Thursday, 31 May 2012

Here, Bear and everywhere!

We love our new logo and think Erin Power (she's one of the lovely Crafty Muthas!) has done a fantastic job designing it. 

Erin's the very clever lady who designs the Bearwood Shuffle posters too!  She takes amazing photos as well!  Have a look at her flickr page - there's no stopping her talents!

We're hoping that you will be able to see our fabulous new poster all over Bearwood very very soon!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lightwoods Park Festival

It was a sad day in the welovebearwood household when we found out that the Lightwoods Park May Day Festival was cancelled due to the bad weather.  Boo! Hiss!  We've never been fans of the rain but unfortunately the organisers had no choice.

Hooray for some good news though...the event’s now going to be taking place on Sunday 10th June and if we keep having this glorious sunshine it's going to be a fantastic day.

It all kicks off at 11am with Colin Hall's Gypsy Blood (we do love him!) performing on the bandstand and the fun won't stop until it's teatime. 

There's going to be a BMX skateboard and scooter competition in the skate park, Sandwell's Strongest Man pumping his iron on the bowling green, a live music stage, dancing and brass bands in the bandstand, stalls, fairground and amusements for the kids.  Wow! We told you won't want to go home!

All this for's no wonder more than 10,000 people came last year!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Much A-Doodlebug About Nothing!

Welovebearwood are getting very excited about the Heartbreak Productions next performance at Warley Woods on Thursday 14th June, an innovative retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing reset in the Second World War.

Viv Cole, Warley Woods Trust Manager told welovebearwood that "our theatre night is proving to be one of the highlights of our year with everyone who has been really looking forward to seeing the next offering.  Heartbreak is a fantastic company that is a joy to host and everyone loves their style and the way they adapt productions for the open air and a small cast.  Bookings are going really well, but we still have room for more.  We are really grateful to Derek Spire Estate Agents for sponsoring this events again for us."

Why not make a night of it and bring along all the family and your picnic supper.  There will be drinks and snacks to buy too. 

Fingers crossed the sunshine stays out!

School's out for summer!

With just under 2 months to go till the schools break up Thimblemill Library is looking for volunteers this summer to help run activities over the school holidays. 

If you are interested in running a crafts club, science club, drama club, music club, sword swallowing club, belly dancing club, yodelling club (ok we're being a bit silly.....but hey why not!), then get yourselves along to Thimblemill Library and give them your details.

In the words of Alice Cooper (and The Muppets!).......School's out for summer!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Charlie's Mom's Chocolate Factory

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Jenny Emanuel, woke up one morning realising that her family needed some more cash for Christmas.  She had an idea for a new business but was struggling for a name.  Sitting down to watch one of her favourite films with her twin children, Faith and Charlie, inspiration struck and Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory was born!   
Welovebearwood had heard great things about Jenny’s goodies and we’d seen her stall at the Crafty Muthas’ Fair too.  We’ve always been very partial to a chunk (or six!) of chocolate so we were eager to find out more and were over the moon when we contacted Jenny and received an invite to her kitchen (recently given a 5 star Food & Hygiene rating from Sandwell Council...that’s a clean as you can get!).

Jenny showed us how she makes the chocolate and even let us have a go too. Very brave of her!  She uses only the finest Belgian chocolate (it tastes just like the chocolate Hotel Chocolat use) and her kitchen’s stacked full of different types of chocolate, toppings, moulds and utensils.  When she started out she used to make all of her chocolate by hand but this was becoming a really long back-breaking job.  She longed to own a chocolate tempering machine (the bit of kit that melts the chocolate to perfection) but these don’t come cheap so last New Year’s Eve when midnight struck she made a wish on her Chinese lantern that her dream would come true.  Well, fate (and selling old gold!) definitely played a helping hand and before she knew it she had the exact machine she was after.  With this last bit of the puzzle in place Jenny was now able to make a lot more chocolate! Since she started trading her online sales have gone through the roof, even reaching as far as Scotland and if there’s a craft fair in the area you’ll probably see a crowd round her stall too.     
What we really like about Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory is that Jenny’s not afraid to try new ideas.  Her personalised chocolate pizzas (we love this – 2 of our favourite things together!) are one of her best sellers, so much so that there were 100 pizza boxes in Jenny’s hallway just waiting to be filled and delivered.
Charlie’s Mom’ Chocolate Factory doesn’t just sell chocolate though.  Oh no, there’s way much more on offer!  Jenny makes all different kinds of fudge - Baileys (we tried this one – so creamy!), vanilla, rum n’ raisin (you can really taste the rum!), chocolate orange, mint, cherry and almond, rich chocolate, white chocolate.  There’s coconut ice (Jenny’s fave) and Turkish delight too. Mouth wateringly good.   
Although Jenny lives closer to Cape Hill she’s in Bearwood practically every day.  Her children go to St Gregory’s School, her church is St Gregory’s (she got married there) and she used to live on Abbey Road.  Her parents live in Thimblemill Road in the house where Jenny grew up.  Jenny’s a big fan of Global Food and the Post Office diagonally opposite and says that they’re always so friendly and helpful in there. We think Jenny should go to the top class too as she reckons cumin makes Lightwood’s Chippy’s chips orange (clever!). 
The future looks even chocolateier for Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory.  There’s a website in the pipeline, more chocolate making workshops to be held, new flavours such as raspberry ripple and lemon meringue being developed all the time, Jenny even mentioned chilli chocolate! She’s got an exciting concept that she’s working on which just needs to be patented and financed too. We’d love to see her on Dragon’s Den, but if there are any millionaires in Bearwood who fancy investing we reckon there’d be more than a slab or two of chocolate in it for them!

Thimblemill Library's What's on Guide for June

We’ve just seen Thimblemill Library’s events calendar for the month of June and we want to know when they do find the time to sleep!  There’s so much going’s fantastic!
One of the highlights for us is definitely an evening with George Layton (of It Ain't Half Hot Mum fame - he keeps popping up in Eastenders too) on Monday 18th June.  He'll be reading from one of his books and then it will be open to a Q&A session.
We love our local history so the Find & Frame Your Ancestors evening on Thursday 14th June(who knows you could be related to the earliest descendants in Bearwood) and the local history walk with David Yates on Saturday 9th June sound fascinating. David used to be our local postman and he's wealth of all knowledge about the history of Bearwood so this just has to be good.
To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee loveable jester Ron Popple's going to be at the library on the afternoon of Saturday 9th June.  The details says it's for children of all ages so hopefully that means adult kids too! 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Happy 125th Posting!

We’ve no idea how it happened but the 100th posting on welovebearwood snuck by without us even realising, so we’ve decided to celebrate our 125th post instead.
It’s been over a year now since the welovebearwood blog was created. Collectively we’ve found out so much more about Bearwood, been able to shout from the roof tops why we love living in here and we’ve met some great fellow Bearwoodians along the way.
The highlights for us have been interviewing Pete Williams (we still can’t believe one of Dexys agreed to being interviewed by us!), Tom Naylor, Craig Goodall, Laurence Saunders, Stuart of Odds and Sods and Jenny of Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory (coming soon...folks!).  If we've forgotten anyone please forgive us!
We’ve also enjoyed writing about our own Bearwood All-Stars and finding out what makes other people in Bearwood smile and being able to promote firsts in Bearwood – Bearwood Shuffle, Bearwood Social Media Surgery and Bearwood Supper Club.  We’re so grateful for the amazing contributions we’ve had too from all kinds of folk, they’ve made welovebearwood very happy.
We can’t wait to make our 200th posting and we’d like your input.  What would you like to see on the blog?  Do you need help promoting an event, small business or community group?  Please email us at, we’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Bearwood's Jubilee Family Fun Day!

The Bearwood Diamond Jubilee celebrations are fast approaching and things are starting to take shape for the Family Fun Day on Monday 4th June at Bearwood Chapel.  

Dave from Bearwood Chapel gave us an update on what the day has in store. 

"The idea is that there will be three zones....The Street Party Zone,The Games Zone and the Reflective Zone". 

The Street Party Zone will be "in front of Bearwood Chapel, leading down the Chapel drive, we’ll be serving tea, coffee, soft drinks and cake throughout the day.   The square will be decorated with bunting and balloons.  There’ll be balloon modelling and face painting for youngsters and stalls including a cake stall and 'Charlie’s Mom’s Chocolate Factory.'"

Yeah, that's great news! We love Charlie's Mom's Chocolate Factory. (Watch out for our post in the next few days about our visit to Charlie's Mom's Chocolate Factory.)

There's going to be loads of fun for everyone and Dave's particularly excited about the Games Zone.  "Make your way onto Calthorpe Haven where there’ll be lots of fun and games for the whole family including an obstacle course, 3 a-side football, tug of war, three legged race, sack race etc.  As a special treat, the Bearwood Chapel puppets will be making a special guest appearance for a puppet show during the day.  At lunch time, the Haven will be cleared and we are encouraging everyone who is able to bring along a picnic lunch and rug to sit on as part of the Big Lunch."

David said that if you want some quiet time the Reflective Zone is the place for you....."in the Chapel building we’ll be hosting an exhibition of the Chapel’s history.  There’ll also be an arts workshop where you can have a go at painting, drawing or even sculpting. Children's activities will include "How to draw your own corgi" and there will be a special Royal Quiz. There'll be somewhere quiet for those who simply want to sit down, put their feet up and enjoy a cuppa." 

There's going to be live music as well.  It's going to be a great day! 

It's not too late Bearwood to still get involved.  Dave told us that "there’s still opportunity to book a space so if you would like a stall for craft, art, etc. then do get in touch."  Contact for more information.

David said that "we're hoping for warm sunny weather but rest assured that we have a wet weather plan which will involve moving the party indoors and making full use of the Chapel premises."

The weather's so glorious at the moment, fingers crossed it's here for the whole of the summer! 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


OMG!  How amazing was Birmingham International Dance Festival’s ‘Wings of Desire’ last week!  Goldie as compere, street poetry, amazing dance routines, ‘cirque du soleill’ style acrobatics, special effects which made the Town Hall look as if it was crumbling and lastly but probably most importantly the angels which were scattered all around the Town Hall on roofs and buses etc. 

We spent the whole performance jaws wide open only able to say wow over and over again!  There was far too much excitement for a FREE event (yes FREE we tell you!).

We have looked on You Tube for footage for the spectacular but it doesn't do the show justice so imagine how happy we were when we saw photos that one of our friends, Katja Ogrin, had taken of the event and one of the angels was ........Bearwood All-Star Laurence Saunders. BRILLANT!  Click on this link to see our favourite angel.

Katja takes amazing photos and was the photographer for the Home of Metal Exhibition last year.  We know her because she covers gigs with my hubby Daron, aka The Baron, for online music websites and magazines.  Please check out her website and you can see why we are big fans!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Bearwood's Classical Guitar Centre

With Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival and Birmingham’s International Jazz Festival just around the corner welovebearwood just had to listen to some Django Reinhardt’s Gypsy Jazz. 

We reckon that if Mr Reinhardt was alive today and lived in Bearwood (big his Bearwood All-Star would definitely be the Classical Guitar Centre on St Mary’s Road.
We didn’t know this but the centre holds Europe's largest stock of fine classical instruments and you can learn how to play classical guitar there too.  As it says on their website "the Centre is now very well supported, both at home and internationally by professional and amateur alike."

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Bearwood's Got Taste!

Following on from yesterday's post about Bearwood's first social media surgery welovebearwood have got another first for you!  Wow!  We do spoil you!

Rachel (one of the Crafty Muthas) whose amazing cakes sell out in seconds at all the Crafty Muthas fairs has teamed up with Richard, a professional chef, to host Bearwood's FIRST EVER supper club on Saturday 26th May.  We just love this idea so we caught up with Rachel to find out more about this gastro treat!

We heard about supper clubs before but didn't know how it worked so Rachel explained that "basically it’s going back to the traditional roots of restaurants when people served well cooked, good food in their homes. It’s like the opposite of Macdonald's !! Supper Clubs are also known as Pop-up restaurants or Underground restaurants and they are taking London and New York by storm. There are a few in the West Midlands and the phenomenon is spreading throughout the UK. The link below takes you a webpage where you can find more information on supper clubs....".

Wow!  This sounds just what Bearwood needs so we asked Rachel why they wanted to start the Supper Clubs.  

"We have a profile on the webpage above but we haven't yet added any content as we want to wait and see if this idea takes off first. Initially, we invited only friends and acquaintances to the first one but as lots of our friends seem to be busy that weekend, we have decided to open it up to all you Bearwoodians! Given that there is so much excellent community spirit within Bearwood at the moment, we feel this is the perfect time to venture into this concept as it is very much ‘keeping it local’ and we would source the food from local suppliers as much as possible. Part of the attraction of Supper Clubs are that you get to meet interesting new people, so if you would like to come along but you don't have a friend to come with you, don't worry! You will meet, eat and drink with different people and chances are you'll know someone else who is coming anyway! "

The first Supper Club's on Saturday 26th May. "Anyone who has eaten at my home in Bearwood, or sampled any of my cakes (I am the Crafty Mutha who sells cakes at the Bearwood Handmade Fayres), will know that I take pride in cooking good food, and Richard has trained as a professional chef and we share a passion for food. We can serve up to 20 people and you can expect a 5-6 course meal served over a good 3-4 hours with background music, atmospheric surroundings and plenty of chat."

5-6 courses....amazing!  What's on the menu? 

Welcome drink

Pre starter / amuse bouche
Beetroot& goat's cheese salad with truffle oil dressing (V)
Baked scallops & prawns in saffron cream
Spinach stuffed chicken on truffle infused butternut squash risotto
Duck in balsamic syrup with dauphinoise potatoes& spring greens
Butternut Squash risotto with wilted spinach and deep fried paneer (V)
Richard's Dessert
Rachel's Dessert
Coffee & sweet treats

We feel hungry already so Rachel teased with the fact that "the desserts will be a complete surprise so you won't know what you're getting until the night itself!"

"If there is anything you simply cannot eat, please let us know and we will endeavour to offer an alternative. Also, if you really haven't got a sweet tooth or hate deserts, let us know and we may be able to offer a small cheese board as an alternative."

The evening is priced at only £25 per person.  Much cheaper than going to a posh restaurant in town and we bet that Rachel and Richard's food will be much tastier and you won't have to worry about getting a bus or taxi home.

If you are interested in coming along, then please respond by 20th May to with any questions or you can PM her (Rachel Gandolfi) on Facebook and she will give you the payment details. Your confirmation, plus times and the address will be sent once payment is received. 

There will also be a competition held where you can win a free sitting at the next Supper Club event!  Love it! 

Rachel explained that "there are a few ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ to hosting (and attending) a Supper Club. It’s kept quite secretive as it is a pop-up business, but we both have Food Hygiene Certificates and Public Liability Insurance. It’s illegal for us to sell alcohol so it’s important that you bring your own and bring enough! There will be a complimentary welcome drink though and the off-licence is not far if you run out!" 

A complimentary well!  Make sure you don't miss out Bearwood - get your booking in today!

Rachel's last words to welovebearwood were "so, all that remains for me to say is that I hope you find the concept of bringing a Supper Club to Bearwood as intriguing as we do and that you will be able to join us for the opening night of R & R Supper Club." 

P.S.  Coming soon Rachel's cakes (have a sneaky peep at her yummy cakes below!) and details of the Grocery Club!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bearwood's First Social Media Surgery!

Want folk in Bearwood to know about your charity, community group or club in Bearwood but don’t know how to start putting the details online?   Fancy starting a blog or making a video but don’t think you can do it?  Well....welovebearwood have found the perfect solution for you.  

There’s going to be a Bearwood Social Media Surgery on Monday 11 June at the Kings Head Pub on Hagley Road between 7.30-9pm.  With volunteers eager to give you an expert hand it could be the answer you’re after. 
The Bearwood Surgery team have told us that there’s going to be “No boring speeches, no jargon” just experts “offering you approachable one-to-one help and support because they believe it can help”. 

To find out more information, please click on this link!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Dexys...they came (back), they soared, they conquered...

As you may know already (we mention it enough!) welovebearwood are huge Dexys fans and we’re very excited about the release of their new album ‘One Day I’m Going to Soar’ on 4th June.  We’ve only had to wait 27 years! 

Dexys are only doing a very small tour to promote the album and we’re just hoping that they come to Birmingham soon...or even better, Bearwood...especially as Dexys very own Pete Williams lives here (check out his awesome solo album, See, too!).

Fortunately there’s been media coverage about new album and we just wanted to share Mark Kermode’s interview with Kevin Rowland and a idea of what the recent gigs have been like with you.

P.S  It's just been announced that Dexys will be appearing on Later with Jools Holland next week (Tuesday 15th May).  Can't wait!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Spill thrills!

Tripping the Lightwoods Fantastic!

A world premiere comes to Lightwoods Park on Friday 18th May in the form of Spill! 

It’s all part of Birmingham’s International Dance Festival and is described on their website as “a playground of dance”. 

It sounds like great fun with high energy gymnasts flinging themselves all over the place and dancing around Lightwoods Park playground, over and under slides, roundabouts and swings...welovebearwood would love to have a go!

If you’d like more information about this free event please click on this link.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Jane's Walk!

If you're out and about tomorrow why not join Bearwood's very own Jane's Walk. "What's Jane's walk?" we hear you cry. Here's the lowdown from the organisers:

Bearwood, alongside the likes of Barcelona, New York, Melbourne and Paris, is hosting one of 500 worldwide Jane's Walks this weekend. The purpose of the walk is to provide the people of Bearwood with an opportunity to raise the issues that they feel strongly about. To share what they like about Bearwood and also what they think might improve Bearwood for both residents and visitors. We will be looking at various aspects that affect day to day life in Bearwood including our experience of the shops, what’s it like to get around Bearwood, what is it like appearance wise and does it feel like a safe and pleasant place to spend time in.The walk is intended to be interactive, we will be taking notes and there will be opportunities to stop at various points to discuss some of the issues in more depth. 

More info here. And here's the perfect soundtrack for it all too (although I doubt you'll be walking 500 miles...)...oh alright, it's just a excuse to post a Proclaimers track. Altogether now "I wuld walk five huuuuuuuuundrrriiiiid miiles:

Rain Rain Go Away!

Welovebearwood are getting well and truly fed up with this weather.  When will it stop raining and being so god damn cold? 
We couldn’t believe it when we watched the weather forecast the other day and it said that it was going to get down to -2 (!) at night over the weekend – we think somebody needs to give the weather a wake-up call and let them know that we’re in Spring and that the sun should be coming out to stay!
Unfortunately just like Bearwood Shuffle#3, this Bank Holiday Monday’s Lightwoods Park May Day event has bitten the dust and has been postponed due to the bad weather.
Don’t give up hope though....there’s a rumour on the Bearwood grapevine that the new date for Bearwood Shuffle is Sunday 10th June and that the next Lightwoods Park festival will now be held in June.  As soon as we know definite dates we’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Tom Nayls It!

Welovebearwood are big fans of Tom Naylor!  We don't think there was a dry eye in Lightwoods Park when he sang at Bearwood Shuffle#2 with his Mum.

We caught up with Tom during his busy schedule - he's recently modelled for the Duck & Cover Autumn collection and is just finishing off all the final details for the Lightwoods Skatepark event this coming Bank Holiday Monday.

Over to you....Tom.

1. Wow! You’re a very busy man! Model, MC, BMX rider....if you had to choose just one of these which one would you choose & why?

First of all I would  like to say thank you for offering me this opportunity to do this interview, its nice to know people are taking an interest in what I do with my life, I’d just like to add that I work full time in an office up Birmingham, just a standard nine to five job but unfortunately we all have to pay the bills somehow, until recently I was working the weekends at a club called Oh Velvet bar/Sugarsuite on Broad street, I worked there for the past year and a half but recently had to give it up. It was getting too much trying to work everyday of the week and doing music so unfortunately something had to go. I’d like to shout out everyone that worked there especially Triple S who got me up to perform at Oh Velvet live lounge and perform live on a Saturday night when a bit of grime comes on, always nice to think back and know I’ve performed in a rammed club up town on a Saturday night.
Right back to the original question, my dream job would be a mix of all of them to be honest, I would love to wake up in the morning and have a gig booked in a random city or country, I really want to travel to different cities and take my bike and ride the local skateparks and see the sites, I’ve rode my bike for a long time now and as a bmxer there’s nothing better than finding new places to ride. I’ve done a few gigs lately and there’s nothing better than jumping on stage, imagine coming to a nice club or a rave having a few pictures taken and being able to perform live, it sounds like the high life to me. I would like this to be my job because it would be a dream come true, it wouldn’t even be a job I’d just be getting paid for the hobbies I enjoy to do in my spare time.

2. I’ve seen Lightwoods Skatepark in lots of your BMX videos on YouTube. The park opened just over a year ago (May 2011). What difference has this made to you and why?

I’ve been riding down Lightwoods park since I was 16, I’m 25 now so I’ve been riding Lightwoods skatepark for a while, about 8 years now, I used to ride the old skatepark which Anneka Rice built in a day! It was a challenge she was set on her old 1990's T.V programme called Challenge Anneka, I did like the old park because it was different from any other park around Birmingham, but it was old and was in desperate need of being resurfaced, they’ve done an excellent job and in my eyes it’s one of the best parks in Birmingham, hopefully we will be able to extend the park in the future as there is space to expand.

The park is becoming quite popular so space is becoming limited (scooters are everywhere!). The new skatepark has made a lot of difference to me its somewhere for me to ride my bike without having to travel too far plus Bearwood skatepark is like a mini community/family now, you don’t even have to ring anyone cause you know if its dry outside most people will be down the skateparks! It’s also a lot safer than the old skatepark as the old one had a rough surface and was starting to crack due to overuse, the new park has been designed well and there’s room for extension which were hoping the council will help us achieve. I’d like to say a big thank to for doing an excellent job on creating our new skatepark.

3. We’ve heard on the grapevine that you’re holding a skateboard jam. Please tell us what exciting things you’ve got planned for the event.

Myself, Rhys Wynn & all the Bearwood locals have been asked to hold an event on May Day, to promote the skatepark and local music talent from the area. The locals from the skatepark have decided to hold a skateboard/bmx competition. We will be giving prizes out to the best riders & skaters of the day, big shout out to an old school Bearwood associate Richard Homer who has helped sponsor the event, I have received prizes from Shiner Distribution’s in Bristol which will be handed out on the day.
We will also be holding a high jump competition, this has always been a good event at past Bearwood jams so if you’re coming down expect to see some spills thrills and big air!
We have also been provided with a mini stage & generator by Sandwell council so we have decided to showcase local musical talent from the area with performances from myself, Dr Dorz, Dee Cee, Jay Kola (OCD) Mc K Chambers, Mc Sketch, Metz Jnr, Juggernaut & special guests, plus DJ sets from Birmingham’s finest DJ Markey G & Beefy plus DJ Esstee & Stuart Powell. There will be a mix of genre’s playing such as Grime, Dub step, DnB & Hip Hop, it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase our talent to the public.  It’s going to be great hearing the music we love down our local skatepark and you never know we may have some new fans of our music by the end of the day.
 We have also decided to hold an open mic contest for young unexposed local talent giving them the chance to gain experience performing live, MC’s will be judged on bars, content and stage presence with the winner being awarded free studio time and a sprayout video courtesy of Reduxion Records and Real Life TV, this is a great opportunity for local talent to get a chance to test there skills, it will be an interesting competition to see who wins because I know there’s a lot of good mc’s round the area who deserve a bit more recognition.
4. You recently modelled for Duck & Cover clothing range. What was that like, how did it come about, did you enjoy it and lastly would you do it again?

I really enjoyed it, it was my first taste of modelling as I’d never done it before, it was weird standing in the bullring having pictures taken of you while passers-by stopped and stared but it was a good experience. I would love to do it again, pictures from the shoot will be coming out soon for the autumn/winter range, not too sure where the pictures will be, you never know you might see my face plastered on a poster in the Bull Ring.
 I got involved with duck & cover by replying to an advert on Facebook by Birmz Is Grime ENR Twinz , they have been a big help to me and have hooked me up with this photo shoot, they have also been supporting the Birmingham grime scene for years so if you like what I’m doing show support and add Birmz Is Grime on Facebook. I’d like to see if I could do a bit more modelling but I haven’t got a clue where to start it was just an opportunity and I’m glad I took it, hopefully when the pictures are published I could get spotted and it could lead to bigger things, you never know I could be the next face for Calvin Klein or be on the cover of Vogue magazine looool.

5. You’ve remixed Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ (one of welovebearwood’s faves) and performed your own songs at last year’s Bearwood Shuffles. Do you prefer doing remixes or writing your own songs, why?

Personally I prefer writing my own songs because it is original, as its been written by yourself, I like doing remix's because it’s a little bit easier because you already have a chorus there so you can write your verses around the chorus, plus I can’t sing so I have to have other singers on the track, I’d love to be able to sing or even hold a note but I doubt that will ever happen I have to leave that department to my mom,  it’s nice to know people are listening to what I’m doing, it makes me want to make more music so I’ve started to take music more seriously, I’ve been MCing a long time, down the skate parks and in my bedroom, one day I did a mini video for YouTube and got a really good response so since then I’ve just been making more tunes and I’m still shocked at how good things are going, to be honest I was a little bit reluctant to show people I MC’d as I thought I wasn’t any good and thought people would have laughed but as time has passed and I get more support & followers of my music my confidence has grown, I feel anything is possible if you work hard and put your mind to it.

6. What's your favourite album you have listened to so far this year?

I listen to music every day, I constantly wear my headphones, which will probably lead to me becoming deaf in my old age but I can’t help it I feel addicted to music and feel life would be rather boring without it. I’m a big fan of all music from Heavy Metal to Pop Music but to be honest I don’t really listen to other people’s music in my spare time as I’m normally trying to work on new material, so most of the time I’ll be listening to instrumentals. My favourite producers who make beats at the moment are Birmingham producers such as B Line Producer Pro who has a great selection of Rap/Hip Hop beats and deserves a lot more recognition, I’m always a big fan of Markey G & Beefy B who are smashing it on the Dnb at the moment and especially Bearwood’s own DJ Alpha who is making big big tunes at the moment in the Drum & Bass scene. And finally my favourite would have to be grime producer K1.
When it comes to albums there’s only a couple that come to mind, I asked my good friend K Chambers to lend me an album of an old school American Artist as I didn’t have much knowledge of the roots of Hip Hop and wanted to listen to the original tracks and see how their music and flow of rappers has influenced rappers & mc’s of today, he gave me an album called Capital Punishment by an artist called Big Pun, his music is very x-rated so not really for the younger listeners but his flow and the way he put his words together was amazing, this album is a good 15 years old but he could swing it with the best rappers of today, unfortunately he has passed away but his music still lives on, what I liked about his music was that he told stories in all of his songs, things about his past and the way he lived his life,  He explained how he comes from nothing and how his life has changed, if your into rap he is definitely worth a listen to. I like all genres of music and really don’t see the point of being boxed in and listening to the same style of music, it gets boring.

7. What’s your connection with Bearwood?
Lived here since I was about 8, went Abbey Junior’s & Bristnall Hall and used to work at the Dentist & the old Safeway’s which is now the Aldi on the high street a few years back, lived in the Maisonettes by the library and Pheasant road but have moved since then, my main connection would definitely be the skate park, I’ve spent most of my spare time down that place over the years plus my friends live in Bearwood

8. What do you like about living in Bearwood? What/who/where makes you smile?
I used to spend a lot of time in Warley Woods as a teenager as it was just by my house, I knew the place like the back of my hand and everyone round there, I also spent most of my life down Bearwood Skatepark so every face down there is familiar, I drink in the local pubs and until recently still had my gym membership at Thimblemill baths, I moved around a lot over my life and used to live in Canada when I was younger but wherever I end up in the future Bearwood will always be home to me. What makes me smile is the people round me, there’s some funny characters round this area so you got to look on the positive side of life and have a laugh.

9. What’s 2012 hold in store for Mr Tom Naylor?

Just carry on doing what I’m doing, I’m really enjoying music and it’s nice to know that people are listening to what I enjoy doing. I just want to perform more and gain more experience. I’m really looking forward to Bearwood Jam as it’s the first event I’ve helped organise, from getting the sponsors to the performers to promoting, looking forward to seeing how the day pans out, really looking forward to the open mic event and helping local talent get a bit more exposure. I’ve been given a lot of support lately and have a lot of performances coming up, I’ve recently been hooked up with a clothing sponsorship from a brand called deadbydenim they will be sponsoring the high jump at Bearwood jam so look out for some prizes, also auditioned for a talent showcase called Birmingham Industry, I got through and will now be performing on the 15th June, it’s a big opportunity for me as there will be contacts from London coming to watch the performance so we will see if it leads to anything further, also working on my mix tape which should be finished soon, alongside the OCD mix tape, which we have been working on at Reduxion Studio’s, performing on D&B internet radio every week and really looking forward to the summer as I have booked a month off work to perform aboard.
Just like to say a big thank you to everyone supporting and everyone that’s helped me along the way, below is a bunch of links to local music and to people supporting.

Big Thank you to:
 Mike, John and Lucke @Reduxion Records
Craig @ Real Life TV
EnR Twinz  @BirmzIsGrime
MonaBrom Photography
B Line Producer Pro
K Chambers
Birmingham’s Finest / Sound Boi Flex
Triple S @ Oh Velvet Live Lounge

& everyone else that as helped me along the way! Apologises if I have missed anyone out, also a big to every person that took the time to listen & download my music #ddddddatshowwheredoingit
You can find all my music and video’s by following the links below.

10. What makes Lightwood Chippy’s chips orange?
I reckon they mix orange skins in the batter, that why your left with a tangy taste

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Bearwood's Diamond Jubilee Street Party!

Ooh.....this is exciting!  To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Bearwood Chapel are having a Family Fun Day on Monday 4th June and they want your input!
They have told us that they would like the event to be for the whole community and to have a real street party feel. 
If you would like to get involved please either click on this link to download the form and obtain more information or email with your name and contact details and how you can help.