You can sometimes get what you want.
You wait for a iconic band and two come along together.
Well that was the scenario last Saturday when Coventry welcomed not just the Rolling Stones, but our very own Specials.
The Specials, never fail to excite, though being the warm up to ‘The greatest rock n roll band In the world’ is no easy feat, especially in such a cavernous space. However this was our 2-Tone band in our 2-Tone city. Of course they got a huge reception, and you can bet Gangster, Rudy, The Man at C&A and the Monkey Man all worked for the rat race and did the dog at the Nite Klub.
Then came The Stones. It seemed like most of Coventry had turned out, but what a night, what a spectacle.
Mick had obviously took a crash course in Coventry history, and his comments about Jimmy Hill, pie and a pint, The Sky Blues, The Matrix all hit the mark.
They may be a massive band headed up by a knight, but they are still in touch with their audiences. I admit I was whooping at all the Coventry references, especially the City of Culture 2021 ones, oh and “The jewel in the West Midlands”.
They will always be expected to play ‘The Hits’ at every gig, but they do it like it’s the first time that song has had an airing.
‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, ‘Midnight Rambler’, ‘Miss You’, ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Brown Sugar’ and of course the incredible ‘Gimme Shelter’ all sounded fresh as can be and played by a band that actually wanted to play them.
I was backstage very briefly, and there you can see what goes in to the staging of such a show and all the people involved.
I personally want to thank the Stones people for looking after myself and my wife so well. Some old rockers once sang “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, well I wanted to see a band who were beyond iconic perform their greatest body of work.
I wanted to see a proud city embrace them, like only Cov kids can, I wanted to come away knowing I had witnessed some music history.
Well tonight, guess we all got what we wanted, and Coventry will probably never be quite the same, and us rockers will talk forever about this special night.
‘We’ll Live and Die in These Towns’
I love seminal moments, early stages of a project, when ideas you have been holding close to your chest suddenly become public, and there is no turning back.
One such seminal moment was the press launch at Coventry’s Empire for the forthcoming play ‘We’ll Live and Die in These Towns’.
The play is a gritty musical using songs from The Enemy’s first album (still the area’s only chart topping album). The play is written by the very talented Geoff Thompson with (Enemy lead singer) Tom Clarke as Musical Director and Artistic Direction by Hamish Glen.
It’s a project made in heaven and it’s inspiring to see Tom take on a brand new challenge like this, and I can’t wait to see who will be cast in the lead role.
Tom Clake said: “Part of the reason I’m so excited to be involved is because one of the main themes is overcoming anxiety, and that’s something I’ve gone through myself.”
Of course not too much was given away on the day, but we now know that our lead character is musician Argy and he is part of some clever subtext that refreshingly takes the story out of the expected rock n roll damnation scenario.
The sort of clever mind games you would expect from the calibre of Geoff Thompson. Watch this space as things unfold.
We’ll Live & Die in These Towns runs at the Belgrade Theatre September 29 – October 30. Look out for ticket details coming soon!
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