MUSIC MATTERS- Go one step beyond on our 2-Tone trail - The Coventry Observer

MUSIC MATTERS- Go one step beyond on our 2-Tone trail

Coventry Editorial 2nd Feb, 2023   0

COVENTRY Music Museum Curator Pete Chambers writes for the Observer

The Outdoor Guide with Julia Bradbury

THE Outdoor Guide’s co-founder TV’s Julia Bradbury, has created a walk online as part of their extensive walk ideas.

The Outdoor Guide Foundation is the charitable arm of The Outdoor Guide, a free walking resource started by the TV presenter and walking guru Julia and her sister Gina.

The 2-Tone Trail was something I was proud in creating in Coventry and it is great to see now it is not only a resource for Coventry music history but the trail also has health benefits, so do not ‘Do Nothing’ and get yourself ‘One Step Beyond’.




Here are a few extracts from the new healthy 2-ToneTrail and key places.

Walk Details


If you’re not familiar with 2-Tone music – quite frankly you’re missing out.

It dates back to the late 1970s / early 80s and is a fusion of traditional Jamaican ska music with elements of punk rock and new wave music.

The ethos of 2-Tone stands for unity, peace and respect – joyful but with a strong social conscience.

This walk takes us to some of the key places within the city that were part of the movement and were special to acts like The Specials and The Selecter – two key players in the 2-Tone scene.

Although the official trail starts in the city centre, we’re starting ours at the Coventry Music Museum on Ball Hill in the Stoke area of Coventry.

Give yourself time to explore the museum and accompanying 2-Tone Village before you start the trail.

In the museum you can see a lot of memorabilia from Coventry’s music scene.

The museum has been curated by Pete Chambers and he has a team of very knowledgeable volunteers!

Some of the locations on the way include: The Binley Oak – a prime rehearsal space for 2-Tone artists in the late 1970s.

It’s where Pauline Black first became a member of The Selecter and also where The Specials first performed.

Coventry University (or Lanchester Polytechnic as it was once known) where Pauline Black, Jerry Dammers and Horace Panter attended.

This was where Jerry and Horace first met – a meeting that was crucial in the forming of The Specials.

The song ‘Rat Race’ was conceived here, with the promo video for it being recorded in the main hall.

Next stop on the 2-Tone Trail is along the Foleshill Road – the site of The Heath Hotel.

This is where the Automatics played their first gig. This venue is quite a walk from the city centre – we’ve included it for the diehard fans.

Coventry Canal Basin. Back in the day this was a very run down area – it was the location though used for a photoshoot for The Specials in 1979 that turned out to be an iconic shoot.

The images from it graced the sleeve of their first album.

The next stop on our tour is the birthplace of 2-Tone. 51 Albany Road is where it all began – in the front bedroom flat.

It was the home of Jerry Dammer and a hangout area for the rest of the band.

• This is just some of the 2-Tone Trail, for more information head to https://theoutdoorguide.co.uk/walks/coventry-walks/2-tone-trail/

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