A NORTH-EAST band are celebrating the success of their first debut album after almost selling out within a week.

Darlington-based ska band The Skapones have been gigging for four years playing shows around the region and further afield.

Setting out just to play songs they enjoyed as “younger men” to give people “a good night out”, the band has seen itself grow exponentially within the last year.

In November, the band supported music legends Madness at their House of Fun Weekender event.

They also played a number of shows including Lindisfarne Festival and the Feuerwerks Open Air Festival at The Reduit in Mainz, Germany.

Earlier this year, in January, the band decided to release their first single, From Cradle to Grave, which went straight to number one in the UK Reggae charts.

They released two more singles, Ghost in Me and Betrayal of Trust, which landed at three and five in same charts.

Now the band has produced a 12-track album which holds the name of their number one single.

Released at the end of August under their own record label, Cosa Nostra Records, Cradle to Grave has almost sold out in its first week.

Singer Paul Williams, from Darlington, said they were overwhelmed at the response to their new album which has had orders from Europe, the US and Australia.

The 51-year-old said: “We’re ecstatic. From creating tracks and writing lyrics, you put your heart and soul into it so to have it be received as well as it has been makes it all worthwhile.”

The album features appearances from members of The Specials, a two-tone ska band known for their songs A Message to You Rudy and Ghost Town.

Mr Williams added: “The Specials are our heroes. To be recording with your heroes is a crazy thing, it’s not bad going really.”

For their next move, the band will be going back to their roots to host a charity concert at The Forum, in Darlington, on October 5 to raise money for cancer treatments.

They are also aiming to use Cosa Nostra Records to bring more North-East bands to the fore-front.

More information about the band and their music can be found at facebook.com/theskapones