The performance by the band, who picked up Teenage Cancer Trust Outstanding Contribution To Music at the Shockwaves NME Awards played a career-spanning set, following a support slot from The King Blues.
Bassist Sir Horace Gentleman made his appearance on crutches after injuring his leg, while guitarist Lynval Golding frequently broke from the stage to play among those sitting by the sides of the stage.
Frontman Terry Hall displayed his characteristically droll sense of humour throughout, near the end joking: “I’ve got to be home in 15 minutes, BBC3 are showing a repeat of On The Buses.”
After ‘Little Bitch’ he interrupted proceedings with the line: “I know this is neither the time or the place, but I really need to go for a piss.” He then left the stage, before returning halfway into ‘Nite Klub’. Previously, after ‘Doesn’t Make It Alright’, he had excused another temporary exit, joking that he had “to go and put some more Shockwaves in my hair”.
The setlist changed little from the band’s reunion tour of 2009, with highlights from their first two albums, plus singles such as their two UK chart-toppers, ‘Too Much Too Young’ and ‘Ghost Town’.
The Specials played:
‘Do The Dog’
‘(Dawning Of) A New Era’
‘It’s Up To You’
‘Hey, Little Rich Girl’
‘Doesn’t Make It Alright’
‘Judge Roughneck Part 2’
‘Friday Night, Saturday Morning’
‘Man At C&A’
‘A Message To You Rudy’
‘Too Much Too Young’
‘You’re Wondering Now’
For more from the 2010 Shockwaves NME Awards go to NME.COM/awards, including more news, blogs and videos.