29th May, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS - Alternative Sounds CD celebrates Coventry's Ska

Coventry Editorial 29th Apr, 2021

Coventry Music Museum curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.

WELL, here is the next edition of the Alternative Sounds CD compilations, and this time it’s all about Ska and how.

For £10 you get a super 20-page monochromatic Alternative Ska fanzine, The Mighty, 22-track CD plus a badge and a sticker – what’s not to like?

Well Done Nigel Meffen, Martin Bowes, Chris Sidwell and Suky Singh for producing something a bit special, as the CD contains a host of wonderful artists – some new, some not so new.

The team said: “Following the success of their four compilation CDs and a vinyl EP – promoting the music of Coventry and Warwickshire from the past, present and future.

“The Alternative Sounds team were approached by the 2-Tone Village for help with a fund-raising CD release and Alternative Ska was born.

“After putting out an appeal, ska, ska punk and reggae-related bands and artists from throughout the country and indeed the world, donated music and these were narrowed down to the 22 tracks (approximately 79 minutes of music) on the first Alternative Ska album.

“Interestingly, the CD album features a number of musicians and people who were part of the original Coventry Two Tone music explosion.“

If Ska is your thing (and even if it’s not), you will discover some gems, there are the great dependable live bands on here like Orange Street, Skatonics, The Kingstons, Ska Face, AC30s, Ruder Than U, Lloyd McGrath Collective, Simmertones, Skaledonia and The Kubricks.

There is some classic stuff from 21 Guns, Rhythm Doctor and ska royalty Roy Panton and Yvonne Harrison plus Andres Cotter with the legend Jenny ‘Bellestar’ Matthias .

As you can see, this is a superbly curated album, (see the full track listing for all 22 amazing songs and artists).

It’s available from The 2-Tone Village, Coventry, the Just Dropped In record shop at Fargo Village, Coventry, and on the Alternative Sounds Bandcamp page.

Word on the street is there could very well be a part two – I do hope so.

Full track listing

1. Orange Street – Rough

2. Jason and the Skagonauts – Ska Girl

3. General Chaos – Tick Tock

4. Ruder Than U – Trouble

5. Old Raskals – Hard Times

6. Skaledonia – Still I Lie

7. Ska Face – Key Changes

8. Lloyd McGrath Collective – Turbulence

9. Andres Cotter – Jenny ‘Bellestar’ Matthias – Go

10. AC30s – Broke Pocket

11. The Kingstons – Run

12. 21 Guns – 21 Guns

13. Skatonics – Hope Street

14. AKA The Syndicate – Hands Up Who’s Coming With Me

15. Concrete Rose – Love Yourself

16. The Kubricks – Criminals

17. Manor – Supernatural

18. Simmertones – Lullaby

19. Natasha Marie and Brad Turner – Missing You

20. Star XD – Africa Rising

21. Roy Panton and Yvonne Harrison – Join Together

22. Rhythm Doctor – Blue Skank</b>

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