The Specials are 30. I caught a slightly surreal local news item on telly last night which showed two original members of the band sheepishly unveiling a commemorative plaque in Coventry city centre. It struck me how fresh, politicised and spiky their music was – and still is. ‘Ghost Town’ perfectly summed up the bleakness of the Thatcher years, and given how the High Street is so rapidly vanishing at the moment, the song seems spookily relevant once more.

The Specials’ graphic expression was compelling too, the simple black-and-white line drawings, the trilbied skanking man, and the reversed out type, created a simple yet instantly recognisable look. They’re back together (sans Jerry Dammers) for a tour, which kicks off 22 April. Catch them if you can.

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