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Tom From West Brom, Tek Me Um - album review

By Leigh Sanders | Music | Published:

Tom From West Brom is well-known to people around the area for singing tongue-in-cheek odes to his Black Country home.

The album artwork

He went viral online for one Christmas ditty, while a touching homage to the late Cyrille Regis also brought a ton of internet views to his YouTube channel.

On top of that, Tom - AKA Tom Greenhalgh - is also one half of former Unsigned page stars Marlowsounds.

But his bread and butter are the Black Country adages. And he has just released a collection of 12 for public consumption.

They're chock-ful of local references to West Brom - specifically Greets Green, Oldbury, Tipton and plenty of local watering holes. And there are many jibes against 'them Brummies' to raise a chuckle or two.

Black Country Roads takes a swipe at boy racers over the relaxed acoustic vibes that borrow more than an idea or two from bluegrass country. "Boy racers in their mum's Saxos, who'm driving like Ray Charles," he quips before the chorus croon of "Black Country roads, takes yow 'ome".

Classy Bird is one of the many tales here which involve drinking to excess. Finding a lady who has overdone it and starting a relationship via text the next morning, we follow Tom's protagonist as he realises his mistake.

READ MORE: Unsigned West Bromwich band Marlowsounds readying second record for release

Tales of classroom romance in the gritty rock number Debbie will have everyone harking back to their own school days. The upbeat tempo and full-band sound really bring the track to life as those distorted guitars are a mile away from the usually-acoustic numbers here.

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Obviously this is aimed specifically at those who know the streets and pubs and bars mentioned. But credit to Tom that there is enough humour in each track to make it accessible to those - myself included - who did not grow up here.

Wherever you live, these working class tales of struggling for cash, nights out in the local boozer and trying to find romance ring true. It's just the place names that change.

So hopefully, Tom's net of fans may stretch a little further than his usual B postcodes once people hear this.

Rating: 7/10

Tom From West Brom is supporting Ed Strong at Dudley's Ye Olde Foundary on King Street with Tree Of Wyrd next Friday. More details are here.

Leigh Sanders

By Leigh Sanders
@LSanders_Star

Senior sub editor for the MNA portfolio and entertainments writer leaning towards features and reviews. Get releases to me at leigh.sanders@expressandstar.co.uk

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