RUDEBOY – THE STORY OF TROJAN RECORDS
RUDEBOY is a film about the love affair between Jamaican and British youth culture told through the prism of one of the most iconic labels in the history of black music, Trojan Records. Combining compelling dramatisations of key chapters in the story, along with archive and interview footage, it tells the story of the label by placing it at the heart of a cultural revolution that unfolded on the council estates and dancefloors of late 60s and early 70s Britain, as immigration and innovation transformed popular music and culture. The film's cast of legendary artists, including Lee “Scratch” Perry, Toots Hibbert, Ken Boothe, Neville Staple, Marcia Griffiths, Dave Barker, Dandy Livingstone, Lloyd Coxsone, Pauline Black, Derrick Morgan and more, bringing the sounds, stars and stories to life
WHY COVENTRY WAS READY FOR 2 TONE.. in Coventry in the early seventies, alongside the authentic Jamaican-style sound systems, Jamaican records were already becoming popular with a new wider audience.
Through Top of the Pops and other much-watched TV programmes, people had been awakened to songs like Bob & Marcia’s “Young, Gifted and Black” (the Jamaican version of the civil right classic).
They’d heard, danced to and bought massive hit singles from Ken Boothe and John Holt, distributed in Britain by the Trojan Records label. Something was happening.
People like Pete Waterman could see it in late ‘74 when he played newly-acquired Jamaican records at his club nights at the Locarno: “We would have fourteen hundred white kids on a Monday night in Coventry dancing to ‘Ire Feelings’, which had only just come out in Jamaica the week before.”This burgeoning popularity would soon spread across to Jamaican roots reggae, which was to greatly influence emerging punk groups like The Clash and The Slits. In turn, this paved the way for a unique amalgamation of styles that led to 2 Tone. At this “pop up” event at the West Indian Club in Spon Street Saturday 20th July (7.30-11, free admission), we’re presenting music, film and fashion related to the years prior to the advent of 2 Tone. It will include the first Coventry screening of the film “Rude Boy”, (Dir. Nicolas Jack Davies, 2018, UK, 85 mins) which tells the story of the massively-influential Trojan Records label. Rude Boy contains (amongst others) contributions from the key 2 Tone artist Pauline Black, and an interview with Neville Staple filmed in the city.
There will also be a range of associated exhibits, including a continuous loop of the 49 min 2010 “Champion Sound” film featuring the pioneers of Coventry’s own much-loved sound systems. The event shows that in 1979 when we first heard the start of The Specials’ debut single “Gangsters” and their arresting take on Prince Buster’s “Al Capone’s guns don’t argue” - many “Coventry kids” black and white knew exactly where this was coming from..
Coventry was ready for 2 Tone.