Jerry Dammers celebrates 40 years of Glastonbury by duetting with Arthur Brown on ‘Fire’

Former Specials man plays a dub and ska-tinged set

Jerry Dammers celebrated Glastonbury‘s 40th birthday by bringing a host of special guests – including Arthur Brown – onstage during his West Holts stage set tonight (June 26).

The Specials founder played a number of reworked songs by jazz legend Sun Ra during his 90-minute performance, which saw him joined by upwards of 20 other musicians playing under the name of the Spatial AKA Orchestra.

The biggest cheers, however, came both when he unveiled a 10-minute dub version of The Specials‘Ghost Town’ and his cover of Brown‘s ‘Fire’.


Introducing the song, Dammers paid tribute to Brown.

“This is the 40th anniversary of Glastonbury,” he said. “And there was one man who played in first one, which went under the title The Glastonbury Fayre [the 1970 event was actually named after the nearby village of Pilton] and he kick-started this whole festival. His name was Arthur Brown, and we’re gonna do one of his songs.”

Despite adding that the band hadn’t rehearsed the song properly, Dammers led his orchestra through the track, which was sung by Jamaican singer Johnny Clarke, while Brown appeared onstage wearing a red outfit (complete with red sunglasses).

Dammers was also joined onstage by ska legend and former Specials cohort Rico Rodriguez and singer Anthony Joseph for several songs.

Jerry Dammers played:

‘Where Pathways Meet’
‘Blood Dunza’
‘Egypt Strut’
‘Declaration Of Rights’
‘Ghost Town’
‘Man At C&A’/’Nuclear War’
‘Om Armageddon’
‘Soul Vibrations Of Man’
‘Space Is The Place’


NME will be coming live from Glastonbury throughout the weekend. Head to NME.COM/glastonbury for the latest festival news.


General Election 2019: Conservatives declared winners after disastrous night for Labour

Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson will both stand down as party leaders.

Edward Norton: “If you take your work seriously, it’s all-consuming”

The 'Fight Club' star on working with Thom Yorke, new film 'Motherless Brooklyn' and building a Hollywood legacy