The Specials reunite for 2009 tour

Terry Hall has confirmed that the ska legends will return for a reunion tour to celebrate 30 years since their first UK Top 10 hit

After months of speculation, the Specials have confirmed they will be reforming for a 2009 tour. Singer Terry Hall told NME that the ska legends will be reuniting next year to celebrate 30 years since they first had a UK Top 10 hit. He said: "It's the right time to [reunite]. We talked about it at 25 but we weren't together enough. Now we're all getting on and it feels comfortable again."

Hall confirmed that Neville Staple, Roddy Radiation, Sir Horace Gentleman, John Bradbury and Lynval Golding, all original members, would be taking part in the reunion. Jerry Dammers will not be involved because he "doesn't want to tour". However, Hall added: "I think he wants to do stuff ... so the door is definitely not closed."

Hints that this seminal British band would be reuniting began in March, when Hall told the BBC that the criteria for the band reforming was, "do it with dignity or don't do it at all". Both he and Specials guitarist Lynval Golding joined Lily Allen on stage at Glastonbury 2007 for a rendition of their song Blank Expression.

The Coventry-based band emerged in the late 1970s and were pioneers of the 2-Tone movement. The multi-racial group reflected the dire political and economic climate of the time with songs such as Ghost Town, while fusing elements of reggae music with a distinctively British sound.

Hall has said he can't wait to play old favourites: "I'm looking forward to playing Ghost Town. Stereotype will also be fun and I think we might be doing Maggie's Farm too."

The Specials tour dates

Newcastle Academy (April 22)
Sheffield Academy (23)
Birmingham Academy (25, 26)
Glasgow Academy (28)
Manchester Apollo (May 3)
London Brixton Academy (6, 7)

Tickets go on sale December 11, go to for more information.


Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Review: The Specials at Glastonbury 2009

After a 28-year wait, the Coventry ska-punk stars unite ageing Rude Boys and young whippersnappers in a sunset singalong

Luke Bainbridge

26, Jun, 2009 @9:35 PM

Article image
The Specials may record comeback album
Ska-punk legends planning 'incredibly great' LP of new material to follow 30th anniversary tour

Sean Michaels

30, Mar, 2010 @9:23 AM

Article image
The Specials: 10 of the best
With their back catalogue getting the deluxe reissue treatment, we journey through the career of the band who combined misanthropy and joy – and ended their career by recording one of music’s greatest freedom anthems

Stevie Chick

11, Mar, 2015 @3:49 PM

Article image
Jerry Dammers: The Specials drove me out of my own band

The founding member of the 1970s ska legends claims his former bandmates are trying to 'rewrite history' by re-forming for their 30th anniversary shows without him

Tim Jonze

11, Dec, 2008 @12:33 PM

Article image
John Bradbury of the Specials dies aged 62
Bradbury, the multi-instrumentalist and key component of the 2 Tone sound, was drumming ‘powerhouse’ who played with the Specials for more than four decades

Guardian music

29, Dec, 2015 @3:50 PM

Article image
The Specials review – joyous toast to 70s ska
It’s party time as the 2 Tone outfit celebrate the glorious sound that energised a generation, writes Malcolm Jack

Malcolm Jack

07, Nov, 2014 @1:52 PM

Article image
The Specials: ’It’s something I wanted again in my life’
They broke up in a Top of the Pops dressing room in 1981, but now the Specials are back. In their first post-reformation interview, they tell Alexis Petridis how good it feels

Alexis Petridis

20, Feb, 2009 @12:01 AM

Article image
The Specials review – veteran fighters strike a chord with young recruits
The highly influential band bring their 40-year campaign against injustice to a new generation of music fans

Caroline Sullivan

16, Apr, 2019 @11:42 AM

Article image
Terry Hall: his 10 greatest recordings with the Specials and beyond
The singer’s musical free spirit scored him hits with everyone from the Specials and Fun Boy Three to collaborations with the Go-Go’s and Bananarama

Dave Simpson

20, Dec, 2022 @5:25 PM

Article image
The Faces reunite for 2009 comeback tour

Not only do they remember the songs, the may even enlist a Red Hot Chili Pepper to play bass. Brace yourselves for a funky version of Ooh La La

Sean Michaels

02, Dec, 2008 @10:02 AM