MUSIC MATTERS - The inspirational Coventrians chosen to win the 2021 'Pete Awards' - The Coventry Observer

12th Aug, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS - The inspirational Coventrians chosen to win the 2021 'Pete Awards'

Coventry Editorial 30th Dec, 2021

After a fantastic year of music for Coventry – including it being the UK City of Culture – Music Museum Curator Pete Chambers BEM hands out his ‘Pete Awards’ to those who have excelled in their chosen fields.

Best Local Artist – Abz Winter

There really is no stopping this young lady.

Her rise this year has been extraordinary and just when you think it can’t get any more meteoric, she lands a slot on ITV’s brand-new musical game show ‘Walk the Line’ where judge Gary Barlow said she ‘had a beautiful voice’, and judge Craig David said ‘she has a really incredible voice’.

Her appearance at Godiva was slick as she presented tracks from her superb album including well-choreographed dancers. Here is a lady doing things the right way, can’t wait to see what’s next.


Best Local Gig – Neville Staple Band – Festival Assembly Gardens July 2021

This was my first gig back after lockdown and it felt so very good.

That aside, anyone who has taken in a Neville Staple concert will know the energy Dr Staple possesses and the combined talent and power on the stage from his amazing band creates a real audio experience.

This is the nearest you will ever get to the heady days of the Specials circa 1979/80, but nostalgia aside, Neville and his band are still making great new music.

This was part of the City of Culture events and that made it even more special especially in the wonderful Festival Assembly Gardens.


Best Local Single- Goodbye by Caitlin McCarthy

Wow, that’s what most people say on hearing this song, blasted out by 16-year-old Caitlin.

This song famously makes grown men cry and it’s easy to see why.

It’s become something of a classic already, one of the best to come out of our city – fractured emotions running wild and breath-taking in its sadness.

Made even more poignant released as it was for various charities and gaining a 45 placing in the Amazon charts.


Best Local Album – This Cov Kid Mix Tape, Whizzy

I have watched Whizzy’s career from day one, his music has matured from back then of course, but even in those days his talent shone through and here is the album that proves that Whizzy is one of Coventry’s finest rap artists.

This Cov Kid Mix Tape is in your face.

This is Whizzy taking about his world, sometimes dark, sometimes bleak but always real with voice and music working perfectly together.

This release is a pivotal moment in Whizzy’s career, with a lot more, great sounds to come.


Most Promising Local Newcomers – The Astras

Picture by Steph Darts Homer. s

I love that vibe when you keep hearing a band’s name on the scene, and all you get is positive feedback.

One such band is The Astras  and they offer something a bit fresh, a young five piece with a lot of energy.

This is the band to watch in 2022, as I write the band are looking for a new drummer – that has be a good move for any local sticks person.


Outstanding Contribution To Cov Music – Phil Rooney

The HMV Coventry Empire is a jewel in Coventry’s musical crown, well designed and big enough to support most touring bands, and it has already hosted Ed Sheeran. The man behind it, is the effervescent Phil Rooney.

His drive and enthusiasm for music is unmatched. Creating the Empire was no easy task and taking the project into town I know has often been a logistical nightmare.

But thanks to this man (along with Tom Clarke and the rest of the team of course) we have a superb entertainment complex right in the heart of town, a complex that everyone seems to have positive words for role on 2022.


Coventry Event of the year – The Mobos

With so much happening in Coventry this year it’s hard to pick just one event but having said that for me the Mobo’s really stands out.

This was a huge event for Coventry, and I was honoured to attend. Some great local talent, as well as lots of international icons of black music including stars of rap/grime and drill (it was great to see Ghetts and Central Cee winning awards).

It was a magical night and an honour to spend some time with the wonderful Pauline Black and meet Coventry’s own Guz Khan. This was so very good for Coventry, be great to see more of this type of event here.


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