This summer, influential British icons The Specials and legendary reggae heroes Toots And The Maytals will share the stage for the very first time. With both acts boasting significant careers that span over 40 years, they’ll play three very special shows in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield at the end of May to kick-start the summer with a refreshing mix of timeless anthems.
The Specials are undoubtedly one of the most celebrated UK bands of all time. Born out of a time of mass unemployment and social unrest, The Specials clever, witty and socially charged hits energised a generation and created an unprecedented alchemy between band and audience. Fusing ska music with a punk rock attitude the band pioneered the Two Tone movement and ignited bouts of ‘skanking’ across the UK with hits such as ‘Too Much Too Young’, ‘Ghost Town’, ‘Gangsters’, ‘Rudy, A Message To You’, ‘Rat Race’ and ‘Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)’.
Since reforming in 2008, The Specials have become undisputed party-starters, with one of the most in-demand live shows of recent times. Continuing to deliver their critically acclaimed anthems of modern British life, these shows promise to be a truly unique moment to celebrate the career of a band who changed not only music, but British culture itself.
With a shared history that saw The Specials cover ‘Monkey Man’ on their 1979 debut album and later ‘Pressure Drop’, there is no one better than legendary reggae originators Toots And The Maytals to join the band for these very special dates. Rising out of Jamaica with their untouchable take on classic Reggae, Toots And The Maytals introduced the beloved genre to the world, staying true to themselves with the music that soundtracked their youth and an unparalleled dedication to the vibrant beats that went on to inspire countless generations of musicians and fans alike.
Frontman Toots Hibbert’s soulful vocal style marked him out as one of the greatest voices in the genre’s history with anthems such as ‘Pressure Drop’, ‘Sweet And Dandy’, ‘54-46 (That’s My Number)’ and ‘Do The Reggay’ paving the way for ska music’s explosion in the late 70s. Back on stage after three years away, expect Toots And The Maytals to transport audiences to the sun-kissed beaches of Jamaica, in what’s sure to be one of the most joyous sets of the summer.
The Specials’ Terry Hall says;
“In all this time, we have never been fortunate enough to play on the same stage as Toots & The Maytals. What a great bill – I’m definitely there!”
Combining two of the most iconic and celebrated acts of the past 50 years, The Specials and Toots And The Maytals together on the same stage is a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture the roots and soul of modern music’s most beloved genre.
Tickets go on sale at 9am Wednesday, 16 November here