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Music from different regions of the UK

The UK is slightly smaller than the US state of Oregon and has a population of about 1/5 the US according to the CIA factbook) yet seems to generate a substantial portion of acclaimed, popular music. I've never been there, but I theorize it has something to do with the dreary weather.

I guess my question is, for someone who lives there, how would you describe the different countries in terms of the music they've produced over the years--England, Scotland, Whales, and Northern Ireland, and Ireland? I realize Ireland isn't part of the UK.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

Non-existent for everyone except England, who tend to produce high-brow material that tries to use concepts to make up for it's lack of soul.

I guess Ireland is on the map thanks to U2 and Sinead O'Connor. Their artists are folky but angry and self-righteous.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

I honestly don't think that over history there is that much difference between the music of England, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland. Each has had their own mini-movements,

Scotland: 80s indie scene - Orange Juice, Jesus & Mary Chain, Aztec Camera..., and 00s cults - Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Mogwai, Reindeer Section...
Wales: 90s alt-rock - Manics, SFA, Gorky's, Mclusky
N Ireland: well, ok, not so much N Ireland
England: c'mon, everything! Don't think i need to go into that.

Meh, I dunno, I think the US is more region-based, especially cuz of local radio and that. Everyone hears the same things on the same channels here. Doesn't explain hows come there's so much great British music though.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

But is there not a noticable difference between the cities? The Manchester sound,Liverpool,London - they have different scenes

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

MightyMadMax, I think you're right, stating that local radio makes it more region-based in the US. That seems not the case in UK or Ireland.

The reason for so much great music in UK and Ireland? Although I am not from there myself, I could think of two reasons:
1) UK and Ireland have a strong pub culture, where people ranging 8 to 80 years old go to socialize. Many artists start their 'career' by performing live, usually in those same pubs ...

2) The British and Irish have a very old and rich folk tradition, which seem to be in their genes. Already at child age, people are encouraged to sing or play some kind of instrument, to my opinion much more than in the US or other countries.

I don't think it has anything to do with the weather, otherwise we would not like great artists from sunny regions, like e.g. Bob Marley ...

British invasion

I agree with Dr Dre
The British Islands (great Britain and Ireland) have a very strong folk music tradition, which is at the base of American music, but far from being its sole influence. England has the tradition of ballads, that were not accompanied with instruments, whereas Ireland is, along with Mediterranean countries and West Africa, the place where the common pattern in pop music (a musician singing and playing a string instrument) came from.
So britain is one of the places where all began. Combined with the music halls and pub tradition, and the high level of musical practice, it gave birth to British invasion. here/a>'s an enlightening essay about BI in AMG.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

Oh yeah, sorry Midaso, within England there have been some 'trademark' sounds in individual cities, Merseybeat for example, and Manchester has a rich tradition of churning out great bands, particularly in the Tony Wilson/Factory/Hacienda days of the 80s. London is such a huge place that there can't help but be a clutch of major musical talent there as well. Where I'm from, Birmingham, it's mostly dead, except for the heavy metal of the 70s (Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, etc).

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

Interesting issue. Made me go look at Henrik's Artists by Country lists, and I discovered something surprising:

I must really like music from Northern Ireland. There are only nine artists listed there--two of which are basically Van Morrison, whom I can take or leave--but there's also the Undertones, the Stiff Little Fingers, and Ash, who are all sort of under-the-radar favorites of mine (I could listen to Ash's album 1977 all day--it'll probably be in my top 100).

Oh, and MightyMadMax--the regional differences in the US may have mattered once, but not so much any more, unfortunately. "Local" radio for cities nationwide tends to be centrally programmed and distributed like network television. Here in Houston, I don't think there's a single music radio station which isn't operated by a national company like Clear Channel (except for the Rice University station, which has a broadcasting range of about 200 meters). In any case, I don't think local music scenes are particularly healthy here right now.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

Oh right, I didn't realise that Schleuse. Well, the US is such a vast place anyway, the diversity there (rock, country, hip-hop, jazz, soul, etc.) puts shame on us Brits, but I guess that's inevitable.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

MightyMadMax -

Sadly for Birmingham, the vision of it (other than a derby between Aston Villa and Birmingham City) I have in my head is the public housing from the cover of Original Pirate Material by The Streets. He's my favorite Birmingham music - not a big Black Sabbath fan.

Re: Music from different regions of the UK

Yeah, I agree he is probably Birmingham's best export, but even he's abandoned us, singing/talking/rapping in a cockney accent. Can't blame him really. And c'mon the villa!