Canvey Mod, Ska & Northern Soul since 1983

Hello we are The Start! - an Essex based Mod, Ska / Two Tone and Northern Soul band originally formed in 1983. The band reformed in 2014 and are based out of Canvey Island but perform all over the south east of England, into the Home Counties and beyond.


We are available for all gatherings including pubs, clubs, partys and scooter events.

If you would like to book the band or have a question, please use the contact form or our social media platforms. We will endevour to respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

The bands debut original single "Shout - I'm About" is now available to download via itunes.nd edit me. It's easy.



Check out the band at a venue near you

Gigs start at 9pm unless stated and are free entry.

Some venues do have a cover charge on the door

All gigs are currenly posponed due to Covid 19.

We will publish details of all gigs once the country exits lockdown




BROOK - lead vocal  |  ROB - lead guitar and vocals  |  DUSTIN - the drums    SEAN - bass guitar & vocals  |  JOHN - saxophone & vocals



The Start is a high energy, pro standard live band playing the best in Mod, and Ska / Two Tone with a splash of Northern Soul too. We perform music by iconic artists such as The Who, The Specials, The Jam, The Small Faces, Toots & The Maytals, The Selecter, Gloria Jones, Bad Manners, Desmond Dekker. Madness, The Kinks, The Beat,  Secret Affair and much more!


The origins of the band go back over 30 years to four young hopefuls from Canvey Island with a love of all things Mod. The Start was born at a Canvey Island comprehensive school & played local gigs to a large enthusiastic following. The band also found national TV stardom appearing on Thames Television's "Freetime". The band did eventually drift apart with members going on to work in music professionally including teaching, performing, and recording.


Fast forward to 2014 and after the demise popular Essex bands The Score and P45 rises a new version of The Start! featuring original members Brook Railton (Vocals) and Rob Sigston (Guitar) with new drummer Dustin Lee Burgess. The quartet was completed with the addition of former Secret Affair, Fay Hallam Trinity and One Step Behind Bassist Sean Kelly in early 2015.


The four became five with the recruitment of John O'Neill on Saxophone in 2019.  

The band share a love of good music from the era where vinyl was king. The days where 7" singles would spin on an old Dansette in the corner of the local youth club... The days when the Wigan Casino and the Twisted Wheel had packed dancefloors... The days when Weller and The Specials spoke to a generation...


Good music never gets old or dated. It just becomes better with age...


Please visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed for updates and the latest news.



Canvey Island hopefuls on national TV

Way back in 1983, the original line up of the band ventured into the studio to cut a two song demo. the tape found its way to the offices of kids TV Show “Freetime” via the then drummers sister Carolyn Lewis. Freetime liked what they heard and after a meeting with the presenters and production team, a performance of original composition “Playing Around” hit our TV screens late one Friday afternoon. A surreal day was capped with a tour of the studios and a chance meeting with comedy legend Benny Hill!

The Start 1983 line up

Brook Raiton (lead vocal)  |  Rob Sigston (lead guitar)  

 Sean Basylis (bass guitar)  |  Mark Lewis (drums)



The Start play a wide mix of music from the world of Mod, Northern Soul & Ska / Two Tone.

The Who rub shoulders with Madness, The Specials with Gloria Jones, The Small Faces with The Beat,  with The Jam with Toots And The Maytals.... 


If there is a tune you would like to hear us pay, please get in touch via social media or the contacts page. For private functions we are happy to learn specific requests but do please bear in mind not everything is possible!



The Start! live and loud just how god intended

The Start believe live clips give a better idea of what the band is about rather than a soulless studio demo. The clips featured were recorded with this in mind. What you see / hear is what you get - no cheating, no covering up, no pretending..... Just good old fashioned quality live music as it was always meant to be! Powerful, energetic, honest and played from the heart.



If you are interested in booking the band or need additional information, please do contact us and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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