Beloved 2 Tone ska act The Specials today released its first new album featuring original frontman Terry Hall since 1980’s More Specials, and helped mark the occasion by announcing a 40th anniversary tour of North America this May and June.
The tour, in support of the just-released reunion album Encore, follows a previously announced U.K. tour, and opens May 22 in Vancouver, B.C., and wraps up with a two-night stand in Toronto on June 18 and 19. The band’s also playing a two-night stand in San Diego at the end of May. (See full dates below.)
The new album features original Specials members Hall (vocals), Horace Panter (bass) and Lynval Golding (guitar), but not chief songwriter Jerry Dammers, who never participated in the band’s now-decade-old reunion, or Roddy Radiation and Neville Staple, who both left the reunited group in recent years. Drummer John Bradbury died in 2015.
Encore is produced by Hall, Panter, Golding and Nikolaj Torp Larsen, a keyboardist who joined The Specials as a touring member in 2008. In addition to Larsen, the album features drummer Kenrick Rowe and Ocean Colour Scene guitarist Steve Craddock, who has been touring with the band since 2014.
The record largely features new compositions, though it does include a new recording of “The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum,” a 1082 hit for Hall’s and Golding’s post-Specials band Fun Boy Three.
Following the release of 1979’s The Specials and 1980’s More Specials, and the recording of “Ghost Town,” Hall left the band — which continued for one more album, 1984’s In the Studio, under the Special AKA moniker. Between 1996 and 2001, reunited versions of the group — sans Hall — released three covers albums (Today’s Specials, Skinhead Girl and Conquering Ruler), plus 1998’s Guilty ’til Proved Innocent!, which featured new songs by original and new members of the band.
See those tour dates below.
The Specials’ North American tour dates
May 22: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
May 23: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
May 24: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
May 25: Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
May 27: Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival
May 28: Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
May 30: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
May 31: San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
June 1: Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
June 3: Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
June 5: Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
June 7: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
June 8: Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
June 10: Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
June 11: Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
June 14: Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
June 15: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
June 17: Montreal, QB @ Corona Theatre
June 18: Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
June 19: Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS:
- The Specials to release new album ‘Encore’ — first recordings with Terry Hall since ‘Ghost Town’
- The Specials announce 12-date tour of Canada and the U.S. coasts in June
- The Specials to reissue 3 original studio albums in expanded 2CD deluxe editions
- The Specials returning to North America this summer for second leg of tour
- The Specials begin rolling out dates for first leg of North American tour this March
The last 2tone hurrah. Fans! Let’s make it great!
please come to HTX, we need good ska