Monday, 3 January 2022

Coventry mural




 A mural at Coventry bus station which epitomises the cultural history of the city in the 1980s.

The late 1970s and most of the 1980s, was a time of economic and social turmoil in Britain, when the country seemed to be in a state of continuous crisis, and felt close to outright collapse: strikes disrupted basic services, filling city streets with mounds of garbage; far right movements marched and clashed with counter-protestors; in towns and cities factories were closing and many were unemployed; by 1982 unemployment had risen to 20%; young people especially felt alienated and pessimistic about their future; racial tensions were high, with racist attacks and anti-immigration demonstrations making the news. 

These conditions formed the backdrop to an incredible rise of productivity in music: 2 Tone emerged with a strong message of anti-racism and inclusivity; punk branched out; reggae became increasingly influential; the Specials, a band of black and white musicians emerged with their distinctive sound of a blend of punk and reggae; Hazel O'Connor became prominent in 1980 as an actress and singer when playing the role of Kate in Breaking Glass; Manjinder Kirk, actress, director, writer was also from Coventry; Cathedral, another band that was based in Coventry.

In the mural, from right to left: Hazel O'Connor, Terry Hall from the Specials, (who then went on to form Fun Boy Three), I am not sure who the third person is, and last, Manjinder Kirk.



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