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Harry
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When you write a song how do you present it to your band mates? Are you interested in them chucking in ideas or more helping to create what you heard in your head?
“This depends on if I've managed to get a version recorded or not!! If not, I'll play and sing it through in the rehearsal room Even if I have a recording it's probably got to have modifications, it's best if people can have it beforehand to prepare their parts at home but sometimes it's done on the fly. I usually have a finished song and some definite parts in mind but I enjoy the process of other input growing the song into something I perhaps wouldn't have thought of, especially with a good producer when you're recording a master”
How did your recent show in Hoxton go and what are your plans for the future?“The Hoxton gig went very well, it was a good 1st gig and I felt the new songs sat alongside the classics, the next gig is December 10th at The Scala in London and also, we'll be announcing next year's gigs soon. The new band idea seems to be something people are enthusiastic about and I'm pleased with the responses from within the business...I'm recording Dolla Fe Dolla as a new single over the next few weeks and the plan is to keep building The Selecter by playing new songs and music to the many people who love reggae based music....to me the genre still has much to explore musically.”

Talk us through the current line -up of your band...
“John Gibbons is the new singer, he's been singing with Boy George for several years...... Dean Ross is on the Hammond organ, he was in Lene Lovich's band in the late 70's/early80's......Daniel Crosby is the drummer, he played in my instrumental ska band in the 90's, his dad is Gary Crosby the bass player who runs Jazz Jamaica.....Tim Cansfield is on the guitar, he's been the guitar player of choice for just about everyone who's anyone in the business, including the Bee Gees and Steve Winwood.....Andre Bayuni is the bass player, recently playing with former Libertines members......Faye Treacy, Hannah Taylor and Ellie Smith are the trombone section, 2 tenor, one bass and Victor Trivino is the percussionist. They are all great players and together make a truly amazing sound. I'm anticipating be able to bring my new material to life and explore musical ideas that I feel will chime with people everywhere.”

How close were you to being the guitarist in The Specials?
“Jerry Dammers and myself had left the band Nite Trane at the same time with the thought of doing our own music, we'd played a covers set for about 18 months and it ended with the worst 2 weeks in a distant place, Tunisia, where so many things went so very wrong....as Jerry began to get a few songs sorted out and planned he wanted to hear them being played live, he asked several musicians, including me, to come to rehearsals....soon a gig was booked in the pub room where we were playing but Jerry decided he wanted Lynval on guitar (without actually telling me!!) and then, months later, when Jerry wanted to add another guitar, he thought about inviting me back in but decided that Roddy would be a better choice. At that time there was quite a lot of bands and musicians in Coventry, not everyone could play reggae though....I just carried on as always trying to play my own stuff and form bands, get gigs....from leaving Nite Trane ( which was a great time most of the time) I started to write more and more songs, like Missing Words, Street Feeling and On My Radio which became the backbone of The Selecter a few years on. Quite close is the short answer!!”

Out of all the 2-Tone people and all those bands who do you have the most time and affection for?
“I think there are three.....Desmond Brown, the Hammond player in the original band. Back in early 70s, I learnt how to play reggae standing next to him while he kept saying "no, like this!!". He plays the Hammond with such a good feel, just brilliant........ Jerry, we met in 1975 and infuriating though he can be, he has fantastically good ideas, 2Tone Records wasn't a bad one for example!! ......and Rico, having played his Man From Wareika album at home so many times in the 70s to actually stand next to him at the microphone while he improvised a solo on a track on my band's album, Too Much Pressure, was a real thrill. It's always a joy to see him. He's why I love the trombone so much. And that album is one of the very best reggae records....in my opinion!”

Could you write down everything you did yesterday (as in, "A Day in the Life of Neol Davies")
“Since I'm writing this on Thursday, yesterday I got up at 7am and arrived at Rugby at 9:30 to fulfil my weekly commitment to teaching the electric guitar to teenage boys at Lawrence Sheriff School( it's a boy's school). I do this for one day a week, sometimes in the past I've done more days per week, but I've taught the guitar in schools almost continually since 1982. I really enjoy it although the downside is seeing the inside of education and how much it's stuck in the past.....I do my small bit to subvert and bring some counter culture into the frame!! Once home I always feel like a zombie after teaching so not much happens then on.....other days of my week are a mixture of fielding emails/texts to do with the running of the new band and playing through the songs, working on the arrangement ideas. I wish it could be just the music but the business has to be done too.....I am hoping that the next time I write "a day in the life of" it'll be from a beach somewhere!!

Neol: "I'd like to add a big thank you to everyone who has bought records, been to gigs and loved the music for the last 3 decades. Your support is very much appreciated and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have had the opportunity to do the things I've done in life and I'm looking forward to some more if that's allowed!!”
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PostPosted:
Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:43 am
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Paul Willo
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GREAT INTERVIEW! Very Happy
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PostPosted:
Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:06 am
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I reckon Jerry thought Neol would be too dominant in the Specials so he got Lynval ,n, Roddy thinking he could manage them easier Rolling Eyes
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Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:28 pm
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Harry
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Paul Willo wrote:
GREAT INTERVIEW! Very Happy


Thanks Paul.
The interview comes from a new blog I'm doing. The blog is named after a Tony Hancock film called The Rebel (which it turns out is one of Neol's favourites).
Another ex 2-Tone guy I did a Q & A with recently is Terry Edwards
http://therebelmagazine.blogspot.com/2010/11/q-with-terry-edwards.html
I've interviewed various talented musicians for the blog that have been around a bit (Mick Harvey from the Bad Seeds, Paul Heaton, Will Seargent from The Bunnymen etc) but I would be keen to feature new young bands and artists as well.
Contact me if anyone knows any interesting new bands especially if they have an art connection.
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Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:20 am
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Paul Willo
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Great stuff Harry, theres a few bands about that may be of interest to you.Ill have a look aropund and send em your way. Great blog.
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Fri Nov 12, 2010 10:56 am
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mangeire
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Alot of interesting info there. It'll be interesting to hear how Neol's new band develops after a few gigs. Lookin forward to checking out your blog later as well Harry, cheers
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Fri Nov 12, 2010 5:07 pm
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yes a great read
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Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:30 pm
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marigold
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Thanks - very interesting read.
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Mon Dec 13, 2010 1:05 am
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FLOORED1
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Nice one, Neol is a lovely bloke...always has time to chat and I'm so glad he is stepping up the musical output a gear at the moment
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Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:18 am
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Liam_Ska
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JETT RINK wrote:
I reckon Jerry thought Neol would be too dominant in the Specials so he got Lynval ,n, Roddy thinking he could manage them easier Rolling Eyes


Or maybe because they were better!
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Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:58 pm
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Harry
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Jerry raves about Roddy's guitar skills in either Uncut or Mojo (or both).
Morrissey once said he saw The Smiths as a painting (or masterpiece) and everday he'd add a bit more till it was perfect.
Like Dick, Rico and all the other Specials - Roddy was the right man for the job.
I was gutted had to miss Neol's show as it clashed with something else. But he is a brilliant songwriter and guitarist and so I'm looking forward to more great work from him
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Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:31 pm
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Imani
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Would be good if you could also do an interview with Charles 'H' Bembridge, Harry. Always rated him highly as a drummer from his work on the first two Selecter albums.
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Last edited by Imani on Mon Aug 11, 2014 12:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
PostPosted:
Sun Aug 03, 2014 4:48 pm
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Paul Willo
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yeah H is a great guy- and a lot of 2tone credentials
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Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:28 pm
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kennybacon
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interesting interview, thanks for that Harry
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Mon Aug 04, 2014 9:28 pm
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