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Rude Boys & Old Fellas

Stuart Bailie | 23:06 UK time, Friday, 20 November 2009

Brighton is full of rude boys. They are tattoed like merchant seamen and their necks have the girth of large bulls. They look intimidating and if truth be told, they are shockingly flatulent. But tonight thay are in excellent humour because The Specials are back, after almost 30 years away. And yes, myself and the small but vocal Belfast posse are also in noisy accord.


The Specials were always an astounding live act and tonight they live up to the legend. The rhythm team are totally on it, Roddy Radiation is cavorting like a kid with a guitar and even Terry Hall concedes that fun is a possibility. Wisely, they stick mostly to the first album and we feel privileged to be reminded of the multi-racial sweetness that is 'It Doesn't Make It Alright'. They're toned down 'Concrete Jungle' a little, but 'Monkey Man' is still untamed and we shiver at the revived sentiments of 'Ghost Town'.

My pal Markie has inadvertently brought out two right-footed sneakers from similar pairs, and is hobbling with effect. Meantime Davy, our Brighton host, is telling us about a recent hospital visit when a stent was fitted to a needy artery. He was fully conscious at the time, and aware of the background music: Moby and 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad'....

Therefore, we enjoy ourselves perfectly. Because as the song tells it; it's later than you think.



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