6th Jul, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS: Look forward to local artists at Godiva

Crokodile Tears

It’s always a bit of a celebration when Crokodile Tears release an album. It’s more of an event than just a simple release of a selection of songs. Knowing main-man Chris Sidwell well, I get to hear the songs as they meticulously come together, subtle but all-important remixes, and sometimes even complete re-recordings. It’s a intense affair witnessing the birth of a Croks LP. Of course, it’s not just about Chris, the band include music maestro Alf Hardy and Hawklord Jerry Richards, with Paul Sampson and Keith Fabrique doing all the clever stuff in the studio.

I was writing about Crokodile Tears back in the eighties even before they had a K in their name. This band really is special. They deserve respect, not because of their longevity, but because of their extraordinary ability to keep ahead of the game, bringing their music to round about now, yet still retaining the very core sound that so many people love.

Never in those many years have they ever walked the path of musical treachery. They have remained faithful to themselves and always made their music with a spirit of joy and fun – and of course nostalgia.

And this CD, entitled Old Skool, is a great big nostalgia trip starting back to school with Kids, a delightful ditty about first love (in Chris’s case a certain Rosemary Elms, where are you now?), commercial as you like and a perfect vehicle for Chris’s delicate vocals. Shirley goes all French, and Bobbie is the Croks at their comedic best, singing about the famous Bobby Charlton comb over. There’s a definite Beatles theme on here too, check out Lovely Lisa, End of A Error and Kosmic Popadom all have a Beatles feel to them. Then there is a clever cover of Norwegian Wood, and the stunning Yoko. Without doubt Yoko is the Croks’ most commercial song, a modern classic replacing Trains as my all time favourite by this wonderful band.

The finger-on-the pulse Mermaids is a fave, as is the secret track Tiddly Pom, more nostalgia, more perfectly crafted lyrics – this time a sweet delicate song about dementia. This is the Crokodile Tears best album to date and it really deserves to be in your home. It is also great to see it is dedicated to the late great Stevie D of the Primitives. The album is available at The 2-Tone Village, get it now.

Godiva

As usual, I’m excited by the prospect of Coventry Godiva Festival (much later this year). I’m of course looking forward to seeing local artists like The Neville Staple Band, Hazel O’Connor, Jimmy Kemp and The Duck Thieves. But it’s not all about local, and the artists that have me fired up include Cradle of Filth, Tony Christie, Jake Bugg, Little Comets, Andy and The Oddsocks and Professor Green.

In the Coventry Music Museum, we have a Godiva Festival display where we ask our visitors who they would like to see play the UK’s biggest free family music festival. It’s always interesting reading the results. Here are just some of the artists people said they would like to see: The Sterophonics, Beyonce, The Thompson Twins, UB40, Level 42, Taylor Swift, Morrisey, Metallica, Emma McGann, Coldplay, Kraftwerk and ABC. There were lots of suggestions for Madness, Little Mix and The Specials – maybe for another year. Let’s enjoy this one first.

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