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Information The Specials -Review Amsterdam 14th September 2011

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Paul Willo
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For many a year, we Specials fans gone in search of the that great collectors item , the old bootleg live recording. We have had decent recordings, a lot on the rough side and if you have the Pavilion Boultard,Paris, pretty much inaudible but now, thanks to the innovative work by Abbey Road Live Here Now team, we can be guaranteed a fantastic ride through the 2011 Specials tour, complete with crystal clear audio, and a great packaged 2 CD set.

The first gig on the European run was of course the Paradiso in Amsterdam,the band had played here a couple of times during the original heyday,the last time being over 30 years ago! No wonder then that the original Amsterdam date (15th Sept 2011) sold out in hours and this recording we are reviewing was added and again sold out. THe Paradiso is a world famous music venue, where most names in music have played at one time or another, its compact and has great acoustics. The album of the gig (what better than having the album of the gig youve just been to!)as you will now know comes in a fantastic 2 cd gatefold sleeve, depicting some rare photos from Potter Newton Park gig in Leeds in 1981.Its a great package. From the yawning bars of "Enjoy Yourself",the crowd anticipation is evident on the album. Then before you know it, BOOM! the curtain is down and the band crash into "Do The Dog" and the roar of the crowd raises the roof. The set list reads like previous gigs but the power and delivery rarely moves from its consistent quality.The highlights of the gig are for me, " Man at C & A", "Concrete Jungle", "Little Bitch", " "Nite Klub" but to be honest, that changes on every listen. There is very good interaction with the crowd, with Neville,Terry & Lynval all on good form. Terry is well known for his wit during live gigs, " Now this is where Lynval will bumble on for half an hour",as Golding goes to introduce "Rudy"(always a crowd pleaser and singalong favourite the world over and no change here!) or before "Youre Wondering Now" declaring " Yep, Its all good, its all good...actually its shit....".Neville declares his undying love for Amsterdam girls, well one in particular catches his eye here, and its all on digital audio for you to hear LOL. John Bradbury expertly hammers his way through the tracks, leading the band through all the favourites as Horace joins him with that thumping bass of his,Nikolaj Torp Larsen slips his fingers across that keyboard with true professional aplomb and never drops a key and the brass team of Tim,Jon & Drew complement the whole set up to a tee"Nite Klub" is bloody brilliant here. The crowd drown out the band on occasions here and Lynval's solo chop session is why he is the rhythm master! "Too Much Too Young" sounds at its best since the 80s live hit- Terry delivering with lines with venom, excellent.The big Coventry contingent in the crowd are hailed by Mr Golding at one stage,and "Enjoy Yourself" goes tits up but the whole gathering crammed into the paradiso all share the same thing- a love and passion for this band and more singlaongs ensue. The crowd never let the band let up but there are a number of stalled start to songs, mainly because of onstage antics and mirth but this is what makes this recording so great- its all there and yours to keep forever. Amsterdam on the 14th was a great start to the European tour. If you are wanting any of the shows , you can either purchase them direct after the gig, or online at www.thespecialslive.com.




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Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:13 pm
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