David J Markham
Painter, Arts Critic, Photographer
6:59 AM 13th May 2019
After Leeds It Must Be York….
So where was I? That’s right – after the Specials Leeds gig on 30th April I wrote my review for The Yorkshire Times and posted it at 2.00am. I then caught a plane to Amsterdam at 6.10am and took 8 flights over the next 3 days. I flew back for 3 days to the UK and then flew to Brussels for another 3 days. I flew back into the UK at 7pm on 9th May and was at the York Specials gig for 8.00pm. Are you still with me? I may not be a rock and roll star but I feel we may have something in common – travel.
So I arrive at the gig a little weary - having picked up a particularly nasty cold en route but that’s okay - it’ll soon be showtime and my spirits will be lifted.
I kick myself though – I wanted to see the support act The Tuts but couldn’t beat off my appetite for a refreshing pint of lager after my travels. They sure sound good from the bar though. It’s a sharp and pacey sound. Upbeat and heading in the right direction.
The Barbican in York is proving to be a good location to see bands these days. With a choice of standing or seated tickets – it’s truly democratic.
The Specials 2019
I could rewrite my review of the Leeds gig but that would serve no purpose. It was another great performance by The Specials with a similar - if not the same set and the York crowd showed typical warmth to a band that has been going on and off for 40 years.
Terry Hall was more talkative in York than Leeds and that always provides another welcome dimension to his performance. He enquires which county York is in and the audience are unequivocal in their response. The band were tight and the sound was full. They played hit after hit and the new songs dovetailed seamlessly with the old.
Their 40th anniversary tour sold out, their new album Encore went to number 1 in the charts and the national/international media have shown universal love for this unique multiracial Coventry band.
So instead of me rambling on with my platitudes – I really just want to let the photographs do the talking. I hope you enjoy them as much as I’ve enjoyed seeing two of their recent Yorkshire shows and being in their company – if only for a short while.