The 4 Bands Putting Birmingham on the Map

Last week I alluded to the recent growth of the B-Town scene coming out of the Digbeth area of the Birmingham, so today I decided to look a little deeper into what it is that has made the second city, the place to be if you like indie rock.

© Booji Wooji Man

Over the last few years, the power of indie rock has moved south, once it was Manchester that held the crown as the cornerstone of indie rock, but now Birmingham has taken over as the UK’s indie powerhouse, recently producing a succession of bands, who have made people stand up and pay attention to the West Midlands music scene once again.

B-Town is as unique and varied as the bands which are helping to form it, the most successful of which being Peace, Swim Deep, Superfood and Jaws, who despite their differences in styles, have noticeable 90’s backbone and ties to the Digbeth that tie them together, turning a run down area of inner-city Birmingham, into the musical Mecca of indie since 2010.

Peace

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Described as a ‘dark melodic indie techno’ band, Peace met overly positive reviews from début album In Love, gaining the band  a great amount of critical attention, a nomination for BBC Sound Of 2013 and the converted opening slot at the NME Awards Tour, this was the crowning glory for a band that seemed to point towards a rebirth of a Britpop scene, but with a new modern take on a truly 90’s sound.

If you like: Foals, Maccabees, Half Moon Run, Mystery Jets

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Swim Deep

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With a  mixture of smooth indie and 90’s grunge, Swim Deep have bust onto the scene with a collection of great singles and a wonderful EP Sun On My Back, all of which built up a pretty substantial amount of hype before the release their début album Where the Heaven are We, fast developing into one of the biggest indie successes of 2013, using their unique sound of dreamlike indie to tap into the hip and young subculture of  people who Culture Compass describe as  “dressed in paisley with a healthy dose of nonchalance“.

If you like: Splashh, Palma Violets, The Vaccines, Wolf Alice

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Jaws

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Riding high after the release of two amazing EP’s, Jaws have taken the ska, madchester and noise pop sounds and combined them to produce an sound and a interesting addition to the B-Town sound, producing singles such as Surrounding You and Friend Like You has quickly put them at the forefront of the of the recent revival in slacker pop, perfect for a hazy summer evening and just in time of festival season.

If you like: Bombay Bicycle Club, Vampire Weekend

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Superfood

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Leading a secretive existence until recently, Superfood have exploded onto the stage with their début EP mam and a succession of support slots, including for We Are Scientists and Wolf Alice on their UK Tours, all of which has propelled them up the ladder in the indie scene, with NME giving them an impressive 9/10 for their recent gig at the London Barfly, where they quickly won over the crowd with a succession of playful grunge vibes and sweet hooks, something that the young band have become renowned for.

If you like: Blur, Feeder, Adult Jazz, Exclamation Pony

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Tour Dates

Peace

23.05.14 – Dot To Dot Festival, Manchester

24.05.14 – Dot To Dot Festival, Bristol

25.05.14 – Dot To Dot Festival, Nottingham

27.05.14 – Keele University, Staffordshire

28.05.14 – Parr Hall, Warrington

29.05.14 – Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

31.05.14 – Fat Sam’s, Dundee

01.06.14 – Ironworks, Inverness

02.06.14 – The Empire, Middlesbrough

04.06.14 – Central Station, Wrexham

05.06.14 – The Arts Centre, Aberystwyth

06.06.14 – The Assembly, Leamington Spa

10.06.14 – Komedia, Bath

11.06.14 – Princess Pavilion, Falmouth

12.06.14 – Isle of Wight Festival, Isle of Wight

12.06.14 – Sin City, Swansea

13.06.14 – Pavilion Theatre, Worthing

18.07.14 – Truck Festival, Oxford

25.07.14 – Redfest, Redhill

01.08.14 – Standon Calling, Ware

22.08.14 – Reading Festival, Berkshire

22.08.14 – Leeds Festival, Yorkshire

Jaws

16.04.14 – 53 Degrees, Preston

17.04.14 – The Sugarmill, Stoke

18.04.14 – The Plug, Sheffield

19.04.14 – The Institute, Birmingham

20.04.14 – Also Know As, Banbury

22.04.14 – Unit, Southampton

23.04.14 – Cavern, Exeter

24.04.14 – 60 Million Post Cards, Bournemouth

25.04.14 – The Forum, Tunbridge Wells

28.04.14 – The Cooke Jar, Leicester

29.04.14 – The Horn, St Albans

30.04.14 – Understone, Cardiff

01.05.14 – Sound City Festival, Liverpool

02.05.14 – Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough

03.05.14 – Live At Leeds, Yorkshire

04.05.14 – City Sound Project, Canterbury

06.05.14 – Oakford Social, Reading

08.05.14 – The Great Escape, Brighton

 

Swim Deep

12.06.14 – Isle of Wight Festival, Isle of Wight

18.07.14 – Truck Festival, Oxfordshire

01.08.14 – Y Not Festival, Derbyshire

Superfood

19.04.14 – Stockton Calling, Stockton On Tees

01.05.14 – King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow

02.05.14 – Sound City, Liverpool

03.05.14 – Live at Leeds, Yorkshire

05.05.14 – Fruit, Hull

06.05.14 – Leadmill 2, Sheffield

07.05.14 – Think Tank, Newcastle

08.05.14 – The Duchess, York

13.05.14 – Academy 2, Oxford

14.05.14 – Portland Arms, Cambridge

15.05.14 – Esquires, Bedford

16.05.14 – Boileroom, Guildford

17.05.14 – Cookie Jar, Leicester

18.05.14 – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

20.05.14 – The Haunt, Brighton

21.05.14 – 53 Degrees, Preston

22.05.14 – Sugarmill, Stoke

27.05.14 – Craufurd Arms, Wolverton

28.05.14 – Scala, London

19.07.17 – Truck Festival, Oxfordshire

24.07.14 – Secret Garden Party, Cambridgshire

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