MUSIC MATTERS: Celebrating Saxa - The Coventry Observer

13th Aug, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS: Celebrating Saxa

Remembering Saxa one year on

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the daughter of the Beat legend “Saxa” into the museum last week.

Francilla and her daughter Carly came with two amazing loans for the museum, Saxa’s silver disc for ‘Tears of A Clownp and a beautiful photograph of the man who gave The Beat (and later The International Beat) their distinctive sound.

Saxa was born Lionel Augustus Martin in Jamaica, January 5, 1930. A superb sax player, he was asked by Birmingham Ska band The Beat to play on their first 2-Tone single , and ended up becoming a band member.

Prior to that he had worked with Ska legends laurel Aitken Prince Buster, Desmond Dekker and Rico.

He passed away exactly one year ago today (3rd May 2017)aged 87.

Francilla and Carly discussed The Coventry Music Museum’s exhibition for 2020, which will celebrate Saxa as a man and musician.

It will form part of the music museum’s City of Culture trilogy that begins next year with 2-Tone at 40, and ends in 2021 with the exhibition “Host Town”.

Speaking of the exhibition, Francilla said: “I delighted you have agreed and happy to put on the display, about my father (Papa Saxa).

“I am both overjoyed and excited regarding our conversation about working on future exhibitions together.”

Only Shadows

Coming out of Nuneaton, Only Shadows have seemingly ticked all the boxes, creating powerful and epic songs sung and played perfectly.

Yeah, that’s quite a statement, but take a listen and it’s evident from the outset that you are listening to a real professional band that take their music and image very seriously.

Only Shadows, (that’s Nick Ashby, Ben Riley, Paul Wechter and Alex Moffitt) released their debut single ‘Be Still’ in 2016.

Despite releasing the single without a record label, the band went on to sell out headline shows, rack up 400,000 Spotify streams & support the likes of Fatherson, Carl Barat, Coasts, Saint Raymond & Prides.

Add to all that a nomination for ‘Best Live Band’ at Unsigned Music Awards, and also getting their songs featured on TV’s Hollyoakes and Made In Chelsea.

You may say they are one for the future. I would say, No, one for round about now.


Delaiphonic returns for its second year at St John The Baptist church on Saturday May 5.

Celebrating Delia Derbyshire’s birthday teaming up with Synthcurious, these guys have pulled off nothing short of a coup by featuring Delia’s very own band White Noise with electronic music legend David Vorhaus.

Also on the bill is author, film maker, musician, and audio-visual artist Ian Helliwell; and Eşya the electronic solo project from Savages and Kite Base artist Ayse Hassan.

White Noise were ahead of their time, an electronic experimental band, that were often dark, frequently challenging, but always exciting. Also on May 5, The Coventry Society in association with The Coventry Music Museum will unveil a plaque on Delia’s Birth house at 124 Cedars Avenue.

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