Category: folk heroes

This is the tenth Brummie of the Year award, first awarded in 2003 by the then Birmingham: It’s Not Shit. Past winners and nominees have included UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers, itinerant blues guitarist Charlie Mitton, and escaping red panda Babu. This year we thought long and hard, and Tom Watson nearly snuck it at the end. His dignified exit as West Bromwich East MP nearly matched the one as Baron Tweetup in my Twitter pantomime, where we think he left a glass slipper on the dance floor at a karaoke bar or something. However only one Brummie so far this year has written and released a record that will make you smile and cry at the same time, will have you running up Constitution Hill and worry about losing your accent. It’s another triumph for the man who once told us: “people from Birmingham do have a …

Brummie of the Year 2019 — Stephen Duffy Read More »

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The excuse for talking to Stephen Duffy is the release of the first Lilac Time album in ten years, but that really is just an excuse: we could listen to him forever. Paradise Circus is more named after the Lilac Time album  of that name than even the traffic island. That said, No Sad Songs is a wonderful collection that you should head out and pick up right now. “Yes, we have always been guilty of self mythologising,” Stephen Duffy tells me, so allow me to build my own. I’m talking to him not sitting on the grass near Nick Drake’s grave, nor in a dappled Digbeth pub where our words would be lit with dusty spikes of light though the stained glass, but over the phone. He’s at home in Cornwall, I’m in an almost quiet enough corner of a conference centre in London that will …

No sad songs, an interview with Stephen Duffy Read More »

Mr John Lewis who is head of Birmingham, has decided that we should spend  £150,000 on an advertising campaign all about Greater Birmingham. It seems the marketing people have been taking their cue from Mr Lewis’s other business — as we can see from this leaked script.   From: To: Re: Christmas 1st October 2014 11:01 Hi Andy, Please find attached first script ideas for the Greater Birmingham campaign DRTV. I feel there may be a lack of Black Country in it — can you discuss with Walsall Council? We could swap Roy Wood for Noddy? Need a URL for response on the end plate – do you talk to Capita or do I? Greater Birmingham Winterval Advert EXT NIGHT: YELLOW LIGHT, AND SNOW, DRIFTS ACROSS THE INNER RING ROAD BY ALPHA TOWER UKELELE VERSION OF MR. BLUE SKY WITH A WHIMSICAL VOCAL BY NATALIE POWERS OF …

Birmingham’s got a much greater John Lewis Christmas advert Read More »

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Talk of a world-record hiccuping girl on BBC News this weekend led David Nash to ask after the Sutton Coldfield sneezing girl of 1979, and the wonderful people at MACE were able to deliver this video footage of Tricia Reay as she set off to France for a miracle cure. Paradise Circus was pleased to hear that Tricia did eventually stop sneezing, but the sad end to this story is that her Guinness World Record title was lost a few years later to another teenage girl from Pershore – though not before her achievements were celebrated in a bluegrass style song by Roy Castle on a Record Breakers LP (which may not have broken any records itself, but is much fun — more here):

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