Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Back Beat: You better Buster gut to see Bad Manners at the Copper Rooms!

Pete Chambers with another Backbeat Column for the Coventry Telegraph.

Back Beat: You better Buster gut to see Bad Manners at the Copper Rooms!

Bad Manners gig, the passing of  DJ Brian Sweatman and a jive night all feature in Pete's latest column.

Buster Bloodvessel (right) with Neville Staple unveiling a 
2-Tone trail plaque to mark Horizon Studios in 2009

Buster Bloodvessel and his band Bad Manners are heading for the superb Copper Rooms venue at The University of Warwick on Sunday June 14.

It’s always a pleasure to have Buster in the city, and his connections go way back to the early days in the 1980s. They recorded at the long gone Horizon Studios that used to be opposite The Rocket pub on Warwick Road.

In December 1980, I discovered the band for the very first time, and I was probably the first person to write about it in Coventry. Indeed it was the very first live review I ever wrote and it basically began my music journalism career. In my review I revealed that this London based band had been performing ska for some two-and-a-half years. I advised my readers to “Go and see them, as they are going to be big”. I was right on the button, but before I disappear up my own review, with a blaze of self belief as a music hack, the sad truth was on the same night The Clash were playing at Tiffany’s and I would never get to see them, so not so finger-on-the-pulse are you now Mr Chambers?

The band had something of a love affair with Coventry, recording most of their big hits at Horizon Studios under Grammy award winning producer Roger Lomas’s watchful eye (or should that be ear). Indeed the studio’s most successful recording in chart terms was “Special Brew ” by Bad Manners getting to number three in 1980.

I asked Roger what he thought of them on first meeting. He said: “I first met them early 1980. In regard to what I thought about them, put it this way, I took the band on just by meeting them at Magnet Records’ 1979 Xmas party, without hearing a single song - there’s confidence for you!”

Buster, who made a return to Coventry in 2009 to help unveil the Horizon Studio plaque on the Rocket pub with Neville Staple, said at the time: “We used to come from Horizon Studios when we had finished recording to here, The Rocket, so to me this is where our ska really started.” Bad Manners have also played many times at Leamington’s Assembly .

For more information on this gig and The Stranglers, PIL, and The Damned’s upcoming gigs here go to

Brian Sweatman

Huge sadness of the passing of Brian Sweatman probably Coventry’s finest rock ‘n’ roll DJ.

I often teased him about playing that Hillbilly music, but in reality, he was a walking, talking human encyclopaedia of rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll music. His collection was vast, but quality also played its part. His DJ sets were never boring, whether he was playing “That’ll Be The Day” by Buddy Holly or “Nervous” by Gene Summers.

Nigel Lomas, drummer with The Sorrows and longtime friend, said of Brian’s passing: “Unbelievable, I am basically lost for words. I went to see him last week, he was telling me his favourite Elvis song was Jailhouse Rock. I have known him since my school days and will certainly miss him and his great rock ‘n’ roll music knowledge. May he rest in peace.”

Mods, scooterboys, rudeboys and basically music lovers are going to love Boots ‘N’ Scoots, a beautiful glossy new magazine that is less about adverts and more about the scooter scene and its parallel music genres. I am happy to have a regular contribution in the mag that looks at what’s happening at the 2-Tone Village and the local scene. Issue one is certain to become collectable, and is available in the 2-Tone Village, priced £4.95.

Pete and Julie Chambers at Buckingham Palace

Last Thursday myself and my wife Julie, were honoured to attend a Buckingham Palace Garden Party attended by The Queen. I was selected after being named Citizen of The Month last year, I can tell you it was a thrill to walk through the palace into the grounds. The sun shone, and if you like people watching, then there is no better place. I even wore my 2-Tone Walt Jabsco tie and Specials cufflinks - flying the flag, as it were. To answer a couple of frequently asked questions, No, the toilet paper is just normal and Yes, they did serve cucumber sandwiches with no crusts.

Strictly Jitterbug

There is a place in Coventry that has been keeping jazz music alive for many, many years, it’s something of a fine institution, and something Coventry should be very proud of.

The Corner Pocket Jazz Club comes alive every second Tuesday of the month, and it’s where people like Ivor Lee and Lewis Hall, along with many others, do their bit for the jazz genre in all its many forms in this city of ours.

On Tuesday June 9 at 7.30pm, they are presenting “Midnight Swing: A Festival of Lindyhop, Jive and Swing Music”, hosted at Standard Triumph Club . It features dance troupe Strictly Jitterbug, who are on hand to teach authentic dance steps. Once you have your shapes sorted, it’s time to take the floor with The Swing Kings, with special guest Al Nicholls.

This is a great opportunity to learn these fascinating dances, they really are quiet hypnotic to watch, as the dances move so rapidly around the floor in such an entertaining and stylised way.

Tickets priced £5 are available from Standard Triumph Club (024 7667 186), Cejais Teddy Bears at 169 Spon Street, and Lynn Crossley at Balloons ‘n’ Things, 42 Earlsdon Street.

On Monday June 15 at 5pm the mighty Selecter will be signing copies of their superb new album “Subculture” at Coventry’s HMV store in The Precinct. The shop will be open from 9am for people to get the album and then come back in later for the signing or they can just buy it when the signing starts. More information to follow.

Pete Chambers for Coventry Telegraph

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