Hello, I’m Terry and I’m going to enjoy myself first...
The Specials returned to Wolverhampton last night for a rabble-rousing gig at the Civic Hall.
The ska legends made the most welcome of returns to the jam-packed venue after a break of three years – and the sell-out crowd sure let them know they’d been missed with chants of ‘Rude Boys!’ from the off.
This year’s UK tour marks five years since the Coventry icons, who formed back in 1978, got back together and near to 3,000 hardy souls rammed into the hall on a chilly November evening for a trip down memory lane.
The electric atmosphere was building hours before they even walked on stage, with rapturous cheers greeting them when they finally made an appearance at around 9.15pm.
And you can imagine the noise when those unmistakeable first few notes revealed that Ghost Town was top of the order of business. As openers go, they don’t get any bigger than that.
Last night’s one-off reunion brought back the faces of a generation, lead singer Terry Hall and rhythm guitarist Lynval Golding, along with the rest of the rabble rousers, who were all suited and booted.
As ever, Hall remained the strong and silent type, letting the music do the talking for him.
Golding remains all-action despite his 63 years and was out on stage first. He got down to business straight away: dancing on top of the speakers in his trademark pork pie hat, and then doffing it to the crowd on the balcony.
The first words from Terry were: “Does anyone want a bottle of Highland Spring?” before he chucked a bottle in to the crowd. What a gent.
Next up was stone-cold classic Friday Night, Saturday Morning, followed by Do Nothing. After that came Blackout and then International Jet Set and Stereotype.
The highlight was, of course, that unparalleled opener of Ghost Town, which good old Wolvo was anything but on this particular evening.
After all, we were all there to enjoy ourselves... it’s later than we think.
By Craig Birch