Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brum Beat / Midland Beat

Birmingham Magazines 1

"The term "Brum Beat" or "Brumbeat" originated early 1960s in the wake of the "Mersey Sound", later incorrectly described as "Mersey Beat" that came out of Liverpool.

Norrie Paramore came up with "Brum Beat" as part of an advertising campaign to promote national interest in the bands he had signed up from Birmingham, but Brum Beat would later become known more for the geographical location that certain groups and performers came from, rather than for a single unifying "sound". "
The quote is taken from an interesting and useful site called Brum Beat which describes the many bands that came out of the Birmingham area. Take a look - this is the link -

"Brum Beat was a magazine about the music of Birmingham, England and the neighbouring towns. It was started as Midlands Beat by promoter and band-manager Jim Simpson, who sold it to its latter editor, Steve Morris,who in turn relaunched it in newspaper format as The Beat, before converting it into a website." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brum_Beat

Brum Beat Page in Hobo Feb 1974


Remember the Move, the name that conjures up visions of Roy Wood's bizarre stage make-up. 

Well everyone is well informed of Roy's activities. Meanwhile the bass player - Trevor Burton - has been back in Brum with a new band, playing 'Good old Rock n Roll' on the Birmingham pub rock scene.


"We just want the truth to come out, the same as Cream did...I'd rather do this and come off smiling than hate the work I'm doing and have a £100 in my pocket...I mean, what the price of your soul?" 

Another band on the Birmingham scene, who have been around for a while are the Steve Gibbon's Band. Says Steve " I've never been more convinced of anything than that this band could happen.The band has been together through a lot of bad time, a sign we all feel the same way"

Steve turned down an offer to join ELO in order to stay with the band.

(Singer / songwriter - formerly with Tea and Symphony and Thunderlake)
James said - in an interview with the Birmingham Grapevine - "When you're in a situation like Trevor's band or Steve's band - because we've all been through it before - there is this realisation that you've got to let it grow and at the right time someone in the music business is going to pick up on it. If the band has that potential, obviously everyone would like to make enough to at least live comfortably, cos most of the musicians in Birmingham are on the Social Security and who wants to be on the fucking social security for the rest of their lives."

Walrus Gumboot are four highly talented musicians who have hit out at the dull Rock scene in
Birmingham with their fast and exciting music. Already acclaimed by many to be the outstanding group in Birmingham on the semi professional front. They consist of -
JIM SLATER ; Lead Guitar. A fast flowing guitarist with an excellent showman streak in him.
TERRY LAWSON ; Rhythm guitar and lead vocalist. Many have said that the days of the Rythem guitar are long gone but Terry tell you different.
DAVE MULLEN ; Drums and vocals. The main driving force behind the group. Songwriter, drummer, showman and vocalist.
PETER SLATER ; Bass guitar and vocals. Establishing himself fast as a very funky and inventive bass guitarist.
Walrus Gumboot live on Youtube - at Bogarts, Birmingham in 1975, follow the link 

(Walrus Gumboot were promoted by the Coventry SUNSHINE MUSIC AGENCY in Gulson Rd Coventry.)
I came across the term in 1971 while living briefly in Birmingham during the summer in a column in Grapevine - an alternative Birmingham Whatz On magazine available from streetsellers or the Peace Centre etc in Birmingham. Grapevine was a most useful and  inspirational magazine and it, in part, inspired me to start Hobo Magazine in Coventry a bit later on.

In fact in Hobo No 3 I created a page for information on Birmingham bands, especially ones that had played Coventry, and called the page Brum Beat (see the photo).

Much later Coventry music historian and journalist Pete Chambers, who has championed Coventry's Two Tone sound worked on a magazine called Brum Beat.

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