyboards), Phil Edwards (bass guitar), and Rupert Knowlden (drums). Their first release was the track “Theatre King” on the Pink Label’s Beauty compilation. The band had an Indie hit single with “Tugboat Line” in 1987 followed by releases on Summerhouse Records (“Medicine” in 1988 and “Don’t Leave Me” in 1989). The band signed to Atlantic Records imprint East West Records in 1991, releasing a self-titled album in 1992. A retrospective album of early singles called 1234 The Early Singles was released in 2006. Several tracks were also included on compilations (BeautyIt Sells or it SmellsThe Sound Of Leamington Spa Vol. 6). Members of the band went on to form Low Art Thrill.

Discography

Chart placings shown are from the UK Indie Chart.[3]

Singles

  • “Tug Boat Line” (1987) Pink Label (#34)
  • “Medicine” (1988) Summerhouse
  • “Don’t Leave Me” (1988) Summerhouse
  • “Everything Electrical” (1992) East West America
  • “Mexico” (1992) WEA

Albums

Rumblefish (1992) East West America

  • 1234 – The Early Singles (2006) Summerhouse

 

[info available under CC license]

Big Bear Follies Festival

 

 

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Big Bear Follies, in Birmingham Guild of students Debating Hall, 1968/69.

Delta

The brilliant and much missed Delta. Press/label release. Via Mike Davies.

 

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This Moseley, Birmingham, England-based band remains one of the best kept secrets on the UK independent music scene. Delta was formed in 1993 by James Roberts (b. 4 March 1970, West Bromwich, West Midlands, England; guitar/vocals), Patrick Roberts (b. 1972, West Midlands, England; drums/vocals) and Robert Cooksey (b. 14 November 1969, Solihull, West Midlands, England; guitar), who had previously played together in cult indie band the Sea Urchins. Adding Bird (b. 1972, England; drums) and John Alford (b. 1977, England; bass), they debuted with the 10-inch single ‘Sugared-Up’ on the Che label. Three singles for Dishy Records followed before the band signed to the Acid Jazz Records subsidiary Focus. This move effectively put the band’s career on hold for almost five years, with no material being released. They eventually broke free of the contract, returning to early supporters Dishy. Laughing Mostly, a compilation of EP tracks and demos recorded between 1994 and 1997, finally saw the light of day in 1999. Cooksey was subsequently replaced by keyboard player Louis J. Clark, the son of noted arranger Louis Clark who collaborated with Jeff Lynne on most of ELO’s albums. The band’s debut album proper, Slippin’ Out, was recorded at UB40’s studios and utilised horns and a string section to augment the Roberts brothers’ classic pop songs. The follow-up was originally slated for release on a major label, but the band’s run of bad luck continued when they were dropped following a management reshuffle. Hard Light was eventually released on the band’s own label.

 

[info from: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/delta-mn0000165805/biography ]

Vivarama

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Vivarama press shot. Via Mike Davies.

“‘Updoor’ was shot on Super-VHS and also Super-8 film during early 1996. The shoots took place at The Flapper and Firkin in Central Birmingham, (scene of several Vivarama gigs). The band mimed six times through to the track which was played through the house PA system. The footage was then (very laboriously) edited on a basic two machine S-VHS off-line suite. The video was filmed, directed and produced by the seven band members themselves, Sally-Anne Parker (‘Miss Smartness’ – vocals), Angela Freeman (‘Angie Baby’ – vocals), Jane Brisbourne (drums), Tony Sherrard (‘Shez’ – bass), Richard London (saxophone), Martin De Sey (guitar) and Robin Raymond Dallaway (guitar and chief tunesmith). Vivarama played their last gig just 6 months later at ‘The Flapper’ on 23rd August 1996. One cd single was released in 1995, ‘The Video Mixes’ – featuring ‘Drive-In Country’, ‘Dreamtrain’ and ‘Let’s Talk About Love’

[ read more of this info over at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqytvBTccRQ ]

Imperial Cinema

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516 Moseley Road,

Birmingham, B12

The Imperial Picture Palace was located on Moseley Road at the corner of Clifton Road in the Balsall Heath district south of Birmingham city centre. It opened on 26th January 1914 with the Italian silent film “Satan’s Castle and John Bunny in “The Pirates”. It was designed by architect L.L. Dussault.

In 1927, it was reconstructed to the plans of architect Archibald Hurley Robinson, and the architectural firm Satchwell & Roberts, when the building was extended and a balcony installed. It re-opened on 14th November 1927 as the New Imperial Cinema.

Taken over by the Associated British Cinemas(ABC) chain in October 1936, it was re-named New Imperial Super Cinema. It was closed as a regular cinema on 13th April 1963.

It was taken over by independent operators and re-opened as the Imperial Cinema, screening East Indian ‘Bollywood’ films. This closed on 3rd March 1983.

The Imperial Cinema re-opened again screening regular release films, and was taken over by the Council as a community centre, still screening ocassional films. It has now been demolished, and in the mid-2000’s, the site is an empty plot of land.

[ Info via http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/37360 ]

The Ritz

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The Ritz. York Road, Kings Heath. The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, The Kinks, The Move & everyone else played here!

Death Warmed Up

Clive Hetherington has sent in some photos and details of one of his old bands; Death Warmed Up.

They played places like The Mermaid, Bolton Arms Small Heath, New Inns Moseley as well as quite a bit around the country with some legendary later punk bands (GBH, English Dogs, Broken Bones e.t.c) from 1986  – 1987

Line up was Carlos – vocals, Andy – Bass, Wain – Drums, Rob – Drums, Clive – Guitar

Death Warmed Up  a track `Stand Up Be Judged` on Underground resistance volume 1, Reaction records 1987.

Dum Dum Boys

The Dum Dum Boys first gig was organised by The Socialist Workers Party under the alias “The Rebel Social”. The gig was the first appearance of The Beat, who were first on the bill. Rankin Roger was the drummer with The Dum Dum Boys, but eventually made his musical career with The Beat.

Poster for Dum dum Boys first gig  and Rock Against Racism event via Paul Harris

This poster is from a Rock Against Racism gig at Underworld, which was to the rear of Digbeth Civic Hall. After the gig there was a march to protest at Pollyana’s night club’s racist door policy.

Titus Oates

Titus Oates were a tight 4 piece blues band formed late ’69 thru late ’70 with Pete Chance, guitar, Dave Fear, drums, Ron Braid, vocals and John Hankin, bass. Played all the local venues including the Alhambra and Barbarellas and supported the Kinks and Alan Price at The Belfrey. Mainly blues covers and R & B. Disbanded end of 1970.

Photo of a brick at the new Cavern across the road of the old cavern while they renovated. Put all the names of the bands that played there in the bricks.
Ours was very close to John Lennon

Pete Chance

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