Sent To Coventry

We are in Coventry this weekend, at a Conference/family weekend held by the charity that works to help families affected by the set of genetic diseases that our eldest I.T. is affected by. I am doing a short presentation in today’s meeting about I.T.’s transition from children’s services to adult services. Speaking to several hundred people. Gulp. If I still smoked, I’d be smoking right before that.

Coventry brings four things to mind for me, not necessarily in this order- a) the modernist concrete Cathedral and city centre due to bombing raids during World War Two b) Coventry City’s chocolate brown away kit from the late 1970s c) Lady Godiva’s naked protest and d) The Specials and The Special AKA. Jerry Dammers soldiered on after the departure of the Fun Boy Three to make the In The Studio album. Popular wisdom usually holds that the first two Specials albums, with Terry, Lynval and Neville, are the cream of the crop. But What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend is absolutely as good as anything the first line up produced and the video is a blast too. I have posted this before but it’s good enough to do twice.


It’s worth remembering (as Drew and others have pointed out), as everyone joins in to pay tribute to a great man, that admiring Nelson Mandela was once a political act.

The Special AKA ‘What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend’

I can’t get this out of my head at the moment- superb piece of left of centre pop music. After Terry, Neville and Lynval left The Specials it should have been game over, but Jerry Dammers soldiered on to make the In The Studio album, which reportedly drove everyone left in the band, and those new to the band, crackers. It took ages to record, Jerry’s perfectionism in overdrive, people coming and going but contains some belting tunes, not least this one and the life-affirming joy that is Free Nelson Mandela. This song is a belter, showing Dammers sense of humour was intact, and features some amazing horn playing by Rico. There’s a very funny video as well, with Jerry as an alien turning up in a bar, talking to a sailor while eyeing his girl, as The Jazz Defektors spiral and pirouette on the club’s dancefloor. This is tip-top stuff- ‘Your girlfriend has only got one fault, that’s you’.

17 What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend [Album Version].wma