Rock and Roll in an Indie Coat?

Rock n roll in an indie coat - is Birmingham the new home of rock?

Flash back to 00’s Britpop and Oasis solidified Manchester as the home of Rock along with artists such as The Stones Roses and Everything Everything. Fast forward to present day, 2017. Everything is streamed, gig tickets are extortionate prices and you can’t go to a gig without some knobhead trying to start a fight with someone. No sense of community, or so I’m told.

Full disclosure, 95% of the shows I’ve been and go to are all in Birmingham as it’s my nearest city so I do have some bias here. However, it all seems different in Birmingham. Don’t let the accent fool you, Birmingham has the potential to be the new home of modern indie rock.

Superfood at Mama Roux's, Digbeth
Going back to my earlier comment of community, a recent response to Flying Vinyl on Twitter perfectly embodies the strength of community in Birmingham. Following recent news that the Rainbow Venues had their license repealed. Craig Evans, of Flying Vinyl, hit out on Twitter. To which he had an incredible response from Birmingham artists such as Sugarthief; Spilt Milk Society; and Social State;  

I feel this exemplifies the true nature of Birmingham’s gig scene and what it has to offer. It would also make an excellent show if I do say so myself.

So, what else does Birmingham have to offer? Not only does it have the O2 academy, which comes with the O2 academy3 – a venue suited for upcoming artists who can be supported through the Catapult Club. It has the O2 Institute with three different rooms of different sizes that offer all sorts of bands and artists of different sizes to perform. Although the real magic happens in the much smaller venues such as The Sunflower Lounge, Mama Roux’s and The Rainbow Rooms (RIP). It’s here you really feel the intimacy of the crowd, the connection between fan and artist and the feeling of family within the crowd. Everyone’s there to enjoy themselves and see their favourite artists together. A sense of mutual respect is always present here.

You fall over in the pit? Everyone stops to help you up and brush you off. You wanna get on someone’s shoulders? Tap the nearest stranger and they’ll more than likely help! You want to stage invade? EASY! No security in the small venues and the bands are all for it! Just over a month ago in fact I was in a stage invasion at Sugarthief in none other than the Sunflower Lounge.

Sugarthief at The Sunflower Lounge

Of course, all this would be for nothing if there wasn’t considerable talent pouring out of every door of the Bullring Centre. Rock legends such as ELO and Duran Duran were from Birmingham but that doesn’t overshadow the likes of Peace, Superfood, Jaws, Swim deep, Ivory Wave, Spilt Milk Society, Sugarthief, Flirting., etc. etc. The list is endless. 

One's to look out for...

Peace have recently released their new single, ‘From Under Liquid Glass’. This was in support of the MQ Mental Health Charity.

Ivory Wave, fresh off their tour with another Birmingham legend, The Twang, will be headlining a show early January at Mama Roux’s. The boys are taking Birmingham by storm at the moment with big hits such as ‘Club’ and ‘Separate Beat’. They’re definitely doing enough to impress The Twang.

Sugarthief have been showing off some new tracks at their recent shows. Tracks such as ‘Modern Man’ and ‘Aqua Phill’, are we set on for a new single in the new year? Here’s hoping! In the mean time, have a listen to their latest single – Provide.

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