Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Neville back in the UK!

After his little brush with the forces of law and order in Jamaica - Neville returned to the UK on Monday, 22nd June. To clarify - he was "detained" and not arrested in Jamaica. No charges have been pressed. Interestingly, USA Today ran the story as did a few online blogs and of course, the mighty Coventry Evening Telegraph.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Jah Baddis comeback?

Ex-Specials roadie Trevor Evans and Neville Staple have been doing DJ sets together after recent gigs giving rise to speculation that their old sound system - Jah Baddis - might re-surface. Readers of the holy book - I refer to Original Rude Boy of course - will know that Jah Baddis was the sound system set up by Nev and Trev back in the 1970s. They had a residency - well, that's a rather grand way of putting it - at the Holyhead youth club....where Nev later bumped in to the Coventry Automatics (who subsequently became The Specials). Anyway - Nev the toaster and Trev the selecter seem to be itching to re-live old times and why not? Nev's done a cracking job with The Specials gigs so now let's salute the genius of Jah Baddis.

Update on Neville's arrest

The Coventry Evening Telegraph ran a piece today - http://tinyurl.com/ng5yn6 By all accounts, Neville wasn't too bothered with the press coverage though my Fleet Street mole tells me that The Times pulled a piece that was going to be in their "People" column. I don't know why. Meanwhile in Montego Bay, Neville is waiting to be let out of the country - Saturday is the predicated departure day - and he's missed a couple of Neville Staple Band gigs as a result of this episode. Next week, the great man will be treading the boards at the 100 Club on Oxford Street with The Specials. A kind of pre-Glastonbury warm up act. I'm told you can't get tickets for love or money and don't even think of a guest list.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Neville Staple arrested in Jamaica

Proving that he's still seen as one big rude boy - Neville Staple was arrested this week at Montego Bay airport. He phoned friends to say that he was strip searched and then taken to a local hospital to be X-rayed. Cops found nothing on him and no charges pressed. But he's stuck in Jamaica till Saturday this week. As a result, he's missed two Neville Staple Band gigs. The great man is reportedly furious at the way he's been treated.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Are American 'Third Wave' bands really ska?

Chapter ten in Neville Staple's book 'Original Rude Boy' talks about the so-called Third Wave of ska - bands like Rancid and No Doubt that came out of the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. But I've heard plenty of 2Tone purists say to me that...well...are these bands REALLY ska outfits? They don't look like it. They don't sound like it. So they can't be ska bands at all.

But then you can say - well, The Specials and The Beat developed the sound of earlier Jamaican ska combos - and music should never fossilize. All musical genres need to develop and grow. The US Third Wave bands are just as ska as the 2Tone groups that influenced them a quarter of a century ago.

On balance - I think the 'Third Wave' is a legitimate extension of ska. That many of those who sneer at it are stuck in a nostalgic time warp. And it alienates many American ska fans to discover that fans in the UK look down their noses at them. After all, Neville produced and played with Rancid, No Doubt and Unwritten Law - was he mistaken to do so?