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B McKirdy
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Dose anybody have photos of this Rock Against Racism gig in Potternewton Park? I've been looking for years for any pics of this for years. much appreciated if they could be put up here sometime Cool
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Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:06 pm
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Sugarman
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In Leeds, large gangs of Rude Boys and Rude Girls – heavily influenced by multiracial bands like The Specials, The Selecter, and The Beat – decided to join the fight to drive the NF out of the city centre.

“Now that we had the numbers, we decided to smash up the Nazis’ stalls and paper sales,” says Mick.

“In Leeds, the Rude Boy thing was very young, racially mixed and completely hostile to the NF. They had been around the RAR club scene and were now helping to build for the carnival that we were planning.

“We really believed in the punk and RAR motto of do-it-yourself, so a group of about 20 of us – including five, like myself, who were still teenagers – decided that we were going to put on a massive carnival.

“We’d never done anything that big before, we had no money, but we had loads of credibility and support – and we put everyone to work.

“Every night gangs of kids would head out in our van and cover the city in posters, and during the day we’d be leafleting schools and colleges.

“I remember when we phoned up The Specials and they agreed to headline. That was just before they released their last single, Ghost Town. By the time of the carnival, they’d been number one in the charts and we knew that thousands would be coming to hear them.

“On the day itself, I was backstage dealing with the chaos of the money and the bands. But I did get a chance to look out during one of the sets and it was incredible. A sea of black and white working class teenagers as far as the eye could see – and we’d put them there.”

By then, the NF was on the retreat. Their demoralised supporters took refuge in the city’s football ground, where it took many years of struggle to drive them out.

Looking back, Mick says that the effect of the campaigning cannot be underestimated – even 30 years later:

“Sometimes when I walk through Leeds I bump into people who were around then. Today, most of them are totally against racism, but I remember that, for a time, they had been with the NF.

“A lot of teenagers in the 1970s and early 1980s could have gone either way. I’m convinced that it was RAR and the ANL that made the difference.”
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Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:53 pm
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marigold
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!!!! Cool I think Sugarman has his own printing press! nice and thanks : )
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:05 am
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Gatecrasher
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Any audio knockin' around for these shows ??

Crasher Cool
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:24 am
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clashcityrocker077
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Talking of Leeds, anyone have a link to a recording, of either part or whole, sound or video, of The Specials Reunion, Leeds centre, open air gig?

Was a brilliant day out, and great atmosphere, apart from the bloody pick-pockets!. Personally I have never seen so many wallets etc in one place, empty. The floor at the end of that gig was like the apocalypse.

Anyway apart from that, the gig was ace, and I'd love to re-live it again.
I've seen snippets on you tube so there must be more.

Also who was the guy dancing on the balcony of Wetherspoons? Did he survive the day?
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:24 am
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Paul Willo
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dunno about any recordings but heres the end of Leeds Millenium Square

http://youtu.be/C5rnRUR9SXs
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:51 am
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B McKirdy
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Post subject: The Specials 1981 Leeds Reply with quote

That was brilliant to read Laughing thank you!!
My memory of the day.
A coachload of us from Edinburgh met up at 4am outside some union offices in the city centre and set of on our journey. quite a few of us had the obligatory drink on the journey down so spirits were high Very Happy , we first stopped off at Washington/Birtley service station on the A1 for a break, that was the cue for the light fingered ones to execise their fingers Laughing back to the bus, and with the sun shining, we were soon working up an appetite for the day, between peeing in bottles and singing along to Joe Jackson's "Jumping Jive" on the bus radio, we were well set for the day Very Happy Once in Leeds it was a case of finding out where the march was beginning (Woodhouse Moor) and setting off, me and my pal Dayo, a Scots born Sierra Leonan, soon left our wee group and headed off to join the crowd, I remember at one point, walking along Harehill Road, we popped into a newsagents because I wanted to buy some smokes, I swear I was the only one in there buying something Laughing
back to the march we soon arrived at Potternewton Park. where we met up with our friends from Edinburgh again. I remember not being too bothered about the acts that were on first, the Specials were my thing you see Very Happy , I seem to remember some Liverpudlian poet who I thought was pretty good and funny, I've always wondered if that was Craig Charles??, I was familiar with Aswad as I owned an album of theres at the time, then it was time for the main event Very Happy
THe Specials came on about 7.30 (??) and me and my pal were right down the front giving it lalldy Laughing at one point we were both hauled up on stage as the only members of the crowd allowed up Laughing as a 15 yo that was the best point of my life at that time Very Happy my mate spent the next 30 minutes skanking with Neville on stage why I danced (dumstruck) right behind Jerry, "Happy as Larry" but totally overwhelmed by the occasion Laughing
Ths gig ended, we rejoined our pals and headed for our coach again, while looking for our buses, rumours were flying about that the NF were on the prowl looking for trouble, more than a few of our crowd were more than ready for them I have to say Very Happy we got our bus eventually and on the way back we stopped off at the same service station we visited that morning, it goes without saying that some more cash free shopping went on Laughing
A brilliant day that I will always remember Very Happy
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:25 pm
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DRD67
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Leeds was 'kin ace
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:37 pm
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B McKirdy
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Were you there in 81? Very Happy
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Wed Aug 24, 2011 7:42 pm
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Imani
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Can't believe it, there's my brother Roger at the back, giving it the V sign!! Very Happy Very Happy

Last edited by Imani on Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:21 pm
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Imani
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I'm delighted to find this thread and even moreso to see the photo.

Memories of that day? Well I remember hearing about this gig when I went to see UB40 at St Georges Hall on June 17th 1981. Outside in the queue, the Young Socialists were handing out leaflets about this concert in Leeds. The UB gig was brilliant, btw, and at the end of the show, my brother remembers Brian Travers coming to the front of the stage and giving the forthcoming gig a plug.

It was an important time for me. Along with my two brothers Rog n Stu, I'd just become part of a posse of young guys around Bradford who were seriously into 2 tone, there was about thirty of us, average age 16 I’d say. Maybe we'd been hanging out together six weeks before but we bonded quickly. We were from different parts of the city and we ran a weekly ska disco at a place called Textile Hall.

We met up in the Interchange on that boiling hot Saturday morning, got on the bus and occupied pretty much every seat. I remember 'Why' being a massive tune for us and we sang that, Selecter's Train to Skaville and whatever else we were into at the top of our voices on the way to the gig.

We got to the town centre where there were loads of young people about to set off on the march from there up to Potternewton Park. I had a bit of apprehension about the fact that National Front were meant to be marching as a counter demonstration but at the same time, felt safe. We had the numbers after all.

All of us rudeboys made our way to the front. It was so damn hot and there was no Volvic or Evian back then. Razz Saw the support bands, Au Pairs, Barry Forde and a few punkish poets.

My brother Roger saw a couple of people from his college in the grassy area between the audience barrier and stage. He jumped over, leaving the posse to be parched in the sun. When Misty in Roots were playing, Roger had even made his way backstage. We saw him stood in the wings looking smug. By this time I was starting to feel nauseous and had to climb over the barrier to go to first aid behind the stage. After a chance to stretch my legs and necking a couple of cans of R Whites Lemonade that seemed to be everywhere, I felt better. So I made my way up the stage steps. Roger didn’t even know I’d been pulled out of the ‘pit’ so you can imagine the shock when out of 10,000 spectators, I tapped him on his shoulder.

So it was my turn to look smug now and see all the rudeboys suffering in the heat… 5 minutes later, Brad appeared backstage; he was stood next to us watching Misty. Me and Roger couldn’t even bring ourselves to say hello, I think the term is ‘star struck’.

The Specials finally came onstage, around 7-ish and it had cooled down by then. I remember them starting off with a really powerful version of Concrete Jungle. I recall Pearl’s Café and Enjoy Yourself, and of course ‘Why’, which just seemed to sum up what the day was about perfectly. They also did Man from Wareika which sounded amazing.

Then came the encore… they played Ghost Town and I think they finished with Gangsters. Me, Roger and my brother Stu got up on stage, I managed to get to Terry’s microphone and shout some gibberish through it. I'd love to see footage!

I made a radio programme about Bradford’s ska scene where I interviewed my brothers and mates. From 53:00 to 56:00 we speak about the gig.

https://soundcloud.com/twotonebradford/2-tone-bradford-radio-documentary

As one of my friends says, it'll never leave me. Wink


Last edited by Imani on Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:39 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:43 pm
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Imani
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Forgot to say - cheers B for thread and sharing your memories, and thanks for the pics, Sugarman. I've shared it with my brothers and old friends and they're in reminiscing overdrive. Very Happy
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:38 pm
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Shan
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Haha! Brilliant Imani!! Immortalised Roger! Very Happy
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Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:27 pm
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Imani
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Shan wrote:
Haha! Brilliant Imani!! Immortalised Roger! Very Happy


Yeah he's seen the pic now and is feeling pretty stoked! Or is that 'Leeds-ed' ? Laughing
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:13 am
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Imani
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Haven't mentioned this but the only downer about that day, i.e., apart from the effects of extreme dehydration, was a scuffle that took place in the audience. The gig stopped for about five minutes and I remember Terry, Jerry and Lynval each saying something in exasperation. From what I gather it was caused more by some people in the audience than heavy handed security.

It didn't overshadow the entire day but in hindsight, I think it was probably incidents like that which would cause the band to call it a day.
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:23 am
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Shan
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Sadly in almost every group of people you get a handful of tossers.. Confused
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Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:39 pm
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Imani
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Shan wrote:
Sadly in almost every group of people you get a handful of tossers.. Confused


Of all the gigs for it to happen as well!
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Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:35 am
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rudy65
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Imani wrote:
I'm delighted to find this thread and even moreso to see the photo.

Memories of that day? Well I remember hearing about this gig when I went to see UB40 at St Georges Hall on June 17th 1981. Outside in the queue, the Young Socialists were handing out leaflets about this concert in Leeds. The UB gig was brilliant, btw, and at the end of the show, my brother remembers Brian Travers coming to the front of the stage and giving the forthcoming gig a plug.

It was an important time for me. Along with my two brothers Rog n Stu, I'd just become part of a posse of young guys around Bradford who were seriously into 2 tone, there was about thirty of us, average age 16 I’d say. Maybe we'd been hanging out together six weeks before but we bonded quickly. We were from different parts of the city and we ran a weekly ska disco at a place called Textile Hall.

We met up in the Interchange on that boiling hot Saturday morning, got on the bus and occupied pretty much the whole bus. I remember 'Why' being a massive tune for us and we sang that, Selecter's Train to Skaville and whatever else we were into at the top of our voices on the way to the gig.

We got to the town centre where there were loads of young people about to set off on the march from there up to Potternewton Park. I had a bit of apprehension about the fact that National Front were meant to be marching as a counter demonstration but at the same time, felt safe. We had the numbers after all.

All of us rudeboys made our way to the front. It was so damn hot and there was no Volvic or Evian back then. Razz Saw the support bands, Au Pairs, Barry Forde and a few punkish poets.

My brother Roger saw a couple of people from his college in the grassy area between the audience barrier and stage. He jumped over, leaving the posse to be parched in the sun. When Misty in Roots were playing, Roger had even made his way backstage. We saw him stood in the wings looking smug. By this time I was starting to feel nauseous and had to climb over the barrier to go to first aid behind the stage. After a chance to stretch my legs and necking a couple of cans of R Whites Lemonade that seemed to be everywhere, I felt better. So I made my way up the stage steps. Roger didn’t even know I’d been pulled out of the ‘pit’ so you can imagine the shock when out of 10,000 spectators, I tapped him on his shoulder.

So it was my turn to look smug now and see all the rudeboys suffering in the heat… 5 minutes later, Brad appeared backstage; he was stood next to us watching Misty. Me and Roger couldn’t even bring ourselves to say hello, I think the term is ‘star struck’.

The Specials finally came onstage, around 7-ish and it had cooled down by then. I remember them starting off with a really powerful version of Concrete Jungle. I recall Pearl’s Café and Enjoy Yourself, and of course ‘Why’, which just seemed to sum up what the day was about perfectly. They also did Man from Wareika which sounded amazing.

Then came the encore… they played Ghost Town and I think they finished with Gangsters. Me, Roger and my brother Stu got up on stage, I managed to get to Terry’s microphone and shout some gibberish through it. I'd love to see footage!

I made a radio programme about Bradford’s ska scene where I interviewed my brothers and mates. From 53:00 to 56:00 we speak about the gig.

https://soundcloud.com/2tonebradford/2-tone-bradford

As one of my friends says, it'll never leave me. Wink


Brilliant read...thanks Cool
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PostPosted:
Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:48 am
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Imani
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rudy65 wrote:
Imani wrote:


https://soundcloud.com/2tonebradford/2-tone-bradford

As one of my friends says, it'll never leave me. Wink


Brilliant read...thanks Cool


A pleasure. Very Happy
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Thu Apr 25, 2013 7:39 pm
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