A Music Guide To... Coventry
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Coventry is often summed up with three C’s: concrete, cathedral and cars. Destroyed almost entirely by the Second World War, the city rose from its ashes to become what it is today. While it may not look like much, beneath the surface Coventry is a hive of artistic talent. Back in the 90’s we had more theatre companies per head than anywhere else in the country and we’re also the home of two-tone (A.K.A. Ska) music. To the uninitiated, Coventry’s music scene may seem sparse. Lacking in clubs and often overshadowed by neighboring Birmingham it’s easy to see why. However, with bands such as The Specials, Napalm Death and The Enemy all hailing from our streets, there’s definitely something in the water here. Constantly evolving (as seen in the rebranding of pretty much everything in recent years), Coventry might just take you by surprise… Venues Also known as Coventry’s creative quarter, FarGo Village is an artistically repurposed industrial space in Coventry City Centre, designed exclusively for creative, independent businesses and like-minded visitors. Regularly hosting events, there’s always something quirky going down. Based on Far Gosford street, it’s in the heart of student central, providing a creative outlet to the artistically inclined. The Big Comfy Book Shop hosts an acoustic night and open-mic nights often take place here. A little known fact to people is that Warwick Uni is actually in Coventry. Therefore, we’re able to claim Warwick Arts Centre as our own (even though many Cov Uni students wouldn’t dream of stepping foot in it). It’s also the largest arts centre after London’s Barbican Centre, offering a range of artistic platforms. Many smaller bands embarking on their first tours visit the arts centre and it’s mecca to more ‘alternative’ acts. There have been so many huge bands and artists gracing it’s stage over the years, including The Smiths, Radio Head and U2. The marmite of Coventry, Kasbah (or Colly if you’re local (or just trying too hard)) has something for everyone. The largest nightclub in the city is often host top DJ’s, such as Wilkinson, Sigma and Blonde. Moreover, their side room doubles as a live venue, hosting all kind of acts from up and coming local bands to well known bands such as Deaf Havana who are due to be there in November. One moment you’ll be in the main room bopping along to Punjabi MC (another Coventry legend) and then next you’ll be in the side room watching an acoustic cover duo. Like Kasbah, the Phoenix is sometimes better known as Campbells. A hive of student activity, the ‘Dark Room’ is an upstairs venue, which is host to all kind of musical functions. Bands that have played here include Mallory Knox and tonight alive. Home to Coventry Universities Rock Society, it’s frequented by alternative bands and always makes for a lively evening.
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