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2-Tone legend Neville has sell-out crowd on their feet


Neville Staple – From the Specials, Coventry Assembly Festival Gardens, July 18 only.

If this is what City of Culture means, let’s have some more!

Coventry 2-Tone legend Neville Staple and his band took to the stage at the Queen of Flanders marquee just off Little Park Street – and brought the house down.

The band – lead guitar, bass, keyboards, sax, trombone and drums – led by Neville, one of the founders of The Specials and Fun Boy Three, and his wife, Sugary, launched into the show at a gallop and just kept increasing the pace.

The set list consisted mostly of well-known and well-loved Specials’ hits: The brilliant Gangsters, Johnny Too Bad and One Two got the show off to a roaring start. By the time the band really hit their stride with Pressure Drop, Lunatics and Monkey Man, the sell-out crowd were on their feet and dancing.

It was a high-octane performance, especially by co-singer Sugary, who never let the pace drop. She came close to stealing the show with her own song Original Rude Girl, but then A Message to You Rudy had the audience back up on their feet and singing.

A surprise cameo appearance by Selecter guitarist Neol Davies changed the pace slightly, and the show closed out with a terrific extended version of Ghost Town and the haunting Do Nothing – song about alienated youth, as relevant now as when it was written in the early 80s.

The band interrupted their national tour for this show in Neville and Sugary’s adopted home town. For info about further dates and tickets, go to: fromthespecials.com/live-dates

For details of what’s on at the Assembly Festival Gardens, go to: assemblyfestival.com/coventry/whats-on