A very special night has been announced at the Limelight 1 in memory of musical pioneer, The Specials’ lead singer Terry Hall who passed away following a brief illness in December. The celebration falls on what would have been his 64th Birthday, to celebrate his life and will see Doghouse, Boss Sound Manifesto and Terri Hooley DJ performing on the night, all proceeds from the event will go to PIPS charity.
The Specials formed in 1977 in Coventry, England with songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers, original vocalist Tim Strickland, singer-guitarist Lynval Golding, drummer Silverton Hutchinson, and bassist Horace Panter. Hall joined the pioneering two-tone band—who, at the time, was called the Automatics—later that same year to replace Strickland. After changing their name to the Coventry Automatics, the band welcomed singer Neville Staple and guitarist Roddy Byers into the fold, thus prompting another name change to the Special AKA. That year, Joe Strummer invited the band to open for the Clash on one of their UK tours, introducing the band to a wider punk audience.
Hall recorded two albums with the band during its initial run, the 1979 debut The Specials and the 1980 sophomore LP More Specials, both of which would go on to become instant classics for two-tone and the evolving image of ska as a politically and socially conscious genre. Early singles like “Gangsters” (a reworking of Prince Buster’s “Al Capone”) and “A Message to You Rudy” became beloved hits, as did 1980 singles “Do Nothing” and “Stereotype.”
It was the group’s 1981 single “Ghost Town,” however, that would intertwine the band with the history books for good, becoming the soundtrack to the 1981 England riots between young Black people and the police that summer in response to racial discrimination. Dammers’ lyrics about urban decay in Great Britain and recession struggles resonated with younger listeners. That year, “Ghost Town” held the No. 1 spot on the radio charts for three weeks and stayed in the Top 40 for 10 weeks.
A Night For Terry Hall
Sun 19th March 2023
Limelight 1 (Upgraded Venue)
Doghouse / Boss Sound Manifesto / Terri Hooley DJ
Tickets are on sale now from www.shine.net