The golden age of Birmingham post-punk is celebrated with a new compilation out next month.
Un-Scene! Post Punk Birmingham 1978 – 1982 surfs a revival of interest in the era following on from recent archive releases from scene leaders TV EYE and THE HAWKS, a brand new album from the reconfigured CULT FIGURES and the success of Stewart Lee and Michael Cumming’s excellent NIGHTINGALES documentary King Rocker.
With sleevenotes by Lee and album compiler (and former Hawks, TV Eye and current Black Bombers drummer) Dave Twist, the album brings together legends of the Brum scene like Nightingales, Swell Maps, The Prefects and Au Pairs, as well as lesser known acts such as Fast Relief, Joe Crow, The Pinkies and The Nervous Kind.
The album also sheds light on the city’s role in preaging the New Romantic boom, with a track from John Taylor’s early pre-Duran band DADA (pictured), also featuring Twist, and one from Fashion Music, later to hit the charts in ’82 as Fashion.
“The lockdowns of a year or so ago provided me with the space to pull together a notion that had half-formed around the time – pre-pandemic – that I’d met up with John Taylor to film our contributions for King Rocker,” Twist explains. “Our conversation centred on the important part that Robert and The Prefects had played in setting us – and so many others in the city – off on whatever path we’d go on to take. That there were strong, but pretty much unknown, connections between such disparate artists seemed to call for some kind of document, or celebration, or whatever… so here it is. At last.
“I’d also been using Instagram to share my own archive…” he adds. “Memorabilia of my fandom from the glam age and the punk and post-punk eras. I’d established a design aesthetic in the construction of that and so the artwork for the album just fell into place.”
Released through Easy Action on 25 March, Un-Scene! is available to pre-order here.
Check out The Hawks’ ‘Big Store’…