The Specials, circa 2009

Blaming the ever-popular and somewhat nebulous “visa issues,” reunited 2 Tone ska kings The Specials today pulled the plug on their free concert scheduled for late next month in New York City’s Central Park — but announced plans to “return to the U.S. in early 2011 for additional dates.”

The band — which played a handful of American shows in April around Coachella — had been slated to headline Central Park’s SummerStage on Aug. 22, and had made noise about a broader U.S. tour later this year. The Specials’ statement today regarding the cancellation says the group still will perform its Aug. 27 concert at Sound Academy in Toronto, but offers no details about the 2011 dates.

Not mentioned in that statement, however, are two other North American concerts: a second Sound Academy show on Aug. 28, which appears to still be on, and a Sept. 2 gig at the House of Blues in Atlantic City, N.J., which is still on sale via Ticketmaster — but presumably will be nixed for the same reasons as the Central Park date.

The reunited band — featuring the original lineup, sans Jerry Dammers — is in the midst of a summer run of European festivals, with appearances scheduled later this month and in August in Portugal, Hungary, Norway, Austria and the Netherlands (see full dates here).

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