After doing some research last night on location to do with The Specials this morning I woke up got ready and set out into Coventry to try and find these places in hope of get some photographs and more information.
The first place I decided to go too was 51 Albany Road…The birthplace of 2-Tone The ska phenomenon was created here by Jerry Dammers,The Specials and The Selecter It also served as the HQ for the iconic 2-Tone Record label…so this turned out to be someones actual home. I pressed all the bells on the front door and knocked on their glass window. Finally after a few minuets waiting a guy came to the door, I had obviously woken him up (oops!). I tried to get as much information out of him but he didn’t seem to interested he did say the girl who lived upstairs her bedroom is the actual room they used to chill etc. in but said she wouldn’t be happy if I took a look or spoke to her about it. So anyway all I got out of walking to that house was two images of the front of the house, not a great start!
I then decided to walk too The Holyhead Youth Club…In the basement of this building reggae and blues jam sessions took place between Charley Anderson, Aitch Bembridge, Desmond Brown, Neol Davies, Lynval Golding,Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, Silverton Hutchinson, Ray King and others. The music created here was fundamental in the development of the 2-Tone sound that would follow. Neville Staple also operated a sound system from here…So I done a 30 minute walk to try and find this location, I got lost several times and asked some coventry locals to help me with directions but most had never heard of ‘The Holyhead Youth Club’ before! Anyway so I walked and walked for ages to find out my map directions were completely wrong! On my way back I stopped off at my friends house to use her laptop to re google map the location in hopes of actually finding it!
So I went off again on my way to try and find the youth club I stopped off at the Coventry Artspace as I had been to an exhibition there before and knew that The Specials used to jam in the basement of there. I walked in as the door was open but no one was around after a few minutes of me just wandering around trying to look for someone a woman walked in, she didn’t seem to pleased I was in there, I tried asking her about if she knew anything about The Specials being there etc. but she had no idea and said I would have to contact the person who worked there tomorrow morning and gave me a number then told me to get out. I managed to photograph the outside of the building anyway!
So off I went again to try and find the youth club, I popped into The Herbert on my way to try find out some info. on The Specials but they had nothing on at the moment about them as they had sent all their memorabilia away to America to exhibit it out there. Another half hour later I ended up at my destination which ended up being a dead end road with office buildings and nothing to do at all with The Specials…argh!
All in all today was a bit of a wasted day which is quite annoying as I didn’t find much out at all as I expected too. Although tomorrow I will call up the Artspace and hopefully I can get permission to go and have a look around and photograph there.