09 September 2004

The Specials


I think I might have actually worn a pork pie hat because of these folks.

I've been sorting through some old vinyl singles and came across some 7"s by The Specials. I put them on and I've been dancing like a loon ever since. Somehow it seemed like simpler, happier times... yeah there were riots, racism, murder, violence, Nazi Punks all over the place with tributes to Spiderman etched onto their faces (what was it with Skinheads and spiders?), poverty, unemployment and so on but there were bands I really liked in the charts and on TOTPs. At the time that seem unaturally exciting.

I still watch TOTP but it's more ritualistic now and if i'm honest it's just to watch and laugh at my 3 year old daughter doing all the Rachel Stevens moves. Somehow, I know this music isn't intended for me but then...well...

The Specials gave me many things: an early interest in politics (before them Margaret thatcher was just the wife of the guy who came to do the roof of the Colonel's house), a way to dance that made me look cool even though I looked like a twat, a cool logo to doodle on my rough book at school and a first real musical movement to belong to, if only for the duration of my 10 year old attention-defecit spiked mind. I'm sure I had records before this - I can remember Pinky and Perky for one - but I think The Specials and Two Tone in general may be responsible for me actually listening to music.

So I can't imagine why I've never posted about them before. The music sounds as fresh as ever and even the politics hasn't really moved on with the times...


Nite Klub (live)

Too Hot (live)

Ghost Town

One last thing: as I was dredging through my collection, I came across a double 7" by a band called The Satin Chickens. I can't remember buying it and have no idea who these people are. Does anyone know?


it said...

When I was living in Coventry a couple of years ago, they used to pipe music (well muzak mostly) out into the rapidly decaying mall (They've built a new one now)....on a Sunday afternoon, when everything was shut and deserted, some wag used to put 'Ghost Town' on a loop, really loudly, so it filled the whole town centre.

This is one of my best memory of the place...along with the Goth club (the Dog and Trumpet), which was invariably filled with lots of foxy underage goth girls and old rockers getting it on...mmmmm....

Anonymous said...

Specials #1.. great live show, too, even after all these years.

This tooooowwwn.... becoming like a ghost town!


Psychbloke said...

"Ghost Town" and Terry Hall's miserable visage have added a retrospectively gloomy feel to what was , as far as I was concerned, a brilliant time in music.

Two-Tone was great for the following reasons:

1)It was the only youth movement where one could purchase the uniform from a gentleman's outfitters - in our case ,Mintz & Davis in Romford. As well as selling cheap, shiny, thin, black ties with Specials / Madness logos transferred upon them, they actually sold the white towelling socks rolled up in little wooden drawers in glass fronted cabinets.
2) It made your school uniform cool - come September,no mother could reasonably object to buying you button-down shirts, grey sta-prest trousers and loafers.
3) It legitimised boys leaping up and down maniacally at school discos.
4) You had to turn down the swearing bits in 'Nite Club' and 'Pearls Cafe' if your Nan came in.

Great post.....though what is 'Blank Expression' doing in that car advert?

Loki said...

as far as i know the ad money is paying for a hair weave for Nevile Staples. i could be wrong. it could be neville southall..

Anonymous said...

memory lane! i remember watching the ghost town video late at night on fmtv- a local television station from boulder (before mtv existed). feeling very depressed to be stuck in the burbs. what a great feeling! they played a lot of maddness and u2- all before they ever hit area radio stations. I saw a young bono and fell in love ;). it makes me wonder what everyone else was listening to- journey? earth wind and fire? wish i could get a hold of those videos- cocteau twins really made an impression.

Anonymous said...

if that Satin Chickens 2x7" is on SFTRI, i think it's an Edwin Pouncey (aka Savage Pencil) release. he also did a Kray Cherubs single for Forced Exposure.

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