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Made in Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra

I’m pleased to announce that Made in Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra is now available to watch online. Directed by Deborah Aston, herself a punk from the days of The Mermaid, Barrel Organ and Powerhouse, and made by swish films for the Birmingham Music Archive, Made in Birmingham tells the story of the evolution of the three genres of Reggae, Punk and Bhangra in the city over a period of about 20 years; mid 70s to mid 90s.

In making the film we wanted to show how musicians and audiences from the three music genres interacted and cross-pollinated in shared spaces and places in making and consuming music in the city and how the music that was made reflected the social and cultural politics of the communities of Birmingham and of the time in Britain’s second biggest city.

Uncovering and repurposing old and rarely seen archive footage of bands like UB40, Steel Pulse, The Au Pairs, Musical Youth, Beshara, The Killjoys, Spizz Energi, Swami, Fuzzbox, Apna Sangeeta and others, are interspersed with interviews with those who were there at the time –  UB40’s Brian Travers, Paul Foad and Pete Hammond from the Au Pairs, Musical Youth’s Dennis Seaton, Steel Pulse’s Amlak Tafari and David Hines, The Beat’s Ranking Roger and dozens of others.

We had a great time making it, hope you enjoy watching it!

Made In Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra

Screen Grab of Made In Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra

Birmingham has a long established reputation as a multicultural city. From the beginning of the Industrial Revolution the city has attracted large numbers of immigrants; from English rural communities to large numbers of Irish, Afro-Caribbean and Asians. This has undeniably impacted on the music that has originated from the city. Folk, Reggae and Bhangra/Asian Fusion are all examples of scenes that became prominent forms of expression for those communities.

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