Birmingham named Best Music City – as the UB40 legend explains why it’s so special
Cities like Liverpool and Manchester have long been at the forefront of musicality, but now Birmingham is vying for a place on the chart with bands like Duran Duran and Black Sabbath, who some claim is the ‘best music city’ in Britain
Image: Birmingham Post and Mail)
You’ve heard of Merseybeat and Madchester, now it’s time to bang the drum for Brum, claims one of the city’s many great bands.
With acts ranging from Duran Duran to Black Sabbath and The Streets, according to Birmingham legends UB40, no other city can offer such a wide range of sounds.
While Manchester gave us Joy Division, Liverpool gave birth to the Beatles and London was the melting pot for the Rolling Stones, the West Midlands city is home to acts as diverse as ELO, Deep Purple and Dexys Midnight Runners, led by Kevin Rowland – with Slade than a loud neighbor from Wolverhampton.
Jimmy Brown, 64, drummer for Red Red Wine hitmakers UB40, said: “Other cities have defined their music geographically, like the Mersey sound.
“But nobody has defined a Birmingham sound because the bands that come from here are so diverse. The music reflects the diversity of the city. That is our strength.”
Bandmate Norman Hassan, 64, agreed. “It’s really because of the diversity of people.
“It’s a beautiful melting pot of people, their cultures and cuisines – that’s why we love living here and have never left.”
Harry Goodwin / Rex features)
UB40 have contributed a track to new album On Record, which has been described as a “sonic love letter to Birmingham”.
Featuring 11 tracks from local acts, it celebrates the city hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games with a series of heartfelt paeans to canals, wildlife and even a treasured chip shop.
Bongo Damo, drummer for reggae and dancehall band Friendly Fire Band, praised the city’s achievements.
He said: “We gave the world heavy metal, we are the home of bhangra and our contribution to British reggae is profound and lasting.”
On Record is out now.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/birmingham-named-best-music-city-27275361 Birmingham named Best Music City - as the UB40 legend explains why it's so special