MUSIC MATTERS - Coventry really feels like the UK City of Culture and calls for station plaque - The Coventry Observer

16th Aug, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS - Coventry really feels like the UK City of Culture and calls for station plaque

Coventry Editorial 19th Aug, 2021

COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.

WELL, the City of Culture effect has truly kicked in, and it’s getting very busy event-wise. The Terry Hall’s Home Sessions went down very well, and I personally enjoyed his ‘An Evening with’ at Coventry Cathedral. I can’t believe the people shouting out for Special songs like ‘Do the Dog’, really!

The Coventry Music Museum hit record targets the previous week, only to beat the record the following week. Coventry is looking like a real City of Culture now and The Assembly Festival Garden and the Queen of Flanders big top is the place to be – just glorious. Great to see that Hazel O’Connor is playing there on September 19 (more on that soon), also sending our love to another Coventry Legend Vince Hill who is just recovering from a stroke and can’t now play the venue on August 21.

Onto The Godiva Festival, and some great names already revealed are Supergrass and Craig David. For me, it’s always the local artists that I like to write about and this year they include the superb Roddy Radiation’s Skabilly Rebels, Panjabi MC (who owned the Rhythm tent in when he played there in 2017) also the mighty Selecter now including the original drummer Aitch Bembridge. Plus Candid who were stunning at the opening of The Empire (and what a plus for Coventry that venue is). Candid’s version of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’ actually stopped us in our tracks. Get your Godiva tickets at

Keep your eyes out for Sky Blue City Walks, a new guided tour around the city, and it includes a bit about 2-Tone music too. Check them out at

Let’s get 2-Tone Trail plaque at station

So as the new Coventry railway station reaches completion, I’m calling all councillors and movers and shakers in the city to get a new 2-Tone Trail plaque unveiled on this eye-catching new building. The original plaque celebrated Horizon Studios that stood across the other side of Warwick Road. It was unveiled by Neville Staple and Buster Bloodvessel back in 2009 and stood on the front of The Rocket pub until the plaque sadly disappeared and a few years later the whole pub was knocked down to make way for the new station entrance. So, can anyone help? Contact me on, it’s not money we are after, just support and permission to proceed.

New album

First photos of The Specials new covers Album have appeared online, the new album ‘Protest Songs 1924-2012’, is due for release on September 24 2021. I think fans may be in for a surprise, I can say no more. Track listing is as follows – 1. Freedom Highway, 2. Everybody Knows, 3. I Don’t Mind Failing In This World, 4. Black, Brown And White, 5. Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Us Around, 6. All The Perfect People, 7. My Next Door Neighbour, 8. Trouble Every Day, 9. Listening Wind, 10. Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes, 11. I Live In A City, 12. Get Up, Stand Up.

The first single will be a cover of the Pointers Sister’s song Freedom Highway as the A-side, and Everybody Knows, a cover of the 1988 Leonard Cohen song, as the B-side.


A call for Coventry City Hosts

Calling all Coventry hosts. Some of our volunteers are already City Hosts, and guess what? We’d like some more because you guys are doing a great job. So, if you fancy giving us a day in your busy schedule, we would love to talk to you about it. Please contact me on Also to say, thank you to the great job you’re doing. The Coventry Music Museum is offering reduced admission from four pounds to three pounds for all Coventry hosts.

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