Birmingham news and blogs Wednesday 23 March 2016
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Radio To Go

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What people remember. What fans want. What a performer is. Different things. 

20 Mar 16

Didn’t you use to be…

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Call Me Unique: Better make time… to grab that chance. 

13 Mar 16

The big break? How and why? Let me count the ways…

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Miles Hunt. Straight outta Stourbridge to a world tour. 

6 Mar 16

Friendly Company! The Stuffies are coming to yours Miles and Erica Nockalls – from The Wonder Stuff pledge page Like a thousand other towns across the country, developers and lousy town planning have ripped the guts out of Stourbridge.

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The BBC’s shiny digital future. Still waiting. 

28 Feb 16

Elephants? Pah.

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Welcome to the future. Here’s some 60s soul. 

21 Feb 16

You’re making music now.

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Hitting New Heights: A West Midlands YouTube Top 50: February 2016 

14 Feb 16

BIG changes at both top and bottom of the 7th YouTube chart Lady Leshurr on top; Laura Mvula and the Editors on the foothills.

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The wood from the trees 

7 Feb 16

Taking a mile-high view of your local music scene is tricky, but it’s worth a go It helps to have a sense of perspective .

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Thank you, Paul Murphy 

31 Jan 16

We’ve lost one of the greats.

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A cuppa coffee with Tom Walker 

24 Jan 16

A preposterously talented young guitarist, a power-packed rhythm section, and a studio with history It’s still cloudy, grey and wet as I climb up out of Five Ways station, drop round the corner and zig zag up to Arc Studios.

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There’s a new online kid on the radio block. 

17 Jan 16

Our city.

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When did you last sit down and listen all the way through an album? 

10 Jan 16

Grazing is the new norm.

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Richard March, he say…. THANK YOU! 

3 Jan 16

It’s all about the Bass.

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Loves, losses, gripes, glories and gratitude in 2015 

27 Dec 15

A rueful, joyful look back It’s been a full-on year.

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80s band invasion! Some are zombies; others, rosy-cheeked and twinkly of eye. 

20 Dec 15

Everybody’s re-formed.

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Beeb big boys in Brum! For a bit anyway… 

13 Dec 15

It’s been a fun week The BBC came to town; about time too.

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The BRILLIANT Levitate video. 

8 Dec 15

A short blog this week, belated too, for which I must plead events beyond my control.

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Break on through to the other side: when the stars align and things happen 

29 Nov 15

I’d call this a stonking great home run for BBC Introducing.

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Love what you do. Stay professional. Watch your back. 

22 Nov 15

Swimming in shark-infested musicbiz waters.

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At the BBC coalface; studying the BBC great and good 

15 Nov 15

Time spent week with both the high and mighty and the grafters This time last week, I was bantering on air with Les Ross on BBC WM .

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Kim Lowings: the tricky path twixt traditional and brand new 

25 Oct 15

Traditional music and powerhouse songwriting.

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Vlad the Programmer: radio from the other side of the Iron Curtain, then and now 

18 Oct 15

Ever caught up with people you used to work with? Laughed about the old days? Bet you didn’t have days like these.

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You’re in the studio at last after all these years. What now? 

11 Oct 15

You know the songs, backwards.

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Jam Jah Mondays – they’re baaaaack! 

4 Oct 15

They thought it was all over.

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Kris’s magic Mimu gloves part 2 – In the Studio 

27 Sep 15

It’s been seven months since Kris Halpin and I had a chat about his gloves.

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Dub Qalandar – put this in your diary 

20 Sep 15

Two cultures from ten thousand miles apart meet up in Birmingham, EXACTLY midway between.

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Moseley Folk, Saturday afternoon 

13 Sep 15

Four artists.

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In The Studio: Catherine Howe and Vo Fletcher 

6 Sep 15

Music and conversation in the shadow of the Malvern Hills – a taste of a forthcoming audio project Last week, on a bright late summer morning, the Malvern Hills shone invitingly in the sun.

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Draw it, print it, put it up… See it get nicked. Lewes Herriot and the art of poster design 

30 Aug 15

Depraved 19th century libertines, poster design, music promotion and Johnny Foreigner – the world of Lewes Herriot If you have muso facebook friends and you live in Brum, you’ve probably seen Lewes Herriot ‘s work.

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We’ve still got that Fuzzbox somewhere… 

18 Aug 15

Back in the day, big hair and big fun.

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A West Midlands YouTube Top 50: August 2015 

16 Aug 15

Here’s the sixth bi-yearly local acts video views chart: who’s making YouTube waves? I do this ranking every six months.

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So what does YOUR station think you should be hearing? 

5 Aug 15

Music tastes change.

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The problem with promoting: you, almost certainly, won’t get rich. But you may have big fun. 

2 Aug 15

DieDasDer talk of many things: of promoters, cabbages and kings…

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A Birmingham Broadcast trail 

26 Jul 15

Not quite a trail of tears, but close…

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Pledging My Love with Boat To Row 

19 Jul 15

A modest crowdfunding appeal to get their album pressed: 88% of target in 16 days.

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The Rich Bitch garage sale. Rob’s slipped out the back… 

8 Jul 15

There must be 50 ways to leave your studio Kit, lots of it.

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Women in music; a shifting balance. 

5 Jul 15

Live? That’s one thing.

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Auntie, It’s Time To Do The Right Thing. 

28 Jun 15

This time, we didn’t say it.

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Mahalia. Four years of development, and she’s still only seventeen. Crikey. 

21 Jun 15

Ridiculously young and talented, with a major label deal…

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Today’s musicians, a vital part of Birmingham’s Music History… and you 

14 Jun 15

The Highbury Studio pledge campaign.

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Hype: The second oldest profession, with even less morals that the oldest. 

7 Jun 15

You think FIFA is dodgy? There’s a fantastic, possibly apocryphal, story of how one record company rep made quite sure that only his company’s stuff was played at US R’n’B radio in the 50s.

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Analogue Tales: James Summerfield and Darren Canaan 

30 May 15

Last year, just as summer shaded into autumn, I spoke with James Summerfield , whose latest project is surfacing right now; then it was in the throes of assembly, recording and aligning.

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I used to go to Barbarellas 

24 May 15

People and bands and music and sticky carpet make places I’ve been working up a few posts for Time Out Brum of late.

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Don’t you point that thing at me #7 : Sam Frank Wood 

17 May 15

Catch that moment…

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Open Mic nights – a most variable feast. You should go. 

10 May 15

The historic Fiddle and Bone and the very new Dark Horse : two ways to do Open Mic .

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Rumbles in the radio jungle 

3 May 15

Tricky times for pop radio If you look at what’s playing at radio, you’ll mostly find bleakly repetitive fare.

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A conversation with Swami: Simon & Diamond and S-Endz 

26 Apr 15

A brand new band that’s been going since 1999 Two months back, I compiled a local YouTube chart .

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Riding the wave, picking the moment: Goodnight Lenin 

15 Apr 15

Goodnight Lenin want your feedback on their new songs.

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The Destroyers lay fresh foundations 

12 Apr 15

Eight years of constant change, and the band’s hungrier than ever.

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Horace Panter. Special. 

5 Apr 15

He still loves it, all of it.

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Beyond the band #3: Pete Williams 

29 Mar 15

Nicely connected after a lifetime of rock and roll ups, downs and setbacks, Pete Williams is punching out fabulous songs.

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Catching the buzz: Rhino and The Ranters 

22 Mar 15

That critical moment when it all starts to work…

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Curtis Little: goodbye to one of the greats 

15 Mar 15

On Friday, I went to another funeral.

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Old folks boogie: astute business by Ricky Cool 

8 Mar 15

Wander into Broad Street’s Brasshouse at the right time, and you’re in for a treat.

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The great BBC Midlands underspend: the Birmingham Post and Mail wade in 

1 Mar 15


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Kris Halpin and his magic Mi.Mu gloves 

22 Feb 15

Handle with motion and emotion On a wet Monday on a Tamworth industrial estate, I’m chatting with Kris Halpin , and trying to digest something pretty incredible.

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Half a century on the road: the unstoppable Mr Burton 

11 Feb 15

50 years of classy guitar You know how it is.

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A West Midlands YouTube Top 50: February 2015 

8 Feb 15

February 2015 us here, so here’s this blog’s six-monthly roundup of West Midlands artists, ranked by viewing numbers on YouTube.

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The inventive and resourceful Tom Peel 

1 Feb 15

Not one but two albums in 2015.

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You want to do radio? Well, what’s stopping you? Here’s how to do it for free 

25 Jan 15

Radio – not what it used to be by sweis78 on flickr OK, here’s a challenge.

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The JB’s book. Dudley cool. 

18 Jan 15

People make places.