Rude boy Specials at the Olympia.

A delayed review of The Specials gig on 18th May. So Saturday afternoon and a pre Specials ska party at The Head Of Steam. It was only about 5pm but the pub was chokka and bouncing to ska choons and tracks from the era. We decided to swerve it after one pint as getting served was murder so we headed to Ma Edgerton’s where we were served by the barmaid. I didn’t know who this was at the time and she served my Amstel in a Kronenburg glass and asked me if this was OK. I joked “was there any chance of a discount” to which she replied “I can put a Flake in it” Beers served, take your own and seat acquired. It was then I realised that the bar maid was non other than Margi Clarke. In a previous job of mine I had to issue a letter to Ms Clarke. I decided to delete my name from the bottom as I didn’t want her at the bottom of the office building screaming “Who’s this Neil Fay I wanna have a word” Next up was a trip up London Road to take in a few pubs. Well what a disappointment there were hardly any pubs and the ones that were open were dead. I’m sure London Road had a cracking drinking culture at some point. I think I am 30 years too late. Found a half decent pub just opposite The Royal Hospital were we met the other people coming the gig with us. It was then a walk up to The Liverpool Olympia via an old education building which was best known for being the renovated Department for Employment building in Boys From The Blackstuff were Snowy Malone falls to his death doing a runner from the social.

So with Desperado being sold all be it in plazzy glasses there was no support act and it was straight into The Specials. Now admittedly I was only 5 or 6 when The Specials hit the scene. It must have been music filtered down from my older sister. I also like Madness and The Jam but draw the line at Michael Jackson’s “One day in your life” which I remember my sister asking me to listen to then proclaiming it was the best song ever.  Also the iconic “Ghost Town” fitted the time perfectly in 1981 and in my case the place as well living not too far from The Toxteth Riots of 1981. So with shouts of “Rude boys” from the crowd Mr Hall and band came on and played a belter and lively set. Lots of men in their 50’s reliving their youth and some mad dancing though the ravages of time were taking their effect on the now middle-aged and middle-aged spread male fans. Funny enough the iconic “Ghost Town” does not translate anywhere near as good as their other tracks live but was still a special moment. We estimated there was not long left so it was time to bail down the very front and join in with the “mad” dancing. I had become a (near) middle-aged and middle-aged spread, sweating and feeling the pace. The 61 year old father in law made it to the very front adding this to his front of the pit “moshing” when The Justice Band including Mick Jones from The Clash played “Should I Stay Or Should I go” Just one encore and a final song of “Your wondering now” with the apt lyrics “Your wondering now, what to do, know you know this is the end” and it was indeed the end. Another great gig and a rude boy performance and I would deffo see The Specials again.

The Specials

So a musical June on the cards with The Pet Shop Boys followed by The Africa Oye festival on Sefton Park and then the holy grail. Glastonbury 2013 where I will be blogging every day and giving you live toilet updates. Enjoy yourself it’s later than you think.


Fay x x x x


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