Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Birmingham Bands - does their music travel?

We have great music, great musicians and great bands - but is there an open door for them? 

I just got off an online chat with Mike, a US radio pal. We talked music as always. When working abroad, I’m always happy to push local talent, and that’s just what I did, pitching two bands to Mike a few years back when he graduated to mainstream radio. These were the New Blacks and 360. The New Blacks – not sure if they’re around anymore – were/are a fine bunch of hard rockers from the Black Country, and they went down just fine with Mike. But I struggled with 360, which struck me as completely insane. The main reason, of course, is there is no such thing a receptive mainstream music format at most US radio – the material HAS to fit certain criteria. And Ska/Funk/Punk with a dash of brilliant pop, to my dismay, wasn’t being snapped up at US radio.

Yesterday, as usual, we talked music. Mike wondered what was cooking locally. So I gave him a whole list of web links. They’re listed further down the post, after the jump. As I did, I was struck by the individuality of the acts I was asking him to check out from a US perspective. It’s a good and a bad thing.

I love all these guys. These acts are all British/English in the widest, best and most individual sense. They’re all fabulous, all uncompromisingly powerful and inventive…but I just wonder how easy it will be for most of them to get the smallest toehold across the pond. That they deserve recognition is beyond question.