Brummie of the Year 2019 — Stephen Duffy

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.

Stephen Duffy

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 slightly more sentimental nature to them”. Yeah, we do.

In his neglected masterpiece he revealed how he “sang [his] songs of Birmingham” and asked us if we digged “the proletarian way he got it wrong”. We did, we do, we probably will for ever.

For the achievement that was making a drum machine sound sexy in the 80s, through making us like a record that features Nigel Kennedy, to making this beautiful, nostalgic, sad and funny record – and all without losing his accent.

He recently said “Most artists think they’re dreadful, but I think I’m brilliant.” For a boy from Alum Rock that’s unusual. So for the distinctly un-Brummie trait of blowing his own trumpet (though, not ever on record) and actually being right we award Stephen Duffy ‘Brummie of the Year 2019’.

 

(Go get the LP)

Continue reading “Brummie of the Year 2019 — Stephen Duffy”

Brummie of the year 2015: Kevin McCloud

KevinMcCloud_Brummie of the Year

We build our identity in different ways on different days, according to the situation and the politics of the time. So it is that we might be white, brown or black but at times of crisis or joy we can become nations under one flag.

Kevin McCloud is many things. To some he is a southern imperialist, like a one man John Lewis, coming to Birmingham to tell us what we’re supposed to want. At other times he is other things. Thinking woman’s crumpet. Architectural commentator. A member of the London metropolitan media elite. The guy whose name fits wonderfully into the theme tune to Blankety Blank. Coat wearer of the year 1999-2005 (finally losing out to José Mourinho).

Today we say he is a Brummie. And a fucking good one.

For is it not the true mark of a Brummie TO BE NOT TOO FUCKING EASILY IMPRESSED WITH THINGS?

It’s how we make things better.

Continue reading “Brummie of the year 2015: Kevin McCloud”