Monday, November 18, 2013

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. 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.

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