Neville Staple Band, Princess Pavilion Review

First published in The West Briton
He may have needed assistance down the steps halfway through his show in order shake the hands of the faithful, telling the crowd he’s getting old but loves performing a touch too much, but Neville Eugenton Staple leaves little doubt that he still owns the small stage of Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion.
Despite having suffered a stroke late last year, The Specials’ frontman has more than enough energy to deliver a blinding set powered along by an astonishing back catalogue.
The band bang out hit after hit – Monkey Man, You’re Wondering Now, Call Me Names, A Message To You Rudy – Staple lapping it up as his lyrics are sung back to him by the ever-faithful ska brigade, a pogo-ing hardcore resplendent in Two Tone black and white, and pork pie hats.
His touring band are slick as they come, a flash of 1979 in their eyes as they see off a detractor who inadvisably makes moves at Staple in an otherwise good-natured and sweaty show, that bodes well for a rumoured ska covers album next year. For this night however it’s all about the hits, with an encore of Gangsters and a blistering rendition of Ghost Town feeling particularly apt in this age of austerity, where the Seventies suddenly don’t feel so long ago.
If you’re looking for a gift for your ska-loving beau, you can’t go far wrong with Staple’s biography – an account of the music of the sound system, titled, of course, Original Rude Boy.

About Kingsley Marshall

Kingsley Marshall is Head of Film at the CILECT accredited School of Film & Television based within Falmouth University in the UK. The subject area consists of 28 staff working with 300 undergraduates studying the Skillset accredited BA (Hons) Film degree, supplemented by a postgraduate community studying from MA level through to PhD. Kingsley’s research and practice primarily orientates around the use of sound (including music and effects) in cinema and television, and the production of short and micro-budget feature films, executive producing Wilderness (Doherty, 2017) which won 11 awards at 16 international film festivals since making its premiere at Cinequest in 2017, and producing Project 18 (Mackfall, 2018), currently in post-production. For over twenty years he has worked as a journalist, interviewing filmmakers, musicians, and designers for over 30 publications and broadcasters worldwide, written album sleeve notes and biographies for over 100 artists, and contributed to anthologies on hip hop and soul. He can be found on Twitter as @kingsleydc