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'This Town': Watch the Trailer for Upcoming BBC Series About 1980s U.K. Music Scene

The show 'tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, each in need of the second chance that music offers,' the BBC said.

This Town
Source: YouTube/BBC

BBC's upcoming series 'This Town' will debut on Sunday, March 31.

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Birmingham and Coventry's 1980s music scene is at the center of an upcoming BBC series.

"This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tension and unrest," says a press release from the network. "Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, each in need of the second chance that music offers."

A trailer for the program written and executive produced by Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight was released earlier this month. It's packed with grim backdrops filmed on site in the Midlands.

The preview also shows the protagonists forming a second-wave ska group in the vein of the Specials or the Selecter.

The band's music was composed and recorded by producer Dan Carey; musician, novelist and poet Kae Tempest; and singer-songwriter ESKA. The end credits of each episode will include a cover of a period-appropriate song or a timeless classic. Those were recorded by Celeste, Gregory Porter, Olivia Dean, Ray Laurél, Sekou and Self Esteem. Mercury Studios, a subdivision of Universal Music Group, co-produced the show.

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This Town
Source: YouTube/BBC

The show is centered on the 1980s music scene in Birmingham and Coventry.

The cast includes Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, Anatomy of a Scandal), Nicholas Pinnock (For Life, Marcella) and David Dawson (My Policeman, The Last Kingdom). Rising actors like Levi Brown (Loss and Return), Jordan Bolger (The Woman King, The Book of Boba Fett) and Ben Rose are also featured in the program.

This Town will debut in its entirety on the BBC iPlayer at 6 am GMT Sunday, March 31. The first episode will also air at 9 pm that night on BBC One.

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During the late 20th century, the U.K. received a large wave of immigrants from Jamaica. Many of those migrants ended up settling in industrial centers like Birmingham and Coventry, where they shared ska music with the locals.

The Midlands was also home to 2 Tone Records, a short-lived label which put out many iconic U.K. ska albums in the early 1980s.

The 2 Tone name came from a desire to overcome racial tensions that had arisen in the nation due to increased immigration.

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This Town
Source: YouTube/BBC

It 'tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, each in need of the second chance that music offers,' the BBC said.

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Second-wave ska made headlines earlier this year when Skepta released "Gas Me Up (Diligent)," the lead single from his upcoming LP Knife & Fork.

The track's artwork included several pictures of people with shaved heads, one of whom had a tattoo with the words "Gas Me Up."

For some, the image seemed like an allusion to World War II. When Jewish people and members of other minority groups were sent to German concentration camps, they often had their heads shaved and received tattoos with identification numbers before they were killed en masse in gas chambers.

This Town
Source: YouTube/BBC

The show will also include original music and several covers.

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Skepta ended up taking down the artwork and issuing an apology.

"I’ve been waiting to drop Gas Me Up (Diligent) since teasing it April last year, worked hard getting the artwork right for my album rollout which is about my parents coming to the UK in the 80’s, Skinhead, Football culture," he said. "It has been taken offensively by many and I can promise you that was definitely not our plan so I have removed it and I vow to be more mindful going forward."

The rapper posted a follow-up message about an hour later.

"I can honestly see how my single artwork without context can be deemed offensive, especially in a time like this but again that was not my intention," he said. "After some thought I don’t feel like I could continue being the artist you all know and love if my art is policed, I have to quit if I can’t express my art as I see it. So to help with context here are some pictures from our mood board for the 1980’s UK story for my album ‘Knife & Fork.’"


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