Something Special...

The Specials

The Specials

The Lounge Kittens are Zan Lawther, Timia Gwendoline and Jenny Deacon. Picture by Paul Harries.

These kittens may have claws – but they’ll still be plenty of fun

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When The Specials reformed in 2009 for their 30th Anniversary not many would have seen them still playing four years later having travelled all over the world and sold out hundreds of concerts.

But they’re back on tour and heading to Portsmouth Guildhall tomorrow for a sold-out gig.

It’s the reception to their shows that has convinced the band there is no reason to stop, which is great news for their loyal following still loving the band’s life-affirming performances after three decades.

For many kids and young people in 1979 The Specials were the best band in the world. The monochrome Two Toners walloped the nation’s senses with their album designs, ‘rude boy’ style and ska revival sounds.

In 1980, the song Too Much Too Young, the lead track on their The Special AKA Live! EP, reached number one in the UK. In 1981, the unemployment-themed single Ghost Town also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart.

After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, the band broke up. Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple left to form Fun Boy Three, the line-up was revised and the band began working again as The Special AKA, most noted for the song Nelson Mandela.

The current line-up doesn’t include Jerry Dammers, one of The Specials’ main musical architects, but does boast other key players including Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter.

The band played last summer at the Hyde Park (London) closing show for the Olympics alongside Blur, New Order and Bombay Bicycle Club.

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