Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Backbeat: 2-Tone furniture is top drawer for ska fans!

Another Pete Chambers Backbeat column for the Coventry Telegraph.

Backbeat: 2-Tone furniture is top drawer for ska fans!

Sideboards for Rubeboys, City of Culture bid and a return and new name for This Modern Youth are all included in this week's column.

Dee Harris and Hayley McConville with a piece of 2-Tone styled furniture

And now for something completely different... we are talking  2-Tone furniture, all lovingly created in Warwickshire.

Constance Clara Hand Painted Furniture and Coventry Music Museum on Ball Hill have recently formed a partnership, and it means as well as books, CDs and Harrington's, you can now buy hand painted 2-Tone styled furniture there.

The unlikely collaboration began when directors of the company, Dee Harris and Hayley McConville, visited the museum earlier in the year. "Visiting the museum stirred up lots of memories for us" reveals Hayley, "Not least because so many of our experiences are linked to the music of the times. Music can be so inspirational and influential, no matter what your taste.

"Our musical tastes change over the years, sometimes depending on what’s in fashion but often in line with what we actually like and enjoy having around us. The same applies to furniture. Styles come in and out of fashion and we can link memories with certain items, such as the orange and brown flowery print fabrics of the 70s, or the drop-leaf dark oak dining table that grandma used to serve Sunday tea on (complete with tinned peaches and Carnation Milk!).

"We never expected to be so inspired by visiting a music museum, but we have come away with some fantastic ideas for painting and transforming furniture. Just watch this space."

A piece of 2-Tone styled furniture from Constance Clara Hand Painted Furniture.

Dee added: "We thank the museum for giving us the inspiration to try something a bit different from our usual style of painting, which is a rustic, classy, country-feel. We enjoyed working on this quirky piece and already have other exciting projects lined up for the museum and our website."

Museum director Julie Chambers said: "Constance Clara visited the museum, and you could see the light bulbs go on. A few weeks later they returned with a superb mirror, with a superb black and white checker surround. Since then we have also acquired a lovely ska style bureau. Ska fans love to embellish their houses and bathrooms with 2-Tone themes. So the items have already caused a lot of interest with our Specials / Selecter and Madness fans. Plus it's great that a local company is creating unique one-offs."

For more information about Constance Clara Hand Painted Furniture, who also focus in shabby chic, visit

A poster to support Coventry's City of Culture 2021 bid

After another successful Coventry Godiva Festival , the talk turns to... what happens next financially?

Should it become a paid event? Seems that a majority are fine with paying a basic entry fee over the three day.

This is of course a matter for the powers that be, but as Coventry proudly bids to be a City of Culture , can we really stand to dilute, or even worse, kill our cultural showcase?

In my humble opinion, if we are planning a City of Culture 2021 bid then it’s a no brainer, we have to keep the Godiva Festival, there is no other way. Our bid would be worthless without The Godiva, so thoughts of downsizing or diluting the festival, should be replaced with thoughts of making it far more inclusive, still keeping it local, but adding some bigger current acts (more likely if an entry charge is introduced, and there is extra money in the pot).

I believe that music should play a large part in Coventry’s City of Culture bid, and we at The Coventry Music Museum, have already attended workshops on the subject and we are all behind the bid.

Hull is the 2017 City of Culture and can boast musically The Housemartins, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and crooner David Whitfield.

We in Coventry have the fire power of 2-Tone music, it’s not just one artist, but a label, a style, and to many a way of life. It’s music, its art, it’s fashion, it’s multi-cultural and it’s ours.

I don’t suggest a bid would make it on the strength of 2-Tone music alone, but it’s a pretty good genre to have at our disposal. So its inspiring to see Pauline Black helping to promote the bid alongside David Burbidge, head of the steering group.

Another icon of Coventry music is of course electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire, it seems there are towns keen to claim her, but she is definitely ours. I have suggested to the powers that be, we name a road after her, a good opening gambit in our City of Culture bid. Let’s lay down our marker now and get the press used to discovering just who actually does come from this amazing city.

This is not just about music, or the arts, it’s about all of us, not just the chosen few, it’s our city, we all have a part to play. We don’t always get great press in this city, but it’s time to let the world know. For more information on the bid go to

Circus Riot

Cov band This Modern Youth shook things up a year or so ago on the local scene.

The bad news is they have now split, the good news however is a new band has risen from their ashes called Circus Riot . Already the band has contributed to the latest Clash based Specialized project (for Teenage Cancer Trust), with their take on Clash song “Drug Stabbing Time”.

If their first showcase song “My Time” is anything to go by, I think we will be hearing a lot of great tunes from this band.
Pete Chambers for Coventry Telegraph

No comments:

Post a Comment