Sunday, April 15, 2012

Songs from the Coventry Underground - Trev Teasdel

Songs From the Coventry Underground.

In 2007 Broadgate Gnome (The Underground magazine of the Coventry Diggers - 1970) created the Gnome Label (an idea they had for an alternative record label in 1970 but which never came was reincarnated in the digital age). It's aim this time around was to published Coventry bands and artists that never got published back in the 70's. "Records we Never Made" was one of the slogans. I (Trev Teasdel) was busy documenting the Coventry Music scene of the 1970's on Vox blogs and also a site for my digital version of my song recorded on old cassettes or a portastudio and telling the song stories which related to the Coventry scene. Hench I was the first artist they published via CD and digitally via Amazon USA and I Tune Europe. The songs, being mostly working version recorded on cassette during the writing process and digitally enhanced, really had a bootleg feel to them - hence the title - Songs from the Coventry Underground. The CD was a limited edition and somewhat of a collectors item potentially, i'm told. The album was originally called Coventry Days.

This blog will tell the stories of the songs and some that never made to the CD.

This is the blurb that the Gnome Label used to promote the album.

"Songs from the Coventry Underground - Is a collection of the earlier songs from poet and performer Trev Teasdel.  It is very apt that he should feature at the very beginning of our Retro-Cov platform.
 This is the guy that played an important role in thedevelopment of  Coventry's musical conciousness. He kept an alternative voice alive with the production of Hobo magazine that continued the trail from where the fading footprints of the Gnome could still be identified. Taking over the booking of live bands at the Arts Umbrella, he continued the policy that allowed many of the new local bands an airing as well as bringing in some excellent but not often seen names from outside of the City.

He also created one of the cornerstones of the Coventry Music scene, with the inception of the open jam sessions at the Holyhead Road Arts centre.

He left Coventry to study and has since been as active as ever, with an impressive workload of teaching new writers, running poetry magazines and venues from his Teesside home while still writing and performing his own material.

But that's not the only reason for choosing his work for this release. He is a master craftsman of his artform. His lyrics are carefully honed with the occasional surprise. The working of the words "under the Speenhamland scheme" into the lyric of Captain Swing, written some 20 years before the arrival of Billy Bragg, is phenomenal and deserves a place in the record books.

Aside from that, his work reverberates with the angst and expectations that many living in Coventry at the that time will have felt. Often written on long walks home up the London Road after the last bus, or in tea breaks while working at the GEC. The collective lyrics paint a picture of youthful exhilaration and myriad inspirations with echoes of revolt. Some might suggest that they could have been written in and about any city in those times. No they could only come from one place....Our Coventry.

17 tracks on Songs From the Coventry Underground - Shortly After Midnight / Well I Don't Know / The Phoenix / The Isolate / Mrs Stress and Strain / Just Before Dawn / A Lotta Rain is Fallin' / Throw Down My Pack / Scarf / A Teardrop in the Tees / Tonight (Loneliness Surrounds me Like the Dark of Night / Back in Winter Town / With Someone Nice Like You / Captain Swing / Shortly After Midnight (Early version) / Postcards of China / Visions of a Brighter Day." Digger Dave - Gnome Label

Many of the songs are solo by Trev Teasdel but others include members of a recording band Trev had on Teesside in the 1980's who did some of his songs and whom he called Trev and the Collective Unconscious. This out fit consisted of Trev and Steve Gillgallon (who variously played synth, bass and keyboards and acoustic lead.) / Steve Ingledew who played keyboards and did some of the recordings.

The Gnome label published other Coventry artists too but digitally. These include Dave Pepper (former front man with the X Certs (c 1979), Kristy Gallacher ( a young Coventry singer songwriter), Culture Fuzion (Jim Pryal), The Is (Coventry's Al Docker's Cornish reggae band), Neil O'Connor (Hazel's brother) and more.

The original label back in 1970 was aiming to launch itself with a Live album recorded at the Lanch Poly (Now Coventry University in 1970 by Wandering John - one of the most popular rock and blues bands in Coventry at the time.

Below will be posts with the you tube versions of the songs - other drafts and the lyrics and stories. It will also tell you something about the Coventry music scene of the 70's at the same time.

No comments:

Post a Comment