Older, heavier and slower - but we still have the magic

A fixed-odds gambling machine Picture: Daniel Hambury/PA Wire

NEWS COMMENT: A move in the right direction but still not a win for all

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Imagine a mostly hairless, bloated, wrinkly beast with a thousand eyes, wobbling, bouncing, sweating and gyrating in a rather cumbersome manner.

Jabba the Hutt on a trampoline? Sadly not that elegant.

No, it was the marauding masses of the pulsating throng who were at The Specials concert last weekend at Portsmouth Guildhall.

It was brilliant, a flashback to a simpler time when you only worried about the creases on your Sta-press trousers and what colour Harrington jacket you were going to wear.

The Specials are a ska band that, in their heyday, effortlessly cruised from the late ’70s to early ’80s, entertaining millions with a rock steady beat that was physically impossible not to dance to.

It’s a sound and rhythm that I’ve always loved and is always abundant in the car or at home.

Of course we, the youngsters of that era, have been fortunate to grow up with 2 Tone memories of ‘skanking’ to Terry Hall’s lyrics & Lynval Golding’s Jamaican patter.

When I say grow up, my how we’ve grown.

Scanning the audience, you’d wonder if genetic cloning had been implemented in Portsmouth 30-40 years ago.

Eighty per cent of the crowd were identical; bald, wearing a Fred Perry polo shirt, plentiful around the midriff and bouncing in a careless, rhythmically-uncoordinated fashion.

I fitted in perfectly!

The good wife was bringing a drink back from the bar and couldn’t identify me.

The Ross Kemp-a-like living camouflage meant that I melted into my surroundings like a chameleon on a twig.

The band played all of their classics and memories of hopping/running on the spot at school discos came flooding back.

If Radox had had any marketing foresight, they should have set up a stand outside.

After 90 minutes of ska, the excited crowd that had entered the venue were now leaving a little more…gingerly.

Yes we’re older, heavier and slower – but we’ve still got the magic.