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B-Town is the name given to an indie music scene based in the Digbeth area of Birmingham, United Kingdom.[1][2]

Sky Children

Some local commentators have suggested the term is an invention by London based journalists to talk the wider Birmingham music scene up as a fad,[3] pointing out that "there have been bands going strong in Birmingham for years"[4] and highlighting the variety and strength in depth of the music being created in the city.[5] Evil Alien – a band who have been identified with the scene – have criticised it as "just media hype and a silly name somebody has given it all", commenting that "B-Town is the worst nickname for this great city I have ever heard and it makes me cringe every time I hear it".[6] In July 2013 Cavan McCarthy of Swim Deep claimed that the term started off as a joke, invented by himself and Harry Koisser of Peace while driving back into Birmingham from outside the city, and that "now everyone says it and we’re a bit embarrassed about it".[7]

Critics have pointed out that many of the scene's leading bands don't sound very similar,[5] though others have identified a common element as how the bands "all incorporate a slightly flippant attitude to their music, not concentrating on polishing their records to perfection, but playing for the joy of creating music and for entertaining their audiences."[8] The NME has commented how "nonchalance courses through the scene’s veins like quicksilver ... some scenes come roaring out of the traps; B-Town seemed to roll out of bed, insular and uncontrived, smirking at its own in-jokes, smelling faintly of K cider and intent on nothing loftier than the pursuit of a laugh."[9]


  1. ^ King, Alison (2012-10-13). "Forget Madchester, it's all about the B-Town scene". The Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  2. ^ Wolfson, Sam (2012-12-07). "Peace, Swim Deep and Jaws bang the drum for Birmingham". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  3. ^ Perks, Victoria (2012-10-15). "OPINION: To B or not to B?". Birmingham Review. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  4. ^ Parker, Jack (2013-01-11). "Peace + Swim Deep + Jaws + Wide Eyed + Heavy Waves + Junnk, The Rainbow, Birmingham 22/12/12". Counteract. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  5. ^ a b Riley, Mark (2013-04-02). "INTRODUCING: The Next Wave Of B-town Bands To Get Your Blood Shaking". Hooting And Howling Magazine. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  6. ^ Snape, Maryam (May 2013). "Evil Alien". Area Culture Guide. Fused. p. 27.
  7. ^ Pell, Tom (2013-07-11), "Swim Deep and the B-Town joke which stuck as a tag for the Birmingham scene", Birmingham Post, Birmingham: Trinity Mirror Midlands, retrieved 2013-07-31
  8. ^ Hann, Louisa (2013-01-17). "B-Town Bands". York Vision. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  9. ^ Nicolson, Barry (2013-07-25). "Swim Deep - 'Where The Heaven Are We'". NME. Retrieved 2013-08-01.