#top10BrumBands of the Decade – by Liam Cole

Liam Cole, guitarist with Kidnapper Bell has kindly given The Blue Whale Blog his list of the top ten Brum bands of the decade. Submit your own top ten to andrew-roberts@hotmail.co.uk or in the comment box below.

10. The Program

At their peak noone could touch The Program. They were the coolest band in Birmingham and had the songs to match also. I still play their demo to this day, a brilliantly produced slice of throbbing electro indie.

9. The Big Bang

The Big Bang

The first time I saw The Big Bang I was blown away by the fact that a drums and two guitar line-up could have such a huge sound. I spent ages trying to emulate the awesome fatness of their guitar sound. The fact that they had the songs to back it up helped also.

8. Templeton Pek

Templeton Pek

Templeton Pek have been going for a while and have amassed a huge following by working hard (in very much the same way as Blakfish). In many ways bands like Templeton Pek have to work ten times harder because of how overpopulated their genre is.

7. Blakfish


A band that I am more into seeing live than listening to on record. Blakfish have honed their craft and are a fantastic live band. Their inclusion on this list is largely due to the fact that they have worked stupidly hard to get where they are now and have built up a gigantic fanbase through relentless touring.

6. Johnny Foreigner

Johnny Foreigner

Inconsistent live, but their first album, Waited Up ’til it Was Light, was my most played album of the year. Theres not a song I don’t like on that album. Johnny Foreigner may never play arenas but they will make a damn fine living where they are at now the world over

5. The Starries

The Starries

The Starries started out as an instrumental three piece that used to clear rooms.They honed their live sound and added new members to become Birminghams answer to Idlewild.The Starries were all about being young, wasted and ready.They also released a few awesome E.Ps.

4. Barry’s Attic

Barry's Attic

Barry’s Attic have been gigging around Birmingham for a while. I only got the chance to see them a couple of months ago. They write electro pop songs and could make any major record label a shed load of money provided they were marketed right!

3. Sunset Cinema Club

Sunset Cinema Club

The first time I saw Sunset Cinema Club I didn’t like them. However I downloaded a few of their songs and couldn’t stop listening to them after that. The song ‘Home Alone‘ had me hooked. Since then I have seen them countless times and they have always been fantastic. If I could pick ten S.C.C tracks I like to put on an album it would be like a greatest hits with no filler!

2. 35 Seconds

35 Seconds

I’ve watched 35 Seconds gig live for about 10 years and seen their sound change with each and every passing demo they released. They gradually morphed from a hybrid of The Smiths/Neds Atomic Dustbin into writing songs as monstrous as ‘Dinosaurs’ and ‘Grudge Match’. Their distinctive sound was helped with the dual guitars taking their cues from Prince and a fondness for dance music.

1. Mr Nobody

Mr Nobody

Sometimes perceptions of a “local” band can be deceiving. Are they a good band or are they good for a local band? Mr Nobody are hands down the best live band I have ever seen. Their sound can be described a product of their wide range of influences however at their core a superb songwriter in the form of James Brough. When they released their E.P. Sweeting it polarised opinion on message boards due to it not really sounding like anything that was around at the time. A sad loss that these guys are no longer playing gigs together.

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8 responses to “#top10BrumBands of the Decade – by Liam Cole

  1. Mr Nobody were incredible live, such an under rated band. **Hoping they will play a gig again soon?

    35 Secs and SCC are/were both amazing also. All making completely individual music rather than following scenes or genres.

  2. Hi Pete, thanks for the comment.

    Fancy compiling your own list for us?



  3. All good but you forgot clynder:sound!!
    the only ONLY band to give birmingham the true sound of instrumental ambient rock with. and such were ignored for a long time after receiving such quotes as “wheres ya singer mate!”

    also King Adora were awesome! 🙂


  4. I’d just like to say that I’m not from Birmingham and haven’t either had the opportunity to hear most of these bands. But I did a couple of weekends ago drive up from Essex especially to see the very same Kidnapper Bell (author of this list) play their first headline gig at the Firebug in Leicester and the next day at the Sunflower Lounge in Birmingham. Obviously Liam can’t vote for the band he plays in but I think they should be somewhere on that list. Kidnapper Bell are a great band – both live and on record! Personally, I think they do Birmingham proud!

  5. What about Einstellung/Yellobelly Mat?

    Were they not purveyors of instrumental rock also?

    I remember being sickeningly upset at how young and talented Yellobelly were.

    I cant include Clynder:Sound as I was in that band too.

    I cant include iwillattack for reasons I shall keep to myself and not share!

  6. Pingback: Top Ten Brum Bands of the Decade Mix and Brumcast Download « The Blue Whale Blog

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