Delia Derbyshire’s 80th Birthday Celebrated in Style

Coventry came together in City of Culture style, to celebrate Delia Derbyshire and The Tin, The Herbert and the Coventry Music Museum all hosted great events to celebrate one of our biggest musical legends, a true pioneer of electronic music. For The Coventry Music Museum it began on Delia’s Birthday 5th May with the amazing children of Grangehurst School, along with musician Matt Cattell creating an electronic musical masterpiece, and they even sang Happy Birthday to Delia. The song is amazing and should have its first play very soon on local radio. That was followed by Dick Mills, who worked at The BBC Radiophonic Workshop with Delia. Revealing in stunning detail how exactly the Doctor Who theme was created.

On the 6th, we welcomed rock musician Pete Kember (Sonic Boom). Pete Chambers was in conversation with him , and he revealed some great insights to his own career with Spaceman 3 and with working with Delia herself. Then came the amazing Morocco Dave who played some of his own electro compositions. Followed by the legend Jerry Dammers, who gave us a wonderful DJ set, plus explanations to all the Delia songs he played. This was the first time he had seen the museum and he was obviously knocked out to be there. I explained just how important it was to have Jerry there, and without him there would be no2-Tone, no museum and our bid for City of Culture would look decidedly different. I was so very humbled when Jerry said, “Pete’s done a fantastic job, he so dedicated to Coventry music  and telling the history and 2-Tone, he has done so much, it’s just incredible”.

The afternoon ended with the musician Andi Wolf who talked about living in Delia’s house, and played some of his own superb songs.  The Delian guide booklet was officially launched on the 7th (available free from the Tourist office at The Herbert and at the Music Museum). Monday saw Derbyshire Way be named with Councillor Linda Bigham, Rachel Goodyer from the Council, Pete & Julie Chambers and members of the Bellway Building group.

“The whole weekend was magical, and ultimately underlined the fact that Delia Derbyshire is from Coventry, and more to the point, Coventry cares about celebrating its famous sons and daughters. The city worked brilliantly together, definitely a precursor to The City of Culture 2021”.

Pete Chambers BEM


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