The city of Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK has a vibrant music scene with established venues such as the National Indoor arena playing host to major superstars and a range of smaller music venues allowing local Birmingham cover bands and artists to nurture their talents and rise through the ranks. As with most cities there are hundreds of live bands trying to get noticed but Birmingham tribute bands and original bands have a wealth of opportunities to play live. A well as live music public venues the Birmingham function band scene is also thriving with many bands able to make a part time living from playing at weddings and private parties. The Birmingham Blues Brothers are such an act who tour nationally with their tribute act. With a successful business community Birmingham corporate entertainment agencies and musicians are also doing well.
Some notable venues include The Carling Academy and the Birmingham NEC which entice major acts and drive a significant amount of live music revenue to the city. The custard factory is a development of offices in the old Birds custard factory incorporating media organisations such as Punch Records and Fused magazine. Birmingham also hosts an annual music festival ‘Party in the park’ when up to 30,000 music fans can see chart topping acts.
Birmingham also has several record labels primarily dealing with dance music including Network Records and Badger promotions. Until recently there were no high end recording studios until Circle Studios opened up in 2007 however there are a variety of ‘project’ studios. There are an abundance of independent music shops in the city which goes against the grain as many are struggling to survive.
Many well known bands have played in Birmingham over the years including Duran Duran in the early 1980’s who performed at the Rum Runner nightclub with other successes including UB40 and Musical Youth. Later on that decade The Charlatans, Dodgy and Ocean Colour scene rose to success, all started in the city. In the late 80’s the dance music scene kicked in and took over the city with some prominent dance music venues opening up. Birmingham has a multi cultural society which led to the integration of banghra in pop music which quickly filtered across the UK.
Throughout all the musical successes Birmingham has achieved the city continues to support new musicians and music makers. Live and recorded music is an essential part of their identity. Birmingham cover bands continue to perform at well attended venues and those that create their own music continue to take influences from their experience of the city. These music makers are supported by local media and entertainment businesses coming to the city to establish themselves. Birmingham has put itself on the map with regards to live acts and recording artists and the success looks set to continue.
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