Specials leader Terry Hall says he had "five years of reservations" about reforming the famed U.K. band, but that long-held tensions between various members have been resolved and that the group is no
Specials leader Terry Hall says he had "five years of reservations" about reforming the famed U.K. band, but that long-held tensions between various members have been resolved and that the group is now getting along well.
As such, the original lineup is planning its first shows in more than 25 years for this fall, possibly as early as October.
"We've been trying to do it for five years, but we solved those problems and hopefully got over them," Hall tells Billboard.com. "Seven 50-year-old men together in a room is not very pleasant, no matter who you are. But we're getting on great and that's all you can hope for, really."
The Specials had a succession of top 10 U.K. hits from 1979 to 1981 on the seminal 2-Tone label, including No. 1s with "Too Much Too Young" and "Ghost Town." They spilt in 1981 when original members Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding left to form Fun Boy Three.
"It's weird because we're all living all over the place, so it's difficult arranging to be in the same place at the same time," Hall admits. "We're doing a block of rehearsals in June and then once we've done that, we'll see when we're ready."
"We're going to play just the first and second album," he continues. "The first album probably in full and half of the second one. That's all we want to do -- just get together and play the songs once more."
At present, the band only intends to play a series of theatre-sized venues in the U.K. "That's the kind of venue where we started," explains Hall. "I don't like arena dates, at all. They're just soulless. The very nature of this band, we shouldn't go and play sit-down theatres. It would just be weird. I think we should carry on where we left off."
Hall expressed his delight with how the rehearsals were going, although he did admit that he was sometimes having trouble remembering lyrics.
"It's feeling surprisingly fresh," he says. "Purely because we haven't really played them for 25 years. I've played a few of those songs live since that point, but there was like an album-and-a-half that I haven't even thought about since 1981. I'm using lots of lyric sheets because I keep on getting words mixed up, although that's also down to old age."