Documentary celebrating 2-Tone in Coventry coming to BBC TWO tomorrow - The Coventry Observer

Documentary celebrating 2-Tone in Coventry coming to BBC TWO tomorrow

Coventry Editorial 20th May, 2022   0

A DOCUMENTARY telling the story of 2 Tone, a global music sensation born out of Coventry will be airing on BBC TWO tomorrow.

‘2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry’ will air at 10:45pm and is a co-production between Coventry UK City of Culture Trust and Full Fat Television.

It was commissioned by BBC England as part of their commitment to cultural celebrations in Coventry.

The hour-long documentary looks into the history of 2 Tone, the musical phenomenon that exploded out of the city in 1979 and topped charts around the globe.




The genre is a fusion of Jamaican Ska and punk attitude, with many 2 Tone songs throwing social commentary and humour into the lyrics.

The documentary will feature a rare interview with Jerry Dammers, founder of The Specials who were 2 Tone pioneers with hits like ‘A Message to You, Rudy’ and ‘Ghost Town’.


In the interview, Jerry reveals why he launched his ‘DIY’ independent record label as well as how he came up with 2 Tones iconic sound and style.

The documentary also features The Specials Neville Staple, Neol Davies from The Selecters and Coventry music mogul Pete Waterman among others.

It celebrates the hope and pride the city felt through time during a time of racial tension and the role 2 Tone played in launching the careers of the likes of Madness and The Beat.

It uses a mix of personal testimonies and photos and archive footage to depict the energy, fun, and cultural significance of 2 Tone during that period.

Coventry UK City of Culture Trust’s creative director, Chenine Bhathena said: “As we celebrate all that’s been achieved over the last 12 months in Coventry, it’s fitting that the iconic Coventry creation – 2 Tone – is being showcased.

“2 Tone music promoted unity at a time of industrial decline and when racism was rife, bringing black and white artists together in wonderful harmony.

“It expressed the vitality and energy of youth at the time, creating great anthems that spoke to the concerns of the young generation.”

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