On 2nd October at the Fargo Village venue the Box, there was the first of two Sound System events. Sponsored by the City Of Culture and organised by Colin Bell and the Playmaker Group, this first event highlighted the history of Coventry’s huge part on the dub reggae sound system scene. But mainly it was a competition. Each DJ or crew had twenty minutes, ticking away on a digital clock at the back of the stage, to play their set and do their best.
Featuring HillzFM’s own fabulous DJ’s Isiah Williams, Eddie Goodtimes and Irie B, the late night event attracted a very lively crowd from all communities across Coventry. Isiah was on early getting the crowd going with his own unique style of performing live, making use of the whole stage to dance about, singing along with the tracks as well as infusing his set with his own brand of sweet, spiritual wisdom. Monday and Tuesday mornings sees Isiah presenting the breakfast shows on HillzFM, 7-9am.
Irie B featured Scooby on his fantastic set, both djs having a really long history on Coventry’s dub reggae scene. In fact we found out that the event’s presenter CWR’s Dave Barrett was related to Irie. Catch Irie B on a Monday afternoon on Hillzfm. Check the HillzFM homepage for details.
One of the last djs on was the effervescent Eddie Goodtimes, part of the I and I crew. Immediately banging out proper wild dub and giving an engaging performance, even though it was 1.30 am, the crowd was loving it. Joined by the MC George Sutton of Rooted and Booted, we were treated to a seriously lively set. Catch Eddie Friday nights 8-10pm on HillzFM.
Also on the bill were brand new talent Sisters in Dub. The three girls are Daniella, Kat and Sherelle, occasionally supported by a male trumpet player Johnno. They played some great dub reggae tracks accompanied by their own vocals and music. So cool and this event was their first ever live performance.
It came as no surprise to discover that they took the crown as the winners of the night and will be going on to play in the final at the Empire on November 6th at the event called Coventry meets Kingston. Not to be missed!!!!!
If you remember the Vine Street Community Centre way back in the early nineties you might have been to some of the Sound System events back then. The very loud heavy dub played out in one of the smokiest venues I’ve ever been in. You might also remember the carnival atmosphere of the Hillfields Happenings which featured enormous Sound Systems. But the history goes right back to the Sixties when Jamaicans were arriving in Coventry, many of them settling in Hillfields. Their music went on to richly contribute to a lot of music scenes that developed out of multicultural communities ranging from the Two Tone movement to Punk. It’s great to see that the City of Culture sponsored this event to note the influence and inspiration the Jamaican music scene has on Coventry. If this scene interests you, there is a second event, Sound Systems Dance Hall on 9th October at the same venue. Tickets £5 online, £7 on then door.
Also, click on the link below to check out a great documentary.
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