Cover painting of album cover for Welcome To Stourbridge

To say this is an uncertain time for musicians is, of course, a huge understatement. While many artists are struggling to maintain their identities, the dreaded “new normal” is already looking unworkable for a large number of planned live performances in the near future.

With this in mind, it’s particularly heart warming to hear of a good news story.

In the midst of Lockdown, Chris Wilson of Stourbridge Studios came up with an inspired idea to unite the town’s thriving musical community and celebrate its diverse output.

The plan would see many of the area’s favourite acts covering songs by fellow Stourbridge based bands for a special compilation CD. Welcome To Stourbridge (You’ll Never Leave) features the combined talents of Alan Neilson, Alex Ohm, Balaban and the Bald Illegals, Bedtime Susan, EYES, Flying Ant Day, Grande Valise, Jake Davey, Jess Silk, Mistrusted ft. Jimmy Croutear, M A R C, Roscoe Balaban, Shotgun Marmalade and The Smokin’ Pilchards. 

Carl Bayliss of Flying Ant Day explained their re-working of a Tokyo Riot Police track…

“Boz (FAD guitarist) had rehearsed in an early TRP line up which included the now sadly departed Nick Weston, so we chose the track as a tribute to him. We felt that the song ‘Celebrity’ had a ‘Tequila’ feel to it, so we went for a Brazilian carnival vibe! The finished album has thrown up some very cool interpretations and re-workings.”

Covering a broad range of genres, it’s an uplifting album that has something for everyone. It would be unfair of me to name personal favourites as its real strength lies in the unity of the project as a whole. The likes of Claptrap supremo Sean Lloyd, artist Heather Wilson and the multi-talented Andy Miles all assisted Chris in the venture, offering rehearsal space and recording, artwork and photography.

The album can be heard in full, and downloaded for free from https://welcometostourbridge.bandcamp.com/releases while CDs are available to purchase from the contributing bands.

As a side note, in the absence of live music Claptrap the Venue is currently open for band rehearsal and recording. Interested acts should contact them via https://www.facebook.com/claptrap19 for further details.

By: Ian Passey

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