Open Plaques

Organisation - 2-Tone Trail

Throughout 2009 there were eleven 2-Tone plaques unveiled at various locations on Coventry's 2-Tone Trail. Each one giving a glimpse of the fascinating history of bands like The Specials and the Selecter. As well as the iconic 2-Tone record label itself, a label that helped to launch the careers of other ska-based bands such as Madness and the Beat. Each unveiling and various other events will combined to create a fitting tribute to this incredibly infectious and extraordinary aware brand of music that is marking its 30th anniversary in 2009.


The Binley Oak. It was in the backroom of this public house that The Specials unique ska sound was originally created and where Pauline Black first became a member of The Selector

Binley Oak, Coventry, United Kingdom

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

51 Albany Rd, Coventry, United Kingdom

Horizon Studios The renowned Horizon Studio complex stood across the road from here. It was there that The Specials and The Selecter recorded much of their classic work during 1979/1980

Horizon Studios site on Rocket Pub, Warwick Road, Coventry, United Kingdom
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Coventry Canal Basin It was here in 1979 that photographers Chalkie Davies & Carol Starr took a set of iconic images that graced the covers of the first two Specials albums

Canal Basin, Coventry, United Kingdom

Mr George Nightclub was located on this site. The Specials played a four month residency here as The Automatics

Lower Precinct, Coventry, United Kingdom

Coventry University (The Lanch) Jerry Dammers and Horace Panter of The Specials and Pauline Black of The Selecter all attended this University. The song 'Rat Race' was conceived in this building and the promotional video was subsequently filmed in the Main Hall in 1980.

Coventry University (The Lanch), Coventry, United Kingdom

The Heath Hotel. In October 1977 history was made when The Specials played their very first gig here as The Automatics

807 Foleshill Road (ex Heath Hotel), Coventry, United Kingdom

Hand and Heart. In the late 70's, early 80's this public house was a major venue for the emerging Coventry music scene and played host to a plethora of artists including The Specials

The Hand and Heart, Coventry, United Kingdom

Virgin Records. Pete Waterman OBE the first Specials manager ran the Soul Hole record shop on the first floor of this building. John 'Brad' Bradbury of The Specials worked here, as did The Automatics vocalist Tom Strickland

Virgin Records/Soul Hole, Coventry, United Kingdom

Site of Tiffany's Nightclub. 2-Tone bands The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, The Swinging Cats and The Bodysnatchers all played at this once popular venue

Tiffany's Nightclub (Central Library), Coventry, United Kingdom

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.

Holyhead Youth Club (now Artspace), Coventry, United Kingdom
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