Putting on the Blitz

Web Series Treatment

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The Blitz is loud. Surprisingly loud for just three teenagers. So loud in fact that their brand of youthful acerbic hardcore punk dislodges a series of unexploded WWII bombs beneath the ground during their latest gig in Coventry City Centre, forcing the evacuation of the local area and leaving them and their audience trapped inside the gig venue for four days and nights. Venturing outside the venue doors before bomb disposal experts have diffused the deadly devices could spark a lethal chain reaction. Fortunately this particular gig’s audience just happens to be made up of the most imaginative, creative and downright strange scoundrels in Coventry, a gang of resilient reprobates who - like their city - don’t see failure as an option.

Celebrating Coventry’s alternative culture, Putting on the Blitz is a web series of four 20-minute episodes all set entirely within a mouldy old city centre gig venue. Released online one day after another across 8th - 11th April 2021, this show will tie in with the 80th anniversary of the second Coventry Blitz - an event that is itself often overlooked and ignored. The series follows the trials and tribulations shared by the bands and fans caught inside the venue and observes a new 21st century ‘blitz-spirit’ emerge in this immensely creative and generous sub-culture. Told in an edgy irreverent sitcom style, each episode also features a real band from the Coventry rock, metal and punk scenes who will emerge from the gig crowd and take to the stage to keep the trapped audience entertained, as well as the occasional song from our central characters, the fictional punk band The Blitz.

Onstage The Blitz singer Willow (19) channels her deep claustrophobia to deliver an unhinged performance, but how long is it until she snaps for real? To her left guitarist Sunny (18) can see that she is struggling but is scared that if he puts an arm around her she will tear it off, while drummer Jason (17) is just hoping the bombs never get diffused, at least not until the beer has run out. 

Emerging from the pit drenched in sweat is Oli (26), a council worker who is still beating himself up for trading his dreadlocks for a tie. Cooly nodding his head at the back of the room and stroking his beard in between sips of his real ale is engineer, Warhammer player and Red Dwarf super-fan Jimmy (33). Propping up the bar is Spanner (55) an original skinhead who can’t understand the bizarre comic-book dance moves taking place on the floor, he’s just here for the cider and to try his luck with biker barmaid Lynsey (40), whose daughter Chelsea (17) is on the opposite side of the room trying to enjoy her first ever gig without her Mum realising how pissed she is. The longterm landlord Eddie (61) watches the whole scene with sage amusement and is always on hand to share his father’s blitz stories when the music fades.

Coventry has a rich alternative culture that is rarely celebrated. We all know about 2-Tone pioneers The Specials and indie-rockers The Enemy, but Coventry is also the proud home of death metal Bolt Thrower, doom metal Cathedral, was the location of Chuck Berry’s live recording of his hit single My Ding-a-Ling and now welcomes a wide variety of cutting-edge bands to the Godiva Festival’s Rock Tent (including the award-winning Black Peaks and Neck Deep). All of these disparate underground bands share one important quality; they all speak to minorities and unite misfits together. 

Putting on the Blitz is an angry and belligerent Phoenix Nights blasted through a battered wah-wah pedal, TFI Friday served in a crusty batch with a side of cheesy chips. It is a celebration of the alternative Britain that we all know and and will appeal to the 16 - 34 year olds from both inside and outside our city walls.