3rd Jul, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS by Pete Chambers: Photo exhibition and Coventry Music Museum birthday

Jah Baddis Photo exhibition

Occasionally, you get an email out of the blue and it’s a totally delight when that email is packed full of attachments of photographs from back in time that have never seen the light of day. Enter photographer Jake Bernard whose previously unseen photographs taken  at The Holyhead Youth Club in Lower Holyhead Road, will be on display at The Coventry Music Museum till December from November 1.

These rare photos show a young Neville Staple, Trevor Evans and Charley Anderson at the youth club as  DJ crew with the Jah Baddis Sound System. Musician Dr. Ray King also helped this project, they are a moment in time, some five years before The 2-Tone movement began and made them household names in the likes of The Specials and The Selecter.

Photographer Jake takes up the story: “I was at Warwick Uni and lived in Coventry between 1974 and 1976. At the time I was taking a lot of photographs – mostly for a variety of Students’ Union publications and the weekly newspaper. I was also a stringer for The Times Educational Supplement.

In the summer of 1975, I was asked (by the union) to put on an exhibition of photographs for Freshers Week – showing some of the diversity of Coventry. One afternoon, I just turned up to Holyhead Youth Centre. completely unannounced and shot a single roll of black and white film – 36 frames. The shoot, typical for the time, was done with available light and a single fixed focal length lens. The photographs are a mixture of reportage and ‘people posed’ and capture (I hope) a very special atmosphere. Thirteen photographs made it to the exhibition and then disappeared, Forty years later, quite randomly, I revisited the negatives.

Six years old!

Six years ago I recall overhearing one cynic saying, “Coventry Music Museum, I’ll give it a year”. Well six wonderful years later we are still here, still bringing them in and still at number one on Trip Advisor of things to do in Coventry. I want to personally thank all our amazing visitors our board everyone who helps, our VIP’s especially those who donate weekly and of course our amazing volunteers and my wife Julie who does so much to make this  work.  On Saturday 2nd November we celebrate in style with our special Sounding Off with guest John Rivers, from the iconic Woodbine St Studios in Leamington and the man who engineered the “Ghost Town” single and so very much more. It all starts at 12.00 noon and there is certain to be cake too.

Competition Time

Chrysalis Records announce celebration of 40 years of 2 Tone Records with a year of special releases, beginning with special edition half-speed master of ‘Specials’. Mastered at Abbey Road Studios by Miles Showell, this special edition of one of the most important British debut albums of all time, is a straight half-speed vinyl cut from the original master tapes, split over two 45RPM 12” vinyl, housed in wide spine LP with an OBI wrap around paper strip. It’s all there, but with a new definition, playing as it does on 45RPM. It’s a beautiful package and you can win one signed by Roddy Byers himself (to be picked up in person at the 2-Tone Village).  Just tell me who produced this album? Send your entries via email tencton@hotmail.com subject Special Comp. Closes on November 10.

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