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UB40 unveil railway station music maps in Birmingham

UB40 have launched a series of maps to celebrate the music heritage of the West Midlands.

UB40 map | 26 Nov 2021 NR Credit Ian Davies Photo and Birmingham Music Archive [l-r] Adam Regan, Norman Hassan, Fay Easton, Robin Cambell, Jimmy Brown, Matt Doyle, Jez Collins and Earl Falconer
UB40 map | 26 Nov 2021 NR Credit Ian Davies Photo and Birmingham Music Archive [l-r] Adam Regan, Norman Hassan, Fay Easton, Robin Cambell, Jimmy Brown, Matt Doyle, Jez Collins and Earl Falconer

The maps will be rolled out at 30 railway stations across Birmingham, the bands home city, to celebrate iconic local artists including Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, the Beat, Laura Mvula, Joan Armatrading, Andy Hamilton, Jamelia, and Duran Duran among others.

The first specially commisoned map was revealed by members of UB40 including Robin Campbell, James Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan, as well as new vocalist Matt Doyle, at Hall Green station as part of the Musical Routes project, immortalising music and musicians from the area.

Venues such as The Que Club and Rum Runner are featured, giving visitors an instant insight into the stars that were born in the city and the venues that played host to them.

The wooden 3D maps, designed by local artists Bobbie-Jane Gardner and Claire Hartley and funded by West Midlands railway, each features a scannable code that links to a specially curated Spotify playlist featuring musicians from each area.

The project was conceived and produced by The Birmingham Music Archive and funded by West Midlands Railway’s Your Community, Your Fund. Birmingham Music Archive founder Jez Collins, said: “I’m passionate about Birmingham’s music history, heritage and culture. As a city, we need to celebrate and promote these stories of global importance.

“Musical Routes will reach hundreds of thousands of people each year as they travel across the train network, especially ahead of an influx of visitors to the city for the Commonwealth Games in 2022. It’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight, through truly beautiful locally-produced maps, many of Birmingham’s truly great musicians and venues.

“I want people to know more about Birmingham and its contribution to local, national and international music history, heritage and culture.”

“We have an incredibly diverse city and our music reflects the diversity of our communities but many featuring on the maps don’t always get the recognition they deserve.”

Adam Regan, director of The Hare and Hounds, which hosted UB40’s first-ever gig in 1979, joined the musicians to formally unveil the map. Fay Easton, head of stakeholder and community at West Midlands Railway, said: “Your Community, Your Fund was designed to bring life to community projects that would benefit our customers and we are so pleased to see this world-class concept delivered in Birmingham.

Many local people and global visitors will be unaware of the musical talent that impacted world music from Birmingham and the Midlands. This talent should be celebrated, and we are proud to have been part of this project to bring Birmingham’s musical heritage to life at our stations.” More information about the Musical Routes project can be found at 21stories.co.uk and the Birmingham Music Archive at birminghammusicarchive.com.

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