Monday, November 18, 2013

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

 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

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.

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

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