Coventry Music Museum Curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.
Coundon’s Hot Talent 2021
I’m honoured to be a judge on the City of Culture project ‘Coundon’s Hot Talent 2021’, a talent competition like no other.
I can say that because the local legends Neil and Gayle Bradley are involved and have worked tirelessly to make this happen.
The other great judges are Kate Hills, Bex Shiner, Rachel New and Tom Barnwell, so I’m honoured to be in such great company.
Now Coundon and Radford, historically both areas are well represented on the local music map, so we know they are no stranger to producing stars.
Coventry singer Bev Jones got her lucky break in the 60s at The Craftsman Pub, The Sorrows got theirs at The Pilot, and punk band Squad name-checked Radford in their song ‘Millionaire’.
Electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire was born in Coundon as was four-time chart topper Frank Ifield.
Broadcaster and fifth Beatle Brian Matthew attended Bablake School.
Everything is under lock and key at the moment, but I am hearing great things about the calibre of the entries, with words like ‘amazing’, ‘outstanding’ and ‘brilliant’.
So, it looks like the judge’s job is going to be a difficult one.
It all happens online Easter Saturday (April 3). I can’t wait.
Nice one John
The amazing Tom Grennan seems to be everywhere at the moment – he may not be from Coventry, but the man who helped him on his journey John Dawkins definitely is.
John was famous for his work that saw Coventry trio The Enemy hit the top of the UK album charts with ‘We’ll Live and Die In These Towns’.
Now he strikes again with Tom as we learn that the wonderful Mr Greenan is not only number one on the BBC Official Big Top 40 Charts, but at number two also.
John has been MBW manager of the year shortlisted 2017, 2019 and 2020.
He has managed Charli XCX who has sold 80million records globally with two Billboard USA number ones and multiple global platinum records.
His work with Tom has seen him bag a top five debut album and multiple top 40 hits plus BBC Introducing artist of the year, along with three top ten albums with The Enemy and the list goes on.
John recalls: “I started work at various Artists Management (Grand Union) in 2002 answering the phones.
“Nineteen years later I’m now the managing director and I’m incredibly proud that we are now one of the leading management companies in the world with offices in London, LA, Hong Kong and Delhi.
“I’m absolutely delighted for Tom Grennan – he is one of the hardest working artists I’ve had the pleasure of managing so to see him at number one and two in the the Big Top Singles Chart was an eventuality.
“I had a blind faith he would get there because with that talent, it will eventually happen.
“I took Tom four-and-a-half years ago and built him from the floor up, starting in pubs and now about to do his first arena show at Alexandra Palace.
“He releases his second album on March 12 and I firmly believe it could be number one – that would be my second as a manager.
“Fun fact, Tom Grennan’s nan is from Canley and he comes to home and away games to watch Cov with me (pre Covid obviously).”
Click here for more on Tom Grennan’s gig at The Empire and how to get tickets.