Talk:Birmingham/Archive 8

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Archive 7 | Archive 8 | Archive 9

Comparison with Venice

Further to this deletion, although the oft repeated observation that Birmingham has more canals than Venice is "spurious" in the sense that the former is very much the larger, I think that the assertion is still sufficiently widely made to merit inclusion in the article. To my mind, the question is: where should it come? —Theo (Talk)

In the abscence of any International Comparisons section, then I think it fits best in the Transport section, where it currently is. Thryduulf 17:06, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
The comparison is spurious, because the canals are not the same type of waterway in any regard. Andy Mabbett 21:10, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Good point (although the "in any regard" seems overstated)! The validity of the comparison is not really the issue here, however. This assertion is so widely made that I think that it merits a mention if only to debunk it. How would you phrase this? — Theo (Talk) 07:19, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
How about "Birmingham has a large number of waterways, and is often described as having 'more canals than Venice'. This is technically correct - however, the city is far larger than Venice, which has the highest concentration of waterways in the world." That seems kind of accurate. Proto t c 08:29, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
The way it's currently worded, under Transport, if it must go in at all. Andy Mabbett 09:18, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
That looks good to me; and, yes, I feel that it must go in. —Theo (Talk) 10:07, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Andy: I do not understand why you italicised "concentration" in this diff. And, how does this "dab canals"? I feel confused. —Theo (Talk) 14:25, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Italicisaton is a form of emphasis, but less so than emboldening. I understand "dab" to mean a small change. Andy Mabbett 17:30, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for the explanation. I can see why I was confused. I read "dab" as a contraction of "disambiguation". No wonder it made no sense to me! —Theo (Talk) 22:42, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
I've always assumed dab was a contraction of disambiguation as well, so you're not alone! Thryduulf 23:32, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Correct, in wikipedia, 'dab' is usually the shoirt form for disambiguation, usually with a link. (ie, changing a link that reads Sting to Sting (musician)) Proto t c 11:45, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
dab: n 1: a light touch or stroke. Andy Mabbett 12:10, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's the dictionary definition. Well done Andy. Proto t c 12:45, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


Andy, I don't know exactly how the 3 revert rule works, so I won't report it, but you must be teetering on the edge of it now, I make it at least 4 times you've reverted that canals sentence, possibly 5, in the last 24 hours. I hid it with a note asking to please explain what 'The type of waterway is very different' means if you have to have it in there. A link to waterway doesn't help. I still don't know what you mean when you say the canals are very different. A canal is a canal. Do you think you could manage to 'dab' it correctly, please, and better explain what you mean? Proto t c 11:25, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Hey, that's much better. Well done Andy. Proto t c 11:39, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Andy (user:Pigsonthewing) did break the Wikipedia:Three revert rule and he has been blocked for 24 hours. Thryduulf 13:18, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Punch Records

Can I just say that I recently created an article on Punch Records which is an excellent example of an urban workshop for street art at ground roots level which caters for people who would not otherwise get an oportunity to follow their chosen path of urban dance, art and music. I personally know several of the entertainers and they are definately unique in Brum, from dance to dj mixing, MC'ing and record producing, even the Council have picked up on what they offer. I couldn't help noticing that as soon as I had created the article user Andy Mabbett disputed the articles validity on wikipedia without even looking into what Punch is about. I filled in more detail and pointed out that Puch has remained in the eductaion section of Brum main page for months, I then went back to the main article and made live the link to Puch records. Needless to say that after I had pointed this out to Andy I notice that someone has now removed Puch Records from the education section, any clues anyone? Thanks Nick Boulevard 17:23, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

Music Comparisons

Andy Mabbett is the only instigator in ensuring that the comparison to Liverpool and Manchester remains on the main popular music page. We have already seen an anonymous user add further Manchester related hype, as I predicted this is a target for vandalism, Manchester has had only one main music scene of any prominence named after it which resulted in bands such as The Stone Roses, Happy Mondays etc, Liverpool obviously had the Beatles and Birmingham had the Brum Beat which brought to light musicians like Robert Plant and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Stevie Winwood of Traffic and Spencer Davis Group, The Move, Black Sabbath, Electric Light Orchestra and so on, why do we need any comparison to anywhere else? Does Leeds have a similar thing on their page? or Glasgow? and I also see that the Manchester article remains extremely hyped, would Andy Mabbett like to go and purify everything there? Birmingham has had many brilliant and successful bands and musicians just like Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol etc.. etc.. etc.. Nick Boulevard 14:25, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

Er… I too support/have supported the inclusion of a reference to Liverpool's Merseybeat here because that is the immediate inspiration of the Brumbeat tag. The Leeds music section opens "Though not as prolific as its neighbours Manchester and Liverpool across the Pennines, or indeed Sheffield in South Yorkshire, Leeds has still produced some notable bands." The Glasgow article does not mention music in any detail. If you have a problem with the Manchester article, you should express that concern at Talk:Manchester. Our aim here is to achieve a neutral encyclopedic style that neither promotes nor denigrates the subject. —Theo (Talk) 16:40, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

I recently wrote an article for virtual brum here on the city's music scene, I know it's hyped and someone here could probably do a better job etc, anyway I did some research and the city had a large rock scene well before beatlemania, the two cities were evolving equally with many bands and musicians being inspired by the US rock & roll scene, the fact that the Beatles stood out initially could be argued that they had the right marketing and backing which allowed them to later evolve into one of the most creative bands to date, thats just my opinion of course. When you look at it Brum has actually had many famous bands and musicians although during the past decade successful new brum bands have been thin on the ground, I can think only of Dodgy, Ocean Colour Scene, The streets and Jamelia.
This is what seemed to remain (roughly?) for some time - "As with Liverpool and Manchester Birmingham has produced many notable bands and musicians."
Or what about "Although the city is sometimes overlooked, Birmingham has produced many notable bands and musicians, as with Liverpool and Manchester."
It is simple straight to the point and IMO quite a fair statement. Nick Boulevard 13:58, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Led Zeppelin again

Led Zeppelin originally consisted of Robert Plant, John Bonham, Jimmy Page and Chris Dreja (later to be replaced by John Paul Jones).

Robert Plant and John Bonham started off their musical carreers in local Birmingham bands, like for instance The Band of Joy. They were recruited from the Birmingham scene by Page on the advice of Terry Reid, some reports suggest that the band first met in Walsall. Page had also played in a BrumBeat band (Carter-Lewis And The Southerners) shortly before forming Led Zeppelin. So the reason for including Led Zeppelin reference is quite clear, half of the band formed out of the Brum Beat scene, personally I think that deserves a mention especially when you consider how many people cite Led Zeppelin as one of the greatest rock bands to walk this earth to date. Nick Boulevard 14:25, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree that Led Zeppelin merit a mention. —Theo (Talk) 16:40, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

So do I. G-Man 18:17, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
Me three. Proto t c 08:32, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm still waiting for some evidence (as opposed to hearsay, from cut&paste biographies or fan sites) that Led Zep had any noteworthy Birmingham roots. Andy Mabbett 10:57, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
What do you mean by "noteworthy Birmingham roots"? Why is the membership of Band of Joy insufficient connection? —Theo (Talk) 11:07, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
See above. Andy Mabbett 11:20, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
I did read your previous posts but I still do not understand what you mean by "noteworthy Birmingham roots". I do find it frustrating when you answer questions like this with a bald "see above". Even if you are too busy to restate your earlier comments, it would be helpful if you could refer explicitly to a particular post. —Theo (Talk) 11:26, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
To reduce the effort required for your response: Do you contend that Band Of Joy were not based in Birmingham? —Theo (Talk) 11:36, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
I suggest you read the preceeding discussion of this matter, on this very page. Andy Mabbett 14:34, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Andy: Before each of my posts on this subject I "read the preceeding discussion of this amtter, on this very page". I can find nothing pertinent in #Led Zepellin (where you made no comments). I then looked at #More deletions where I found that you replied to Nick's request (at 5 July 2005 23:23 (UTC)) for an explanation of why you deleted his "inclusion of a new band and reference to Jimmy Page in his early years in a Brum band" with "For the reason stated in my edit summary. If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it.." Your edit summary had read: "rv. too specifc for main page". When Nick put a less detailed mention of Led Zeppelin ("Robert Plant, John Bonham and Jimmy Page were all members of Birmingham Rock bands before forming Led Zeppelin.") on the page you deleted it with the summary: "rm detail; restore cpomparson - see talk and edit summaries passim ad nauseum". I find it hard to see how the sentence can have less detail without becoming meaningless. You described "Three of the four members of Led Zeppelin played in Birmingham rock bands." as "exagerated trivia". In the #More deletions section above I asked you why "the Birmingham associations of Led Zep [are] any more trivial than [those of the Move, the Moody Blues, the Electric Light Orchestra and Wizzard.] You replied that "The Move and Idle Race were Birmingham based, with all or nearly all members from Birmingham. ELO played up their Birmingham connections, writing songs about the City. The bands referred to in connection with Led Zep may have had some members from Birmingham, but there is no evidence that they were Birmingham-centric." We had already mentioned Band of Joy (which I understand to have been a Birmingham band); they are described as a Birmingham band in all the sources I can find about them. Nick then asked you "how do any of us know that Robert Plant and John Bonham were specifically not Birmingham-centric?" You did not reply. When Nick raised the issue again a month later you said "I'm still waiting for some evidence (as opposed to hearsay, from cut&paste biographies or fan sites) that Led Zep had any noteworthy Birmingham roots." You have said that you seek evidence that Led Zep's members were "Birmingham-centric"; Again, I will answer that they played in Birmingham-based bands. I see this as adequate Birmingham-centricity. Since you appear to favour terse responses I repeat my yes/no question: Do you dispute that Band of Joy were a Birmingham band? —Theo (Talk) 15:15, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

You have said that you seek evidence that Led Zep's members were "Birmingham-centric": No, I have not. Andy Mabbett 09:08, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Andy please note the band members, this is taken from the official Brum Beat website.
Obstweed - Birmingham band.
Listen - Walsall band that was part of the Brum Beat scene.
Band of Joy - Birmingham band.
The Senators - Birmingham band.
Robert Plant Bio
John Bonham Bio.
Bonham featured on a Brum Beat compilation
All that I am suggesting is that Three of the members of Led Zeppelin performed in Brummie bands that were either formed in Brum or formed by Brummies, surely this must have had some impact on their musical styles (especially in Plant and Bonhams case) prior to their contributions to Zep. Nick Boulevard 16:17, 14 August 2005 (UTC)
this is taken from the official Brum Beat website: In what way is that "official" Andy Mabbett 09:08, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Hi Andy. I've put the relevant, interesting and encyclopedic information concerning three of the four members of the biggest metal band in history originally playing in Birmingham bands back on the page, pursuant to the consensus forming above. Proto t c 09:16, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Punch Records again

I agree with Andy's removal of Punch Records from this article. I think it is not sufficiently important to the city as a whole. In my opinion it would be appropriate for inclusion in Arts in Birmingham and Education in Birmingham. ‐Theo (Talk) 11:26, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Ok that's fair enough. I shall include it in the arts section and education section, they also are heavily involved in urban theatre so I have included it there on the main page also, thanks. Nick Boulevard 13:40, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

Removal of Led Zeppelin information

Andy, the discussion on the talk page above is in favour of retaining the fact that members of Led Zeppelin formerly played in 'Brum Beat' bands.

This fact is illustrated in a very straight forward manner:

Members of Led Zeppelin include Robert Plant and John Bonham.
Robert Plant and John Bonham played in Band of Joy.
Band of Joy were a Brum beat band.
Brum beat bands were bands that played beat music and were from Birmingham, which is colloquially known as Brum.
Therefore, Robert Plant and John Bonham played in Birmingham-based bands.

What part of the above line of logic do you not grasp, Andy? I will happily expand further upon it. Please explain yourself rather than say 'refer to above', as I can't see anything above. Neither could Theo. I would like to know if your reasoning for keeping this sentence out is for anything other than the fact that Nick Boulevard initially put it in. Proto t c 11:17, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Proto t c 11:17, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Please provide evidence that BoJ were a Birmingham band (and note that that's "band" singular); and that Page played in a "Brum Beat" band. Please also refreain from making personal attacks in your edit sumamries.Andy Mabbett 11:46, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Please respect the consensuses formed by your fellow editors. The evidence that BoJ were a Birmingham band has been provided above, by Nick Boulevard. I'm sorry if you construe my describing this quibbling as inanity as a 'personal attack'. Proto t c 14:19, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
The evidence that BoJ were a Birmingham band has been provided above: It has not. Andy Mabbett 14:37, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
They are described as a Birmingham band on the Brum Beat website. This is evidence. Andy, I don't understand why you are refusing to accept this. I haven't seen any other editor make this much fuss and demand you provide this amount of referencing and citation from the many facts you have provided the article. Proto t c 15:01, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
If you seek a print source: I recommend Hornby, Laurie. Brum Rocked On! (Solihull: TGM Limited, 2003) ISBN 0953695158 (OOP) —Theo (Talk) 15:35, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
Thank you. Does it actually offer any evidence for them being a Birmingham- based band, or simply refer to them playing in Birmingham? Andy Mabbett 15:59, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
It does not explicitly state that they were a Birmingham-based band. It is a book about rock/pop music in 1960s Birmingham. It describes Band of Joy playing in Birmingham. It does not mention them playing elsewhere, but that would be outside its scope. So, although one can reasonably infer that the band was Birmingham-based, it is not explicit and I deduce that you seek an unequivocal statement. —Theo (Talk) 17:19, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
It does not explicitly state that they were a Birmingham-based band: Quite. Andy Mabbett 12:20, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Andy: I wish I could tell when/whether you are joking. I laughed aloud at this, thinking that you were just having a bit of fun. On reflection, however, I realise that you may be serious. I think that we have adequate evidence that BoJ were closely associated with Birmingham. I would be interested to know what level of proof you require, but not sufficiently interested to pursue this any further. I would, however, like to know how much of your behaviour in this exchange is playful. —Theo (Talk) 14:05, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Here is a great example of Robert Plant describing Birmingham as his home town:

  • "-During the last tour with Jimmy Page we played in exiting cities like Bucharest, Prague, Zagreb and Itanbul. But Bergen has, after what I am told, always been supportive to the good musical traditions. Besides, I have for a long time been a friend with the boys of Big Time Playboys, who come from my hometown Birmingham. They have been a lot to Bergen and have boasted of Ole Blues , says Plant on the telephone from Birmingham." taken from here


  • "Reid recommended Plant, who in turn suggested John Bonham, drummer for his old Birmingham group, Band of Joy." taken from here
  • "His early influences included traditional blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson. As he became more involved in the Birmingham music scene he found many other sources of inspiration, such as jazz, soul and West Indian rhythms."
  • "Robert found a more settled home when he joined the Birmingham-based Band of Joy. The band went through several changes of personnel, but the best incarnation featured John Bonham on drums and Kevyn Gammond on guitar." taken from here
  • "After hearing of Pages' intention of starting a new band, vocalist Terry Reid suggested he hear Robert Plant. When Page got a chance to check Plant out, Jimmy not only ended up liking his voice, but also his stage presence. Plant, in turn, suggested they recruit John Bonham, the drummer of his old Birmingham group, Band of Joy." taken from [link to copyvio website removed]
  • Despite their relative youth, Gift were regulars on the Birmingham circuit, playing on bills with all the best-known Brummie bands of the time, such as The Move, Idle Race, Trapeze, and Robert Plant’s Band Of Joy. In the latter’s case, Plant would slip them 20 quid for the loan of their far superior P.A. system, something the impoverished band were unlikely to knock back! Birmingham was a hotbed of musical talent, as Eddie related: "There were so many great musicians around the area at that time. The nights that we weren’t gigging, we would always go somewhere to watch a band, and most bands knew each other. It was a really good friendly atmosphere, not competitive at all." Who the heck are Blackfoot sue?

Nick Boulevard 16:50, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Would anybody object to:
Robert Plant and John Bonham were regular performers in various Birmingham based bands during the Brum Beat era, they were later recruited for Led Zeppelin by Jimmy Page of The Yardbirds who, for a time, had been part of the line up of a Brummie band called Carter-Lewis And The Southerners.
We could maybe keep the more trivial fact about Jimmy Page on the arts section? Nick Boulevard 18:34, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
I would. Andy Mabbett 12:20, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Maybe a bit too much detail, Nick. Would go well in the music of birmingham (or whatever that article is called). Proto t c 13:08, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
Well Andy you seem to be in a minority of one here. G-Man 19:44, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
And yet he's still removing it. Restored. Proto t c 11:11, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
And you, G-Man, appear to have a majority of, oh, let's see, three, and none of you can provide any evidence (as opposed to hearsay) to support your claims; and one of you has provided evidence refuting one of the claims. Wikipedia is not a democracy,. and a small majority does not outweigh teh need for objectivity. Andy Mabbett 11:42, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
You're right, Andy. Applying the same level of rigid scrutiny, please respond to my requests for evidence in the section below, or I will reluctantly - yet objectively - have to remove your unsubstantiated claims. Additionally, while Wikipedia is indeed not a democracy, an 80% consensus to retain this one piddling sentence is persuasive. I'm sure all editors here are trying to assume good faith on your part, but your attitude is not helping. Proto t c 12:11, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
Hold on there, Proto! While I find it funny when you parody Andy's extreme behaviour, I do not think it appropriate for any of us to start acting as he does. Andy seems to be convinced of the righteousness of all his acts. I do not think that any of us can tell when he is joking and I think that we should all assume that he is dead serious all the time (not because this is likely to be true but because it is the least damaging way to deal with someone who has difficulty with amiguity and tolerance). Extreme behaviour like deleting his unsourced additions may only confirm his view that his similar actions are legitimate and it may distress him. Increasing the group's distress seems unconstructive to me. —Theo (Talk) 17:03, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I tactfully withdraw my request for Andy's additions to be sourced. I think I'll stay away from the Birmingham page for a while, as I don't want to get into anything non-constructive. Someone else can try and handle Andy. Proto t c 10:02, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

Providing evidence

Hi Andy. I find it admirable that you require this amount of rigorous scrutiny of sources. With that in mind - please could you provide evidence, in the form of an official, recognised website and/or (preferably and) a print source for the following statements you have contributed to the article.

  1. Although its music scene is not as renowned as those of Liverpool or Manchester. Unsubstantiated. Please provide citations.
  2. The city is at the centre of a large metropolitan area, defined by the government as the West Midlands county (with a population of nearly 2,600,000), but in practice including parts of the surrounding counties of Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Is it? Provide official citations, please.
  3. David Lodge. IS he associated with Birmingham? Please substantiate this claim.
  4. Birmingham's is also notable for its canal system. Is it? Please substantiate this claim.
  5. The type of waterway is also very different, with those in Venice being the short reinforced channels of the islands on which it is built.. Is this true? I'd like to see some verifiable sources before I believe it to be encyclopaedic.

There are plenty more I'd like to see you substantiate with fully verifiable and official sources, as opposed to hearsay, from cut&paste biographies or fan sites, but these will do for a start. Please provide substantial evidence for them all. Thanks Andy. Proto t c 16:14, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

It's unreasonable to ask a contributor to provide evidence for statements that are common knowledge or which can be verified with a basic Internet search. Items 1 and 4, at least, are common knowledge. A number of websites describe Birmingham as Britain's "canal city". Here is an encyclopedic one. For 3 simply Google "David Lodge" and "Birmingham". For 5 see Venice, though admittedly this description could be improved. Shantavira 18:01, 21 August 2005 (UTC)
Er…Proto was making a rhetorical point about Andy's own intensive request for sources. (Hey, Proto, do you feel bad about causing some innocent bystander to waste their time? Very big grin, indeed!). —Theo (Talk) 19:36, 21 August 2005 (UTC)