Great news for fans of The Specials! The band today announced 23 tour dates throughout Europe and the UK that are slated to kick-off next September in Amsterdam. According to The Specials Facebook page the tickets for announced dates are expected to officially go on sale at 9am on Friday December 3rd, 2010.
Last week singer Terry Hall confirmed the tour during an interview and stated that the band would be playing their two albums 'The Specials' and 'More Specials' back-to-back. Hall also said the tour would start in July giving some hope to fans in the U.S. that the band would finally embark on a full-fledged, coast-to-coast U.S tour.
At the moment there are no U.S. tour dates confirmed or announced. This past summer the band cancelled a free show scheduled in New York's Central Park due to visa issues. According to sources inside the band, the problem is that the U.S. government won't issue one of the band members a visa to enter the country. The band's first performance in the U.S. in 29 years was on the Jimmy Fallon Late Night TV show back in April. However toaster/singer Neville Staple was notably absent. The band later cancelled other U.S. shows leading some to speculate that Staple was the focus of the visa related issues.
Heather Augustyn's recently published book 'Ska: An Oral History' confirms that Staple is the focus of the visa issue. The except below is taken from her book. "In the U.S. on April 8, 1998, while on tour to promote 'Guilty 'Til Proved Innocent' at the Metro in Chicago, Staple was arrested for battery against another band's lead singer who, according to Robert Preston (lead singer of The Cupcakes) told Staple where to put his equipment and Staple argued with him over it. Staple then hit Preston over the head with a bar stool sending him to the hospital. According to some reports, Preston called Staple a racial epithet. But rather than explain the alleged racist comment to a judge, Staple chose not to show up for his court appearance and has never returned to Chicago because their is a warrant out for his arrest. Even though he continued to live in California for a number of years after the arrest, today, back in England, he has been denied a visa to the U.S. unless he goes back to Chicago to settle the warrant.'
Unless The Specials management is able to settle the visa issue, fans in the U.S. may sadly miss out again on seeing the band. Here's to hoping the visa issue is sorted out and the band does make it to these shores in 2011!
Below are the band's announced tour dates:
2011 European dates:
15 Sept - AMSTERDAM, Paradiso
16 Sept - COPENHAGEN, Vega
18 Sept - STOCKHOLM, Circus
19 Sept - BERLIN, Astra
21 Sept - MUNICH, Backstage
22 Sept - MILAN, Alcatraz
24 Sept - COLOGNE, E Werk
25 Sept - HAMBURG, Grosse Freiheit
27 Sept - PARIS, Olympia
28 Sept - BRUSSELS, Ancienne Belgique
2011 UK dates:
11 Oct - WOLVERHAMPTON, Civic Hall
12 Oct - WOLVERHAMPTON, Civic Hall
14 Oct - MANCHESTER, Apollo
16 Oct - HULL, Arena
18 Oct - GLASGOW, SECC
21 Oct - NOTTINGHAM, Arena
23 Oct - PLYMOUTH, Pavilions
24 Oct - CHELTENHAM, Racecourse
25 Oct - BRIGHTON, Centre
27 Oct - BOURNEMOUTH, International Centre
28 Oct - CARDIFF, International Arena
29 Oct - COVENTRY, Ricoh Arena
03 Nov - LONDON, Alexandra Palace