THE ‘SOUND System’ culture which came to Coventry more than 50 years ago will be celebrated through three events with the first one this Saturday, October 2.
The Coventry City of Culture Trust is placing a spotlight on ‘Dub and Roots’ and ‘Dancehall’, toasting the sounds of the city and the Caribbean.
It will highlight how 1950s West Indian arrivals to the city – many from Coventry’s twin city of Kingston – built their own sound systems with huge speakers and amps, introducing new Reggae and Ska music to local audiences at parties.
The music went onto inspire a wealth of art and culture that has come from the city, in particular the rich music heritage of 2-Tone.
This Saturday, Black Crusader, I&I Presents Count C, Irie B and Scooby, Messenger Sound and Sisters In Dub will perform at a Dub and Roots event at the FarGo Village.
Next Saturday, October 9, at the same venue, Black Magic Family, JB International, Mackabee Studio International and X5 Family World Sound will bring dancehall to the city.
The culmination of the Sound Systems celebration will be an event titled ‘Coventry meets Kingston’ with local artists performing alongside sound systems from Kingston including Rory Stonelove, Bass Odyssey and Ricky Trooper joining via live stream at The HMV Empire on November 6.
This celebration of Sound Systems is being delivered in partnership with creative producer Colin Bell, with production management from The Play Maker Group, all with a wealth of experience and passion for sound systems culture and events.
Creative producer Colin said: “Music has been a force for good in this city and the music played on sound systems has unified and inspired generations in Coventry.
“Now, in 2021, we celebrate our local sound system culture not just the pioneers who have been playing for the last 50 years but also celebrating new, younger up and coming sound systems and our first all-female sound system.
“Several of the sound systems involved are second generation passed down from their parents and our hope is this will both spotlight our Coventry Sound Systems and stimulate new conversations and develop new ways of continuing this tradition into the future.”
Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry is a music city. Jamaican reggae culture is part our city’s cultural heritage.
“The artists who brought this music and culture to the UK were true musical pioneers.
“And the sound systems themselves are spectacular works of art, often homemade, tested in front rooms and most importantly form the soundtrack to many people’s lives.
“They need to be seen and heard, to be believed. I can’t wait to check them out in Coventry very soon.”
Visit coventry2021.co.uk for more information and tickets.