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Tunbridge Wells: 2-Tone legend Neville Staple of The Specials and FunBoy3 to play The Forum with his band

By Angela Cole

The Original Rudeboy is set to play in Kent this weekend.

Giant of 2-Tone, Neville Staple, spent his early days with the Coventry Automatics before moving to find fame in The Specials and FunBoy3.

2-Tone fused traditional ska music with punk rock attitude and energy and also helped transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain.

Neville Staple and his band will play at Tunbridge Wells Forum Picture: John Coles

His 35-year career goes right up to the present day, with his latest album, Return Of Judge Roughneck (and Dub Specials), released in February.

About his musical legacy, the 62-year-old says: “The way we brought it was mixing Jamaican music with the English style, which was actually punk at the time. Now most people are into ska, they listen to all the people that we talked about that they might not have listened to before. This has happened again and again with the different waves of ska. I am hearing lots more young bands now also putting their own spin on ska – some with dance music and some with a rock beat.

2-Tone giant Neville Staple will be in Tunbridge Wells Picture: Gary Browne

“The music just makes you want to dance. Even when singing about tough times, everyday things or bad things, the beat and the rhythm makes you want to move.”

Neville also published an autobiography, The Original Rude Boy, in 2009, documenting his interest in music in the early 60s, his relationship with music producer Pete Waterman, who he met at a club in Coventry, and his rise to stardom.

He plays The Forum in Tunbridge Wells on Saturday, November 11. Doors open at 7pm.

Entry is £16.50. For tickets call 08712 777101.

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