Born in Croydon in 1953 Sir Horace Gentleman Panter met Jerry Dammers while doing an art degree at Coventry University. Together with Lynval Golding, they were the founding members of the iconic ska band, The Specials, setting out to change the world by making people ‘dance as well as think’.
Contributing to Manchester’s Louder Than Words festival, Horace Panter, who evidently requires no introduction spoke with The Fountain about the festival, which celebrates words within the music industry.
TF: You excited about playing this Louder Than Words festival?
Don’t know about ‘excited’, nervous more like! Of course, I’m looking forward to it!
TF: What is it about the festival that made you agree to contribute, Horace?
I’m doing a Q&A with Daniel Rachel, who I met when he was researching for his book The Walls Come Tumbling Down. We got on well. Plus I like what Louder Than Words do in terms of their sessions and John Robb is a mate!
TF: Obviously from The Specials, you were a key influence in the music – what would you say on this festival’s line-up of influential players?
A rebellious bunch if ever there was one!
TF: What are you most looking forward to seeing at the festival?
I’ve always had a soft spot for the musical exploits of Jah Wobble and I know Rat Scabies tells some good war stories too!
TF: It’s a festival which looks at the relationships between musicians and journalists – how vital is that to you?
Back in the day, NME, Sounds & Melody Maker were vital to any band’s career. Nowadays The Specials have a strong legacy that isn’t so dependent on column inches but I appreciate that a new audience is eager for information and context, so… ask away!
Louder Than Words runs from Friday 10th November to Sunday 12th.