From Brumbeat with Love – Birmingham’s Best New Bands

The music scene in Birmingham is undeniably eclectic and full of brilliant talent and creativity. From award-winning DJs to old school family bands, we have it all. Notably there is a thriving community of bands hailing from the second city and surrounds, so we’ve put together a list of our favourite new(ish) up and coming home-grown bands who play local venues such as The Hare & Hounds, Sunflower Lounge, The Flapper, The Actress, Dares and beyond.

We hope you enjoy listening to them as much as we do! You can catch most of the bands featured in our monthly gig guide. *All images are from the bands official Facebook pages (please email: info@grapevinebirmingham.com for any image accreditations).

We’ve created a nice little Brumbeat mix featuring some of the bands below:

Hoopla Blue

Founded in 2012 and working with the FOMA record label, Hoopla Blue has shown promise not only in Birmingham but in the UK new music scene, receiving praise from Radio 6Music. With regular shows in Birmingham and London Hoopla Blue are making themselves known. A mixture of layered soft and upbeat instrumental sounds combined with soothing vocals makes their music really pleasant to listen to. Facebook page.

Mutes

Another band on the FOMA record label, Mutes has a true indie sound. Every song is an experience in its own right, with mellow-sounding tracks like Sleepless Dream and Soft Spots, but also the occasional louder and more frantic sounding song like Vanishing. If you’re a fan of intricate acoustic sounds then Mutes is one to listen out for. You can catch them at various events in Birmingham music venues like the Hare & Hounds. Facebook page.

The Surrenders

The Surrenders are a modern rock and roll band, whose tracks glimmer with the sounds of bygone days. Heavily influenced by British rock in the psychedelic era as well as early Rhythm & Blues, this less well known band is bringing back old sounds with a fresh style onto the scene. A very welcome shuffle-up in the current pool of bands! Gigging across Birmingham venues, they have a great stage presence and are one to check out. Facebook page.

The Lizards

Stepping even further into psychedelia, I introduce you to The Lizards. A four-piece band from Brum, their tracks really sound as if they belong in the 60s. Shut your eyes and think of Woodstock! Their brand-new single, She Goes Down is full of carefree, summer festival vibes. Plus, they’ve made a really cool psychedelic video to go with it! Facebook page.

Victories At Sea

Having been featured on BBC Introducing, Victories At Sea have a series of gigs planned across the UK, in Manchester, Leeds and London to name a few. Their debut album, Everything Forever is out now, as well as an all new EP, A Place To Stay, which is being released on 5th May. The instrumental tracks in particular are really full of passion and are a glimpse of something exciting to come. Facebook page.

Cut Glass Kings

Cut Glass Kings are an alternative rock and roll band hailing from Birmingham. Their new single, Here Comes The Light is a proper rock and roll gig sounding song, with Kasabian-esque vibes. The band has just started a UK tour supporting The Sundowners, along with Edgar Jones & The New Joneses. You can catch them here in Brum at The Sunflower Lounge on 4th May. Facebook page.

Terror Watts

Fresh-faced new band on the scene Terror Watts have just launched their debut EP on PNKSLM recordings. It features the single So Alone, which, whilst individual and original in its own right, would appeal to fans of The Vaccines and Circa Waves. Terror Watts have been penned as an artist to watch and have performed in London and are set to play at The Sunflower Lounge in August. Facebook page.

Dorcha

Undeniably quirky but seriously cool, next up we have Dorcha, a five-piece electronic band fronted by Anna Palmer, a composer. Dorcha has received praise from BBC 6Music’s Stuart Maconie. Their debut album Black Sounds that was released in 2015 showed great promise. Dorcha’s sound is experimental and truly unique. We recommend checking out their latest EP ‘ISM.’ Facebook page.

Flamingo Flame

Retro 80s sounds of synths, piano melodies and intricate guitar riffs are to be expected when listening to Flamingo Flame. Fronted by Greg Bird, Flamingo Flame put a modern twist on the moody vocals combined with funky instrumentals we know and love from 80s artists like The Smiths and Depeche Mode. Flamingo Flame often gig in Birmingham’s trendy venues including The Night Owl. Facebook page.

Chartreuse

This young four-piece from Birmingham is an incredibly talented bunch. The sounds they produce neatly bring together a mêlée of genres including pop, indie and soul. Their sounds are fresh but there’s also something nostalgic and comforting about their tracks. Previously they’ve played alongside Delta Autumn (reviewed above), so keep an eye out for future performances from them at Birmingham venues like the Hare & Hounds. Facebook page.

God Damn

Hailing from The Black Country, you may have already heard of God Damn off the back of their recent success. The band formed in 2010 and has made a name for itself both in and outside the West Midlands since. With influences from across the rock spectrum, including OG Birmingham bands Black Sabbath and Slade, as well as more contemporary artists like My Bloody Valentine. One to check out if you’re into anything and everything as long as it’s rock. Facebook page.

Trope

If you’re a fan of more soulful sounds, then Trope will likely be up your street. Upon listening initially, you may feel that the seamless vocals provided by Cherise Adams Burnett are the star of the show, but they wouldn’t be what they are without the instrumentals that tie it together. Sounds not unlike those in the background of 70s classics from the likes of Al Green provide the perfect melody to compliment Cherise’s classically beautiful vocals. Check out the newly released Trope 5ive. Facebook page.

Free School

Yet another Birmingham band popular with BBC 6Music’s DJ’s, Free School has received praise from Steve Lamaqc, Lauren Laverne and Gideon Coe, as well as Mixmag and others. Funky, groovy and hypnotic, Free School’s sounds take you to a hedonistic place of all-night dancing. They’ve been a little quiet recently, but hopefully this means they’re working on new material. In the meantime, there’s plenty to lose yourself in from their previous releases. Facebook page.

Matters

Fairly fresh onto the Birmingham band scene, Matters is comprised of a trio, bringing together ex members of The Wolves and current members of Mayors of Toronto. If you’re into dark and eerie instrumentals then give Matters a listen. Their complex and frantic sound wouldn’t be out of place as the backdrop to an intense movie scene. You can catch Matters performing live at The Sunflower Lounge on 19th May. Facebook page.

Table Scraps

Describing themselves as ‘Garage Punk weirdos,’ the moody sounding three-piece has just released a new track, My Obsession. They’ll be performing in the near future in Birmingham, Liverpool and London so for the garage punk fans out there, make sure you follow them on Facebook and get yourself down to a gig. Facebook page.

Swampmeat Family Band

If Birmingham’s band scene wasn’t an eclectic enough mix of old and new sounds to you, you may feel differently after listening to Swampmeat Family Band. Comprised of four members; Danny C, T-Bird, Tommy ‘Castro’ Hughes and Rich ‘The Marshall’ March, the rockabilly sounds of this Birmingham based band are upbeat and catchy and are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. It’s near impossible to fight the urge to grin and dance listening to these guys. They regularly play gigs around Birmingham so definitely try to catch a show! Facebook page.

The Mighty Young

The Mighty Young is the latest creative output from Birmingham based Joseph Gatsby along with his bandmate Robb Cartin. The launch of their first EP Neptune at the Sunflower Lounge last year was a huge hit, and the band headlined at Waveforms, along with Cut Glass Kid. From their tiny Birmingham based studio they’ve created some brilliant alternative garage rock. Definitely catch them performing if you get the chance! Facebook page.

Goodnight Lenin

Another of Birmingham’s better known bands, the indie five-piece Goodnight Lenin is in a really exciting stage having just launched its wonderfully written and produced new single Portrait of Youth on Static Caravan. The video is smashing as well, and the single and its B-side Start Over are available to download on iTunes. Having performed in London last month, the next big thing for the talented group is the Behind the Tracks festival in Digbeth, where they will be playing alongside Victories At Sea, appearing on the same line-up as Leftfield, Editors and Ocean Colour Scene. Facebook page.

Ivory Wave

Ivory Wave, whose releases are listed on Spotify are a truly British indie band. Their instrumentals are groovy and upbeat and the overlaying vocals are very Arctic Monkeys style, creating an awesome fusion of styles. From April-June Ivory Wave are gigging at various UK locations including Leeds, Manchester and London, and of course Birmingham. Catch them at The Sunflower Lounge on 20th May. Facebook page.

The Mothers Earth Experiment

The Mothers Earth Experiment is a six-piece Contemporary, Progressive outfit on the Brumbeat scene right now. With a wide array of influences ranging from Electronica, Jazz, World music and Psychedelia all the way to Black Metal and back, the band of childhood friends pride themselves on their eclectic inspirations to weave detailed sonic tapestries of dense psychedelic atmospheres and emotive melodies in order to propel their message of social consciousness. Facebook page.

Black Mekon

Black Mekon have been on the Brum scene for quite some time, and continue to put out loud fuzzy 1950s inspired American rock with influences from the likes of: Huddie, Margaret and Tara, Andre, Charley, Rev and Vega, Jeffrey Lee and Kid, Dwyer, Spencer, Howland and Evans, Walker and Swank, VU, Miss White, McDowell, Khan and Sultan, Bauer Bros, Tav, RL, Chet and JR, Bob and Thermos, Collins, Calvin, Waits, Thee and The etc. Facebook page.

Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam

S.F.L. formed in Birmingham in early in 2011 when best friends Andy Bullock and Pete Dixon started writing songs together. Pete had been recording and touring for years with local cult-favourites Distophia and Calories. Ralph Morton, also a long-time fixture of the Birmingham music scene in bands like Shocked Elevator Family and The Reverends, completed the line-up on drums. S.F.L. has continued to be prolific, writing over 100 songs (and recording over 75) to-date. Local promoters like ThisIsTmrw have ensured S.F.L. have had the chance to open for many bands including Metz, Naomi Punk, September Girls and Cloud Nothings, and have played at the Lunar, Moseley Folk and All Years Leaving Festivals. New material is on the way! Facebook page.
 

Delta Autumn

Delta Autumn is fronted by four Birmingham guys, Robbie Moore, Luke Morrish-Thomas, Thomas Seminar Ford and Ric Yarborough and their sound is fresh with glimpses of jazz, hip hop, soul and electroacoustic styles among others. Originally conceived as a modest studio project between two guys, the venture has grown to become one of Birmingham’s best loved bands, regularly playing at local events and further afield. You can listen to their EP ‘Autumn,’ recorded at Flood Studio in Digbeth, owned by band member Luke. Facebook page.

Gleam

Fondly describing themselves as ‘pedal wielding alternative/shoegaze/psychedelic pop band?’ which perfectly emulates their sound and style actually. You can really hear from their music that they are a bunch of creatives with a lot of ideas translated into music. Having played at local venues such as The Sunflower Lounge and The Rainbow Venues, their sound is loud and unapologetic, the perfect recipe for a great gig! Slightly quiet of late, let’s hope they’re still alive, deep underground somewhere. Facebook page.

Article by Isobel Owen for Grapevine Birmingham. With special thanks to Tom Hopkins, Lyle Bignon and Joel Webster for additional info. *Featured image is an example of a local event flyer. No money has been made from this article, purely in support of the local music scene and everyone involved.
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