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Ska Music To Feature Heavily In BBC’s Upcoming ‘This Town’ Series

Bardon Quinn (Ben Rose), Gregory Williams (Jordan Bolger), Dante Williams (Levi Brown) (Image: BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos) Ska music will be f...

Bardon Quinn (Ben Rose), Gregory Williams (Jordan Bolger), Dante Williams (Levi Brown) (Image: BBC/Banijay Rights/Kudos)

Ska music will be featured heavily in what is expected to be another highly engaging television series in the UK later this year.

The six-part series, titled This Town, was created by acclaimed British screenwriter and film producer Steven Knight, whose Peaky Blinders series,  saw Bob Marley: One Love lead actor, Kingsley Ben-Adir, starring as Colonel Ben Younger.

GQ Magazine noted that the series "will be an '80s family saga, set against the backdrop of the burgeoning ska scene".

This Town, GQ added, will be a "major new drama" covering the expansive story of "an extended family and four young people who are drawn into the world of ska and two-tone music," which emerged from the grassroots music scene in Birmingham and Coventry in the late '70s and early '80s. 

Two tone music is defined by experts as a genre of British popular music spanning the late 1970s and early 1980s which fused Jamaican ska, rocksteady, and reggae with elements of punk rock and new wave music.

According to GQ, the title is a reference to The Specials' two-tone hit Ghost Town, which spent three weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart in 1981 and which was "evocative of the social disruption of the time, as rioting raged in cities across Britain. 

"It's telling of the scene we can expect in This Town: an England torn asunder by urban decay and upheaval," it noted.

In January last year, the Coventry Telegraph also carried an article titled 'Skinheads' asked to appear in BBC drama This Town inspired by ska and two-tone bands "like The Specials".   Two tone music, the publication said, had "exploded from the grass-roots of Coventry and Birmingham in the late '70s and early '80s and was seen as uniting black, white and Asian young people".

The Coventry Telegraph had noted that the show was "being filmed in the West Midlands", and that the city of Wolverhampton had been "transformed into a scene of destruction, as the show is set in 1981, a time of huge social tension and unrest. The show's crews created rubble-strewn streets, with overturned cars and a burned-out van".

The GQ article had noted that filming was underway as of November 2022, "when the show was announced, but the BBC has confirmed that it will air sometime in 2024".

The magazine also revealed that although Knight already had at least five TV projects "on the go right now", This Town which it described as "the Brummy-based family saga for the BBC", could prove to be "the most exciting", whilst the BBC itself, described This Town as telling "the story of an extended family and four young people who are drawn into an explosive and iconic music scene".

"Set in a world of family ties, teenage kicks and the exhilarating music of a generation, This Town tells the story of a band's formation against a backdrop of violence, capturing how creative genius can emerge from a time of madness," GQ noted.

"Both a high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers," it added.

The publication also quoted Marc Robinson, co-president of Mercury Studios as saying: "With music at the centre of it all, expect a period soundtrack of the era's greatest bangers. Music is at the heart of the series…  We are thrilled to be able to creatively engage artists and help tell the story through new and original recordings."

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Frequency Gang : Ska Music To Feature Heavily In BBC’s Upcoming ‘This Town’ Series
Ska Music To Feature Heavily In BBC’s Upcoming ‘This Town’ Series
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