FEATURE: ‘Enjoy Yourself’ says former Specials frontman Neville Staple as he heads to Hitchin’s Club 85

Neville Staple is looking forward to playing live at Hitchin's Club 85.

Neville Staple is looking forward to playing live at Hitchin's Club 85. - Credit: Archant

Neville Eugenton Staple is a successful man.

His songs with former band The Specials have a passionate global following, and a musician in his position could be sated by his fruitful endeavours navigating the treacherous waters of the music business for more than four decades.

But he’s not. He’s as passionate as ever about making music, and playing live, and can’t wait to come to Hitchin’s Club 85 on Saturday.

The Comet’s Layth Yousif spoke to the Midlands firebrand as he returns to the town after wowing thousands at last year’s Rhythms of the World festival. He said: “Playing live music is so important.

“I’ve been busy since my last visit to Hitchin, touring constantly. I’ve been to Australia, and I’ve done about 10 festivals this summer.

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“I enjoyed playing RotW – I remember the crowd really got into it. I love playing live. I like to see faces in the crowd enjoying it, and having a party.

“That’s what live music is about. It can’t be ‘perfect’. You’ve got to improvise and go with the flow.

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“If they like it, I play it. You have to sense what they what – I’m happy to play what they want. If they want to hear old Specials hits then I’ll play them.”

Speaking at the end of this momentous summer in politics with the Brexit vote that sent shockwaves around the world, Neville believes his back catalogue still speaks to the disaffected and the downtrodden. He says: “I don’t trust any politician. Ghost Town is as relevant now as it was when it was released in 1981. People are still struggling, it’s even worse now.

“Things are a right tip now. Don’t worry, I’ll be playing it at Club 85.”

Warming to his theme, he rages against those artists who mime at live gig or festivals. “There’s a real interaction to playing live,” says Neville. “I get the crowd to sing along – but how can you sing along to someone like Rihanna who mimes on stage? If a live song is played exactly like the record then they’re miming. That’s not for me.

“You only get proper live music with me – at Club 85 you’ll get the old songs mixed with a few new ones. It’s going to be a party so come down and enjoy.”

One thing’s for certain: Club 85 won’t be ‘coming like a Ghost Town’ from 7.45pm on Saturday with ‘Nev’ on stage. Tickets, from £15, are available via www.club-85.co.uk.

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