Updated: Mar 14
By Sam Lambeth ©
The B-Team are a new collaborative YouTube channel featuring the best of Birmingham. Their aims? To be the toast of the Second City and to own a personal yacht…Sam Lambeth spoke to them to find out more.
“The Birmingham accent is classed as a disability.” “I would rather have Chlamydia than the Birmingham accent.” “Birmingham crowds are pretty tame.”
These statements are powerful and poisonous enough to send the entire Second City into a shockwave of sorrow. There’s worse to come. Insults about Birmingham being dirty abound. Brum, it seems, is now rivalling Burundi for the world’s most deprived area.
You could be forgiven for thinking this is some sort of anti-Birmingham propaganda, but it’s actually the introductory video of The B-Team, a new consortium of creatives determined to position Brum as the bastion of brilliance.
And what better way to begin proceedings than to read out some mean tweets about all things Birmingham? In the vid, the likes of Lycio, Lady Sanity, Mayday and Karkosa all incredulously read some of cyberspace’s most slanderous slogans.
“I loved filming the video reacting to the tweets,” says The B-Team’s Kaylee Golding, a radio presenter whose credits include BBC Radio 1 and 1Extra.
“I see them all the time about Brum, and I think ‘oh no, this is not cute’. But being able to actually film my reaction was such a fun release. I really enjoyed it, and by the looks of it so did the audience.”
The B-Team are here to hush the haters, to champion Chelmsley, to ensure everyone’s favourite digits are 0-1-2-1. And just like every superhero unit, its comprised some of the Second City’s most revered reppers.
Alongside Kaylee, it includes award-winning radio presenter and vlogger Tim Senna, a passionate provocateur of local music with a natural talent for hosting.
Also among the team are comedian Cassandra Maria, rising Asian media star Amber Sandhu, BBC WM presenter Henry Liston and music journalist Harry Bozman.
Forming an Erdington Expendables was something that had been high on Tim’s list, according to Harry.
“I remember being in the BBC Introducing studio and telling Tim about some vlog ideas I had, and we toyed with the idea of doing it together and getting more people involved,” Harry says.
“When Covid-19 hit, I didn’t imagine it would ever come to anything, but nothing stops Tim when he wants something.”
When it came to completing the list of collaborators, Tim helped bring together some of the best and brightest from his little black book of Brum.
“I first found Kaylee when I was doing student radio. She was killing it on there and continues to do so now,” he explains.
“I met Harry through the Birmingham Music Awards. He’s a brilliant presenter and has an amazing passion for local bands. Amber has a crazy, positive energy so I was dead set on her being involved.
“Henry is someone I only met recently, while Harry is his mate. That just leaves Cass, who is probably the co-founder along with myself. She’s an incredible person, an amazing comedian and we’ve found a lot of common ground that’s enabled us to be firm friends.”
Diversity was also an important factor when it came to choosing the collaborators.
“It would be a bit of a piss take if I launched a youth platform for Brum and there were only white people on it,” Tim explains. “It’s not tokenism – it’s the right group of people to represent the experiences of young people growing up in Birmingham.”
“I feel we all bring something different to the table,” explains Harry. “Everyone on the team has big personalities. You would think we’d clash but we gel very well. What we have works.”
The B-Team are already going from strength to strength, with rave reviews and an ever-growing list of admirers.
Tim has a few ideas on what he hopes the team will achieve.
“I want to become rich enough to buy Cadbury back from the Americans,” he laughs.
Harry can top that.
“I’ve always wanted a yacht, so that’s my personal goal,” he chuckles.
Let’s get serious, please.
“We’re in the middle of a cultural renaissance and Birmingham is experiencing a rebirth of independent culture, from fashion outlets like Provide to food places like Zindiya,” Tim explains.
“I’m a big champion of cultural devolution. London has a disproportionately big role in the UK’s creative industries and I don’t think that’s fair. I want the opportunities to come to us.”
For the future, Tim is promising a well-rounded representation of everything Birmingham has to offer.
“Everyone knows me for music and gigs, but this channel is going to have videos about the best places to eat, the artists and photographers who are making waves in Birmingham, and many more,” he says.
Expect those mean tweets to abate in the coming months.
Interested in finding out more about The B-Team? Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Display photography credit - Josie Richards ©