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Brexit chaos. A near-decade of Tory austerity. Poverty, racism and inequality on the rise. A country irreparably divided. Time to send out the Two-Tone Bat-Signal and call in The Specials.
Their numbers have dwindled due to death, ill health and dissent – Jerry Dammers, Neville Staple and Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers have all quit since their 2009 reunion, and drummer John Bradbury died in 2015 – but their relevance as commentators on our broken nation is as strong today as it was when Ghost Town sneered darkly at Thatcher’s riot-rattled Britain in 1981. In troubled times, thank god The Specials are on hand to slap some sense into a babbling world.
The Specials, one of the most electrifying, influential and important bands of all time, release Encore, their first new music for 37 years. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of The Specials and the legendary Two-Tone label in Coventry in 1979, and also marks 10 years since the band reformed to play some of the most vital and joyous live shows in recent memory. The 10-song Encore was produced by Specials founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter alongside Danish musician/producer Torp Larsen and indeed is the first time Hall, Golding and Panter have recorded new material together since the band’s 1981 No.1 single Ghost Town.