Neville returns home for a Special gig in Rugby

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Ska legend Neville Staple is back on home turf tonight (Friday) when he plays at Rugby’s Benn Hall.

The ‘Original Rudeboy’ returns to his Rugby roots and hopes to perform to an energetic crowd.

“It’s going to be a real party atmosphere,” Neville told the Advertiser.

“I’m really looking forward to performing at the Benn Hall. It’s the very place I started out as an MC all those years ago. It will be good seeing some of the familiar faces and obviously meeting some news ones.”

Born in Jamaica, Neville’s family moved to Rugby when he was five years old.

“I remember it was snowing,” said Neville.

“I’d got little shorts on and had never seen the white stuff before. It was freezing!”

He fondly recalls working at Rugby Cattle Market when he was a teenager.

“I think it must be a boy thing!”

Neville, who married his partner Christine in January, later moved to Coventry, where he became one of the leading lights of the 2-Tone movement with The Specials.

The band burned brightly but briefly, releasing two acclaimed albums and the number one single Ghost Town before splitting up.

Neville, together with fellow former Specials Lynval Golding and Terry Hall, immediately formed Fun Boy Three, and enjoyed further chart success with singles such as Our Lips Are Sealed, The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum) and Tunnel Of Love.

Following Fun Boy Three, Neville joined forces with Ranking Roger from fellow 2-Tone stalwarts The Beat, performing ska classics under the Special Beat moniker.

After a spell collaborating with ska bands in America, Neville returned to Britain and formed the Neville Staple Band.

He published his autobiography, The Original Rudeboy, in 2009 and reunited with The Specials for a triumphant comeback tour.

Stepping away from The Specials again in 2012, he reformed the Neville Staple Band – delighting audiences with a mix of his own material, reworked versions of classic ska numbers, and a selection of Specials songs.

The Neville Staple Band play the Benn Hall on Friday, January 31, with support from Rugby’s very own White Men Can’t Funk.

Ahead of the gig, Neville visited Rugby - including the Advertiser office - to promote the gig.

Telephone (01788) 533719 or pay on the door. Tickets are £16.



Gig goers who put on their stomping shoes and get down to the Benn Hall tonight are in for a treat. The front man of the Neville Staple Band said: “I’ll be playing all the classics, some songs from The Specials, you know I’ll be mixing it up a bit, it’s going to be fun. I won’t be jumping about so much as I used to as I’ve had health problems. I’ll be leaving the dancing to the fans and to the crowd because they’ll definitely be moving, the music just makes you move. Being on stage, in front of all those people, I wouldn’t have thought it in my wildest dreams back in my youth.” These days, Neville’s set is very much influenced by the music he grew up listening to like Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff and The Upsetters. Despite being based back in his Coventry roots, Neville continues to tour far and wide with his band, including a recent tour in Australia. He is also in the studio cutting a new album which is due for release in early 2014