Interview: Dr Neville Staple – 40 years man and rude boy

Celebrating 40 years since the release of the classic Specials single, Ghost Town, and the formation of Fun Boy Three, From the Specials, led by Dr Neville Staple skank into Bedford Esquires on Friday 22 October.

The Bedford Clanger’s Lloyd Lugsden got to speak to the Two-Tone pioneer and original rude boy prior to the gig…

Bedford Clanger: You must be keen to get back to playing live, have you done any shows recently?

Neville Staple: Yeah, we’ve played quite a few already, it’s great to be back. The band are enjoying playing and the crowd are enjoying it too – you all start to gel – its fantastic!

BC: Has the doctorate brought any good perks?
(In 2019 Neville was awarded an honorary PhD)

NS: Haha! No, not really. I was surprised to get that. It was for my involvement in music over the years and work with local groups and charities.

Doctor in the house

BC Is Judge Roughneck based on anyone?

NS: Not really a person; ‘rough’ is a thing in Jamaica which the judge stems from…

BC: Best thing about Coventry?

NS: I’ve been there a long time and get along with the folks – there’s no being aloof. I always come back to Coventry.

BC: Any new material in the pipeline?

NS: Yes, From the Specials, it’s very Tow-Tone, it got put back but will hopefully be out by December.

BC: Who have you enjoyed working with over the years?

NS: Honestly, there have been too many people over the years, it wouldn’t be fair to single one person out. It’s been 40 years now, they’ll be a documentary coming out too.

BC: What is so enduring about ska music?

NS: It goes on forever and it’s nostalgia. Jamaica had ska and the UK had punk and the two came together. The music then was like a newspaper – a way to get messages across. And many of those messages are still relevant today.

From The Specials play Bedford Esquires on Friday Friday 22 October, tickets are £20 and you can book yours here.

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