Did you know that The Beatles played Bearwood? Yep, look at the advert above for the ‘Teenage Spectaculars’! Did any of our readers go to these nights?
And the Stones played here too…not to mention The Small Faces, The Kinks and dozens of other bands in the 60s. Bearwood’s very own professional music blogger Daron Billings (of The Hearing Aid) tells us more.
It all happened at Thimblemill Baths when the pool was covered over during the winter months creating the perfect concert space. The fantastic Birmingham Music Archive features some great photos of the baths covered for gigs and dancing.
That’s just a part of the ‘wood’s musical heritage though.
Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie grew up here, Dexys Midnight Runners used to meet in The Little Nibble Cafe (now another chicken burger joint) on the High Street and bands like Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest played some of their very first gigs upstairs at The Bear.
Keith Law, songwriter for cult psych band Velvett Fogg, also lived in Park Road back in the day and if you don’t recognise the name you may well know their drummer, a certain Tony Iommi who went on to slightly bigger things in Black Sabbath. More recently The Twang honed their sound by rehearsing in The Sandwell Snooker Centre, formerly the Windsor Theatre which itself hosted a wide variety of music hall stars in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Jazz has been particularly well represented here too courtesy of the weekly Thursday night gigs held at Corks which legendary saxophonist Andy Hamilton played at pretty much right up until the end of his life, a legacy that’s being carried on through the Silvershine Jazz Club.
New generations are being given a platform at the Bearwood Shuffles held on the bandstand in Lightwoods Park as well as the annual Warley Woods Picnic In The Park and the ‘wood’s currently home to numerous bands and musicians including Musical Youth’s Dennis Seaton, The Beat’s Ranking Roger and a good portion of one of the more interesting and inventive bands around anywhere right now, Miss Halliwell.
Thanks Daron! If you’ve got any other musical information of note please just let us know in the comments box below – did you see any bands live at Thimblemill Baths or The Bear? We’d love to hear about it!