Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pete Chambers - Two Tone Trail / Plaques / Walk of Fame / Books / Music Museum

While doing the Hobo Vox blog on Coventry Music c 2007 - 9, I was in regular contact with Pete
Pete Chambers 
Chambers who was doing some outstanding work for Coventry music (and still is). We put on quite a number of posts relating to his work. That site has now been closed by Vox but most of the posts have been relocated on this series of Hobo bloggers and the Hobo A to Z of Coventry music. Many of the posts for Pete Chambers were current at the time but now out of date but here I will try to illustrate some of the work that he did back then. His time and effort now goes in to the Coventry Music Museum on Ball Hill, Coventry as described in another post on here.

Pete's work included writing the Backbeat Column on Coventry music for the Coventry Telegraph, the Pop into the Past programme for BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire with Bob Brolly, writing a number of books on Coventry Music and Two Tone, designing the Walk of Fame, The Two Tone Trail and Plaques and creating the Two Tone Central and the Coventry Music Museum.

I'm not sure who took all the photos but you can e mail me if you know and I will give credits.

Stop Press September 2015 - "Pete Chambers has been writing the Backbeat column in Coventry Telegraph for over ten years, and has been awarded A Coventry Music Wall office plaque and Citizen of the Month Award for his promotion and celebration to Coventry music." His articles can be read here http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/authors/pete-chambers/

The book that started it all off for Pete Chambers in 2005 - no longer available as far as I know but sold really well and established him as a leading authority on Coventry Music.

These two books were part of a wider programme of establishing the Two Tone Trail, along with the Walk of  Fame and the series of Two Tone plaques on the relevant buildings that hadn't been demolished!

Next Pete enlightened us on the visitations and influence of the Beatles on Coventry, including their early meeting with Pete Waterman and John and Yoko's planting of Acorns for Peace in the grounds of Coventry Cathedral.

Godiva Rocked to a Backbeat was a more visual history of Coventry's top bands from the 60's through to the 80's and the launch of the book was a great gathering of Coventry musicians and music.

Following the More than Two Tones Exhibition of Coventry Music at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery 2009. Pete created the 2 Tone Central museum at Coventry University and the Ball Hill - now the Coventry Music Museum - a must visit!

Pete signing one of his books

Pete Chambers with Roadent (of Sex Pistols and Clash fame) from Coventry - Steve Connelly or Scon as he was known in the early 70's to his friends. They are establishing the 7th Two Tone Plaque at Mr George's Night club. Roadent introduced the Specials to the notorious Bernie Rhodes at Mr Georges!

Pete Chambers and Horace Panter at the Lanch (Coventry University) establishing a Tow Tone plaque.

More than Two Tones Exhibition 2009

Two Tone Plaque at the Lanch (Coventry University)

Pete Waterman and John Bradbury outside the former Coventry Virgin Records with Pete Chambers establishing the Two Tone Plaque. John Bradbury worked at Virgin records and Pete Waterman ran the Soul Hole Record store upstairs - Northern Soul imports with DJ Tilly Rutherford.

Photographer John Coles and John Bradbury with the Virgin Plaque.

51 Albany Road, base of the early Specials with a Two Tone plaque above the window!

The Holyhead Youth centre had long been a base for pop music in the 60's, a rehearsal space for the Belgrade theatre, Youth Club and in 1974/5 the base for the Hobo Workshop gigs, giving first gigs to bands who later reformed as The Reluctant Stereotypes / Neil O'Connor's Midnight Circus (later the Flys), Dave Pepper's first band Phoenix and many more. In the cellar in 1974, Charley Anderson was the youth worker and some of the musicians who formed the later Two Tone bands rehearsed there. Neol Davies came along to the Hobo Workshop to organise a jam session for us and we wanted to include Charley's musicians in the cellar so Neol went down to talk to them and ended up jamming with them down there - by 1977 he was playing Chapter 5 with Charley and his musicians. The Holyhead later played host to the formation of the Coventry Automatics - later the Specials and much else - a centre with huge Coventry music importance including the involvement of the legendary Ray King whose Soul Band had a huge international reputation in the 60's and 70's. Here Pete Chambers is organising yet another Two Tone plaque and the Holyhead Youth Centre in Coventry. 

The usual suspects with the Virgin Two Tone Plaque

The Hand in Heart - scene of Rod Felton's Rude Bare Folk Club and of other relevance to the Coventry music scene and of course The Specials - hence yet another Two Tone plaque being established.

Inside the Holyhead Youth Centre with Pete Chambers, Ray King and Neol Davies etc.

Analog playing at the Holyhead Youth Centre 1974 - with Paul Brook (drums) and Steve Edgeson later of Reluctant Stereotypes etc. Also in this picture Trev Teasdel and Bob Rhodes who organised the Hobo Workshop and Phil Knapper (elder brother of  Stu Knapper - later leader of the punk band Riot Act). Paul Sampson (another Reluctant Stereotype and later producer of the Primitives etc) also played there with jazz rock band Trigon. (Photo by Coventry Evening Telegraph 1974)

Neol Davies, The Lord mayor and Pete Chambers outside the Holyhead Youth Centre.

Pete Chambers with the Enemy

More than Two Tones Exhibition 2009

Pete Chambers outside the Holyhead Youth Centre

Coventry Music museum opened in 2013 (Photo by Paul Kennelly)

2 Tone Central

Trev Teasdel by the Pete Waterman Walk of Fame plaque (photo by Pete Chambers)

The 1st two Tone Central at Coventry University

More than Two Tones Exhibition

Jerry Dammers at Two Tone Central

Monday, November 18, 2013

Coventry Music Exhibition 2009 - More than Two Tone Videos

Following on from posting the minutes from the committee meetings held between 2007 and 2009 for the Coventry Music Exhibition - known as More than Two Tones, and based for a few months at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, we are posting the special videos that were made at the time featuring Coventry celebs like Hazel O 'Connor etc.

MORE THAN TWO TONES - Review of the Launch 2009

10/05/2009 from Hobo Vox blog
MORE THAN TWO TONES - Review of the Launch
Having been on the steering group for the Coventry Music History Exhibition - More Than Two Tones over the past two years, (along with Pete Chambers, Richard Elms, Trev Teasdel (me), Huw Jones, John Dawkins, Roger Lomas, Neol Davies, Dave Fisher, Pete Walters and Herbert Museum team) I was invited to the launch at the  Herbert Museum and Art Gallery last Friday (2nd October).
This is a temporary exhibition lasting until January 3rd.

Down in Coventry
Living now on the edge of both Teesside and the North York Moors, I travelled down to the Two-Tone
Two Tone gold Discs at the More Than Two Tone Exhibition
Motor City by National Express down long stretches of arterial lanes and souless motorways passing through the wonderwell of York and the urban guerrilla of Birmingham where I was picked up and ushered to Cov by my young nephew in his smart new car!

Coventry seemed surprised to see me after all these years and spread the rumour loft to loft 'Trev is back' but the cars and buses and lorries bustled on regardless. After spending the afternoon with my mother and sister in Chapelfields, I was driven by my nephew down to Priory Street where things were already happening. 

Striding down the new Cathedral steps, trying to avoid eye contact with devil on the side wall, I saw a crowd
Pete Chambers at More than Two Tone launch
entering the Lanch Poly (now Coventry University) Student Union building. Priory Street has become the iconic street in Coventry having had three Cathedrals, one of which was bombed and it is near where the Lennons laid acorns for peace in 1969 and where the Lanch Poly SU held its arts festivals and put on some of the top underground in the 70's and early 80's from Soft Machine, Jack Bruce, Colosseum, Clash, Selecter, UB40 to name just a few. Priory Street is now where Pete Chambers does his BBC Coventry Pop into the Past programme with his Walk of Fame outside in Priory Place - with it's tributes to the Specials, Hazel O Connor and Pete Waterman etc. At the other end - the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery but more of that soon.

The gathering at the Student Union was to launch the 8th Coventry Two Tone plaque.This being the place where Roddy Radiation wrote Rat Race in the Student Union. Horace Panter, Pauline Black and Jerry
Dammers all did their degrees there.The fact that the plaque had already been up a year (I know because Pete Chambers photographed me below it a year ago) didn't matter - it was a good way to start the launch and attract a crowd and a flashing of journalists! Pete Chambers and Horace of the Specials addressed the crowd and answered questions. Afterwards it was camera and notebook madness with Pete and Horace most likely 'Braggin' and Trying not to lie!' as they say in the song!
Indian Summer

Stories of Indian Summer
The crowd then moved up past the old Cathedral to the new Herbert Museum and Art Gallery for the launch. There was quite a crowd of invited guests,many seemingly of the Two Tone generation but quite a mixture of ages really. I was hard put though to find anyone from the early 70's music scene. Bob Jackson, the former Indian Summer front man who over the years has played with John Entwhistle, Pete Brown, Badfinger and the Fortunes came up and spoke. He too had expected to see more familiar faces. Neol Davies of Selecter came up and shook our hands but wasn't able to stay as he was guesting at a Ska gig in Birmingham. 

Neol had originally wanted to reform The Selecter for 30th Celebration and I suggested they might play at
Pete Chambers & Horace Panter 2 Tone Plaque launch
the Exhibition launch. Neol however was unable to get Selecter back together again but there was talk of a Two Tone jam or a solo performance from Neol, but Neol was off to Brum instead. Roger Lomas (Ex Sorrows and producer of the Selecter and also on the steering group, was touring the contient with The Ripps. Bob Jackson told me a story about how they had to push his Hammond Organ all the way from Grafton Street near Gosford Green to the Lanch poly for a gig owing to a lack of transport and also corrected a story I'd heard that when the Nice played the Lanch poly. Rumour in the 70's had it that Keith Emerson borrowed Bob's Hammond albeit that Emerson was notorious for throwing knives into his Hammond as part of the act but that Emerson bought him a brand new one to replace it! Bob revealed that the story had gotten a little far fetched and Bob confirmed he turned Emerson down! Bob's Hammond was precious and there was no mention of any
replacement - not that Bob - in his own addmission - was opposed to throwing knives in his own Hammond as part of the act at one stage but no way would he let anyone else do that -even Emerson! 

I agreed to interview Bob for Hobo on the Indian Summer days and beyond. Bob was always good for some interesting news update stories in the 70's when I ran Hobo magazine I was amazed tofind Bob looks more or less the same as he did in the 70's - he still has the long hair and the colouring and so was easily recognisable!

The Launch
After much socialising and free drinks and Liquorace Allsorts - Pete and Horace opened the launch with a speech. Unfortunatley little of it was audiable in the new cathedral-like reception hall except for the words'Two Tone' which seemed to resound in the rafters like a sacrad word! I commented to Martin Richards of the museum that Pete would probably love that - the rest of the words were presumably fillers and acknowlegements anyway and the crowd were anxious to see the Exhibition..
Without giving too much away (you really will have to go and see for yourself) the exhibition was rather smart with a mix of Gold discs, costumes, guitars, posters, recording desks and outline histories. Sure it's not going to please all of the Coventry musos - much that was mentioned in the planning wasn't evident but given the size of the gallery and the time scale and pressures, I think the team did a great job and although it focuses on the big names mainly, it presents a convincing picture of Coventry as an important musical centre. It will be what the fans from across the world will want to see. Sure there were names missing - I didn't see Dando Shaft for instance and it didn't portray the underground music scene out of which Two Tone emerged, but it was probably better for being simple; being a temporary exhibition and the first of its kind in Coventry. The Hobo Vox site (here) gives a lot of that background anyway although I didn't notice the urls to the Coventry music sites that I thought were going tobe displayed!
But it gets the thumbs up for all the hard work the team did to make it happen at all and hopefully this is just the start of documenting the rich musical history of the city.

The Concert
Meanwhile downstairs in the restaurant the stage was being prepared for the musical aspects of the night.
Early plans for the launch had included The Selecter or a Two Tone Jam with Neol Davies at least, The Vampires - a Cov band from the 50's. Once more Pete Chambers took to the stage but this time we could hear him loud and clear through the PA. We knew the Primitives were headlining but who was on first? I was delighted when Pete introduced a young Coventry singer songwriter called Kristy Gallacher. I'd communicated with her and had a copy of her CD but never got to see her live, living a long way from Cov. Kristy did a short but highly effective set. The sound system and lighting was superb and Kristy looked great in her stageoutfit. Kristy is a great example of the new talent coming out of the city, proving that the cities musical achievement is not all in the past - far from it - there's a thriving acoustic scene and although mixed, has a good representation of female singer songwriters (in the seventies - with a few exceptions like Beverly Martyn) music scene was largely male dominated (ok maybe some bands had the cursory 'chick singer') but the lads ruled!
Now some like Kristy and Janine are not only talented muscians and writers but run some of the top venues in the city - a measure of how far women have come. Kristy led us through some of her best songs with confidence and skill and such good guitar accompaniment with touches of jazz funk, finger style and rock in the chording. Her songs tell an evocative and heartfelt story with great wit, ingenuity and rhythm. Speaking to her afterwards I realised what a lovely person she is and, in the best of the Cov Scene spirit, selfless enough to give much of her time to promoting other up coming artists (she runs at least two acoustic venues herself). Kristy ended the short set with an uptempo number and had the audience not been so close to the stage, I would have been both dancing and listening (but as those who have been to the Writers Cafe in Stockton know - I need space for my kind of dancing!).Kristy's Home page is http://www.kristygallacher.com/

 Next on were the Primitives. I was excited to see the Primitives as they emerged after I left Cov. Produced by Paul Sampson -who used to play for us at the Hobo Workshop - Holyhead Youth Centre in the mid 70's with his jazz rock band - Trigon. Paul went on to be a leading member of the Two Tone band Reluctant Sterotypes with Paul King who later topped the charts with his own band King. For those not in the know - the Primitives were a kind of Blondie style groups who had hits in the mid 80's - like Crash. Sadly it wasn't the original line up with the passing of Steve Dulla. Their performance is on You Tube for those interested. Very much a pop style band with plenty of dancable tunes and it was a treat to see them live despite the absence of one of it's leading members.The Primitives underpin the diversity of music that has come out of Coventry over the decades, from rock n roll, progressive pop, metal, folk rock, ska and punk and much more. Here are some photos of the concert by Chris Johnson (his flickr account has now gone unfortunately).


On the advice of Kristy, I headed to Inspire for a glass of Vino before heading back to my sisters. Although
Inspire - Coventry
I didn't recognise anyone I knew, it is apparently one of the places Coventry musos now go. Maybe the equivalent of the Dive bar in the 70's. Inspire is interesting for those not from Coventry. So called because Coventry's smallest spire of the three famous ones is just that - the church got blown away by the Luffwaffe. The pub is literally in the base of the spire with an outside lounge area and a powerful landlord who keeps order by thunderbolts!!! It often has live music or a DJ.
The flying visit was over - next morning bright and early back on the coach heading towards Leeds through blustery headwind and then out in to Middlesbrough and home!

More videos of the Primitives Live at the More than Two Tones Launch 2009 at the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery here on It's All About Coventry site https://www.youtube.com/user/bgbgbgx/videos

Comments from the former Hobo Vox site

[this is good] Good review of the night Trev.

Posted by: Wayne Spencer | 10/06/2009 at 05:52 PM

I was at the plaque unveiling and launch night and enjoyed it all. And really enjoyed seeing The Primitives and Kristy Gallacher. I'm hoping to see both of them again. The exhibition is definitely worth going to, some great items on display.

Posted by: Wayne Spencer | 10/06/2009 at 05:57 PM

Thanks Wayne. I must have seen you then but didn't know who you were. Was it you that did the video. I'm sure I've seen your name before - are you a muso?

Posted by: Glass Orange Magazine (Trev Teasdel) | 10/06/2009 at 06:17 PM

Sorry if I confused you with that reply - I was logged into another of my Vox sites - it should have come from Hobo and Trev -oops.

Posted by: HOBO - Coventry Music Magazine | 10/06/2009 at 06:30 PM

Hi Trev. No problem. You may have seen my name on Pete Chamber's facebook. I didn't shoot the video, just posted links to the youtube stuff on Pete's page after the event so everyone could find them. I don't actually play, just a big music fan. I started going to Pete's plaque unveilings after joining his facebook page, and he was kind enough to give out invites for the Herbert event so I went along and thought it was great. I've been really impressed by the plaque events and all of the Two Tone at 30 things that have been done this year, and as I'm in Leicester its pretty easy for me to go along and enjoy them. I do intend to take some video and pics at the next plaque events and I'll post them online and put links on Pete's facebook page.

Posted by: Wayne Spencer | 10/06/2009 at 08:52 PM

Cool - I'll look out for them Wayne T.

Posted by: HOBO - Coventry Music Magazine | 10/06/2009 at 08:55 PM

Oh, and I should have said. I'm on the left in this pic on facebook, chatting to Horace Panter at the Herbert. Well, the pic only shows the back of me but you get the idea. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2208440&id=544527613

Posted by: Wayne Spencer | 10/06/2009 at 08:59 PM

Coventry Music Exhibition (Herbert Museum and Art Gallery) 2009

The minutes and information relating to the Coventry Music Exhibition 2009 are re-archived here from the old Hobo Vox site.

http://www.2tonecentral.co.uk/ Link to 2 Tone Central (Now called The Coventry Music Museum)

10/05/2007 - by Trev Teasdel
Herbert Museum and Art Gallery, Coventry
Earlier this week I zoomed down to Coventry - my first visit for a few years - at the invitation of Coventry's Retro Pop historian and journalist / author - Pete Chambers.

We both had ideas towards a possible Coventry Music museum separately and more recently shared those ideas. Pete approached Roger Vaughan of the Herbert Museum and Art Gallery and Roger set up a meeting between his staff and various interested parties including Pete and myself and Roger Lomas (Ex Sorrows and Two Tone Producer).

The Herbert complex is currently being re-developed and includes the Depot recording studio and re-opens in 2008. We met in the temporary accommodation at the Canal Basin where the famous Specials Cover photo was taken. Roger wanted to consult some of the people involved with the Coventry music scene and those who currently charting it's history and developing new projects.

The meeting was quite to begin with but soon cranked up and got quite heated at one stage - such was the enthusiasm for the idea. The idea is to stage an exhibition that will hopefully lead to a permanent Coventry music focus / museum. It was thought the exhibition should create atmosphere, contexted by what was going on in both wider youth culture and the Coventry take on it, layered so that people can view the exhibits and those that want to can dig a little deeper in to it's social history. It was thought that it could involve school workshops for schools and adult education and much more. Pete's message was not to forget the music in all the brilliant ideas. Now Roger's staff have the challenge of marshaling all those diverse ideas into a coherent and achievable plan and get it funded. There will be follow on meetings periodically and the Hobo, Broadgate Gnome, Rex Brough and Tim James sites will provide source materials and inspiration along with all of Pete Chamber's books on Coventry music.

Like the sites, the exhibition won't just be about history or nostalgia but inspiration and hopefully will provide a springboard for new developments for Coventry musicians.

It was great to see the idea starting to become a reality. Long way to go but it's begun it's journey - and in the same week that long proposed Coventry Co-operative Gnome label has started to develop with the proposed Retro Cov podcast and possible CD and much more.

Exciting stuff.

Meanwhile if you have any suggestions for the exhibition - in terms of who should be represented (famous or not famous but important to the Cov Scene) or for artifacts, or whatever - use the comments below. I won't guarantee your ideas will be taken up but they will be looked at.

Comments from Hobo Vox site 

Brilliant idea guys and hopefully one that will come to fruition. My involvement in the Coventry music scene is restricted to just the 90`s, but as co-founder of Rockhouse Studios, aka Backbeat, if I can help with this era please ask.

Posted by: Dean Lovell | 12/10/2008 at 01:05 AM

Meting Update Oct 2007

Present: Pete Chambers, Peter Walters, Trevor Teasdel, Roger Lomas, Dave Fisher, Roger Vaughan, Jo Whitford, Richard Elms, Martin Roberts.

The current proposal is to hold a temporary exhibition at The Herbert towards the end of 2009. This would be used to test the feasibility of a permanent gallery on the subject.

The exhibition aims are:

• To record the history of the music scene in Coventry
• To inspire the musicians of the future
• To celebrate the creativity of the city and instill civic pride

Key themes
• Main acts/heroes/chart successes
• Behind the scenes (e.g. producers, studios, venues, instrument makers)
• Social history context (e.g. fashions, politics)

The current proposal is to hold a temporary exhibition at The Herbert towards the end of 2009. This would be used to test the feasibility of a permanent gallery on the subject.

The exhibition would focus on events in Coventry, but the scope should be widened to include the rest ofWarwickshire, especially Leamington, Warwick, Stratford, Rugby. The chronological range of the exhibition would be from the 1950s (birth of rock & roll) to the present day.

A timeline could be used to give a chronological framework to the exhibition, within which these themes could be explored in some depth.


The exhibition should be rich in content, including objects, stories and the music itself. Objects would need to be borrowed from people involved in the music scene. A number of people have been approached already and most were willing to loan items. Potential objects include instruments, gold discs, clothing worn by band members, fan memorabilia, etc. The Herbert can guarantee the security of any items loaned, which would be displayed in secure showcases.

It is important that the right atmosphere is created, through the use of sound, etc.

An important aspect of the exhibition would be to look to the future and to encourage people to make music.

Content could include film of Top of the Pops performances by Coventry bands, karaoke, juke boxes, oral history, etc.

The exhibition should be wide ranging and have layers of interpretation so that it appeals to all age groups, including families and schools.

AV and multimedia exhibits could be used to provide access to more information, including access to relevant websites.


The exhibition will be held in the Herbert's gallery 4 and will run for a period of 2-3 months. Other spaces within the Herbert could also be used for linked activities, e.g. café, studio space, media studios, etc.


The programme of events linked to the exhibition could include:-
Launch party
Live performances by bands in café or Studio space
Film screenings
Talks programme
Possible commission of a theatre company to create and perform a piece of musical theatre which could then tour other venues

Local bands could be asked to cover songs from other bands from the city. These could be made into a CD which could be sold.

It will be important to promote the work of new young artists.

Jerry Dammer's Diorama - Pete Chamber's idea for the Coventry Music Exhibition 2009

One idea I had that I didn't mention at the meeting. Was the idea of a mock-up of Jerry Dammer's flat
Pete Chambers with the Enemy
(actually just a one wall diorama). This was effectively Two Tone HQ 1979-1980. I think it would work as a centre-piece to any Specials/Two Tone exhibit. The museum already has hand written lyrics and other items that could be included in this diorama. I have photographs of the whole room to base designs on.

Other bi-product stars of the Cov music scene include Chuck Berry, who famously recorded My Ding-A-ling at Coventry's Locarno. As a point of trivia, when Chuck was hitting number one in The USA, Lieutenant Pigeon were number one in the UK. This meant both number one's either side of the pond, were recorded in Coventry, can't see that happening ever again.

As we also touched on; Reggae star Lee Sratch Perry recorded the Grammy award winning album at Roger Lomas's studio in Coventry. Roger Lomas remains the only Cov musician to win a Grammy.

The Clash and the Sex Pistols both played on the same bill at Coventry's Lanch (Cov Uni), 48 hours before the famous Filth & Fury headlines provoked by Bill Grundy infamous interview with the Pistols. It was effectively the last gig they would perform before the tabloid press went critical mass over punk rock and its "evil" followers.

Regards all
Pete Chambers

Comment from Hobo Vox

Pete is great, always has time for the bands and artist of coventry! A
Posted by: The coventry music scene | 04/16/2008 at 12:02 PM

The Broadgate Gnome were asking, I think, about the archiving of the source material. In discussion with Roger Vaughan of the Herbert Art Gallery and museum, I hope to donate the source material from the Hobo files to the Museum / Coventry Archives where they can be used for the new upcoming History research unit and the Coventry Music Exhibition. However there is stil a lot to do on this site as yet.


Other proposals
30th Anniversary of Two Tone 2009 - Possible Celebrations - Possible reformed Selecter Concert
2009 also marks the 30th Anniversary of Two Tone and Neol Davies has been exploring the possibility of a Selecter Reunion gig (with the original members) to Celebrate. We have suggested to him that that might be a good way to launch the Coventry Music Exhibition, perhaps as the culmination of a week long Celebration of Coventry music past and present in general and Two Tone in particular. The concert could be recorded and filmed for a live album and DVD. However it's only an idea at this stage and we don't know yet if the rest of Selecterare up for it and if it is feasible as far as the museum is concerned. However it is an exciting prospect and Neol would clearly like to see a Celebration of one of Coventry's finest moments. By way of market research - would people still turn out for a Selecter gig 30 years on. We think the answer is a Big Yes - but what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below. These comments may help towards securing funding for the Exhibition and the proposed concert / Celebrations.


Coventry Music Exhibition Trev's Notes March 5th 2008)

And below the minutes of the meeting

Just got back from Cov where I attended a meeting for the proposed Coventry Music Exhibition earmarked for the reopened Herbert Museum and Art Gallery in October 2009.

I'm still awaiting the summary of the meeting from the Herbert but some points -

We are at the early stage of discussing ideas, gathering information, contacts and resources. The real work on developing the Exhibition, which will be a temporary thing until Jan 2010, will begin in October 2008, giving a full year for the project plan to develop through research, consultations, collecting objects and oral history resources, design, fundraising etc.

It is hoped that the Exhibition will develop and become a permanent feature at the Herbert.


This time around Two Toner Neol Davies was in attendance and we discussed the possibility of an organised Two Tone jam session / concert / DVD to launch the museum, both because a central focus of the exhibition will be Two Tone (although the whole range of Coventry Music History will be represented to various degrees) and also because 2009 is the 30th anniversary of Two Tone anyway and the city should be celebrating one of its greatest achievements and assets. There is still a lot of discussion and planning needed around this exciting idea and Hobo will keep you informed of developments.


The group that met consisted mainly of the Herbert's staff and local media representatives and a few musos such as Pete Chambers, Neol Davies and Trev Teasdel. Others such as Roger Lomas are also involved. However we need to get more ideas and thoughts from Cov musicians past and present in the lead up to the Exhibition preparations in October.

A statement from the Herbert reads -

"This exhibition will cover the history of the popular music scene in Coventry from the 1950s to the present day. It aims to celebrate the Coventry bands of those years and inspire the next generation of musicians in the city. Familiar names featured will range from Frank Ifield and Vince Hill in the early days of rock and roll, through the Two Tone bands like the Specials and the Selecter, to the city's latest pop successes, the Enemy. The exhibition will also feature the venues, such as the Locarno and the Lanch, where top bands like the Beatles and Sex Pistols played in their heyday. It will also focus on the fans who bought the records, wore the clothes and collected the memorabilia. The exhibition will include music, film and interviews with band members and fans, and there will be a chance to see instruments, clothing and gold disks loaned by some of the stars."

But we need to know what bands / styles / venues etc you think should be featured and why in each decade since the 50's. Do you have any ideas for interesting displays. In short what do you think would be important to include in such an exhibition? It may not be possible to include all the ideas you send in but all of the feedback will be relayed to the Exhibition committee. Let's have your imput Coventry!

The Herbert have set up a website to keep you informed

Neol Davies suggested that the Herbert create a My Space for the Exhibition which might be more accessible for Cov musos. Hobo will link to it when it is up and ready and put it in our Top Friends list. Meanwhile you can send your thoughts and ideas to this Hobo site. We are hoping for a good response here - after all the museum will be reflecting your music scene and musical heritage Cov people!


Although there will be core funding for this project, ideas for sponsorship and co funding are being sought. If you have any thoughts on this - please let us know.

For after the Exhibition is up, we discussed ideas for interactive and cultural projects around the Exhibition. These may include school visits and workshops; adult education involvement; music, songwriting and recording workshops linked to the work of the Depot studios now based at the Herbert; performances in the coffee bar area; drama on Cov music history - this may include new works, drama / musical shorts or plays with a musical relevance that have already been written; photographic displays and more.

The point of this is so that the Exhibition doesn't just denote the history of Coventry Music scene but is also actively supporting and inspiring the continued development of the city's musical heritage. So please - any thoughts and ideas on these aspects. These interactive intiatives will also attract more visitors to the Exhibition. This support will be essential if we want it to become a pemanent and developing feature at the Hertbert. So spread the word and give your support. This is your history!

Through the work of Pete Chambers and the new Gnome Label's Retro-Cov series, there will be a plentiful supply of books and CD's / downloads to support the Exhibition.

More updates later -
Trev Teasdel

Notes on the Coventry Music Exhibiton Meeting by the Hertbert

Present: Pete Chambers, Trevor Teasdel, Neol Davies, Dave Fisher, Peter Walters, Richard Elms, Jo Whitford, Huw Jones, Erin Hollis, Dominic Bubb, Martin Roberts

Apologies: Roger Lomas, Roger Vaughan

1. Exhibition development
2009 is the 30th anniversary of Two Tone. There is the possibility of the Specials and The Selecter reforming. There could be a celebration of this anniversary in Coventry running over a period of several months and involving a number of other organisations and venues. The exhibition would be major part of this. The celebration could start in the summer with the Godiva Festival – Friday night could have a Two Tone/Ska theme, with newer bands from e.g. Latin America as well. This would be a very high profile event and would help to promote the exhibition.

2009 is also the year when Coventry group The Zodiacs celebrate 50 years in music. This could be commemorated through the exhibition.

The basic aims, content and target audiences for the exhibition were agreed to be as described on the blog.

Agreed that it would be useful to include a timeline which placed the music in the context of what was happening in Coventry at the time. Agreed to explore further the idea of recreating Jerry Dammers’ flat in the exhibition. Also agreed that we need to ensure that Two Tone doesn’t dominate the exhibition too much.

It may be useful to involve rock historian Simon Frith and it also may be interesting to have a Two Tone family tree drawn up, possibly by Peter Frame.

One possible activity would be to set up mixing system for people to create their own mixes from original tracks. This could be a gallery activity or be done through workshops.

In order to move the exhibition forward we now need to compile a list of contact names and details of people who can offer practical assistance, eg by lending items for the exhibition, being interviewed, providing information, images, etc. The Herbert staff are happy to follow these up.

The exhibition will take place in the Herbert’s Gallery 4 which is 15.9m x 9.4m (149 sq.m)

2. Project Plan and Milestones
A draft paper outlining a timetable for the exhibition development was circulated for comment. The Herbert staff will have more capacity to work on the development of the exhibition after October when the Herbert redevelopment is delivered. An exhibition designer can be appointed soon after this, who will work with the exhibition team to finalise the themes, content and layout of the exhibition. By this stage it would be useful to have a detailed list of objects, images, interviews and other information for inclusion.

3. Funding
Ideas for potential project sponsors were discussed, including EMI, the Ricoh Arena (Dave to pursue), Coventry Airport (Dave to pursue), Coventry businesses, Coventry Building Society, AWM (Peter W to pursue) and private individuals. All agreed to think about possible sponsors and pass contacts on to Herbert team.

The possibility of generating income through the sale of branded merchandise was also discussed.

4. Events programme
Jo outlined ideas for the kinds of events that could be staged to support the exhibition. These include talks, film showings, live bands, master classes by established musicians, events for schools and families, workshops (eg DJ workshops) and possibly a commissioned theatre productions (maybe along the lines of 3 Minute Heroes).

Events can take place in the gallery itself, but also in the Studio space, the café, the education spaces and the media studios.

Further ideas for events or useful contacts to be sent to Jo or put on blog.

Agreed that any information which includes personal details (eg addresses, phone numbers, etc) should be emailed direct to Herbert staff rather than being placed on the blog. Agreed to investigate possibility of setting up a MySpace page for the exhibition.

5. Next meeting
This will take place in June/July.


Coventry Music Exhibition - Minutes of June Meeting 2008

Any thoughts or comments on the meeting welcome.

Note of meeting re Coventry Music Exhibition, 5.3.2008

Present: Pete Chambers, Neol Davies, Dave Fisher, Peter Walters, John Dawkins, Huw Jones, Erin Hollis, Martin Roberts.

Apologies: Trevor Teasdel, Roger Lomas, Richard Elms, Roger Vaughan

1. Exhibition development

Pete circulated a list of pledges so far, which included costume, instruments, gold disks, poster, etc representing a number of bands and performers. He also passed round some scanned images of objects, posters, etc. This represents a really good start and will help to determine the structure and design of the exhibition.

Pete is also going to write a column appealing for information and objects.

Neol has material relating to Selecter, including a gold disk and cuttings.

Trevor has agreed to begin a timeline of Coventry bands since the 1950s on the Hobo website. He will also start to compile a list a list of possible interviewees for the exhibition.

A couple of people have been contacted by a company who are interested in making a film of Coventry music history. This is something Richard has suggested we do for the exhibition.

It was agreed that for publicity and marketing purpose, we should concentrate on Two Tone, as there is a large following for this and it is likely to attract visitors to the exhibition, including from further afield. Dave suggested a title for the exhibition could be 'More Than Two Tones' and it was agreed to adopt this as a working title. Dave is going to put together a poll for the Mercia website, asking people to nominate the bands they would most like to see featured in the exhibition.

2. Project Plan and Milestones

There were no further comments on the document issued at the previous meeting.

3. Funding

It was agreed that a formal approach should be made by the Herbert to EMI to try to obtain a favourable deal for music and film clips and to persuade them to support the exhibition generally. John agreed to supply contact details for the Herbert to follow up.

Peter has spoken to a colleague about a possible funding application to Advantage West Midlands. The project does potentially fall within their remit.

Dave will follow up the Ricoh re sponsorship. The Coventry Building Society don't sponsor the arts. Cassidy's were also suggested as potential sponsors and John agreed to look into this.

John suggested staging a concert as the Ricoh as a fundraising activity. This could involve a number of local bands and it may be possible to get the venue at reduced cost. All agreed to think about this.

The Herbert's move to trust status is due to be confirmed in July – it will then be possible to set a budget for the exhibition.

4. Events programme

Jo, the Herbert's Events Officer, has recently moved on to a new post elsewhere. However she has left detailed notes about the ideas for events which have been discussed so far, for her successor to pick up when they are appointed.

Neol expressed his willingness to lead a 'masterclass' event. It was felt that the Herbert's new Studio space would be an ideal venue for this type of event.

5. Next meeting
This will take place in the autumn, date tbc.

MORE THAN TWO TONES - Coventry Music Exhibition Mins Nov 08

Well I went down to Cov for the music Exhibition steering group meeting but got stuck on the M1 for three hours while they removed an overturned lorry someway in front of us - huge tail backs on both sides. I got there just after the meeting had finished and Pete Chambers kindly caught up on the meeting and next day gave me a tour of the New Herbert Museum and Art gallery and showed me the room the Exhibition will be in. He also got some photos of Priory Street for the new magazine and photographed me near the Walk of Fame in Priory Place. However - here are the minutes for those interested. The Exhibition is earmarked for autumn 2009 which coincides with the 30th anniversary of Two Tone. The team would still appreciate any feedback, ideas or if you are a Coventry musician of repute - any offers of costumes, artefacts, guitars to display. Let us know.

Note of meeting re Coventry Music Exhibition, 25.11.2008

Present: Pete Chambers, Peter Walters, Roger Lomas, Richard Elms, Jessica Pinson, Huw Jones, Erin Hollis, Dominic Bubb, Christopher Kirby, Martin Roberts

Apologies: Trevor Teasdel, Neol Davies

1. Progress since last meeting
Pete has written a Backbeat article appealing for more material for the exhibition which has resulted in a few more pledges of items. These include a guitar signed by the Specials which was given as a competition prize by Coventry Market.

Trevor has started a timeline of Coventry bands since the 1950s on the Hobo website.

Richard reported that we have been offered some archive material belonging to Delia Derbyshire, pioneer of electronic music. He is also working with a local film maker on a film about the history and development of Coventry music. This could be shown as part of a programme of screenings to accompany the exhibition.

Dave Fisher has put together a poll for the Mercia website, asking people to nominate the bands they would most like to see featured in the exhibition.

2. Budget for exhibition
The Herbert has confirmed that a budget of £10,000 can be allocated to the production of the exhibition. A further £1500 will be made available for events, plus the marketing team will be able to use their time and budgets to promote the exhibition. The main exhibition costs will be for design fees, construction materials, graphics and permissions to reproduce music, photographs, film, etc. The Herbert can supply other equipment, eg Audio Visual, showcases, etc and the museum technician will be available to help build and install the exhibition.

Pete has had a conversation with someone from the Market and they are interested in putting some money into the exhibition. They would be keen to be involved in a long term output from the exhibition possibly linked to education.

ACTION: Pete and Richard to set up a meeting to discuss further.

The possibility of funding bids to HLF, AWM, etc was discussed. These are most likely to be for linked events and other activities which will provide added benefit to the exhibition. The Herbert does not really have the capacity to lead on these.

3. Further development of exhibition themes and content

The Herbert will form a project team which starts to work in detail on the content and design of the exhibition. This will include appointing an exhibition designer. Ideas from previous meetings were reviewed and the following were agreed:
The exhibition will include a timeline of music and social history to give a context.
The starting point will be the 1950s and the exhibition will be specifically about popular music.
A themed approach will be taken – themes to include a mixture of broad themes, eg 'chart successes' and specific themes, eg 'Ray King'. Two Tone would be a key theme.
The reconstruction of Jerry Dammers' flat will be followed up for inclusion in the exhibition. Pete pointed out that a suit belonging to Jerry Dammers is held by the V&A. Agreed to investigate loaning this for the exhibition.
One theme will be 'Venues' which will enable us to include bands from outside Coventry, like the Beatles, who have played here.
There will be a section which looks at the types of music being made in Coventry today.

4. Events programme

The Herbert's new events officer, Jessica Pinson, attended the meeting. She has a file of ideas left by her predecessor, Jo, who attended previous meetings. There are potential links with Black History Month and Peace Month, both October, as well as the 30th anniversary of Two Tone.

Date of next meeting To be confirmed.

See also the Review of the Launch and the videos.