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Made in Birmingham - Punk, Reggae and Bhangra

UNIVERSITY NEWS LAST UPDATED : 26 OCTOBER 2010

A film exploring some of the most influential music to come out of Birmingham is being premiered in the city.

On Thursday 28 October Midlands Arts Centre (Mac) will be screening Made in Birmingham: Reggae Punk Bhangra which was executive co-produced by Jez Collins, who is a Researcher in the Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University’s School of Media.

The new one hour documentary, which has been nominated for two Royal Television Society Midlands Awards including best documentary and best newcomer for director, Deborah Aston. It examines the three genres of music that have been influenced by musicians from the second city. The film features contributions and archive footage of Brian Travers (UB40) Dennis Seaton (Musical Youth) Kevin Rowland (Dexys Midnight Runners) Rankin' Roger (The Beat) and Ammo Talwar (Punch Records) and a host of other musicians whose voice is rarely heard in the story of Birmingham music.

The documentary argues that Birmingham has a rich but largely ignored musical history and explores the range of social, political and cultural issues that gave rise to the music originating from the city. Rare archive footage is used to shed new insight into the city and its music, and how diverse cultures arriving or settling in Birmingham have contributed to the music scene.

Co-executive producer, Jez Collins, said: “This is an extension of the work of the Birmingham Popular Music Archive (http:birminghammusicarchive.co.uk) which aims to celebrate and recognise the amazing music activity that has come from, and continues to originate, in the city.

“We specifically looked at Reggae, Punk and Bhangra in this film but it could have easily been about the folk scene or heavy metal, new romantics or the amazing clubbing scene. Next time perhaps!

“There is such a rich, diverse cultural history of music in the city. And it's not only the musicians but the clubs and venue, the record shops, managers, record labels and so on. It's great for the film to get recognition as it reflects well on the work we do here in the Centre for Media and Cultural Research at the University by showcasing how we endeavour to disseminate our research work in interesting and accessible ways.”

(photo Jeff Widener)

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