Friday, November 17, 2017

Dirty Stops - Coventry in the 1970's

This new book by Ruth Cherrington captures the 70's music and entertainments scene in Coventry and includes entries on the Coventry Folk scene and quite a lot of material from these Hobo - Coventry music archives sites - of which this one. Indeed Hobo magazine is featured in it too.

Well worth a read - all the favourite venues are covered.

The book is available at HMV in Coventry and Waterstones.

Ruth Cherrington,the author with her new book at the Coventry Music Museum.

Available from Amazon UK here 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Welcome

This blog is a part of the new Hobo - Coventry Music Archives focusing on the Coventry Folk Scene of the 1970's and beyond.

NOTE - This Post Stays on Top as an Introduction. Scroll down for the latest posts.

Hobo Coventry Music archives started out on Vox blogs in 2007, The site now closed is hosted on Typepad but provides an opportunity to reorganise the material on that site. Hobo was a Coventry Music and Arts Magazine c 1973 -75 run by Trev Teasdel and co-founded with John Bargent (Bo) and the Hobo Workshop at The Holyhead Youth Centre and later the Golden Cross was an important early music centre in the history of Two Tone and the Coventry music scene.

This is the Hub to all the Coventry music sites below http://covmusicscenehobo.blogspot.co.uk/
There is now -
An A to Z of Coventry Bands (on Google sites)
The rest of the material is on this suite of Blogspots -

Hobo Coventry Music Archives ( The main blog) (Hobo magazine archives, features, other alternative Coventry mags and more.

Coventry Arts Umbrella Club  The Umbrella was established 1955 and opened by the Goons. It produced an important Literary Journal which featured an essay by Phillip Larkin. Held lectures by writers like EM Foster. Held the first Coventry Folk club. Was home to Coventry musicians, including some who were later in Two Tone bands.

Coventry Gigs 1960 - present houses Peter Clemon's Rock of Ages columns for the Coventry Telegraph which charts gigs in Coventry (local bands and famous bands) from 1960 onwards. In addition I'm adding Disco DJ Venue Gig, Coventry Hits, Pete Waterman archives to this section and my 1971 diary of Coventry gigs as a resource.

Coventry Discos / Venues / Studios - Work in progress - includes music shops and more.

http://covmusicwhoswho.blogspot.com/ - A comprehensive Who's Who of Coventry Musicians - still a work in progress. More to be added when the A to Z of  Coventry bands and artists has been completed.Mean while if you should be on the list of the info is wrong or incomplete and if your friends are not on here and should be - let use know at hobozine@googlemail.com.

Coventry Folk Club Scene
This blog with house copies of Pete Willow's Folks Magazine from c 1978 and articles from it. My archive of material from the Coventry Folk Scene in the 1970s and other relevant articles, You Tube and links.

This site is only just in development so be patient!
Trev Teasdel

contact hobozine@googlemail.com

Visit TWO TONE CENTRAL MUSEUM http://www.2tonecentral.co.uk/

Ben Arnold - A Pioneer of Coventry Folk Scene in the 1960's

Ben Arnold was one of the early pioneers 
of the Coventry Folk Scene in the 1960's




The following cuttings were sent to me by Larry Arnold, son of Ben Arnold and are largely from around 1967. Pete Willow's article on Coventry folk clubs in the 1960's, provides good background.Read more here 

A further article relating to Ben Arnold's short lived Folk magazine c 1967 Folks Crying Out Loud 







Photos of Ben Arnold in the 60's
Ben Arnold 1967












Monday, February 20, 2017

Paddy Prescott - Organiser of the Lanchester Polytech Folk Club, Coventry

Paddy Prescott and his brother at the Lanch Poly in Coventry 1970's

The following memories of  Paddy Prescott come from William Arnold, son of Ben Arnold, of which more is written on this blog as a Coventry folk club organiser and pioneer in the 1960's. William shared accommodation with Paddy at one stage.

"Paddy is and was a fascinating character and a genuine person. I was introduced by Paddy to Irish music sessions at the Four Provinces Club which tended to be rather republican and a bit off putting for non Irish. Chapelfields, with its many pubs, was the setting for various Sunday dinner time sessions. Remember this was when pubs religiously shut early on Sundays. A long running one was at the Nursery Tavern, Lord Street where Dave Bennett was a stalwart, amazing every one with the volume of his repertoire and his amazing skill and dexterity producing rhythm, bass, treble and harmony lines in perfect time with only 10 digits. A genuine virtuoso, he was never tempted to go even semi-professional, even though his skills equalled and exceeded many name musicians. Think Chet Atkins and Les Paul his material was mostly western Swing and Ragtime music. Rod Felton would sometimes appear and I am always grateful to him for the support he gave me when I needed it after too much to drink!


In the 80's Paddy lived in Alma Street and worked as bar cellar man in the Foresters Arms pub, just over the road, which was run by Sid a character in his own right and a folk enthusiast. It was in the back room here that Paddy held court on Wednesdays for his nondenominational folk sessions. A group of friends and associates, yet not exclusive. Occasionally people just popped in and we'd always make them feel welcome. Lenny was a regular ,he had converted to Roman Catholicism and would occasionally lament the passing of his wild youth and poor taste, maintaining that the only real music worth bothering with was Blue Grass and Appalachian Mountain music and Rod Felton was also commonly in attendance and the hard core of Coventry folkies and they'd often continued until early morning at Paddy's miniscule bedsit. Most of the other residents had probably attended as well. Alma street had houses only on one side and they had all been gradually bought up by Paddy's landlord, not being a thoroughfare, occasionally he would hold street parties for his tenants, complete with music and dancing in the street!

Never one to take himself too seriously Paddy used half jokingly describe himself as an anarcho-syndicalist with Trotskyite leanings. he could of been described as a skinhead,outlaw biker / irish folksinger with attitudes! I first met him in 1978 when we shared a 2 up 2 down in St George's Road, Coventry, with his two cats, Trotsky and Durutti! 

As well as being External Affairs Officer at the Lanch Poly Tech, he was acting Entertainments Officer as the incumbent was not up to the job of hiring bands etc. In this role his greatest regret was turning down Dire Straits at £1000 as it was too expensive, just before they released Sultans of Swing. Strongly individual, he was not concerned that people laughed behind his back when at his parties he'd play the Trojan Story double LP and show off his skinhead and stomp dancing! This was not cool then but not too much later when the Specials and Selecter became Three Minute Heroes and every student it seemed had to know one, they stopped laughing. 

Lachester Poly Union building Coventry


Whether or not Paddy originated the Lanch Folk Club or not, he certainly gave it vigour and manage to attract large audiences both student and locals (unfortunately though I never paid to get in, and I can't remember who i saw there or even what night it was held!).

It was held in the infamous downstairs bar of the Poly, where plastic glasses sat on desk type tables and the walls displayed murals from the 60's of scenes from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings (these were painted over just before Lord of the Rings became cool again with the release of the filmic version). The admission was a modest fee and allowed for well known folk groups / artists every other week and each week local folk impresarios and floor singers with Paddy doing the comparing and launching into one of his unaccompanied songs to get things going.

The accent was always on entertainment and many a student who had attended out of curiosity was converted to the cause despite his student providence and Paddy had managed to become integrated into the differing folk scenes that were going on in Coventry, particularly those that had carried on from the 60's, when coventry was a strong centre of Britain's new folkscene. Despite being the son of Ben Arnold, who was one of the movers and shakers of the 60's folk scene, it was Paddy that introduced me to the late 70's Coventry folk scene where i would meet people such as Rod Felton, Lenny, Gib Tod and others who considered me Ben's Son. 

Paddys enthusiasm for folk music stemmed from his enthusiasm for Irish culture, being irish by birth and happily adopted by a family of Norwich Catholics (he served as an altar boy in Norwich Cathedral) and wishing to establish an identity he mixed with the Irish diaspora acquiring, by osmosis, a non regional English / Irish accent that became stronger the drunker he became! Singing unaccompanied, sometimes adopting a Norfolk accent for songs like 3 score and ten, a good example of folk songs with strong choruses that the audience could sing along to (and its 3 score and 10 boys and men were lost from Grimsby town from Yarmouth down to Scarborough many hundreds more were drowned. Of fishing smacks and trawlers etc etc)


Unconcerned about trivialities like what is or isn't folk; for Paddy, folk music was a social and community activity and only really bothered about hushing the audience when it might discourage newcomers to performing. Apart from the Lanch Folk Club, Paddy was well known and liked in the many Coventry folk sessions. He was a stalwart at the Dyers Arms backroom sessions and introduced me to them (incidentally Pauline Black's description is pretty much as I remember it. I can't remember ever seeing her there, which is not surprising, as I haven't the faintest idea of what she looks like!

Paddy eventually moved to Bolton to be with his girlfriend Belinda Moore, who used to be Julian Bell's girlfriend of Hot Snax (Snacks) and left the Coventry Folk Scene a little bit duller. That's about it for Paddy.

William Arnold 2016