Friday, November 9, 2012

The Talks Collaborate with Neville Staple Of The Specials On New Single "Can Stand The Rain"

While fans of The Specials await news of their future plans, an up and coming ska band that the 2-Tone legends tapped to open for them during their triumphant 30th anniversary tour in 2009 is starting to make waves of their own across the U.K. and Europe.

The Talks began life in the summer of 2006 in Hull, in the Yorkshire region of the UK. Their very first demo received the attention of Hull's very own songmeister Paul Heaton (The Housemartins, The Beautiful South) who placed it in the top 10 list for his radio show at the time. The band very quickly got themselves out on the road, travelling the length and breadth of the UK. Over that time, The Talks have played a whole range of venues and festivals across Europe, including; Leeds/Reading and Glastonbury festivals, tours in Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia, as well as tours with many established ska bands including Rancid, King Hammond, The Toasters, The Beat and many others. This hard work caught the attention of members of The Specials.

The Talks new single "Can Stand The Rain" featuring Neville Staple, is an infectious piece of old school 60's Jamaican ska infused with a dark dash of 2-Tone political sensibility about the gloomy state of life in the U.K. Neville's guest spot on the song and his friendship with the band goes back to 2009, when The Talks scored the dream gig of supporting The Specials on their much anticipated reunion tour. The single follows the release of the band's LP “Live Now Pay Later” in 2011.

I had a chance to connect with The Talks drummer Titch who shared more about his love of blues and samba, the burgeoning music scene in Hull and what it was like to watch The Specials on their first few reunion shows.

Where did you grow up and what bands or music influenced you the most? What was the first record or single that you ever bought?
I grew up in Hull, East Yorkshire. Specifically on Spring Bank, now the cultural hub of the city! Through my early career I was heavily influenced by blues and samba. My first performances and tours were with blues and samba bands in the early 2000's. The first tape I bought was "Somewhere In Time" by Iron Maiden! That album still does it for me!

When did you decide you wanted to be a drummer?
My earliest memory (early 90's) of playing was after seeing a South American quartet busking in Hull city centre.  I convinced my parents to buy their cassette. Later that day at home, I arranged a selection of pots and pans across the kitchen floor, stuck the cassette on and bashed away like Tito Puente! From then on, I always had a place in my heart for drums. It wasn't until 2005 that I realised I could make this my every day job/career and haven't looked back since!

What is the Hull music scene like?
Hull has always had a thriving music scene! With the likes of Mick Ronson, Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals, The Housemartins and the Beautiful South hailing from Hull, to more current bands such as Counting Coins, The Paddingtons, Last Winter Dance Party and Hekima and the Bongo Flava, there is some ripping talent in the city, backed by some great venues such as The Sesh, The Adelphi, and Pave. Doing great things for the city!

Were you a fan of ska an reggae before you joined The Talks?
Like a lot of my friends, when i was in my teens I had the obligatory 3rd wave ska/punk cover phase, and later on from that, the token 'Best of Bob Marley' album phase. Playing with The Talks has opened my ears a lot to ska and reggae, showing me the delights of trad ska and dark evil heavy dub!

For those who may not be familiar with the band can you tell us a bit about how the band was formed and who the members are?
The band was formed back in 2005-6 when Patrick Pretorius (vox/gtr/sax) and Jody 'Kep' Moore (vox/gtr/keys/synth) got together and wrote/recorded the earliest Talks tunes. They then enlisted me and bassist Iain 'easy E' Allen to take the sound to the masses and start touring!

How would you describe the sound of the band live?
Stomping, pulsing, bouncing, bass heavy, sweaty ska from where I'm sat!

Can you share any stories about any live shows that are particularly memorable?
For me, opening up for The Specials on the first few dates of their reunion tour will always stick with me! Witnessing the suspense as they waited to start their set on the first night was immense!

Tell me about recording "Can Stand The Rain' with Neville from The Specials.
When Pat and Jody went to Coventry to record Neville's parts, they were joined by Neville's family for a barbecue (15-20 people).  Lots of eating and drinking went on, with spurts of recording in-between.

Any plans to tour the U.S.?
We're always looking for new adventures, so no doubt we'll be over that pond pretty soon!

"Can Stand the Rain" featuring Neville Staple will be released on the November 26, 2012 as a digital download on the band's own All Our Own Records. It will be followed by an EP due for release in January 2013. You can catch up with The Talks on Facebook, Twitter or at their official website.

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