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Ska Legends Return For New Year's Eve

The sound of 2 Tone is coming back to the streets of Coventry on New Year’s Eve as stars from the halcyon days of ska take to the stage once more.

Roddy RadiationPauline Black from The Selecter, Roddy Radiation (left) and Neville Staple (right) from The Specials and The Beat's Ranking Roger will be fronting an 11-piece band for The World's Greatest Ska Show.

Neville StapleThe event, part of a 14-hour live music extravaganza, has been organised to follow the success of last year’s tightrope walk by Ramon Kelvink, which attracted 35,000 people into the city centre.

The ska favourites, many of which were aired at the recent Belgrade musical three Minute Heroes, will include Gangsters, On My Radio and Mirror In The Bathroom.

Roger LomasCoventry-based show producer Roger Lomas (right), one of 2 Tone's original producers, said:

"The collective has come together to perform all over the world, but it is very important to us to be playing here in Coventry on this night.

“This is where 2 Tone came from and it will feel like coming home."

The show kicks off at 9pm on the Priory Stage between Coventry Cathedral and Coventry University, one of five locations around the city centre that will be staging live entertainment from late morning until 1am.

Other party fare includes family variety shows, aerial performances, music from around the world, a lantern procession featuring 200 city schoolchildren and a specially commissioned artwork to be created on the day.

This year event organisers Coventry and Warwickshire Promotions have secured a £90,000 grant from the Millennium Commission for the 2000 festivities.

The City Centre Company and Coventry University are also involved, as are Coventry City Council, private sector sponsors and the Millennium Commission.

Rae Hoole, head of events for CWP, said:

"Last year's spectacular with Ramon Kelvink was a one-off. What we are doing this year is to lay the groundwork for a sustainable event that can make Coventry one of those cities where something happens every New Year's Eve."

Liz Millett, chief executive of the City Centre Company, added:

"After the success of last year's family-based celebrations, we hope that New Year's Eve can become a regular part of the programme of live entertainment in the city centre."

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