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Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby © BBC/Caryn Mandabach

Two of Black Sabbath's seminal songs will feature in the upcoming fifth series of hit BBC show Peaky Blinders, it’s been confirmed.

The hit gangster series set in 1920s and 1930s Birmingham returns to TV screens on Sunday night (25th August) and director Anthony Byrne says that as the torchbearers of heavy metal and Birmingham natives, he’s surprised Black Sabbath’s music hasn’t been used on the show before.

“We are using their tracks ‘The Wizard’ and ‘War Pigs’,” Byrne said, according to The Mirror. “We built a library of music that we auditioned against different scenes. Black Sabbath just felt like a no-brainer.

“I was going: ‘Why’ve they not been used before?’”


Black Sabbath in the early 1970s @Getty

Echoing these comments in an interview with NME, Byrne said: “Our biggest band in this series are Black Sabbath, which felt so obvious but they’re so essential as a voice from The Black Country.”

Cillian Murphy, who plays the lead role of Tommy Shelby in the series, said you instantly know when a song fits the mould of the show.

“You just know when a song is ‘Peaky’,” he explained to NME. “The artists are outsiders. They have resisted the tyranny of the mainstream, shall we say?”


© BBC/Caryn Mandabach 

Peaky Blinders has previously featured the music of David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave, whose song ‘Red Right Hand’ is the title track.

David Bowie was such a huge fan of the show that he personally requested for his music to be used before his untimely death in 2016.

“We were friends and I sent (Bowie) the cap from the first series as a Christmas present,” Cillian Murphy told Birmingham Live. “He was a very sweet man and a genuine fan of Peaky Blinders, and I was a huge, huge David Bowie fan.”


Don't forget, Home of Metal’s Black Sabbath 50 Years exhibition runs at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery from today (Wednesday 26th June) until Sunday 29th September. Tickets are on sale from the Home of Metal website. 

Feature: Take a look inside the magnificent Black Sabbath 50 Years exhibition