A Musical Hot Spot

A Reuters/Billboard report has declared Birmingham to be one of the music hot spots in 2007 along with Beijing, Berlin, Brisbane and, proving that they did work their way down the alphabet a bit, Marseille.

In a U.K. music scene perennially dominated by London and Manchester, England’s “second city” has struggled, musically, in recent years.

Yet Birmingham and the surrounding West Midlands region has produced acts ranging from rock monsters Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Duran Duran. Now, the city — long derided as an industrial wasteland — has undergone hefty redevelopment and its music scene seems similarly re-energized. Locals say the success of the Birmingham-based Editors, whose 2005 debut album “The Back Room” is BPI-certified platinum (300,000 units), helped shift labels’ talent-scouting focus to the city’s independent/alt-rock sector.

Birmingham alt-rock act The Twang just signed a label deal with B-Unique, the Polydor imprint that’s home to the Kaiser Chiefs. Unsigned acts that could be next in line include the Weezer-influenced Murdoch and punky trio the Untitled Musical Project, plus The Enemy (from nearby Coventry) and Ripchord (from Wolverhampton).

The smells somewhat of the NME effect. In fact it’s almost identical to that Best Midlands piece they ran last November. Still, rather nice to see bands I’ve watched at the Flapper mentioned in this kind of report. Who knows, maybe something will come of this?

Photo of The Twang by Andy Willsher taken from their MySpace page. Tip of the hat to Andrew Dubber for the link.