The Specials’ legendary vocalist and toaster Neville Staple will be back in Hitchin next week as part of his spring 2018 tour.

The ‘original rude boy’ performed a sell-out show at Club 85 in 2016, and The Neville Staple Band have decided to pay another visit to the Whinbush Road venue next Friday, March 30.

Best known for his work as the singer and toaster in ska and two tone legends The Specials, Neville’s solo tour features a selection of the band’s back catalogue such as Gangsters, A Message To You Rudy, Monkey Man, Ghost Town and Night Club – along with tracks from his second chart-topping outfit The Fun Boy Three.

He will also be reworking some original Jamaican ska classics and showcasing brand new original solo material, with organisers telling gig-goers: “Get ready to skank ‘cos the king of two tone and ska is back, and ready to party!”

About his musical legacy, Neville said: “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. It’s all good. The music just makes you want to dance.”

Support on the night comes from the eight-piece conscious-rock-reggae band Easydread, who hail from Luton.

The following evening sees the latest JazzUP! instalment at Club 86, with Dave Lewis’ FunkUp!

The tenor from St Louis in the US will be joined on the stage by guitarist and Ronnie Scott’s regular Al Cherry, pianist/keyboardist Carl Hudson who has performed with Professor Green, Emili Sande, Culture Club and more, bass player turned London acid jazz scene regular Neville Malcolm and drummer Nic France – who has been working with Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

Les Jazz Rats DJs will also be spinning vinyl to warm up the crowd and after while visitors enjoy the late-night bar.

For online tickets to both gigs – which cost £15 and £10 respectively and both see doors open at 7.45pm, visit They are also available from Farleys, Jolly Brown and Gatefold in Hitchin, David’s in Letchworth and Unikorn in Stevenage.