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VA - Brumbeat - The Story of the 60s Midlands Sound

VA - Brumbeat - The Story of the 60s Midlands Sound


Brumbeat, which originated in the British manufacturing capitol of Birmingham, was never remotely as well-known or recognized (at least, outside of Birmngham) as the Liverpool sound called Merseybeat or, for that matter, as familiar as the so-called "Tottenham Sound" embodied by the Dave Clark Five. Brumbeat, such as it was -- the term derived from the local slang term for Birmingham -- was also never as unified a sound as Merseybeat, possibly because it followed in its wake, and also because Birmingham was a bigger city with more hands involved in making music, from more different angles; and there was no one managerial figure, such as Brian Epstein, who dominated the field with his taste and perceptions in quite the same way in the early years; by the time "Brumbeat" was perceived -- though it could be argued that the term was really a creation of the music press looking for a story circa 1964-1965 -- British rock & roll music was already being perceived as a goldmine on an international scale. 

But it did produce more than its share of top acts and stars, as this double-CD set is a reminder. Brum Beat: The Story of the 60s Midlands starts off in very familiar territory with the Spencer Davis Group featuring Steve Winwood -- arguably the Birmingham act that most deserved international stardom -- doing "Dimples," before plunging into the real depth of the history with Nicky James and Jimmy Powell & the Dimensions, both doing very primitive but catchy, frenetic bluesy rock & roll. Along with the better-known Rockin' Berries "You'd Better Come Home," they provide the core of the early, thumping sound that came out of this city, but they were also something of a dead-end. Not so Carl Wayne & the Vikings, whose "Your Loving Ways" and "You Could Be Fun (At the End of the Party)" were fairly sophisticated pieces of beat balladry and showcased the talents not only of Wayne but also drummer Bev Bevan and bassist Ace Kefford; indeed, on listening to this double CD, it occurs that one could easily put together a better-than-decent rock & roll anthology built exclusively around the work of groups whose lineups included future members of the Move (a band also represented here). 

Their legacy is obvious, and theirs is some of the better material here, but it's not the only worthwhile music. "Daydreaming of You" by the Hellions (whose lineup included Dave Mason and Jim Capaldi) should have gotten some national attention. Ironically, the biggest international hit on this collection represents the work of a group that grew out of the sound it represented, and found much greater success -- "Go Now" by the Moody Blues, featuring Denny Laine -- too bad that the album's producer didn't also license their equally superb "From the Bottom of My Heart." Some of what's here was never going to get much beyond the ranks of local listeners; by 1964, the type of blues and R&B-based rock & roll represented by the Brand ("I'm a Lover Not a Fighter") and Jimmy Powell & the Dimensions ("Sugar Babe") was being done in a more sophisticated and challenging (and charismatic) fashion by the Rolling Stones, the Pretty Things, and other London-based outfits, but that doesn't make it irrelevant or unexciting 40 years on. 

There are a few surprises on disc one, including "People Get Ready" in a shockingly good rendition by Keith Powell, the original lead singer for the Vikings who, based on the evidence here, should have had a much bigger career than he did. The collection drifts into what could be considered folk-protest music by way of the Uglys and "Wake Up My Mind," with some further digressions into the folk revival sound to come out of the city, embodied by the Ian Campbell Group (intersecting with Bo Diddley by way of Joni Mitchell's "Doctor Junk"). Of course, long before you get to that point, any unifying sound that you might've perceived is gone, which doesn't mean the material on the second disc isn't worthwhile; it is. Past such familiar fare as "Night of Fear" by the Move, there's a ton of enjoyable material here in folk, folk-rock, folk-pop, pop-psychedelia, and other variations out of the second half of the '60s. Stuck in the middle of it all is "The Eagle Flies on Friday" by the Exceptions, which was the first group of future Fairport Convention bassist Dave Pegg (though whether he's on here is made deliberately vague) -- it's a lost hit on this CD -- but everything is worth hearing, and more than once. The producers have filled out the released material of the period with demos by relevant artists (most notably Ace Kefford) that have only surfaced much more recently, and coupled with the extensive annotation, the set is essential listening for fans of '60s British rock & roll, and will contain at least a modest revelation or two for even the most sophisticated listener, based on its thoroughness and depth.
VA - Brumbeat - The Story of the 60s Midlands Sound


Thanks  Tel for this share :

Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers (1964)

Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers (1964)


Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers (1964)

Pat Wayne lead vocal
Dario Capaldi saxophone (left 1964)
Mal Edwards bass guitar
Brian "Monk" Finch saxophone (left 1964)
Geoff Roberts lead guitar (left 1964)
Brian Sharpe drums (left 1966)
Tony Carter lead guitar (joined 1964, left 1966)
Trevor Langham keyboards (joined 1964)
Eric Ashcroft lead guitar (joined 1966)
John Bonham drums (joined 1966, left 1966)
Mike Kellie drums (joined 1966)


This band from Birmingham were very well known locally in the early 1960s. Along with Keith Powell's Valets and Mike Sheridan's Nightriders, 'Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers' were one of the city's top live acts at that time. The original line-up had a very 'big' sound having two saxophones and they later added keyboards.


Patrick Curley was from Ladywood, Birmingham and worked as a waiter at the Grand Hotel on Colmore Row. He changed his name to Pat Wayne in 1957 when he formed a skiffle group called 'The Deltas' with guitarist Dave Husthwaite. By the late 1950s The Deltas had become a polished act and wearing matching red suits, had won the BBC Six-Five Special talent contest held for local bands at the Gaumont Cinema. Pat later made an appearance on television which gave him his first real taste of fame.

Although Pat Wayne and The Deltas became well known around Birmingham in the late 1950's and early 60's, there were various personnel changes including a short appearance by Denny Laine as bass player (see Denny Laine and The Diplomats). Organist Mal Ford who worked at Cadburys, would leave to join Keith Powell's Valets and soon after, Pat Wayne decided he also wanted a change and left the Deltas to front 'The Rockin' Jaymen'. More :

Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers (1964)


Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)

Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)

Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)
Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)

Mike Sheridan-lead vocal
Brian Cope-bass guitar
Al Johnson-lead guitar
Dave Pritchard-guitar, vocals
Roger Spencer-drums, vocals
Greg Masters-bass guitar, vocals
Roy Wood-lead guitar, vocals
Johnny Mann-lead guitar


Fans of British rock & roll have tended to think of Mike Sheridan and his band Mike Sheridan & the Nightriders as a footnote in the music's history, as the band that brought Roy Wood into the recording studio for the first time. They -- and Sheridan -- were actually a bit better than that, not only in Birmingham, whence they came, but in the context of early-'60s British rock & roll. Mike Sheridan (born Michael Tyler) is of the same generation as the Beatles, the Searchers, et al, born in time to reach his teens as Elvis Presley's records were sweeping over the British charts -- he skipped past skiffle to rock & roll in 1958, a reluctant singer who won a local talent contest and found the seed of a career planted. He later joined up with a group called Billy King & the Nightriders -- by early 1963, Billy King was gone and the lineup coalesced around Sheridan, with Big Al Johnson on lead guitar, Brian Cope playing bass, Dave Pritchard on rhythm guitar, and Roger Spencer on drums. At the time, the music scene in Birmingham was starting to heat up, with singles by Jimmy Powell & the Dimensions and other acts starting to turn up in record stores. They were good enough to get a large local following, and once the Beatles and other Liverpool acts started roaring up the charts, record labels began looking at other northern cities, including Birmingham. No less a figure than producer Norrie Paramor, who'd signed Cliff Richard & the Shadows and managed their recordings since 1958, chose them out of a competition for a recording contract with EMI's Columbia label.

Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)


They weren't a bad group at the outset, with a tight sound built around strong playing that, if not the most inventive, was still interesting, and they had a good sense of melody and what to do with it, at least instrumentally. Sheridan's voice was strong enough, but they lacked some delicacy in their overall vocal approach -- that problem was solved when Big Al Johnson decided to leave the group and was replaced by Roy Wood. Under the latter's influence, the group began utilizing more (and more sophisticated) harmony vocals, and took on many of the attributes of the Merseybeat sound. By 1965, they'd updated their name to "Mike Sheridan's Lot," but nothing they did seemed to work in term of generating a hit. Following their recording of Jackie DeShannon's "Don't Turn Your Back on Me," the group as it was then constituted decided to pack it in -- Wood exited to co-found the Move, and the rest soon followed suit. Sheridan soldiered on, taking a regular job to earn a living and founding several bands of "Nightriders," while his original band, sans Wood, evolved into the Idle Race, with Jeff Lynne fronting them. Sheridan linked up with Move alumnus Rick Price at the tail-end of the '60s to produce a pretty, McCartney-esque album, and eventually succeeded as a songwriter in the '70s; he also cut a single of Roy Wood's "Do Ya" for Tony Stratton-Smith's Charisma Records in the early '70s. He left music for a few years, but by the start of the '80s was back fronting a new band -- and playing bass -- with Keith Statler and Tony Kelsy. He also played with veteran British rock & roller Joe Brown.

Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)

VA - Brum Beat

VA - Brum Beat


VA - Brum Beat

VA - Brum Beat

VA - Brum Beat

WHAT IS BRUMBEAT?

There has never been a decade before or since, that has produced so much innovation and creativity regarding the development of popular music. This was particularly true in Britain where the 'Mersey Sound' led by The Beatles and others, would ensure that British popular music would have a far-reaching influence on the rest of the world. The 1950s may have lit the fuse in terms of rock 'n' roll, but the 1960s was certainly the explosion. In light of this, the period may be described as a "Big Bang" because of the long and continuing influence that the 1960s has had on the development of music in subsequent decades.


The term "Brum Beat" or "Brumbeat" originated in the early 1960s in the wake of the famous "Mersey Sound" (later incorrectly described as "Mersey Beat") that came out of Liverpool and was spearheaded by such well known groups as The Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers. (Mersey Beat was actually the name of the famous Liverpool music scene and entertainment newspaper founded by Bill Harry - see www.mersey-beat.com)

The Mersey Sound was sweeping all over the country by early 1963, resulting in big record companies (based in London) looking to northern cities in search of similar marketable talent. Cliff Richard and The Shadows producer Norrie Paramor of EMI Records, went up to "Brum" (slang for the City of Birmingham) in order to audition and discover local talent to sign up.


Birmingham is a large industrial city located about halfway between London and Liverpool and was thus subjected to influence from the Liverpool Mersey Sound in the north and also the Rhythm & Blues that was becoming popular in the London area and promoted by bands like the Rolling Stones.


Norrie Paramor apparently came up with the term "Brum Beat" as part of an advertising campaign to promote national interest in the bands he had signed up from Birmingham, but "Brumbeat" would later become known more for the geographical location that certain groups and performers came from, rather than for a single unifying 'sound'. That geographical location not only included Birmingham, but also the heavily populated area to the west as far as Wolverhampton and known locally as the "Black Country" because of its long history of coal mining and heavy industrial activity. This area includes towns such as Walsall, Dudley, and Stourbridge.


VA - Brum Beat


VA - Brumbeat - The Story of the 60s Midlands Sound Pat Wayne and The Beachcombers (1964)Mike Sheridan &The Nightriders/ Mike Sheridan's Lot – Birmingham Beat (1963-1966г.)VA - Brum Beat Motorcity Music (Midlands Beat Groups Of The 60's)VA - Brum Beat

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