MUSIC MATTERS - The Astras at Coventry Music Museum, The Monochrome Set at The Tin and The Reel Store opens - The Coventry Observer

19th Aug, 2022

MUSIC MATTERS - The Astras at Coventry Music Museum, The Monochrome Set at The Tin and The Reel Store opens

Coventry Editorial 19th May, 2022

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

The Astras

At 12pm on Saturday, May 21, city indie band The Astras will be crowned The Coventry Music Museum’s Artist of The Month.

There will be a special ‘Sounding Off’ session hosted by myself at the museum where I get to find out all about this exciting new band.

The guys have also promised a short acoustic set and a few weeks ago, the band had their music aired at half-time at the CBS Arena.

I recently voted The Astra’s ‘Most Promising Local Newcomers’.

This year sees the five-piece in full stride as they attempt to pick up a host of new fans with their new material and their natural energy.

I love that vibe when you keep hearing a band’s name on the scene and all you get is positive feedback.

That’s the Astra’s and it is wonderful they will be the next new band we can showcase at the museum, including their very own display case.


The Monochrome Set

Massive excitement as The Tin announced that at 8.30pm on Saturday, May 28, they would be hosting The Monochrome Set at this superb Cov venue.

Not a local band of course, but I have always been a fan of this uniquely original unit, with ‘Jet Set Junta’ being one of my favourite songs.

This line-up features original members Bid (guitar/vocals) and Andy Warren (bass) with Mike Urban, who was previously in the band in the early 90s, on drums and, newest recruit, Athen Ayren on keyboards.

They were heavily influential in the ‘post-punk’ scene that evolved after the initial scorched earth of punk.

To top it off the support band – the Pristines – are definitely local with their clever infectious music that saw them pick up fans in Japan, Italy, France, Belgium, Sweden, Finland and The Philippines.

Their “Teen Fraud” album is definitely worth checking out.

The Reel Store

I was honoured to be invited for a preview of the new Reel Store, the new immersive digital art gallery inside the former Telegraph building last week.

This really is a true legacy of City of Culture, controlled by artificial intelligence, the images that it creates are out-of-this-world.

This is a superb addition to Coventry’s tourist offer, created by international artist Refik Anadol. ‘Machine Memoirs:Space’ is where walls and floors of graphics and epic audio combine to give the visitor an experience like nowhere else.

I’m so glad and proud this is in Coventry – it has now opened to the public and deserves your support.


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