The Specials wowed the T In The Park Main Stage crowd this afternoon (July 11), playing a greatest hits set in front of a sprawling crowd.
The reformed ska band kicked off their set by playing classic ‘Too Much Too Young’ early on, garnering a huge singalong response from the audience, who stretched way back across the festival site. Many wore two tone shirts and rasta wigs in tribute to the iconic band.
A frenetic version of ‘Gangsters’ saw guitarist Lynval Golding – who was wearing a bright red suit – run around the stage during the performance.
“Everybody happy? Really?!” deadpan vocalist Terry Hall asked the crowd before singing an impassioned version of ‘Rat Race’.
At the start of ‘A Message To You Rudy’, the band instructed the entire crowd to chant “rude boy” over again, which they duly did. They were then joined by a string section for the classic reggae standard, which had much of the crowd dancing along.
Hall altered the lyrics of ‘Nite Klub’ to tease the audience, singing “I won’t dance in a field like this/all the girls are slags and the beer tastes just like piss“.
After the track, he stopped the band from playing in order to pay tribute to the crowd, who had basked in the late afternoon sun for the duration of the set.
“I just wanna say it’s been an absolute pleasure playing for you,” he explained, adding: “You’re so beautiful, every single one of you.”
The band ended their set by playing perhaps their biggest hit, 1981 UK Number One single ‘Ghost Town’. The track drew a rapturous response from the crowd, particularly when lead guitarist Roddy Byres played his dub-infused slide lines with a beer bottle.
The Specials left the stage promising to see the Scottish again this November, when they visit the country on their next tour.
Photo Gallery – all the highlights from T In The Park
Blog – T In The Park: how was it for you?
The Specials played:
‘Do The Dog’
‘Too Much Too Young’
‘It’s Up To You’
‘Hey Little Rich Girl’
‘Man At C&A’
‘A Message To You Rudy’
‘You’re Wondering Now’
NME.COM is coming live from T In The Park this weekend (July 10-12). Stay tuned for the latest news, photo galleries and video interviews.
Plus, make sure you get next week’s issue of NME, on UK newsstands from July 15, for the ultimate T In The Park 2009 review.