2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry on BBC Two Saturday 21 May

The documentary tells the story of 2 Tone, the musical phenomenon that exploded out of Coventry in 1979 and went on to storm the charts around the world



A BBC documentary telling the extraordinary story of a global music sensation born out of Coventry, comes to BBC Two, next weekend.

2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry has been commissioned by BBC England and is a co-production between Coventry UK City of Culture Trust and Full Fat Television, as part of the BBC’s commitment to the cultural celebrations in Coventry this year.

It will air on BBC Two across the UK on Saturday 21 May at 10.45pm. The documentary tells the story of 2 Tone, the musical phenomenon that exploded out of Coventry in 1979 and went on to storm the charts around the world.

This special hour long documentary takes a deep dive into the history of 2 Tone, the whirlwind genre which saw the inspired fusion of Jamaican ska with the attitude of punk and threw in social comment with a large helping of humour . It features a rare interview with Jerry Dammers, founder of 2 Tone and The Specials, revealing why he launched this “DIY” independent record label from Coventry and how he came up with the ideas for the sound and the style. It’s a programme celebrating the sense of hope and pride felt in the city of Coventry at a time when there was growing racial tension across the UK. It blends personal testimonies with photos and archive footage – revealing the social and cultural significance of the music as well as the energy and fun of the live gigs and the fashion.

In the film, audiences also hear from The Specials’ Neville Staple; Pauline Black and Neol Davies of the Selecter as well as special interviews with proud Coventrian and music mogul Pete Waterman, writer, producer and performer Christine Sugary Staple and 2 Tone fan and film director Gurinder Chadha.

The film also charts the story of how 2 Tone went on to have a global impact and a unique place in popular music discovering bands and launching the careers of Madness and The Beat to name a few.

Aisling O’Connor, Head of TV Commissioning for BBC England comments: “I am a huge fan of 2 Tone and I grew up listening to The Specials. So I’m incredibly excited BBC England is part of telling this story. 2 Tone brought together black and white musicians and fans in a truly inspiring way. I’m proud that this programme allowed us to play our part in portraying the multiculturalism, diversity and culture of Coventry.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director for Coventry UK City of Culture Trust comments: “As we celebrate all that’s been achieved over the last 12 months in Coventry, it’s fitting that the iconic Coventry creation – 2 Tone - is being showcased. 2 Tone music promoted unity at a time of industrial decline and when racism was rife. It brought black and white artists together in wonderful harmony, expressing the vitality and energy of youth at the time, creating great anthems that spoke to the concerns of the young generation of the time. 2 Tone came to represent our need for unity, peace and respect, promoting freedom and speaking up for injustice; joyful music, but with a strong social conscience. It successfully rallied to bring freedom for Nelson Mandela and to put an end to apartheid, and even today 2 Tone continues to inspire a new generation.”

Colette Foster, CEO of Full Fat Television comments: “With a rare and exclusive interview with 2 Tone’s founder Jerry Dammers and a soundtrack featuring The Specials, The Selecter, Madness and more, this film entertainingly charts how a record label that became a musical and cultural phenomenon, uniting black and white, began the conversation about multiculturalism whilst filling dancefloors around the world. Jerry’s brilliantly witty lyrics about society’s inequalities, wrapped up in classic tunes, evoke a specific moment in time and remain just as relevant today.”

You can watch 2 Tone: The Sound of Coventry on BBC Two across the UK on Saturday 21 May at 10.45pm

Source BBC TWO

May 16, 2022 6:19am ET by BBC TWO  


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