Gigs

Live Review: The Specials, Rock City (22/11/14)

Last Saturday, ska legends The Specials played Rock City, to close a tour celebrating five years since their reunion, in front of a rapturous and (occasionally too) energetic audience.

First, though, was the support, The Tones. This young, guitar-heavy band certainly tried their utmost to get the crowd going with audience interaction, even if their songs did have a tendency to sound like One Direction covering The Jam.

The only sour note came from drunken idiots in the crowd lobbing cans on stage- Hall later refused to tolerate it, getting the bouncers to kick someone out for the same offence.

Shortly afterwards, the opening chords of ‘Ghost Town’ livened the whole venue up, even if a smile seemed to be more than lead singer Terry Hall could manage all night. Any fears that there would be a mid-gig lull having opened with arguably their best-known track was assuaged by the steady stream of hits that were played, including ‘Monkey Man’, ‘Rat Race’, and the B-side to Ghost Town, ‘Friday Night and Saturday Morning’. The only sour note came from drunken idiots in the crowd lobbing cans on stage- Hall later refused to tolerate it, getting the bouncers to kick someone out for the same offence. Between songs, it seemed clear Hall was increasingly annoyed, to the extent that only one encore was played, ‘Guns of Navarone’, instead of the usual three played elsewhere on the tour.

However, Lynvall Golding’s enthusiasm and sheer energy, impressive for a man of 63, seemed to rub off on the crowd and made him the star of the night.

However, Lynvall Golding’s enthusiasm and sheer energy, impressive for a man of 63, seemed to rub off on the crowd and made him the star of the night. Though his vocals at times felt like they could have been turned up, the buzz he still seems to feel from playing live was great to witness.

the mixed but largely middle-aged audience were able to ‘Enjoy themselves…’ even if it wasn’t ‘…later than they thought’

Overall, despite the lack of some original members, including chief songwriter Jerry Dammers, and a few gig-goers who ensured a couple of sing-along encores weren’t heard, it was a great gig. The mixed but largely middle-aged audience were able to ‘Enjoy themselves…’ even if it wasn’t ‘…later than they thought’, thanks to the early 10pm curfew at Rock City on club nights.

Tom Hammond

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