...is how you'd describe The Specials gig last night. It was everything I had romantically envisioned and more.
I arrived early to get up at the very front, and sat there bopping out to the Dub dj with a few beers, whilst having a good auld yarn to a load of old skinheads, punks and mods (it was like being in This Is England) about the old punk scene in Belfast and they told me about how they remembered the first time The Specials came to Belfast as if it was yesterday. They said it was refreshing seeing young people such as myself so interested in the music and culture that they grew up with, which made me feel all kless - but ultimately it's because music and culture nowadays is a load of auld fake apathetic balls.
So on came the support band Pama International, who were actually really good. Played sorta soulful rocksteady mixed with ska and a wee bit of dub. They got everyone going anyway and got a rapturous applause.
Waiting for the stage to be set up for The Specials seemed to take an aeon, even though it was only 20-odd minutes. But as soon as the lights went off, the curtain flew up and they went straight into "Do The Dog". The place went NUTS. Everyone was moonstomping in unison, and the skinheads were pogoing and crowd surfing to clean fuck. It was like reliving all those old videos on youtube of The Specials playing in the 80s, the same anarchic, raw energy existed in both the audience and The Specials themselves. They certainly hadn't mellowed with age.
Long story short - they tore through the set. The moonstomping and pogoing didn't cease once, and they were recalled twice for an encore, the first being "Ghost Town" of course and the final "You're Wondering Now". It was fucking magic, a truly spiritual experience.
I could sit and write about it forever but that'll have to do before I bore the tits off you all with my romantic ramblings. C'mon Bad Manners t'fuck!