Thursday, February 28, 2013

James Thomas, Comedy at the Solihull Theatre.

And now here's a little bit about me. It has always been a bit (a lot) of an ambition of mine to become a professional stand up comedian, so last year I took part in a local  stand up comedy course run by local comic and 'Poet Laureate' Theo Theobald  it was a few weeks preparation for a very successful gig at the Solihull library theatre, its a bit old as you can tell by the subject matter but this was one of my best gigs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

They say that there is '15 degrees of separation' with everyone in the world, what this basically means is, you know someone who knows someone who is related to someone.....  to someone famous. Well I'm related to someone who's Boyfriend is a friend of  'Scotty Balboa'  the singer of Soldier. Ok, its not a great claim to fame but it's how I heard of this band. I first properly head about Soldier from my Aunt telling me that her and the BF were seeing this lot support someone called 'Brother' (The BF told me that the next time he saw brother Soldier blew then off the stage).
'Brother' or 'Viva brother' as they are now known are the Voldermort of Indie mention them to any Indie kid and you will see them get slightly uncomfortable. However the band I saw Soldier support way back in 2011was MONA (another hopeful from 2011 but unlike Brother these guys really did deserve to be huge) Though it was Soldier I came to see.
A friend of mine saw them live doing an acoustic gig  and wasn't impressed, yet I keep telling him you have to see Soldier as a proper plugged in Rock band, because when you do they are brilliant. Their songs are the sort that Oasis or The Manic Street Preachers would have played to stadiums back in the 90's. Their song 'We love you' is slightly reminiscent of the  Manic's 'You Love us'. On stage 'Scotty Balboa' is the ultimate weekend rock star* he obviously models himself a little bit on Liam Gallagher, but not enough to be a pastiche, he's a good singer and has a lot of character and presence,  I remember him saying on-stage 'well see some of you at our next gig... at Wembley' that quote pretty much sums up Soldier, it was obviously a joke but these guys are rock 'n roll dreamers, and in an alternate universe they are probably playing Wembley right now.

Their Broken Bones EP has 5 tracks on it, 'We love you', Hurricane, Lifeline, Time on my side and Broken Bones are all full of riffs and choruses and pretty good production quality despite the band being unsigned. unfortunately as far as I know to get a copy you'll need to meet the band and ask for one.
since the gig I saw them at they've carried on supporting bands and playing local gigs, and building up a following, they've been a little quiet these past few months but their facebook shows signs that they're gearing up to make 2013 a big year, give these guys your support, they're one of Birmingham's best bands.

* I don't mean that as an insult, just that his main day job is a bit more ordinary

Just announced -Swim Deep

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Music and Video Exchange

A few of the records I bought here. 
The music and video exchange is one of my favorite places in Birmingham. It's part of a chain of trade in stores around the UK, so it probably doesn't count as an independent, but its packed full of bargains and surprisingly for a trade in store its all good records, though if you want to take a risk you can buy one of their assorted 10 CD's for a £1 bags wrapped up in bags and tape.
Okay now here's some tips that might come in useful, firstly don't expect brilliant customer service, you may get the occasional conversation about music but it'll be short. The guys who run it are quite shy and reserved so just let them be. Secondly the CD's at the front that are displayed just with covers are the ones that have guarantees so if they don't play you can take them back, all the others though don't really have that guarantee so check the disc's before buying, frankly though its all so cheap that it won't really matter. 

You'll find CD's of all genres and all times in this store, I've bought many recent releases, such as albums by Wretch 32, Miles Kane and Bombay Bicycle Club, as well as older records by Gang of Four, Bjork and Public Enemy. In between all these great records is what's pretty much a graveyard of old indie bands, you know the phrase 'Landfill indie'? well this store is the landfill, but that's not a bad thing because if you do feel like getting an old Futureheads album this is the place where you'll find it, in mint condition, not so mint condition and scratched up condition, for under £5. 
They have a few collectables there too locked in glass cases, I once saw a Joy Division video tape there, for £8 complete with Factory Catologue number and 'Made In Mancester' print, I'm still smacking myself now for not buying it. 
Its also a great place for trading in, if you do trade you will always be offered a better deal in store than cash,  they will give you a very reasonable offer if you bring enough good quality stuff and enough of it. 

They also have a load of DVD's, Comics, Vinyls, CD Singles and old magazines too. I've spent many happy hours in this store and bought many great records. I hope you get to do the same.

*geek fact, you can see Swim Deep flicking through the store in their video for 'King City'

Address  8 Smallbrook Queensway, Birmingham B5 4EN

Monday, February 25, 2013


Peace's front-man Harrison Koisser proposed to his girlfriend on Saturday night at the NME awards tour after party, after finishing the 13 date tour with Palma Violets, Miles Kane and Django Django.

NME reports that "Palma Violets were DJing at the bash in Brixton's Jamm bar when Koisser got down on one knee and asked girlfriend Billie JD Porter to marry him. " her twitter confirms she said yes. 

I can't (can) believe I got engaged during a Palma. Violets DJ set. Is it ok to call your fiancĂ© Beyonce too?Harrison himself responded to NMe's tweet about it by tweeting 

 £50,000 for exclusive first dance photos by  x

The album 'In Love' is out on the 25th of march, at some point i'm going to pre-order it and the review will be posted up here.
Read more at 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Greg Bird & Flamingo Flame.

This is the event that first gave me the idea to create this blog, an example of the great random events that you can find your self a part of if you hang around Birmingham. It started on a normal day, when I'd finished selling watches for the day and before getting the bus back home I thought I'd mooch about Urban Outfitters for a bit, as usual the place was blasting out trendy, electro indie music, except it wasn't, when I went upstairs I found a three piece band playing, on keyboards was a slightly geeky looking man banging out synths and bouncing beats, on guitar was another guy playing clear, simple melodies that echoed, making a perfect companion to the electronic sounds. Their music has a 'New Order-ish', slightly Gothic vibe to it

Greg Bird was the singer and he performed with the confidence of a man who's been performing for a while. he was wearing a white t shirt and a sort of small ladies masquerade mask put on his head with black tape, which was pretty funny when he had to take it off.

I got a chance to talk to him afterwards and he's a nice down-to-earth guy. He explained to me that I'd seen his first gig with the new keyboardist, which was impressive seeing how tight a unit the band sounded. he described his music as taking on a more 90's vibe than the 80's music of old.

Please give this guy your support, Greg Bird & flamingo Flame are one of the best bands in Birmingham at the moment yet seem to be a bit overlooked by the press.

I haven't got any photos of the gig but here's a Gif of it-

The Black Tableaux and Shruburbia Ep's are on Itunes and Amazon 

Here's some links to free older material of his.