Target: The Talks
Personnel: Patrick Pretorius (vocals/guitar/sax), Jody Moore (vocals/lead guitar/keys), Iain Allen (bass), Richard 'Titch' Lovelock (drums)
Intelligence: There aren't many bands that are good enough to catch the attention of members of The Specials, but then there aren't many bands like The Talks. Proving that hard work, persistence and a pocket full of irresistibly catchy tunes can pay dividends, their latest video has racked up over 50,000 views on Youtube, while relentless touring has honed them into a formidable live unit - all a far cry from the attic rehearsals that got them started.
"Myself and Pat met through various projects in the past and had always worked well together," says guitarist Jody. "We started writing and recording tracks in a ska/reggae sort of vibe. The tracks all tied up in the same style, so we looked to add members so we could do what we love best and go out on tour. Pat knew Iain was a wicked bass player, and Titch I knew from a previous band, so we hit a practice room - Titch's attic - and it just all sort of came together."
After a string of well received early gigs, The Talks took their brand of fired-up homegrown ska on the road, touring with Specials legend Neville Staple. "We were just trying to play every possible venue in every city, touring 'til we all knew how far to push each other," adds Jody. "Me and Pat worked out the other day that we've spent over two years sat in a van together."
"Through our time of touring we've played some amazing shows, including Glastonbury and Leeds Festival. Being asked by Rancid to support them on their last UK tour was awesome and also supporting The Specials on their first shows back together for their 30th anniversary tour was amazing."
Making the most of their connections, The Talks' new single Can Stand The Rain features Neville Staple on fine form over a slice of infectious 21st century ska. "Having toured with Neville from basically the start of The Talks, we're quite close," says Jody. "Myself and Pat had demoed the song, and Pat played it to Nev back stage at a gig. Nev loved it and just started toasting over it with headphones on, and it all happened from there.
The single is being released on the band's All Our Own label, a collaboration with similarly DIY-minded bands determined to put themselves on the map. "It has to be DIY," says Jody. "We're kids of the computer age and with all the resources online, it just took a few clicks and we had All Our Own Records. AOO Records is more of a collective with us and other bands in our genre all sharing information and tasks. The list of jobs never ends, but it's all going good so far."
Jody: Customized Fender Telecasters, Gretsch Jets, Blackstar HT 60 Stage, Line 6 M13, MicroKorg, Various Samplers
Pat: Squire Pro Tone Telecaster 1998 - Peavey Classic 30
Titch: DW Drums 22" 10" 14" 14" Pearl Brass Snare, Dream/TRX Cymbals, DW Sticks, Shure Earphones
Further action: Can Stand The Rain is released on 26 November, and 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.