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

Who: The Specials

Where and when: Pyramid stage, 8pm.

Dress code: Plenty of trilbys, Fred Perrys and a few suits, despite the mud. Plus, by far the most dapper man on site, Terry Hall.

What happened: The biggest Pyramid stage crowd of the day so far turn out to see the Specials break their Glasto duck. In many ways they may have, in their own words, "done too much, much too young", but as Terry Hall says ruefully before Message to You Rudy: "It's taken us 28 years to play Glastonbury." A steady set, with all the hits, prompting a sunset singalong. Even Terry Hall nearly cracked a grin at one stage.

Who's watching: Such a huge crowd that there was a real cross section, but there were hardcore pockets of balding, tattooed and happy Rude Boys.

High point: We get all the classics, but Nightclub, a rousing Message to You Rudy and, inevitably, the closing Ghost Town.

Low point: The 28-year wait

In a Tweet: The Specials make old Rude Boys happy and show the young whippersnappers how it's done.


Luke Bainbridge

The GuardianTramp

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