The Specials' 2011 tour is coming to Ally Pally.
The Specials have a particular resonance for me. This Coventry band was one of the background tracks to my years at Warwick University. But perhaps the real poignancy for me was one day in the Summer of 1981 driving home from my college sweetheart, I passed through Brixton during the summer riot (smaller and less explosive than the first riot in April that year). And what was playing on the car radio? Ghost Town.
I'd never seen a riot before. In that late 70s/early 80s England, riots were something I's only ever seem in far away places. To end up in the middle of one with Ghost Town as a soundtrack choked me up. (Perhaps I was an overly sentimental young man). But, you know what was strange was all the spectators lined up along the railings which edged the main road there in Brixton. Pensioners and kids alike were hanging around watching as if it was some time of spectator sport (Maybe I'd hit a relative lull). The flaming cars with an enraptured audience and the Special playing along has stuck in my mind.
So, here's Ghost Town (Gotta love that Docklands footage, in the final years before it was all developed and the days when Sunday mornings really were like a Ghost Town, when the City really was that quiet.):
And here's a taste of the riots:
Relive the two-tone days at Ally Pally on 3rd November.
Did you hear they were discussing the Brixton Riots on Radio 4 this morning?
Ghost Town was one of the first 7" singles I bought, so I just worked out I was eight years old.
I have my ticket for The Specials at Ale' Pal'e in November: can't wait!
Shame; I missed that. I guess with the 30th anniversary approaching, we're going to be hearing a little more about it over the next few weeks.
Let's hope these guys still rock!
got my tickets !!!