It has been a case of diminishing returns with The Specials in recent years, firstly with Neville Staples leaving and now guitarist Roddy Radiation, absent from this year’s IoW festival appearance, who has decided to concentrate on his solo band The Skabilly Rebels, including this show.
Musicians from Damon Albarn to Johnny Marr must have had sleepless nights deciding which nuggets from their rich musical heritage to include when embarking on a new solo voyage and I’m sure it was no different for Roddy.
Sticking to his self-penned tracks, his five-piece band, kicked things off with with Rat Race to try to engage the audience.
The solo material fell flat at times and you couldn’t help wondering if was just The Specials’ tracks they were interested in. This was a shame because Hey Little Rich Girl, dedicated to Amy Winehouse, is beautiful.
The band fell between two stools and needed an injection of energy to get the crowd dancing, which they achieved with rousing versions of Gangsters and Concrete Jungle.