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The Specials
The Specials
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Blackpool Empress Ballroom will play host to a very Special band, tomorrow night.

Ska revival band the Specials will play a gig at the Winter Gardens as part of their first UK tour for two years.

The band first reformed in 2008 at Bestival after breaking up in 1981, when three members left to form Fun Boy Three

With the first tour in 2009 selling out immediately, it was obvious there was a massive demand to see the iconic band who only released two albums in their short career but were one of the most influential groups in UK musical history.

Hailing from the industrial city of Coventry, the multi-racial seven-piece combined the angry, disaffected voice of punk with ska and reggae to re-define pop music and make Britain dance again.

Two and a half years later, it was all over, leaving behind seven top 10 singles (including two number ones) and two genre-defining albums.

Their first single, ‘Gangsters’, released on their own 2tone label in 1979, was their calling card and ‘Ghost Town’ encapsulated the political mood in Britain.

In between was a reputation for brilliant sweat-drenched live shows and an attitude that walked like it talked.

Since reforming eight years ago, they have played over 200 shows worldwide, including: Coachella, Lollapalooza and Glastonbury. They also closed out the Olympic Games Festival in Hyde Park.

However, last year the band suffered tragedy when drummer and founder member John ‘Brad’ Bradbury died suddenly.

Vocalist Terry Hall said: “We started working on these dates last October. Everyone was really looking forward to them & then just after Christmas Brad passed away. It was devastating but in our heart of hearts we know he would want us to continue with the plan he helped to put together”.

They moved quickly to replace him with Gary Powell from the Libertines, who added: “John Bradbury was a unique performer and his style and ability was definitely one of the defining factors that helped to create The Specials sound, and it is with great humility that I will be doing these tours and carrying on his legacy.”

Tickets, priced £40, are available from the box office.