Interview: The Specials’ Horace Panter talks art, books and capacitors from Coventry

This June, legendary Two-Tone act The Specials will be playing Bedford Park for the first time in their forty-year career.

It’s the only outdoor show they’re playing this summer and there’s no doubt that their classics like Ghost Town and A Message to You, Rudy – as well as their ever social and political new material – will see the Bedford Park crowds skanking under the stars.

The Bedford Clanger got to speak to founder member and bass player Horace Panter about art, capacitors and Man at C&A…

Bedford Clanger: Been to Bedford before?

Horace Panter: No, now I’m playing twice this year! At Esquires in May with The Dirt Road Band then at Bedford Park…

BC: Other than Specials, Best thing to come out of Coventry?

HP: Other than electrical components and capacitors, The Primitives, and their manager, Paul Sampson.

BC: Are you doing any art at the moment?

HP: Yes, I’ve got a commission from an ex-pat in LA, a series of four paintings of LA, I’m currently on the fourth.

I’ve recently been driving through some no horse towns around Texas, which might inspire some future work.

BC: Recommend any new acts…or old?

HP: I’ve been listening to 80’s Americana recently, including The Blasters, plus Zydeco and Cajun music.

BC: Last good book you read?

HP: The Devils Alliance by Roger Moorland, I like military history. Music-wise, a book about her Rolling Stones by Michael Booth.

BC: Fave Specials song?

HP: Man at C&A – that rocks like a mofo with that bassline, Vote for Me has a great trombone solo and live Rudy gets such a response!

BC: What is so enduring about ska music?

HP: The rhythms are irresistible – it’s less ‘nasty’ than punk music, you can dance to it.

As well as the music, The Specials have great songs too, timeless? That’s blowing my own trumpet a bit?

BC: I think you’re entitled to, I would if I was in The Specials!

The Specials play Bedford Park on Friday 3 June and you can book tickets here.

If you can’t wait, Horace’s other band, The Dirt Road Band play Esquires on Friday 13 May. Tickets are £10 and are available here.

Must Read

Related Articles