The Specials' Horace Panter: “In the '60s, the clever bloke played lead guitar, his best mate was taught rhythm, and the guy who wanted to play guitar, but wasn’t very good, ended up playing bass!”

Horace Panter
(Image credit: Andrew Benge/Redferns)

“We realized we were in danger of becoming the Best Specials Tribute Band In The World,” chuckles Horace Panter, “and that’s something none of us are interested in becoming. The time was right, and oddly, the pandemic gave us, as it did many people, a chance for a rethink.”

We’re sitting with our morning coffees in a freshly-gentrified quarter of Birmingham, where the Specials are playing tonight, and we’re talking about how one of the UK’s most emblematically political bands have found a whole new lease of life. 

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