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In Ñspel │ The Guardian view on two-tone nostalgia: the pride of Coventry

A 2009 photograph of Ska band the Specials, (from left) Lynval Golding, Terry Hall and John Bradbury. “We were doing something that wasn’t in London. It was a sense of pride in where we were.’ Photograph: Martin Godwin/The Guardian
A 2009 foṭgraf v Sca band Đ Speślz, (fṛm left) Linval Goldñ, Teri Hōl n Jon Bradḅri. “W wr dwñ smʈñ ɖt wz’nt in Lundn. It wz a sns v prîd in ẃr w wr.’ Foṭgraf: Martin Godwin/Ɖ Gardịn

Ɖ Gardịn vy on tū-ton nstalja: ɖ prîd v Covntri

(Transcription of a Guardian editorial of 11 February 2021)

Britn’z siti v culćr fr 2021 z rîtli seḷbretñ a ḿzicl muvmnt ɖt stl cariz a potnt mesij

11 Febrri 2021

Inṭvyd a cupl v yirz ago, ɖ līdsñr v ɖ Speślz, Teri Hōl, wz asct ẃt h rmembrd most fondli abt ɖ tū-ton ira, ẃn ɖ band’z homsiti v Covntri hostd ɖ most iṇvtiv ḿzicsīn in Britn. “W wr dwñ smʈñ ɖt wz’nt in Lundn,” rspondd Mr. Hōl hu, rɖr śocñli, z nǎ in hiz 60z. “It wz a sns v prîd in ẃr w wr.”

Fitñli ɖen, wn v ɖ most inspîrñ pirịdz in postwar yʈculćr z t b gvn prîd v ples jrñ Covntri’s fʈcmñ siti v culćr 2021 seḷbreśnz. Covid hz dleid fstivtiz untl Me. Bt ẃn ɖe d bgin, it wz rvild ɖs munʈ ɖt ɖ program v ivnts wl includ ɖ frst mejr xbiśn on ɖ lîvz n leġsiz v ɖ tū-ton ira. Ɖr wl olso b a ʈri-de ḿzic ivnt kretd bî Mr. Hōl.

An injoybl nstalɉfest z ɖus in prospect fr ḿzicluvrz v a srtn ej. Soñz lîc Gosțǎn cn stl sumn p ɖ mūd n fīl v Marġrit Ʈaćr’z Britn. Bt ɖs brīf rvîvl olso sīmz pkłrli wel-tîmd. Forti yirz aftr mixt-rês Covntri bandz sć az ɖ Speślz n ɖ S’lectr blezd a payniyrñ trel, iśuz v rês, culćr n naśnl îdntti r wns agn poḷrîzñ poḷtics. Nemd aftr ɖ recordlebl t ẃć ɖ grūps b’loñd, ɖ tū-ton muvmnt tc on similr qsćnz in its ǒn ynīc stîl. Agnst ɖ grim bacdrop v Naśnl Frunt marćz n mas unimplômnt, it imbodid a viźn ɖt wz qinṭsnṣ́li Britiś, prǎdli multiculćṛl n wîd opn t ɖ wrld.

Sca riɖmz on Speślz tracs sć az Gañstrz n Tù Mć Tù Yuñ hd frst bn popyḷrîzd in Britn bî ɖ ḿziśnz hu arîvd on ɖ Empîr Windruś in 1948. Ɖ “rūd bô” lc – śarp sūts, trilbi or porc-pî hats n a blac n ẃît culrscīm – wz part-Jmecn n part-Ñgliś mód. Ć wīc, ɖs multireśl melãź v stîlz n sǎndz wz ćanld stret intu ɖ culćṛl bludstrīm via Top v ɖ Pops. In 1979, ʈri tū-ton bandz fīćrd in a sngl idiśn v ɖ program. At a tîm ẃn caźl resizm wz stl pvesiv in ɖ popylr culćr n evr-preznt in sitcomz sć az Mînd Yr Lanḡj n It E’nt Haf Hot Mum, tū-ton wz oṗnñ p ny posbiḷtiz v a difṛnt cnd v Britn t a ny jeṇreśn.

Az Britn atmts t “bǎns bac betr” aftr a yir-loñ śutdǎn in trōmatic srcmstansz, Covntri’z prǎd siti-v-culćr steṭs sīmz seṛndipiṭs. Fy plesz hv riinvntd ɖmslvz az dẹrñli in ɖ fes v advrṣti. Luftwaffe bomz in ɖ secnd wrldwor n diindustrịlîześn xactd a hevi tol. Bt, fṛm ɖ snṣtiv rīcnstrux́n v ɖ siti’s cʈīdṛl, ẃć prizrvz ɖ ruinz v ɖ old ćrć dstroid in ɖ blits, t ɖ moḍnist arc̣tecćr ɖt heṛtijcampenrz r baṭlñ t prizrv, Covntri hz śoun an abiḷti t adapt t dificlt tîmz wɖ imaɉneśn n an impresiv dgri v rziłns. In ɖ depʈs v ɖ ic̣nomic rseśn in ɖ 1980z, ɖ siti’z fînist ḿzicl aur xmpḷfaid ɖ sem qoḷtiz v dfayns n crịtivti. Prīfiġrñ a jenyinli dvrs, multiculćṛl viźn v Britn, tū-ton wz we ahd v its tîm. Ol ɖ mor rīzn ɖen t sīz ɖ momnt, dust of old rec̣dz n start liṣnñ agn.

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