The Specials convened in London this past week to begin rehearsals for their upcoming fall tour of the U.K. which kicks off in Norwich on October 30th and debuted their new guitarist, who will be replacing original band member Roddy Byers, who announced he was leaving the band in February.
A few pictures of the band in the studio have appeared online showing vocalist Terry Hall, guitarist Lynval Golding, bassist Horace Panter and drummer John Bradbury hard at work with long-time touring band members keyboardist Nik Torp, trumpeter Jon Reed and trombonist Tim Smart. Joining them was Matt McManamon, the former singer and guitarist of The Dead 60's. [UPDATE: I just learned that McManamon will only be joining the band for their Isle of Wight show in June; Steve Craddock will play all the UK tour shows this fall.]
Though their has been no official announcement from the band about McManamon joining their ranks, the photos and band insiders have confirmed that he will be performing with the band for the Isle of Wight show this June. Earlier this spring, the band seemed to have settled on Steve Cradock, lead guitarist and founding member of Ocean Colour Scene and a member of Paul Weller's backing band, and he will join the band for their UK tour this fall..
The Dead 60's were heavily influenced by The Specials, playing an inspired combination of dub reggae infused with rockabilly and ska. Their use of organ, bass and drums always hit a chord with me. In fact, the band served as an excellent substitute for many of us pining away for The Specials during the mid-2000's. He should serve as a great guitar foil for Golding and a worthy back-up vocalist for Hall. Give the Dead 60's homage to The Specials "You're Not The Law" and "Ghostfaced Killer" a spin and imagine the possibilities for the live show and dare I say new music!
The Dead 60's recorded a close to perfect perfect rendition of Ghost Town before they broke-up, which means McManamon already knows all the notes and the words!