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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 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.
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
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 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 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
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
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
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.