Last night was a real treat for me and my band mates. We opened a sold out show for The English Beat at the Sellersville Theatre in Sellersville, PA. We've been lucky to play with them 6 times or so over the last 2 years, but there seems to be something extra special about the shows we've played with them at the Sellersville Theatre. The staff at the club are great and treat us so nicely. The people who come out to the show are always so appreciative and kind to us when we play there. I think it may be one of my favorite places to play a show these days.
We arrived around the same time that Dave Wakeling and his band rolled up in their tour bus. Dave walked in and sat down to talk with us and tell us about the current tour which has been going great with sold out performances up and down the East Coast. As we were talking Lynval Golding walked in guitar in hand. I could not believe my good fortune. Not only is Lynval one of my musical heroes, but he is a true gentleman and always willing to talk to fans. He treats everyone with respect and I love that about him. It turned out he had joined Dave for this tour and the band was planning to play a number of Specials songs in the set (they played Message To You Rudie, Do Nothing and Enjoy Yourself).
I had briefly met Lynval before, but I walked over to say hello and while he tuned his guitar, I asked him about The Specials rumored reunion. So here is the scoop and it seems pretty legitimate. It turns out Lynval and Terry Hall are the driving force behind the reunion and that Neville, Horace, Brad and Roddy are all on board. According to Lynval he has rehearsed with Terry, Brad, Horace and Roddy and the songs they have played sound amazing. Unfortunately a lot of the band meetings have included lawyers and managers and that has made it slow going to pull it together. Lynval said that he and most of his band mates recognize that this reunion is for the fans and they all realize that the time is right to do this. Initially they plan to play 12-13 shows around the UK this October and November and based on how the shows go they will discuss booking shows in the US.
In terms of how everyone is getting on, it sounds like Jerry is the major stumbling block here. Lynval mentioned that Jerry has "a lot of baggage" and that while they have told him they want him to be the musical director of the band, he is having trouble accepting that all 7 band members are now on equal footing and its not his band anymore to say what will happen and when. That seems to jive with the recent interview with Jerry I posted here recently where he expressed his concerns that the band was not ready to play out live. Lynval confirmed that the other members are committed to playing together and that the reunion will go forward with or without Jerry.
Further to my informal conversation with Lynval about the reunion here is a interview with him that was recorded in Seattle at the end of April.