Horace Panter

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Horace Panter
Horace Panter.JPG
Background information
Birth nameStephen Graham Panter
Also known asSir Horace Gentleman
Born (1953-08-30) 30 August 1953 (age 67)
Origin Croydon, Surrey, England
Genres New wave, ska, rock
  • Musician
  • artist
  • teacher
Associated acts The Specials, General Public, Malik & Pettite, The Tones, Box of Blues, Blues to Go
Website http://www.horacepanterart.com/

Horace Panter (born Stephen Graham Panter, 30 August 1953) also known as Sir Horace Gentleman, is the bassist for the British 2 Tone ska band The Specials.


Early life

Panter was born in Croydon, Surrey and spent most of his formative years in Kettering, Northamptonshire starting a one-year art course at Northampton College in 1971. In 1972, he began studying fine art at Coventry's Lanchester Polytechnic (now Coventry University).


In his second year at Lanchester Polytechnic he met Jerry Dammers and together they formed The Specials. The band started playing in Coventry bars and clubs before releasing their first single, 'Gangsters' on their own record label (2-Tone). Following the break-up of The Specials in 1981, Panter went on to play with General Public with Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger from the original Beat, and then with the reformed Specials in the 1990s. Panter then joined forces with Neol Davies of The Selecter to form a Blues band, Box of Blues. Today, he is a full-time member of the reformed Specials and is also in a blues combo, called 'Blues 2 Go'. He has also played with Malik & Pettite (formerly The Tones), and is in the process of getting together a ska orchestra called 'The Uptown Ska Collective' who will begin touring in 2014.[ needs update ]

Teaching, autobiography and art

During the 1990s, Panter qualified as a teacher and taught art to special needs children at Corley Special School in North Warwickshire from 1998 to 2008. [1]

He has written an autobiography, Ska'd for Life, in which he described his involvement in the creation of the punk-ska hybrid that became known as '2-Tone, and described his experiences since the band's creation. [2]

An occupation of Panter's alongside his performing with the Specials is art. He has been a professional artist since 2010 and has exhibited throughout the UK. [3] His work is based on traditional forms of iconography fused with the sensibilities of British pop art. [4]

Related Research Articles

Ska is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1950s and was the precursor to rocksteady and reggae. It combined elements of Caribbean mento and calypso with American jazz and rhythm and blues. Ska is characterized by a walking bass line accented with rhythms on the off beat. It was developed in Jamaica in the 1960s when Stranger Cole, Prince Buster, Clement "Coxsone" Dodd, and Duke Reid formed sound systems to play American rhythm and blues and then began recording their own songs. In the early 1960s, ska was the dominant music genre of Jamaica and was popular with British mods and with many skinheads.

General Public

General Public were an English band formed by vocalists Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger, and which also included former members of Dexys Midnight Runners, the Specials and the Clash. They are best remembered for their hits "Tenderness" (1984) and "I'll Take You There" (1994).

The Specials

The Specials, also known as The Special AKA, are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry. After some early changes, the first stable lineup of the group consisted of Terry Hall and Neville Staple on vocals, Lynval Golding and Roddy Radiation on guitars, Horace Panter on bass, Jerry Dammers on keyboards, John Bradbury on drums, and Dick Cuthell and Rico Rodriguez on horns. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude". Lyrically, they present a "more focused and informed political and social stance".

<i>More Specials</i> 1980 studio album by The Specials

More Specials is the second album by English ska band the Specials, released by 2 Tone Records in October 1980. After the success of the band's self-titled debut, band member Jerry Dammers assumed the role as the band's leader and stirred them into expanding their 2 Tone sound into other genres of music, most prominently a lounge music and easy listening style inspired by Muzak. Several band members disagreed with Dammers' vision and brought their own influences to the album, including from northern soul and rockabilly, contributing to an eclectic sound palette. The relations between band members continued to sour into the album's accompanying tour and most of the band departed in 1981.

Two-tone or 2 tone is a genre of British popular music of the late 1970s and early 1980s that fused traditional Jamaican ska music with elements of punk rock and new wave music. Its name derives from 2 Tone Records, a record label founded in 1979 by Jerry Dammers of The Specials, and references a desire to transcend and defuse racial tensions in Thatcher-era Britain: many two-tone groups, such as The Specials, The Selecter, and The Beat featured a mix of black, white, and multiracial people.

Jerry Dammers

Jeremy David Hounsell Dammers is a British musician who is a founder, keyboard player and primary songwriter of the Coventry, England, based ska revival band The Specials, The Special A.K.A. and The Spatial AKA Orchestra. He also founded 2 Tone Records.

Terry Hall (singer) English musician and singer

Terence Edward Hall is an English musician and the lead singer of The Specials, and formerly of Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield, Terry, Blair & Anouchka and Vegas. He has released two solo albums and has also collaborated with many artists including David A. Stewart, Bananarama, Lightning Seeds, Sinéad O'Connor, Stephen Duffy, Dub Pistols, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, D12, Tricky, Junkie XL, Leila Arab, Lily Allen, Shakespears Sister, Salad, and Nouvelle Vague.

Neville Staple

Neville Eugenton Staple is a Jamaica-born English singer for the 2-tone ska band The Specials as well as his own band, The Neville Staple Band. He also sang with Ranking Roger in Special Beat.

The Selecter

The Selecter are a 2 Tone ska revival band from Coventry, England, formed in mid-1979.

Ghost Town (Specials song) The Specials song

"Ghost Town" is a song by the British two-tone band the Specials, released on 12 June 1981. The song spent three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in total in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. Addressing themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities. Internal tensions within the band were also coming to a head when the single was being recorded, resulting in the song being the last single recorded by the original seven members of the group before splitting up. However, the song was hailed by the contemporary UK music press as a major piece of popular social commentary, and all three of the major UK music magazines of the time awarded "Ghost Town" the accolade of "Single of the Year" for 1981.

Ranking Roger British musician and songwriter

Roger Charlery, known professionally as Ranking Roger, was a British musician. He was a vocalist in the 1980s two-tone band the Beat and later General Public. He subsequently headed up a reformed Beat lineup.

<i>Too Much Pressure</i> 1980 studio album by The Selecter

Too Much Pressure is the first album by British ska band The Selecter. After the band's official formation in 1979 in Coventry, following the release of a song entitled "The Selecter" by an unofficial incarnation of the band, the band's hit single "On My Radio" prompted their labels 2 Tone and Chrysalis to ask the band to record their debut album. Working with producer Errol Ross, the Selecter recorded the album at Horizon Studios over two months. The album contains original material, mostly composed by band founder and guitarist Neol Davies, as well as numerous ska and reggae cover versions, in a similar fashion to the Specials' debut album.

John Bradbury (drummer)

John "Brad" Bradbury was an English drummer and record producer. He is best known for having been the drummer in the English ska group The Specials.

Akrylykz were a British ska band, formed by members of Hull School of Art in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, that featured Roland Gift originally as a tenor saxophonist, but his role later expanded to frontman and lead singer. Other members of the group were Steve Pears, Stevie "B" Robottom, Wojciech "Piotr" Swiderski (drums), Michael "Fred" Reynolds (bass), and Nik "Akrylyk" Townend (guitar).

Pauline Black English singer, actress, and author

Belinda Magnus, better known as Pauline Black, is an English singer, actress and author.

The Boiler 1981 single by Rhoda with The Special A.K.A.

"The Boiler" is a January 1982 single by Rhoda Dakar with The Special AKA. It was released on 2 Tone Records.

Coventry University Students' Union, also known as CUSU, is the students' union for Coventry University, in Coventry, England.

Gangsters (song) 1979 single by The Special A.K.A.

"Gangsters" is the first single by the Special A.K.A..

Rat Race (The Specials song) 1980 single by The Specials

"Rat Race" is a song by ska/2-Tone band The Specials, released on 17 May 1980 by 2 Tone Records as a double A-side single with "Rude Buoys Outa Jail". The single wasn't included on the UK release of the More Specials album, but was included on the US version, released by Chrysalis Records. The song peaked at no. 5 on the UK Singles Chart and also charted on the US Dance Chart.

Do Nothing (song) 1980 single by The Specials

"Do Nothing" is a song by ska/2-Tone band The Specials, released in December 1980 by 2 Tone Records as the second single from More Specials. The single peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart.


  1. Arnot, Chris (3 February 2009). "School reunion". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 16 February 2010.
  2. "Ska'd for Life". www.2-tone.info. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  3. "Horace Panter". www.accordingtomcgee.com. Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  4. "Horace Panter Art – Icon Inspired Art". Horacepanterart.com. Retrieved 11 August 2014.