MUSIC MATTERS- Rhoda's 'The Boiler' transcended entertainment - The Coventry Observer

MUSIC MATTERS- Rhoda's 'The Boiler' transcended entertainment

Coventry Editorial 11th Jan, 2024   0

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

The Boiler

A song released 42 years ago transcended entertainment and instead basically stood as a brutal narrative to warn women of the dangers of date rape.

This chilling record -The Boiler by Rhoda with The Special AKA in 1982 was often cited as the song you only needed to listen to once, but that would be doing an injustice to such a powerful song, and its deeply disturbing tale.

It was written by 2-Tone all-girl band The Bodysnatchers, actually the first song they had written together. The full line up consisted of: Rhoda Dakar – vocals, Nicky Summers – bass, John Shipley – guitar, John Bradbury – drums, Dick Cuthell – cornet and Jerry Dammers – organ, arrangement and production.

It was another example of 2-Tone thinking outside the box, and making music that held not just a simple message but huge social comment, something that has never really made the mainstream again since.

Predictably the song never got the publicity it deserved, no Top of The Pops (although it did get an airing on BBC’s Oxford Roadshow).

Even its radio play was restricted to late night shows and some record shops refused to stock it altogether.

Despite all that it did chart in the UK at number 35.

As I was writing this piece I coincidentally received an email from Destination Coventry about Women’s Night Safety Charter, an important scheme to help those on nights out or working in the night-time economy.

It of course can be a source of great anxiety for female residents and visitors, with the majority of women surveyed having experienced some form of sexual harassment. The Women’s Night Safety

Charter is created to ensure the West Midlands is a region where all women and girls feel confident and welcome at night whether on our streets, our public transport or inside our night-time economy venues.

You can read more about the Women’s Night Safety Charter on the WMCA website, as well as signing up to the charter too.

CV Folk

Music campaigners CV Folk have announced an impressive list of guest acts for its monthly shows in Coventry’s Albany Theatre.

The ‘2nd Sunday’ events kick off this Sunday (January 14) with award-winning duo Tu-kay and Ryan, acclaimed for their optimistic take on life expressed through warm harmonies and powerful folk-Americana sound.

The studio concert starts 7.30pm and also features songwriter Katherine Abbott (from South Warwickshire) and innovative duo Yonderland (from North Warwickshire).

And it is free admission with a cash collection.


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