Terry Hall has been speaking exclusively to Billboard about the upcoming Specials reunion tour.

"I think that we are going to do some dates maybe at the end of this year. October at the earliest," says Hall. "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. We're doing a block of rehearsals in June and then once we've done that, we'll see when we're ready."

Continues Hall, "We're going to play just the first and second album. 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."

Taking a break from rehearsals, Hall explained that he'd had "five years of reservations" about reforming the band, but that long-held tensions between various band members had been resolved and that the group were now getting along well.

"We've been trying to [tour] for five years, but we solved those problems and hopefully got over them," says Hall. "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 U.K. 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. The original Specials line-up has not played together live for over 25 years.

At present, the band only intend to play a series of theater-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 also 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."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print