Two 1980s chart-toppers who remain cult figures on the music scene have been confirmed among the headliners for this summer’s Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin.

One-time Specials front-man Neville Staple will be sharing the main stage spotlight with India’s top live performer Raghu Dixit and Paul Young, who famously sang the first line in the original Band Aid charity hit and now tours extensively with Americana project Los Pacaminos.

Local favourites CC Smugglers are also confirmed for the two-day festival over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21.

Neville Staple, who will be bringing the eponymous Neville Staple Band to Hitchin, shot to fame in the late 1970s as vocalist with legendary Coventry band The Specials, with hits including Ghost Town, Gangsters and Too Much Too Young before finding further success as part of the Fun Boy Three.

Raghu Dixit returns to the Rhythms bill with the unique blend of infectious happy music that has seen him hailed as India’s biggest musical export.

The date at Hitchin Priory follows on from gigs which include playing to 100,000 people in his home state of Bangalore, high-profile Glastonbury Festival appearances, performing on Later with Jools Holland and even a special concert for the Queen.

Paul Young, who originally hailed from Luton before becoming a smouldering 1980s soul star, promises that his current outfit Los Pacaminos provides “real bar room stuff, foot stompers, not too many slow songs – a real party atmosphere”.

Festival head of performance Donna Mackay said “We are thrilled to welcome to Hitchin a diverse mix of music from around the world and round the corner, and these four fantastic acts are just the start.

“We have more than 125 performers at this year’s festival, and more will be announced over the coming weeks.

“2015 is shaping up to be the biggest and best Rhythms of the World yet, featuring some of the most eclectic and exciting sounds around. We hope everyone is ready for a party!”

You can find out more about how the acts are shaping up by visiting the festival website at