COVENTRY Music Museum curator Pete Chambers writes for the Observer.
Neville Staple, From the Specials and Beyond
The original rude boy is back (not that he ever went away), with a brand-new album in stunning two-tone splatter vinyl, with a bonus two-track 12ins that includes reworkings of ‘Ghost Town’ and ‘Monkey Man’ based on the Neville Staple Band live versions.
As always, it’s a gem of an album ‘Right from Wrong’ has a chorus that is beyond catchy.
‘Can’t Take No More’ skanks away perfectly with some beautiful ethereal backing vocals from Christine Staple.
I love Nev’s version of ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Way of Life (The Pandemic Mix)’ is the Staple saying it as it is.
Once again Neville and his super talented band have produced another glorious album.
From The Specials and Beyond will be available on all formats starting December 10. Or get yourself down the 2-Tone Village on Ball Hill on Saturday, December 11, between 2pm and 4pm for a meet and greet album signing session and get yourself a signed copy!
Get Back – The Beatles
Not strictly Coventry related but the Beatles epic ‘Get Back’ films finally aired on Disney+ and after all the talk and conjecture was it any good?
Well, Peter Jackson has done an incredible job piecing this together to make a coherent story arc (if one was even needed ).
There has already been the ‘arty make a name for yourself’ journalists dismissing this, but ‘Get Back’ is not for the casual music fan – ‘Get Back’ is for the die-hard Beatle fans, and the world is full of them.
I’m proud to say I’m one of them too and have always loved the band (it was inevitable for someone called Peter John George).
Though I had no idea just how much they meant to me until I watched this film, and as the fab four began to play the legendary rooftop concert at 3 Saville Row, I instantly welled up. Call me sad, but this band have always been a constant in my life and despite owning a copy of the Let It Be film, this moment in ‘Get Back’ in its amazing restored format was like watching the band for the first time, breath-taking.
The film sees the Beatles attempt to make an album under the glare of a film crew – it’s wildly fragmented, but in truth, the songs almost secondary, it’s the amazing interaction between the band (Yoko Ono and the assembled crew) that is the most fascinating.
The ‘Let It Be’ film depicted the band in crisis, ‘Get Back’ puts the record straight and sees the greatest band in the world struggling to actually define what they are trying to achieve with this project but generally having fun along the way.
It’s worth every band checking this film out to realise even the Beatles didn’t get it right first time.
Of course, there will be the cool cats who claim they don’t like the Beatles (even though their chosen band whoever they are was probably directly or indirectly influenced by them) but this eight hours of film is definitely not for them either.
It proves that The Beatles broke the Beatles up not Yoko. I once had the honour to meet Yoko Ono, and it was a privilege to shake her hand, that moment like so many other Beatle moments in my life have help define me as a person and made me want to spend a life in music.