Sunday, April 21, 2013
Ripple Field Report - The Specials/Little Hurricane Fox Pomona 3/20
What would it be like to see a band that truly defines a particular genre? Imagine the possibilities: dodging spitballs and projectile beer at some bowling alley in Memphis during the Pistols’ North American tour; sweating it out in a Queensbridge park watching Marley Marl work the turntables while insulting BDP’s Bronx lineage at every opportunity; maybe being fortunate enough to have caught Dylan go shockingly electric at the Newport folk festival back in 1965. Heady stuff, no?
Having the privilege to stand among the adoring faithful when The Specials reunion tour rolled through Pomona late last month comes damn close. The Coventry natives capture the essence of the ‘two-tone’, bi-racial English ska movement of the late 70s- early 80s better than any other band – the English Beat, brilliant in their own right, branched off significantly into other genres and thus cannot be so easily categorized, and Madness and the Selecter cannot possibly be shelved in the same lofty regions. The Specials aren’t just synonymous with the style; it would be impossible to conceive of it without their presence.
Opening were San Diego up-and-comers Little Hurricane. The duo might have been physically dwarfed on stage by the fairly massive instrumental backdrop awaiting the Specials, but once they blurted out a few bluesy riffs from their stellar debut Homewrecker, they seemed larger than life. Keep a lookout in these hallowed web pages for the results of an impending interview with these surefire headliners, where they will be asked point blank to respond in a few succinct words to the ubiquitous White Stripes comparisons.