Original rude boy Neville Staple is back with his missus Sugary to remind us how vibrant the Ska scene is with a proper feel good album that also addresses some issues along the way. I skank my way around the room reviewing this fucking belter of a record!
This album should have been released during our rare heatwave. It’s the sound of summer plus ten. If you’re a stranger to Ska I suggest you start listening now. I was a massive fan of this genre just after the punk explosion when I first heard The Specials and will never look back. They just had that thing that dragged you in with their amazing songs with a message I didn’t understand at the time but appreciate it more as I turn into an old bastard. Ska was always an ingredient imported from Jamaica and you can here it all on this great album. It brought all culture together in an instant. The total kick in the balls to racism, skins, punks and everyone clubbed together with this stuff and I’m glad Neville & Sugary have released this to cement the feel good times of the early eighties. Oh by the way Neville is from Manchester, Jamaica!!
First track Rebel Down is pure Specials with Roddy Radiation on guitar duties and kicking the album off in true Ska style. A great rouse rumble of a track to kick in.
Tattoo King is pure reggae skank and is a pleasure to hear. Neville gives the duty to Sugary with her ace vocals and Brummie style. A top song.
I can’t review this album track by track as each song is just lovely fuckin Ska bangers. Girl n Boy is just filled with rewinds and Neville toasting like he was born to do. Roddy Radiation just plays that guitar like a muthafucka to match that skanking beat that flows throughout the album.
You have tracks like Wrong Shoes which highlights the homeless and the way people don’t know their names and treat them like nobodies. Dirty Little Liar tells you the tale of hidden secrets in families which everyone know but can’t address the issue.
On a happy note you have proper Ska stompers like Original Rudegirl Sound, Ska To The Beat and the brilliant Way Of Life which will make you skank and moonwalk down the street!
The Border raises the immigration issue and touches you with the honest lyrics about people from the world trying to escape persecution. But it doesn’t sound depressing. Far from it.
Last two tracks are like a rap battle between Neville & Sugary about loving each other and unity. Sugary does the sultry obligatory thing of loving Neville, then the man himself does some supreme toasting shit to offset the balance.
A breath of fresh air from all the indie / punk / prog stuff we’ve been getting this year. Not a bad thing, but this album sets itself apart with it’s funky reggae Ska shit that will uplift your mood. a record to let yourself go and funk about a bit. Refreshing as fuck!
Sep 22 Minehead – Butlins
Sep 29 Ware – Drill Hall
Oct 06 Cardiff – The Globe
Oct 13 Norwich – Epic Studios
Oct 20 Chesterfield (TBA)
Nov 10 Bognor – Butlins
Nov 16 Llangollen – Sun Inn
Nov 17 Bristol – Fleece
Nov 23 Skamouth – DJ Party
Dec 01 Hastings – Black Market VIP
Dec 08 Devon (TBA)
Dec 21 Frome – Cheese & Grain
Dec 22 Swansea – The Garage
Keep up with Neville Staple.
Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here and you can catch his blog at wayneacarey1970.blogspot.co.uk Photo credit : John Coles.