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‘Peaky Blinders’ Creator Steven Knight To Helm TV Series About 2 Tone Music Scene

Emerging in the aftermath of punk, 2 Tone fused Jamaican ska with punk and made stars of bands such as The Specials and Madness.

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Photo; David Corio/Redferns

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is developing a TV series set against the backdrop of the 2 Tone music scene.

Emerging in the UK during the late 1970s and early 1980s, the vibrant movement fused Jamaican ska and reggae with punk and new wave, and saw the rise of acts including The Specials, The Beat, The Selecter, Madness and Bad Manners.

The series is set to be produced by Kudos, who released Tin Star and The Tunnel, in association with Kudos North, and Matthew James Wilkinson and Nick Angel who produced Yesterday.

According to Deadline, the series will “use the music of 2 Tone as its heartbeat to tell the story of how the scene exploded out of Coventry and Birmingham helping to unify black, white and Asian youth groups amid racism and political injustice.”

Describing the project, Knight said: “This will be a project very close to my heart, since this is home territory geographically and personally. I grew up with this music and the people who loved it.

“It was a soundtrack that perfectly fitted the mood of the times, on the streets, in clubs and on the football terraces. Birmingham and Coventry were the places where 2 Tone was born and we will chart its progress through the important years.”

He specified the show will strive for diversity, adding: “The production team we are putting together will perfectly reflect the make up of the people who made 2 Tone happen.”

Arguably the most influential of the bands to have come to prominence during the 2 Tone explosion, The Specials returned to the top of the UK album charts with their most recent album, Encore, released early in 2019.

Encore represented the legendary band’s first record of new material in 20 years. It included the single “Vote For Me”, in addition to a new version of The Valentines’ “Blam Blam Fever” and a cover of The Equals’ “Black Skinned Blue-Eyed Boys”.

Click here to listen to the best of 2 Tone.

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