News Stories

Dub Factory

From Pakistani heritage, Parvez grew up listening to reggae and soundsysytems before founding an indie rock back called Unison.Unison were short lived and Parvez returned with his new reggae band Aduwa. In 1994 he built his own home studio and recording under the name Dub Factory. They released the critically acclaimed 12″ The World Nowadays / Poetry in Motion and then the album Voyage into Dub – The First Journey. This was followed by Various Dub Dance Tracks (1996) and Africa / Terror Dome (2009).

Parvez aka Dub Factory would go onto collaborate and tour with numerous artists and Steel Pulse would record their albums Rage and Fury (1997) and African Holocaust (2004) at the Dub Factory.

Parvez

From Pakistani heritage, Parvez grew up listening to reggae and soundsysytems before founding an indie rock back called Unison.Unison were short lived and Parvez returned with his new reggae band Aduwa. In 1994 he built his own home studio and recording under the name Dub Factory. They released the critically acclaimed 12″ The World Nowadays / Poetry in Motion and then the album Voyage into Dub – The First Journey. This was followed by Various Dub Dance Tracks (1996) and Africa / Terror Dome (2009).

Parvez aka Dub Factory would go onto collaborate and tour with numerous artists and Steel Pulse would record their albums Rage and Fury (1997) and African Holocaust (2004) at the Dub Factory.

Wide Boys

The Wide Boys were originally self managed, and then they were managed by Pete King (Fearless Productions) for a while, and went onto do some recording for Simon Cowell (then of EMI I believe) under the name “The Last Detail”.
The band played a mixture of Reggae and Rock, and the driving force was Simon Smith, who wrote most of the songs.

Various people passed through the band during its time, and the band toured the university circuit extensively, did the usual pub gigs in Brum, a couple of gigs down in London (Electric Ballroom and Dingwalls) and appeared on a BBC TV programme, which was recorded in Manchester.
The band released a single on the Big Bear Record Label (Jim Simpson) in 1980 called “Stop That Boy” The B side was “Heart of Stone”.

The band was also included in the EMI album “Bouncing Back – A Birmingham Compilation” (1980) with several other bands including, UB40, Steel Pulse, Fashion, Steve Gibbons Band, and several other bands.
The Album track was called “Forty Million”.

The Wide Boys supported UB40 on several occasions, and both bands were based (at their beginnings) in Trafalgar Road, Moseley. In fact, as the Wide Boys started gigging before UB40, on more than one occasion UB40 were support act to the Wide Boys.
The band members were (in no particular order and probably not exhaustive):
Simon Smith (Lead Vocals, Guitar and Songwriter)
Malcolm Smart (Lead Guitar)
Johnnie Web (Keyboards and Guitar)
Joseph G Jones (support vocals)
Steve Fever (Percussion and Vocals)
Steve Ajoa (Lead Guitar and Vocals)
Tony Keach (Bass)
Brett Ross (Keyboard)
Steve and then Jim (On Drums)

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!

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