Top 5 bands from Birmingham

Musician, writer and improv comedian Tom Clabon joined me to fight about which of Birmingham’s bands are best, and possibly what the word “definitive” means. And by Birmingham, we mean Birmingham. The proper one, in the UK.

Tom has performed in bands (like Bussy), and like me, knows the pain of publishing music to Bandcamp and the like, to little fanfare. But we’re both absolutely not bitter about it. Tom also presented Indie Mixtape on local station Brum Radio.

We also shared gig-playing memories, the venues we’ve been thrown out of (me), and the ones we’ve scammed their way into (Tom’s dad).

If you’ve heard of the majority of Tom’s picks, then you already know more about Birmingham’s music scene in 2019. If you’ve heard of the majority of my picks, then you’re a dad and death will claim you soon.

Also, I tried to coin a phrase for the pro-life movement, but didn’t do a good job, and Tom threatened to give me a weird handshake.

Tom’s picks

In order of discussion:

Johnny Foreigner


Tom saw two members of this indie four-piece play when he was learning to be a sound engineer.


This Krautrock project just about makes the definition of “band”, but deserves notoriety for interestingness and reflective lyrics.

Hoopla Blue

Expect combinations of sounds you won’t hear elsewhere, from this neo-folk five-piece.

The Cosmics

This noisy garage punk band made Tom’s list because they’re really, really good to listen to.

My picks

In order of discussion:

Electric Light Orchestra

I argued that Alan Partridge favourite ELO is deserving of a high place as an innovative and inspirational band. It’s worth noting that the song Livin’ Thing is not political.

Misty’s Big Adventure


Currently an eight-piece, but occasionally fluctuating in size, Misty’s are an eclectic and compelling listen, and personal favourites of mine for the last 20 years. Also Dave Gorman likes them.

The Moody Blues

This three-piece 60s prog rock band hit the big time back in the day but don’t make a lot of noise about it, or so says I.

Honourable mentions

More of Tom Clabon

Check out Cat’s Cabinet of Curiosities, the podcast Tom co-hosts, and OK Stop, the improv troupe we can both be found performing in, every month.

Add your response

Privacy policy