Thursday, 30 October 2014

Spook-tacular fun!

Bearwood (or as we’ll be calling it …Scare-wood!) has something for everyone this Halloween. If you like tales of ghosts and ghouls and everything spooky take the Halloween Trail around Warley Woods tomorrow evening. 

It costs just £1.50 per person (adult or child) and it opens at 6pm. We’ve been told it’s a very popular event so you may want to register early and get your wristband in advance.  

Just pop along to the Pavillion. Be brave! As the ghost of Sam Whitehouse found out you never know what goes in those woods...spooktacular fun!

On the other hand if you’re of the nervous disposition or not a fan of Halloween Bearwood Chapel are holding a Light Party tomorrow too as their non-scary alternative. The fun’s from 4pm-7pm and your kids can come in best (but non-scary remember!) fancy dress! 

Why not treat yourself to some spook-tastic chocolates from Mad As A Hatter on Abbey Road too.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Bearwood in the Wars

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI and the 75th anniversary of the start of WW2 St Mary’s Church (on Bearwood Road opposite Argos) are holding an exhibition this coming Saturday (1st November) and the following Saturday (8th November).  

The church will be open from 9am to 3pm and lots of cups of tea and homemade cake will be served between 12noon to 3 pm.  We’ve been told that some of the exhibitors will be dressing up for the era.

It’s a FREE (we do like that word!) exhibition so please pop along to find out more about the role Bearwood played during the wars. You’ll get to see original artefacts, photos and newspaper cuttings on display.

Monday, 27 October 2014

'Pascoe' and see this!

Being big fans of everything vintage the brand new production of  JB Priestley's classic play Dangerous Corner at the Birmingham REP sounds like a truly stylish night out. 

The play stars not only Michael Praed (memories of our misspent youth watching Robin Hood at Saturday tea time come flooding back...he was in Dynasty too!) but also Dalzeil and Pascoe’s Colin Buchanan who is a patron of the Warley Woods Trust.  

The play is on for one week only from 3 - 8 November so make sure you make the time to see this timeless classic!   

For more details please phone the Birmingham REP Box Office on 0121 236 4455 or visit the REP website, right here!

For more details please phone the Birmingham REP Box Office on 0121 236 4455 or visit the REP website, right here!

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Future Of Folk!

We love discovering local music talent and one band who has definitely caught our eye over the last few months is The Urban Folk Quartet, or for those in the know UFQ.  Their music might send you to outer space but we were so excited that they have their roots firmly in Bearwood.

We decided to find out how the band got together, their influences and about their forthcoming gig at MAC Birmingham on Friday 1st November when they will be debuting their new acoustic four-piece line-up.  Folking folk-tastic!

Formed by Bearwoodian Joe Broughton (guitar, fiddle, mandolin) and Paloma Trigas (fiddle, vocals) and Tom Chapman (percussion, vocals) and Frank Moon (oud, guitar) in 2009, UFQ have since toured across Europe and released four lauded albums.

With Frank retiring from touring late last year, his shoes have been filled by clawhammer banjo player and vocalist Dan Walsh. Touted as one of the UK’s finest banjo players, Dan has previously released two solo albums and one with duo Walsh and Pound. He’s also guested with Seth Lakeman and The Levellers. The forthcoming show will mark his Birmingham debut with the band after warming up with a successful run of headline shows and festival appearances over the summer.

“Having a banjo has opened up loads of musical possibilities in the new material,” says Tom of the inclusion of fellow West Midlander Dan. “He relishes the opportunity to play the banjo in new and unusual ways and that’s a perfect fit with our ethos. He’s also known as a singer, so it’s also really nice to have someone come in and liven up the vocal numbers alongside picking up Frank's old guitar parts in the instrumentals, which we're more known for.”

UFQ combine Celtic folk music traditions with jazz and funk grooves, Middle-Eastern melodies, Afrobeat and North Indian rhythms, and more. As musicians, they have worked with acts as diverse as folk big band Bellowhead and soul singer Joss Stone, while Joe and Paloma are currently mentors for the BBC Young Folk Award 2015. 

The quartet’s last appearance in Birmingham was a sell-out show at The Yardbird in spring 2013 – a performance recorded for 2013’s UFQ: Live II album.

The forthcoming MAC Birmingham theatre show will see the band perform two sets.

“We’ll be doing a mix of old favourites and new stuff we’ve been working on with Dan, as well as brand new versions of stuff from UFQ: Live II,” says Tom. “Although we play theatre venues regularly, this will also be the first time we’ve done a theatre show in the city.”

Following the show, the quartet will begin work on their fifth yet to be titled album, due for release mid-2015.

Tickets for the MAC Birmingham show on Saturday 1 November 2014 are £10 (£10) available from 0212 446 3232 or

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Midlands' Minstry For The Interior

No don't worry the poster's not advertising an official secret act but instead an evening of fantastically improvised Anglo-Indian music featuring string trio, Ministry For The Interior, on Tuesday 21st October at Bearwood's Real Ale Pub, The Midland.  

Local artist Tracy Timmins will be painting throughout the gig and using the music to inspire him.  

Ministry For The Interior's last performance at Thimblemill Library inspired Tracy to create a beautiful painting of an Indian sunset.  So who knows what will happen with the gig taking place at The Midland...pop along and find out!

P.S.  You can find out more about the Ministry For The Interior right here!

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chrissie's Back With Fleetwood Mac

Being big music lovers we were delighted to hear that Bearwood's very own Chrissie McVie (Bearwoodians may remember her as Christine Perfect) has rejoined Fleetwood Mac. 

Chrissie sang on many classic Fleetwood Mac tracks including 'Everywhere', 'Songbird', 'Little Lies' and 'Don't Stop'.

Chrissie semi-retired from the band 16 years ago and now aged 71 (you go girl!) she's back! 

There are strong rumours too that Fleetwood Mac will be performing at Glastonbury next year. Who knows maybe we'll get them along for a Bearwood Shuffle beforehand. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Budding Actors Wanted!

Budding actors and actresses wanted!  

Julie Mckirdy, whom we think should receive an award for everything she has done for Bearwood, explained to welovebearwood that there are still places left for a drama workshop on Thursday 23rd October.  The workshop will run from 4.30pm - 6.30pm  You just need to be over 12 to join in. 

This FREE (there's that word again!) drama workshop is courtesy of touring theatre company Two Gents Productions who are bringing their production to Taming of the Shrew to Bearwood that evening.  The tickets for the play are £4 per person before 20 October and £5 per person on the door.  Bearwood Bargain!  Tickets are available from Bearwood's no 1 library.

Julie mentioned that at the last count there were roughly 20 places left for the workshop so if you're feeling all theatrical pop down to Thimblemill Library today and get your name on the list.

Monday, 6 October 2014

Miss Halliwell / Is I Cinema / The Prodigal Scum / A preview of Forrester & Fletcher’s “One Year Off”@ The Bear, Saturday 4th October 2014

How long have we lived in Bearwood? 21 years? Yep, something like that. And this is the first proper gig we’ve ever been to at The Bear? Disgraceful. Still if you’re going to pop your Bear cherry better make it a good one eh?

First up - and not the kind of support act you’d expect at a gig – a preview of a new play about what would happen if football was banned for a year. Not being big football fans we wouldn’t give two hoots but we appreciate just how ingrained the ‘beautiful game’ is in the nation’s psyche and One Year Off takes a linguistically colourful look at the implications in turn using the premise to explore some amusing angles...hmmm...what jobs would footballers do if they weren’t kicking a ball (and each other) around some grass every week? We reckon Rooney would make a decent doorstop.

Next up the The Prodigal Scum, Birmingham’s self proclaimed “Premier Skiffle Punk band”. That’s a pretty apt description. They seem to share a little DNA with Brum’s Dirty Old Folkers too in their use of barbed humour in their songs and at times, to our damaged ears at least, legendary French World Music punksters Les Negresses Vertes. Hell hell oui perhaps. We believe the band’s lead singer is Peter Byrchmore, ex-The Nightingales and current Goldblade-r, and he certainly put on a suitably in yer face performance, calling out one dude who clapped out of time with the rest of the crowd and snarling the lyrics with a venom that’s sadly all too lacking these days.

The last time we saw Is I Cinema was waaaaaay waaaaaaay back in 2009 at The Rainbow. They impressed us then with their clever polished sound (with just a nod to Radiohead here and there) and five (jeez..FIVE!) years later they’ve buffed it up even further, blending prog, dub and ambient...all on the first track alone.“This is the sound of an uncomfortable amount of self indulgence” noted the lead singer at the start of it all and, well, yes, there certainly is a little of that proggy naval gazing on some if the tracks but when it sounds as epic as set highlight Apocrypha in full flow we're more than happy to indulge ‘em. Sadly yet another overlooked gem in Birmingham’s iPod.

Speaking of Brum’s overlooked gems Miss Halliwell are capping off an unusually fertile period of live activity with a rare home gig. Dressed in a hooded jacket and looking like a prize fighter limbering up for a backstreet battle to the death the band’s ever enigmatic leader Miles Perhower kicks off with a warning that their kit may spontaneously combust during the set. This isn’t a metaphorical threat, apparently it was making odd noises during the sound check...presumably in protest at the glorious battering it was about to take? Like a post punk Fagin Perhower spends the entire set stalking the stage and dancefloor, spitting out his lyrics and proclamations as drummer Rose of Bearwood provides powerful, potent beats. Despite the threat of imminent immolation Miles soon cranks up the volume, if he’s going to go down in flames let’s make it loud eh? The only sign of meltdown is purely human though as Perhower grabs a handful of band flyers, screwing them up and chucking them across the floor, later to join ‘em lying on his back as the band continues to play their inspired cover of Reach Out, I’ll Be There which, springing from his mouth, has a world weariness that’s a thousand ‘Miles’ from The Four Tops version. Elsewhere self penned set highlights Allegedly Gory and Naturl Obbit@ are the soundtrack of a creative mind beating itself black and blue, “I will defend this passion to the end” sang Miles on the latter with an intensity that could split atoms. As ever it’s all over too soon and Miles once again disappears into the night. As we descend into The Bear’s downstairs bar some bloke’s bellowing out Sinatra’s My Way on the karaoke. It’s pure coincidence of course but at that moment the words uncannily seemed to sum up just what continues to make Miles and Miss Halliwell such a draw for us...

“For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!”

It could almost have been written for 'em. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Thimblemill Library October 2014 Calendar

It's official....autumn has finally arrived.  After the warmest and driest September (we like!) since records began it looks as if the weather is going to change this weekend.  Boo!

It's not going to stop Thimblemill Library having fun though!  Their What's on guide to this month is already heaving from all the activities (everything from Write On's Creative Writing Group through to Get Fit and Stay Active classes and not forgetting Trace Your Family Tree) and lots of different events taking place.  

We've heard on the Bearwood Grapevine that tickets are selling fast for the exciting new adaption of Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Tell Tale Heart' starring Bearwood's very own Laurence Saunders on Saturday 4th October and A Two Gents Bard-tastic production of 'Taming Of The Shrew' on Thursday 23rd October.

Bearwood's youngsters won't miss out either especially if they fancy having a go at singing classes, learning to play the ukulele or guitar and taking Tabla/Indian drumming classes.

On the subject of being able to hold a tune BBC's The Voice Finalist Sally Barker (she was on Team Tom!)  is coming to Bearwood on 27th November 2014.  Only the best people come to Bearwood, don't you know!    Buy your ticket today to avoid disappointment.