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The Specials


6 Upcoming Events

United Kingdom

5 Events

International Events

1 Events
Loaded 6 out of 6 events



The pioneers of the 2 Tone movement

Get the album Encore here

Ska revival band The Specials initially came together in 1977 in Coventry. Foregoing major record label interest, founding songwriter and keyboardist Jerry Dammers instead signed the group to his own 2 Tone label, kickstarting a movement that would fundamentally change the British musical landscape.

Their debut single Gangsters arrived in May 1979 and became a top 10 hit that summer, made even more popular when band members started donning black and white checks and mod-style suits. The next two years saw The Specials not only rack up six more big singles – including their first No.1 hit Too Much Too Young – but also release two top 10 UK albums and sell out several tours.

Shortly after recording their era-defining protest song Ghost Town, which also went straight to the top of the UK singles chart, The Specials made an appearance on Top Of The Pops and then decided to split up.

The three years that followed left the line-up in a constant state of flux, as some members left to form Fun Boy Three while new faces came onboard to continue as The Specials AKA. After the album In The Studio was released in 1984, boasting the No.9-charting single (Free) Nelson Mandela, Dammers dissolved the band.

Although there has never been a complete reunion of the original line-up, The Specials reformed for various projects and tours throughout the ’90s and early ’00s. Driven by dissatisfaction with local, national and global politics, they even released four more studio albums – 1996’s Today’s Specials, 1998’s Guilty ’Til Proved Innocent!, 2000’s Skinhead Girl and 2001’s Conquering Ruler.

In 2008, long-established members Lynval Golding, Horace Panter and Terry Hall returned and were part of a huge sold-out 30th anniversary tour in 2009.

The very same The Specials line-up also made a comeback in 2019 when they unveiled Encore, their first album of original music in 18 years, which debuted at No.1 on the UK albums chart. To celebrate it as well as the 40th anniversary of the group, the 2 Tone label and the single Gangsters, they toured North America, Europe and the UK.

In September 2020, the ska icons announced another big UK tour for August and September 2021.


The Specials have announced a UK tour from 31 August – 24 September 2021.

The Specials are playing a 16-date UK tour that stops in the following cities:

  • Swindon
  • Plymouth
  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • Glasgow
  • Edinburgh
  • Manchester
  • Cardiff
  • Coventry
  • Hull
  • Blackpool
  • Birmingham
  • Nottingham
  • Doncaster
  • London (for two shows)

Tickets for The Specials' 2021 tour dates are on sale now.