In 2008, the original Specials (minus founding member Jerry Dammers) performed at Bestival. The event was quickly heralded by fans as an amazing experience and the following year, the band embarked upon a massive tour. For many, it was the ultimate nostalgia trip; for younger fans, a very welcome – and unexpected – chance to see the band fronted by the legendary Terry Hall, something unseen since the very early 80s. Sure, the band had made albums with varying line-ups throughout the years and even put on a great live show fronted by Neville Staple in the late 90s, but the classic line up of the Specials was special for a reason. A second full tour in 2011 was captured for posterity on the double disc ‘More or Less…The Specials Live’, giving those who couldn’t make the shows in person their own chance to hear Terry “enjoying himself first”.
Most would’ve predicted the reunion would then fizzle, but over the next few years, other live shows followed. Finally, in 2018, almost a decade on from the big reunion, there were mumblings of a new album on the horizon.
The British ska revival of the late 70s was an exciting time. The short-lived 2-Tone label (founded by The Specials’ Jerry Dammers) was home to arguably some of the greatest music to come from the UK. Over the course of three years, with a mix of good-time party music and political messages, The Specials, The Selecter and The Beat became hugely popular, and although they moved away from their ska roots quicker than most, Madness became one of the most popular British pop bands of all time.
In July 2015, a 4CD set of Clash covers will be unveiled.
Featuring Dreadzone, Horace Panter of The Specials, comedian Kevin Eldon, celebrity Phill Jupitus and Frankie Goes To Hollywood man Brian Nash, alongside a whole host of other names, ‘Combat Cancer’ presents a huge archive of newly recorded versions of Clash classics.
The full Friday line-up for the 2015 Chagstock Festival is now in place. Acts set to appear include the legendary New Model Army, Specials man Neville Staple and cult folk/bluegrass act Police Dog Hogan.
The Chagstock Festival has previously been headlined by The Waterboys, The Boomtown Rats and The Selecter.
As part of their ongoing reunion shows – including all the band’s original members bar Jerry Dammers – The Specials ended 2011 with a run of very well received gigs which yieded a live album ‘More or Less…’
The band has confirmed they will tour again in 2013. The following May dates are now filled in the band’s calendar:
5/10 Glasgow Barrowland
5/13 Newcastle O2 Academy
5/15 Manchester O2 Apollo
5/18 Liverpool Olympia
5/19 Leicester De Montford Hall
5/21 Birmingham O2 Academy
5/23 Newport Centre
5/25 Margate Winter Gardens
5/26 Portsmouth Guildhall
5/28 London O2 Academy Brixton