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Neville Staple + The Emperials at The Fleece, Bristol


The Fleece Bristol
12 St Thomas Street BS1 6JJ Bristol England
Neville Staple

Neville Staple’s first involvement with The Specials was when they were still called The Coventry Automatics. He initially joined as their roadie but at a gig supporting The Clash, Neville took to the stage and never looked back. For a while, The Specials were managed by The Clash’s manager Bernard Rhodes of whom Neville used to toast “Bernie Rhodes knows don’t argue” at the beginning of the Specials hit single “Gangsters”.

Neville’s vocal style is toasting or chanting over a rhythm. A forerunner of rapping which was brought to Britain in the 1960s by musicians from Jamaica. Neville honed his toasting skills on the sound system scene in Coventry during the 1970s. Later in his solo career and with the reunited Specials, he would sing as well as toast. When he joined the Coventry Automatics, the line up already included Jerry Dammers, Horace Panter and Silverton Hutchinson on drums. Terry Hall subsequently came in as vocalist, replacing Tim Strickland, and Roddy Radiation on lead guitar. John Bradbury would later take over on drums from Silverton. Neville participated in a reunion line up of The Specials from 1993 to 2001, and again from 2009 to 2012.

The Emperials

Fleece website:


£16adv | All Ages*


* Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult and leave by midnight

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