Exclusive: Former vocalist from legendary ska band The Specials Neville Staple tells the Comet he’s looking forward to playing Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World

Neville Staple

Neville Staple - Credit: Archant

When the bill is announced for Hitchin’s Rhythms of the World festival, the proud boast is of music from around the world and around the corner.

Paul Young and Los Pacominos

Paul Young and Los Pacominos - Credit: Archant

The global dimension usually comes in the form of headline acts which have sold millions of records during their illustrious careers – but for this year’s festival, some of those big names have deep local roots, too.

Just ask Neville Staple, the distinctive vocalist who was part of legendary Coventry ska and 2-Tone band The Specials responsible for hits including A Message to You Rudy, Too Much Too Young and Ghost Town.

He says: “I remember going to Hitchin a lot many years ago – and I’m looking forward to coming back for Rhythms.

“I always look forward to gigging and I also enjoy playing at festivals – I always have. When I’m on stage I just love it.

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“I used to go to Hitchin all the time – and Letchworth – as two of my kids used to live on the Jackmans Estate.

“We’re going back a bit now but Club 85 rings a bell!

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“I’m glad the festival is one for kids and family, for all ages. I love younger people coming to my gigs.

“I love to see people my age group take their kids.

“It’s good to see young kids dancing along at the front of my gigs, singing along, knowing every word.

“We never thought in a million years people would still be listening to our music and thinking it was relevant decades on. I feel very humbled.”

Rhythms of the World will be held in Saturday and Sunday, June 20, and 21. Tickets are on sale now for both days. Find out more - including how you can get involved in next year’s event online at www.rotw.org.uk

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