Birmingham news and blogs Saturday 2 July 2016
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Radio To Go

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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.

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Indie Venue week – heard about it? 

10 Jan 15

Monday 26th January – Sunday 1st February 2015 We hear plenty about Record Store Day – a worthy if splashy series of events to celebrate our independent record shops – but here’s something else equally worthy of your attention , At the end of …

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Your 10 Radio To Go most-read posts of 2014 

4 Jan 15

This past year, as in previous years, I wrote, wrote and wrote, aiming for a post each week, sometimes more.

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Gigs, bands, venues, surprises, changes and some disappointments. 2014 has been eventful. 

28 Dec 14

This is the last Radio To Go blogpost of 2014, tucked into that awkward half-holiday, half-not space between the Christmas blowout and New Year’s Eve.

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Four lessons learned in 2014 

21 Dec 14

Part 1 of the Radio to Go 2014 retrospective: more next week We’re heading out of 2014 at speed.

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The Hound, the passing of time, and the cruelty of change. 

14 Dec 14

Talking bout my radio generations.

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A new, local, ultra-specialised record label, Sam? Quite sure about that? 

7 Dec 14

Record labels are risky ventures…

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A new independent audio play. That’s right: new, independent and done in the Midlands. Online now. 

28 Nov 14

Radio’s easy, right? The hell it is.

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Thursday 21st of November 1974 

23 Nov 14

I was on air the night of the Birmingham bombs.

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Hold on to those band snaps! In 50 years you could be sitting on a gold mine. 

16 Nov 14

Don’t you point that thing at me #6: Jim Simpson You can cover an awful lot of ground in the music biz if you stick at it.

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Froggy went a-songwriting 

9 Nov 14

Froggy and H – fifty years in the biz.

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Dan Whitehouse and Chris Tye: they’ve got shows for you. And a Christmas song. No, really. 

2 Nov 14

Dan Whitehouse and Chris Tye talk of cabbages and kings, new albums, big shows, collaboration, creativity and Christmas songs.

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Happy Birthday to you, Catapult Club! 

26 Oct 14

Twenty Five Years of promoting.

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All that Ruby Turner Is 

19 Oct 14

Straighten up and fly right! Ruby’s still in the game, and that makes me happy.

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John Paul White, Victories at Sea, Oxjam, This is Tmrw. When bands promote…. 

12 Oct 14

14 bands, lots of local action, starts in the afternoon, runs till late.

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Erica Nockalls – she’s going to melt your iPhone 

5 Oct 14

“Music isn’t free, it takes time, effort and energy, training and all the rest of it.

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Peaky Blinders: Birmingham grabs a slice of the London pie, with extreme violence. Oh, wait, that’s fiction… 

28 Sep 14

Concerned Birmingham License Fee payers arrive at Broadcasting House in London for a friendly chat about the way their money is being spent Red carpet capers The BBC very nicely invited me to a Peaky Blinders preview last Sunday.

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Don’t you point that thing at me, pal #5: Wayne Fox 

21 Sep 14

“At the end of a performance, there’s probably ten or fifteen seconds, the golden time – that’s the best time for a photographer to get their shot in.

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Get Up, Stand Up. for your airplay rights!. A chat with Sam Redmore 

14 Sep 14

“I handed Craig Charles a CD at a gig.

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Thirty Minutes On New Street 

7 Sep 14

“Two songs in, someone gave me some money.

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Lives Well Lived 

31 Aug 14

There’s more, far more, than one way to define success Mick Dolan died last month.

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Terry and Gerry! The reunion! The tour! It’s only been 27 years….. 

24 Aug 14

They’re back.

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Now, the GOOD news. After the storms, Songwriters Café is back! 

17 Aug 14

A Birmingham institution returns.

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Festival horror stories: when the headliners pull out the day before their gig 

10 Aug 14

Taking care of business at festivals and gigs you promote is one thing.

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A West Midlands YouTube Top 50, as of August 2014 

3 Aug 14

The 50 must viewed West Midlands acts; Laura Mvula is out on top.

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The day Surinder Sandhu told Steve Vai to wind it down – and down – and down. 

27 Jul 14

The Glorious Process: music cultures flowing to new places, in your town.

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So you wanna be a radio star? Then listen now to what I say…** 

20 Jul 14

Neil Spragg, a veteran musician and DJ/mixer, wrote to me the other week.

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70s heroes: Jim Hickman and Little Acre. Bostin. 

13 Jul 14

The day after Glastonbury wound up, I went to Lower Gornal to meet Jim Hickman.

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Hang the DJ? Not much point any more. 

6 Jul 14

It’s a dog’s life behind the decks these days…

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Making it pay: consider being a hard bastard; definitely get a lawyer. 

29 Jun 14

In 2013 at the gig for Steve Harris Photo from Rob Campbell Four re-mortgages and counting – but Madhouse’s Roy Davis is cautiously optimistic At Madhouse Rehearsals last month, Jaci Davis startled me by revealing that she and husband Roy had …

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Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone? 

22 Jun 14

Two weeks ago, I walked out of Birmingham’s New Street station on to Hill Street.

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Skyping China: Sid Peacock in Chongqing 

15 Jun 14

A double Skype selfie..

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The Stuff of Wonder: Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls 

8 Jun 14

Twenty seven years of solid songs, changing line-ups and killer on-stage monologues Convention says: if the bastards grind you down, your youthful exuberance will be drummed out of you, and your bright shiny work will be damned and spurned by the new…

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What’s your music worth? Well, how about asking? 

1 Jun 14

The Bluebeat Arkestra put up an online Honesty Box for their new EP and plugged it on Facebook.

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Divaaaaaaaa! Sarah-Ann Cromwell spells it out 

25 May 14

Brutal competition, monastic lifestyles, getting nekkid on stage – Opera’s not what it used to be…

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Pebble Mill back in the day 

18 May 14

Twenty years ago, I started working at BBC Pebble Mill.

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Layla, Surinder and Sharnita: Shaanti is back all month long. 

11 May 14

A few days ago, I heard a hugely enjoyable radio interview.

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Crowd Out: The people running the biggest Birmingham choir ever 

4 May 14

I’ve decided to participate in a HUGE event: Crowd Out .

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The men who (still) make Mellotrons 

27 Apr 14

Chains, tape loops, springs, lots of odd moving parts, and a lot of love.

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The Old Dance School – eight years of different. 

18 Apr 14

Robin Beatty has been studiously shepherding The Old Dance School since his music student days in Birmingham.

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Electric Swing Circus: a band with a plan 

13 Apr 14

Electric Swing Circus’ Tom Hyland is the embodiment of positive and optimistic.

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Arts Funding: it’s DIFFERENT in Germany. A chat with Simon Halsey, CBSO Chorus Master 

8 Apr 14

I first met Simon Halsey 32 years ago, when he joined the team at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

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The Dumb team: One Beat at a time 

4 Apr 14

There’s a sweet meeting of worlds coming up in two weeks.

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17 hours, 2 studios, 2 finished cuts, one 7 inch. Finally, new stuff from Goodnight Lenin! 

29 Mar 14

This is about doing it differently.

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On recording that difficult first album. The question might be – why? 

23 Mar 14

OK, what’s the least attractive format? I went to a terrific show weekend before last at Ort Cafe in Birmingham.

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The Beat goes on. And on. And on. Three different ways. 

14 Mar 14

It's complicated.

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The Other Campbell Brother 

9 Mar 14

While the three younger Campbell brothers wrestle with UB40's disputes, elder brother David is rebuilding a folk career, with echoes of their legendary father Ian.