Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Welcome to Peter Clemon's Coventry Music Articles

This Post Remains on top as an introduction to the site. Scroll below for the latest posts.




This Blogspot is part of the Hobo (Coventry Music and Arts Magazine) archive run by Trev Teasdel.

Hobo was a Coventry music magazine c 1973 - 75 and the archives of the magazine and Hobo workshop and the general music scene of the 70's was originally on Vox blogs c 2007 until recently. Vox closed and the site is being redeveloped and rearranged here - it's still in progress so bear with us.



Photos of the Coventry Music Museum run by Pete Chambers
Do visit the museum if you are in Coventry - website


This Blog
This Hobo blogspot in particular  is for Peter Clemons Coventry music Scene articles for the Coventry Telegraph and beyond. Pete Clemons has a huge database of hundreds of gigs in Coventry from the 60's to the present. Both professional acts and local bands. He has had over 100 articles published in the Coventry Telegraph which, on his request, we've collated here and  have linked them with further material from the Hobo magazine archives.


NEW - Coventry Book Launch Documenting the Music and Entertainment Scene of 1970's by Ruth Cherrington. The Dirty Stop Outs Guide 1970's Coventry.
Available in Coventry from Waterstones and HMV or from Amazon UK here 

Hobo magazine and Workshop are well featured in the book as are many of the photos from the Hobo Archive pages here.Both Pete Chambers and Pete Clemons make a good contribution to the book as well.










  • Early posts on here - if you scroll right down - are Pete's Rock of Ages Posts - gigs in Cov through the ages since the early 60's to present.
  • Later posts are about important music venues in the city and their history.
  • Other posts are about Coventry bands from the 60's onwards.

Pete Clemons and Trev Teasdel at  BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire January 2016

Links to the other Hobo Coventry Music Archive sites 
Coventry Music Scene from Hobo - This is the Hub to all the sites below

Hobo - Coventry Music Archives This is the main Blogspot for the Coventry Music Archives from Hobo Magazine with archive material from HoboMagazine and other Coventry music magazines, feature articles and other documentation. This site is still in development.

Coventry Arts Umbrella Club
The archives of the Coventry Arts Umbrella Club which was opened in 1955 by the Goons and where some of the Two Tone musicians started out and literary figures like Phillip Larkin and much more. many Coventry bands played the Umbrella in the late 60's and early 70's. It also housed Coventry's first Folk Club.

Coventry Folk Club Scene 1970's  
This is the Hobo site for Coventry's longstanding and thriving Folk and Acoustic scene. It covers both folk archives from the 70's and features on some of the contemporary singer songwriters out there now along with Pete Willow's history of Coventry Folk Scene and pdf versions of  his 70's Folks Magazine 1979 / 80. Top names like Rod Felton, Dave Bennett, Kristy Gallacher, Pauline (Vickers) Black, Roger Williamson, Sean Cannon and many more.

Coventry Gigs 1960 to Present (This blogspot in fact!).

Coventry Discos, Venues, Music shops and Agencies / Studios etc.
A steadily progressing blog for a variety of other aspects of Coventry's music scene - the DJ's, Discos, Venues, Arts fests, record shops, studios, music agencies etc etc..

Coventry Musicians Who's Who 
This blog has an A to Z of Coventry musicians. It's not yet complete (if ever!) but there are many names and their bands on already. I will come back to it when the A to Z of bands is complete and add in names not on. Meanwhile if you are not on it - and you should be - or your friends and their bands or if your info is incorrect - do let us know at hobozine@googlemail.com.

Hobo A to Z of Coventry Bands and Artists
Meanwhile a huge A to Z of Coventry bands and artists can be found (again in development) here https://sites.google.com/site/bandsfromcoventry/

Steve Walwyn – The Lockdown days

 

Steve Walwyn – The Lockdown days

By Pete Clemons

Let there be Life

Cover of Sandy Nelson's 'Let There Be Drums' to say thank you to the NHS



Times are tough right now. Many are coping with it all ok. Some, I have been told on several occasions, were born for lockdown. But there is no denying that everything feels slightly uncertain. And there is no doubt that this worldwide pandemic has had far-ranging and devastating effects on people's lives. And this will continue to do so for years to come.

In some ways physical distancing is bringing us closer together. And little by little we are learning to adapt to new ways, such as working from home, not a new phenomenon but one which has seen a huge take up in recent weeks.

It seems that working from home has also begun to apply to musicians who are coming up with their own unique way's of continuing what they love and enjoy. And, of course at the same time, spreading much joy to others.

I began to notice it during April when a video began to circulate of a cover of the Sandy Nelson classic 'Let There Be Drums'. Its purpose, as I understand, was to show solidarity with the NHS for all the brave and outstanding work they were doing back then, and continue to do today.

Retitled 'Let There Be Life', this cover featured a cast of many that included a host of local musicians including Steve Walwyn, Ted Duggan, Horace Panter and Pete Riley. It really was an uplifting listen.

Other home movies watched with anticipation were those produced by guitarist Steve Walwyn. During late Spring and on into Summer Steve introduced the viewer to eight of his own favourite artists. Those who had helped form and shape his own musical tastes. On a different guitar for each artist represented, and in a different location throughout his house, Steve walked us through the music that has stayed with him for life. Of course, each story came with an accompanying soundtrack and anecdotes. A recurring expression Steve used was 'this blew me away'. And as an avid viewer that expression was kind of how I felt. For those interested Steve's choices were:


1 I Say a Little Prayer – Aretha Franklin

2 Don't Waste My time – Status Quo

3 Black Coffee – Humble Pie

4 Laundromat – Rory Gallagher

5 Black Dog – Led Zeppelin

6 Jessica – Allman Brothers

7 Oh Well – Peter Green

8 Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan

9, had there been a number 9, may well have been Blind Faith and 'Cant Find My Way Home' as Steve mentioned it had just failed to make the cut. As a postscript Steve concluded the series with some slide guitar.

Along with the magnificent Holly Hewitt and bass player Craig Rhind, early August saw Steve complete a trio performing a barnstorming set from his back garden. With a background of light drizzle the set included Voodoo Mama, Little by Little, My Chauffeur Blues, Fool, I Got My Mojo Working and is well worth a watch.

The working from home theme continued into September as another of Steve's bands, The Dirt Road Blues Band, another trio and featuring Horace Panter on bass and Ted Duggan on drums, reconvened after a year apart. Again the setting was Steve's back yard.

These boys aloud, as neighbours have seemingly re-christened the band, performed four tunes. 'See That Grave is Kept Clean, Second Hand Man, Tulane and Laundromat. Again, accompanying the videos, you can find some background information and anecdotal information.

I can't imagine the frustration being felt right now by musicians. But these lockdown sessions have been an absolute delight for us listeners. And well worth getting on to youtube to check it all out. It can do absolutely no harm. In fact it can bring on many positive effects. Thanks.

Finally, Robert Plant, if you happen to be reading this – you still owe Steve Walwyn and the DT's a support slot.

The Pineapple Thief – Versions of the Truth

 

The Pineapple Thief – Versions of the Truth
By Pete Clemons




Kids eh, who'd have em?

I don't know. You meet a partner, fall in love, maybe marry them and, quite often, raise a family. And then you spend the rest of your time worrying about that family. Their well being, their security and, in general, the world you have brought them into.

The last few albums that have been released by Bruce Soord, either solo or with his band The Pineapple Thief have, I think, tended to reflect these issues.

During 2018 the band released 'Dissolution' which looked at the issues around social media and the internet. Then came Bruce's solo album 'All This Will Be Yours', released during 2019. This is where, as a father, Bruce is almost guilt ridden for bringing children into this world.

And now his latest release 'Versions of the Truth' addresses the manipulation of truth and getting a narrative to fit your own agenda.

To be fair Bruce Soord has always written about matter of the heart. But it could be argued I guess that this particular theme, where Bruce appears to have delved deeper with a more incisive examination, began with his first solo album. That was a huge personal statement about how his life had changed and what had become of the corner of the world where he lives.

Within that album is a pair of bookended songs where, initially, a child is being spoken to by his parent. The next tune sees that child now having their own family and, in turn, speaking to their own children. These are truly touching songs.

Musically, 'Versions of the Truth', is as Bruce has already mentioned, a complete band effort. It is quietly dynamic with a highly polished and, to be quite honest, a flawless production level. The thing now is not to expect a new release to be comparable to the last.

Each of the musicians having been given a chance to reveal more of their own talents. Gavin Harrison's unmistakeable rhythms clearly cut through a good portion of the album. But listen closely to the bass and keyboards and you will hear some wonderful and incredibly complex elements. Bruce Soord's driving guitar has taken more of a back seat but has been replaced with more delicate subtleties. The album is choc full of complex and intricate rhythms that compliment the lyrics yet, at the same time, made to feel effortless.

So far I have found that this album is most enjoyable under headphones and the volume quite high. By detaching yourself you kind of become more of a part of the album. The atmospherics are more revealing and dynamic.

All parents suffer similar concerns and worries to greater or lesser degrees. I certainly have done. But things do change. Life does get easier as time goes on. With all its imperfections, your family does adapt to the world they have been brought into. They are tougher than you imagine. Quite often they become stronger than you ever expected. And, as time goes on and they have responsibilities of their own, the boot can gradually move to the other foot as much that they begin to worry about you. But deep down, they are still your family and the worrying never quite comes to an end.



Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Cov Aid 1985 - Colourfield

 Cov Aid 1985 - Colourfield

by Pete Clemons



Just over 35 years ago, on Saturday 13 July 1985, the Live Aid project became a reality. It had been the brainchild of Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. They put together a huge benefit concert to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine. The main televised venues were Wembley and Philadelphia although many other events happened elsewhere in the world.

And later that same year Coventry played its part in providing much needed funds for the stricken country as vocalist Paul Smith and guitarist Tony Smyth, of Coventry rock band The Heat, along with Lanchester Polytechnic social secretary Dave Howarth began putting together Cov Aid.

The all day concert was set to be held at Mercia Sporting Club on Saturday September 7th. However the organisers were soon swamped with enquiries from other musicians who were wanting to take part in this bid to help the starving of Africa.

And, early on during the planning period, confirmed bands for the line up included the likes of Major 5, European Sun, Still Life, Sheer Pride, Terminal Tears, After Tonite, Intimate Obsessions and Red on Red.

The ambitious organisers of Coventry's Live Aid concert did make efforts to get Bob Geldof to come to their show – but that never materialised. Regardless, this was still the biggest musical project the city had seen in years and the hope was to sign up several major headline acts.

And then came the real scoop when The Colourfield agreed to play. And this would be the Coventry debut for the Terry Hall led trio. Getting The Colourfield was a real coup and a spokesman for the group said 'The band really want to play. And they want to make it a special one off concert by playing new numbers which will fit the event'. It kind of proved that, despite what he had said about his city, Terry Hall would support it when absolutely necessary.

This also meant that a bigger venue needed to be found. And the gig was moved to October 19th at the Lanchester Polytechnic. Local athletes David Moorcroft and Lorraine Baker agreed to take part as did former Coventry model Debee Ashby who also agreed to get a group of her fellow page 3 colleagues to grace the event.

In the end though it was Ian McCulloch who stole the show when he made a surprise appearance. Ian also defended Terry Hall from the 'fickle fans' who heckled him. The front man with Echo and the Bunnymen said 'I thought Terry and the band played very well. This was not the time or place for anyone to have a go at him. I know what it is like when you play in your hometown. There are some people in Liverpool who don't like me that much'.

But the Bunnyman proved a popular choice when he went on stage for the Colourfield's encore to sing a Door's cover with Terry Hall.

Ian had been rehearsing the number in the groups dressing room throughout the evening and it proved to be a perfect finale. The surprise spot had only been planned a few days before the poly gig. Ian said that the two groups had admired each other's music for some time and that he had been delighted to take part.

After the charity show Terry Hall, in typically belligerent fashion, simply dismissed the hecklers – who, to be fair, had got as good as they gave – by saying that he had really enjoyed their performance. The following day The Colourfield jetted off to America for a ten day promotional visit.

The real stars of the Cov aid show, however, were the backstage crew. To put on fifteen groups in under seven hours was no mean feat. With each band performing, across two stages, for around 20 minutes each. And to their absolute credit the night ran like absolute clockwork were scheduled running times never more than three minutes out. The objective was to raise £3000. And with an audience estimated to be around 800, that was more than achieved.






Voodoo Kings – The Gatehouse Pub – 30 August 2020

 

Voodoo Kings – The Gatehouse Pub – 30 August 2020

by Pete Clemons

                                                https://www.voodookings.co.uk/



This was my second post lockdown gig. And, yet again, it was to see The Voodoo Kings at The Gatehouse Tavern. And, in a sense, it was a case of deja vu.

Clearly the first gig I attended on 2 August went off without a hitch as I am still here to tell the tale. And so, I noticed, were several of the audience members. To be fair, I have not been phased. Distancing has been taken seriously as has the track and trace system. And, the audience has remained seated throughout, apart from when replenishing drinks.

One of the great things about these gigs is that they feel like a step back to normality again. For me, and I am guessing for many others, nothing beats the live experience of music. And again, like many, I have been desperate for the return of it.

Once more the Kings pulled in a sell out 'pre booked - table only' crowd and again, despite the odd threatening cloud, they also managed to pull in a decent bit of sunshine for this bank holiday weekend shindig.

Musically, and after a few technical issues, the guys burst into Mystery Train. This was exactly the same start we had a couple of weeks previously. But The Voodoo Kings are a joy. And their attempts to take you back in time with their skiffle cum rockabilly style is a delight to hear.

Dimples, from their latest album release, was next up. But this time, rather than perform the new album almost verbatim, the audience were treated to it spread across the bands two sets. As well as a wide selection of the bands wider repertoire thrown in.

Unfortunately the future of live music in the UK remains in the balance. The music industry is on its knees right now and needs to find ways to adapt to the current restrictions. One promoter in Newcastle has come up with the idea of podiums to ensure social distances are maintained. And I notice that particular venue is now being used on a regular basis.

I have also read that it is a race against time as to what goes first. The live music scene imploding or emerging technologies stepping in and taking over. For me, I dearly hope the situation we find ourselves in, is only temporary. But for now, I am enjoying what we are being offered.



Voodoo Kings – The Gatehouse Pub - 2 August 2020


It doesn't need me to remind everyone of the problems this pandemic has brought. Each and everyone of us has been affected by it one way or other.

But as lockdown eases the restrictions, one sector still struggling with no real sign of let up, is that of music and entertainment.

How people, like musicians – who just want to get out there and entertain - feel right now, I just cannot imagine. It must be so frustrating for them. So it was just wonderful to see the return of live music in Coventry. For some of them, it is their only source of income.

And the band to dip their collective toe into these uncharted waters were the Voodoo Kings when they appeared in the garden area of The Gatehouse Tavern. And fortune favours the brave as the weather was just perfect for the occasion. Strict rules were in place such as the pre-booking of tables, in order to reserve your spot and table service for the purchasing of drinks was advertised as readily available. But I didn't see much of that.

There was also a test and trace facility running. And rather than sign an open piece of paper, you filled in a slip and put that into a box for added privacy.

From Siouxsie and the Banshees to The Cramps tee shirts, it was clear that a good few of Coventry's rockabilly family had gathered to honour these 1950s revivalists. Pompadour, swept back hair, and kerchiefs were the order of the day at this rear garden oasis that, you tend to forget, sits right on the edge the ring road.

A line up of Dave West (guitar, vocals), Sam Smith (bass, vocals) and Terry Downes (cajon box, vocals) are not only celebrating the fact they are being allowed to cut loose again but also that they have their new album ready to go.

Before a note was played a few ground rules were issued including 'was there anyone here from Leicester' which did make me smile.

Mystery Train opened the proceedings followed by the title track of the last Voodoo Kings album, Systems Green. After a few more tunes, along with a bit of tweaking of equipment, the band appeared to have hit their stride.

Dave West then announces that the Voodoo Kings were now going to perform, in its entirety, their new album 'Rollin'. It appears that getting this record out seems to have brought its own problems having been in production for the greater part of this most difficult of years.

The album, a mix of original and cover versions, opens with Davy Jones and continues with tunes such as I'm Not Blind, A Picture of You, Rollin, Delta Storm and Streamline Train which wraps up the first set. It really was a wonderful hour or so. Although the next few days will confirm otherwise, all was comfortable and we came away thinking the event had run very well.

Make no mistake, these were only tiny steps and there is still a mountain to climb in order to get live music back to pre pandemic levels. This is possibly the best it will get for a while to come. But this was a very welcome start.

Just this weekend it was announced that we may be at the limits of the easing of lockdown. But, I won't pretend, it felt great to see and hear live music once again, albeit in a more controlled environment. And, as importantly, it must have been equally as good, if not better, for the musicians involved to be flexing those fingers again.

Incredibly this Voodoo Kings gig was a free event. So at the very least, if you are able to, please support guys like these by checking out their merchandise and maybe purchasing a tee shirt or a CD.












Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Peter Green - A Tribute

Peter Green - A Tribute

By Pete Clemons


One of the most difficult musical careers to map must be that of John Mayall. It is an almost impossible jigsaw puzzle to complete. Its easy enough to create a family tree of who was in his various band line ups. Thats cast in stone as his album sleeves tell you who played what. But John Mayall's work load, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s was incredibly hectic. And occasionally some of the permanent band members would not be able to make a gig and, as such, a replacement would need to be drafted in. And this is how guitarist Peter Green first hooked up with John Mayall, filling the huge shoes of Eric Clapton when needed.

And when Eric Clapton served notice on the Bluesbreakers the quietly spoken Peter Green was the natural replacement. While the majority of the country was cheering England's football team on in the World Cup tournament, Peter Green was playing his first gig as an official member of the Bluesbreakers, during July 1966, at a date in Nottingham. Peter Green's playing was incisive and incendiary. And according to John Mayall, during the recording of the 'A Hard Road' album released February 1967, 'Peter was every bit as good in the studio as he was on the road'.

During 1967 John Mayall's band were touring as just John Mayall on organ, Mick Fleetwood on drums, John McVie bass and Peter Green on guitar. For 20 odd gigs over a three month period, those who witnessed this line up, confirmed that this particular line up was as good as anything the Bluesbreakers did with Eric Clapton. A couple of long known about bootlegs have recently been cleaned up and given official release. Sound wise they are far from perfect. But once over the initial, sharp intake of breath, stick with them as they are rather good and suck you in. Additionally, this line up paved the way for what became Fleetwood Mac.

June 1967 and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers are playing in Birmingham supported by the Levi Set who included slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer. It was clear that Peter's heart wasn't in the Bluesbreakers any more and wanted change. Both Peter and Jeremy discovered they each had an appreciation of Elmore James and B.B. King. After the gig the pair chatted more with Peter Green apparently saying to Jeremy 'It’s not the amount of notes you play. It’s what goes into the notes.' Days later Peter had quit the Bluesbreakers. Soon after, so had drummer Mick Fleetwood.

On the 14 August 1967 a new band named Fleetwood Mac made their debut at the National Jazz and Blues Festival, Windsor. (incidentally, future Indian Summer guitarist, Colin Williams, witnessed this gig). Along with Fleetwood and Green was Jeremy Spencer and bass player Bob Brunning. Despite the inclusion of Bob Brunning, behind the scenes, Peter Green was encouraging John McVie to join. By the end of August John was in, making his debut at a gig at The Marquee.

According to the band members those early day of the band were incredibly enjoyable. During gigs, yes mistakes were made, but Peter had this wonderful way of pulling the band back together again.

Early November 1967 saw the first single release by Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, 'I Believe My Time Ain’t Long'. And very soon after that came the bands first gig in the Coventry and Warwickshire area when Fleetwood Mac played the Benn Hall Rugby.

February 1968 saw the release of the first Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac album on the Blue Horizon label. It stayed in the UK charts for 37 weeks peaking at number 4. the album inspired a generation. Further visits to Coventry included gigs at the Lanchester Polytechnic that featured an impromptu performance with Jimmy Tarbuck, who was starring nearby in the annual pantomime at Coventry theatre, The Leofric Jazz Club and The Mercers Arms.

August 1968 saw the band extend itself by bringing in rhythm guitarist Danny Kirwan. And it was this line up that returned to the area toward the end of the year for a date at the Chesford Grange.

To my knowledge, the last visit to the area by Fleetwood Mac came toward the end of 1970 when the band visited Coventry Teachers Training College at Canley. However, by then Peter Green had left the band for well publicised reasons.

During his comeback years, between 1997 and 2010, Peter Green returned to perform in Birmingham several times. One particular memory I have was an unforgettable evening with one of Peter's own icon's, B.B. King at the NIA. But it was during May 2000, when the unbelievable pairing of John Mayall's band and Peter Green's Splinter Group appeared at Warwick Arts Centre, thrilled a sold out audience with a wonderful and unforgettable evening of nostalgia.

Peter Green's star shined for a relatively short period of time. Although what he left us will, I suspect, remain with us for a long time to come. Famously Peter was more interested in expressing emotion in his songs and not at all showing an audience how fast he could play. And that is certainly highlighted in his legacy.

Jimmy Tarbuck was performing at the Coventry Theatre when Fleetwood Mac played Coventry.

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (feat. Peter Green) ~ Live In 1967 ( Full Album )


The Supernatural

Oh Well Live

Albatross -Splinter Group

Black Magic Woman


Coventry Ring Road A4053 - And the Music

Coventry Ring Road A4053 - And the Music.

By Pete Clemons


Early construction wok of Coventry's infamous ring road began during the very late 1950s. With the first phase of it being completed during 1962. After that it was full steam ahead until the ring road completion during September 1974.

At the time of the ring roads official opening ceremony, on September 18 1974, there was a collective sigh of relief as, after years of pressure on the city centre, was at long last coming to an end. And here is how it was reported:

'The 15 year siege of Coventry was over. At last, the city is being relieved. For a decade and a half the city centre has been attacked on all sides by road works, diversions, one way systems and traffic lights. The weapons have been the most modern that the construction industry could muster. Earth movers, bulldozers, cranes and concrete mixers.

The arrows of ever changing direction signs have rained in on the city centre from all angles. The formal lifting of the siege will come tomorrow when the Lord Mayor, Councillor Dennis Berry, cuts the tape to open the final stage of the city's £14.4 million Inner Ring Road.

The two and three quarter mile highway encircles the city and should effectively seal it off from the thunder of through traffic. At least that's the principle. Whether it achieves that objective remains to be seen.....All the experts involved seem to think it will.

Superintendent Tom Meffin, deputy head of Coventry police said: 'if this final stage of the ring road works as well as the rest has, it will bring nothing but benefit to the motorist. The traffic flow is going to be improved a good deal now that the ring is complete. It will mean that traffic coming from the south of the city and wanting to go north need no longer use the city centre at all. The narrow, easily congested city centre roads which have been used up until now will no longer need to be used. The same will apply to traffic coming from east to west or from any direction'.

The ring roads completion will also mean that traffic policing headaches, caused during the construction period, will vanish. Superintendent Meffin said he did not expect any traffic problems and the completed road would be policed in the same way as the ring road always had been'.

But what else was going on at that time the ring road opened?. I’m sure there are others who could easily revive memories as to what was being shown on the TV and cinema back then, along with other events. But I thought I would revisit, and try to capture, the music scene both locally and nationally.

At Mr Georges Club, on the evening of the ring road's opening, you could have seen Sarah Gordon sing. She was backed by Little Free Rock who were a band that have a story of their own to tell. The following evening Jimmy Powell and the Dimensions were starring. Over in Leamington at the Spa Centre you could have seen rock trio Trapeze who were made up of Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland.

Nationally, again during the week of the ring road's opening, the UK singles chart for looked like this:

1. Kung Fu Fighting – Carl Douglas

2. Love Me For a Reason – The Osmonds

3. Annie's Song – John Denver

Mike Oldfield was dominating the album charts in the UK at the time of cutting of the ring road's ribbon. Both Hergest Ridge at number 1 and Tubular Bells at number 2 were eclipsing Band on the Run by Paul McCartney and Wings which had to settle for number 3.

After over 45 years of constant use, the ring road has, just lately, had a facelift on some of its sections. Plus, more recently, the exit section for the railway station has been changed considerably. And, despite not being able to drive it correctly, I still continue to use it regularly.


...
Over to Trev Teasdel for a little bit of Coventry music information -

Quite close to the Ring Road in Lower Holyhead Road was the Holyhead Youth Centre where on a Monday night Hobo (Coventry Music and Arts Magazine) ran the Hobo Workshop gigs with support from the Coventry Voluntary Council Service. In the main hall we put on bands some of whose members came to fame or semi fame later on Analog had their first gig there - most of the members,through a series of bands formed The Reluctant Stereotypes - a less known Two Tone band combining of jazz rock and ska with Paul King on vocals - Paul left to form the hit group King. Well Analog played their first ever gig at the Hobo Workshop and did a repeat gig there 5 days after the opening of the Ring Road on Monday 23rd September. Midnight Circus also played their first ever gig there in October. Midnight Circus was led by Hazel O'connor's elder brother Neil and his band changed their name to the Flys c 1979 and released a series of singles including Molotov Cocktail. The Flys performed on the Old Grey Whistle test and John Peel and Neil himself became a guitarists with Hazel O'Connors tour band, Mega Hype.

Meanwhile down in the basement of the Holyhead Youth Centre at this time, Charley Anderson was rehearsing with Desmond Brown and other early musicians who were later part of The Selecter, and Neol Davies who came along to organise a jam session at the Midnight Circus gig - Neol went down stairs to encourage Charley's musicians to join the upstairs jam but stayed down their learning to skank. This was probably the first time home grown ska was heard in Coventry - as early as 1974 and only those of us upstairs at the Hobo Workshop heard it rising from the basement. 

At the Hand in Heart on the Tuesday of the opening, Rod Felton was running the Rude Bear Folk Club with some top folk guests and floor spots from Dave Coburn and Dave Bennett.

Band who played the Hobo Workshop September / October 1974
Analog playing the Hobo Workshop - Holyhead Youth Centre 1974 - most of the band joined the Reluctant Stereotypes later. left,by the ampos is Bob Rhodes - detached youth worker with Coventry Voluntary Services who facilitated us. Back row, centre with long blond hair - Trev Teasdel, main organiser and next to him in stripy shirt Phil Knapper - singer songwriter whose brother Stu Knapper after formed the punk band Riot Act.


The Flys - formerly Midnight Circus) with Molotov Cocktail single c 1979 with Neil O'Connor.



Analog  the jazz rock suite they performed at the Hobo Workshop1974