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Kick Off Your Weekend with the Specials at Brooklyn Steel on Friday

June 8th, 2017

There’s so much that can be said about the legendary U.K. band the Specials that it’s almost unfair to simply credit them as forefathers of the second wave of ska. Formed in 1977, the band fused together Jamaican reggae and ska rhythms with a punk sneer, adding highly political lyrics tackling both racism and class issues. Their self-titled Elvis Costello–produced debut (stream it below) is a stone-cold classic of the era with hits like “Nite Klub,” “Gangsters” and a cover of Dandy Livingstone’s “A Message to You Rudy” that all transcend the 2 Tone genre and still sound visceral and full of life today. With many lineup changes over the years and a lengthy hiatus, the Specials got back together as a touring unit in 2008 and have been moving crowds ever since. Back in America, the Specials (above, performing “Ghost Town” for BBC Radio 6) bring their joyous sound to Brooklyn Steel this Friday for what is bound to be an epic party. Kings County five-piece the Far East open the show. —Patrick King | @MrPatKing