The New European: Coventry’s special ones

Credit: Toni Tye

A new exhibition in the city of culture celebrates fans of its 1980s 2 Tone scene, and a key moment in UK social history as races and genders united to dance.

In early 1980, The Specials were still basking in the glory of putting Too Much Too Young, and the sound of their 2 Tone label, at No. 1. Along with other ska-revival bands The Beat, The Bodysnatchers, The Selecter, Bad Manners and Madness, they capitalised on the moment by embarking on a frenetic schedule of gigs.

There to capture performances from Portsmouth to Sunderland for his film Dance Craze (1981) was American director Joe Massot, along with British cinematographer Joe Dunton, and Sussex photographer Toni Tye, whose photographs feature in a new exhibition at Coventry‚Äôs Herbert Art Gallery and Museum looking at the history and significance of the label…

The New European, 3 June 2021, pp. 38-39.

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