COVENTRY Music Museum Curator Pete Chambers BEM writes for the Observer.
Neville and Christine Staple are delivering Coventry Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture 2021
Later today at Coventry Cathedral (November 11 – doors open 6pm), Neville and Christine Staple are delivering the Coventry Lord Mayor’s Peace Lecture 2021.
I make no secret of being so proud to be able to call Neville and Christine friends, and its sheer delight having them as honorary Patrons for the Museum and the 2-Tone Village.
They really have both done so much for us and are perfect to deliver such a lecture.
The peace lecture will be part of the RISING Global Peace Forum.
Christine and Neville said: “We would like to entitle our talk as ‘THE SOUNDS OF UNITY – YAHSO’
“We plan to relate to sections of Neville’s biography, the 2-Tone Movement, relating to ska and reggae lyrics historically from the streets of Jamaica.
“People gathered together to hear the latest news lyrically toasted to them, as a form of audio news readings with music, across to the working classes of UK cities (initially), later combining punk rock attitude with Caribbean influences and rhythm.
“A whole movement that brought different cultures together, at a time when racial tension was at an all-time high (from mid 70s into the 80s).
“We will relate to both Neville and my own experiences of growing up during these times and beyond and how music was key in bringing people together through common cause.
“We will also relate all of this to present day and some of the ways in which we, and others, still encourage peaceful diversity through our music and events.”
Christine and Neville are proud of Coventry and of music.
Neville was a regular fixture at the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry, where he met the resident DJ there, Pete Waterman.
Waterman briefly managed the Specials and would later write the foreword to Staple’s 2009 biography, Original Rude Boy.
His early vocal style was mostly ‘toasting’ – or chanting over a rhythm – a forerunner of rapping brought to Britain in the 1960s by musicians from Jamaica.
Neville honed his toasting skills in the sound system scene in Coventry during the 1970s, first on his cousin’s ‘Messenger Sound’ and later his own system called ‘Jah Baddis’.
In the Specials, Staple sang lead vocals on some tracks or additional and backing vocals alongside Terry Hall’s lead.
He also contributed to the writing of many of their songs.
Christine ‘Sugary’ Staple has been writing, producing and performing in film, video and music since her teens and is the wife and manager of the Original Rude boy Neville. She is especially known for bringing energy, charisma and fun to the stage during tours and shows.
Skappy eighth Birthday To The CMM
The Coventry Music Museum is eight years old, and the special birthday guest is John Collins – the man who produced the Specials single Ghost Town.
I will be asking John about his involvement in a very special Sounding Off session on Saturday, November 13, at 12pm.
The Enemy Are Back
Amazing to finally hear the year-long rumour is actually true, and Coventry’s Enemy will be reforming next year for a series of gigs including The Coventry Empire to mark the 15th anniversary of their chart-topping album ‘We’ll Live and Die in these Towns’.
This is exciting news and the Cov gigs in October 2022 have already sold out.