The Specials, one of the legends of Midlands music history, have announced they are to reform and tour the UK next year, with two dates in Birmingham.

In an era of classic bands reforming to a lucrative nostalgia circuit, fans of the ska punk outfit who split in 1981 have long been clamouring for a reunion.  The band played a one-off performance at Bestival this year and announced in April that they were looking to go out on tour.

Tickets for the eight-date tour go on sale next Thursday and are likely to be snapped up in a stampede.

A statement from the band’s management read: “It would be impossible to overstate the importance of The Specials to the UK music scene. Despite a brief career, the Coventry band lit up the late 1970s like a comet, their melding of punk and ska creating the 2-Tone sound that is still today is held up as an influence by bands across the world.”

Now, 30 years on since the release of their debut single Gangsters, The Specials will take to the road for a UK tour starting in April.

They were considered the pioneers of the ska scene that swept through the UK through in the late 1970s. Their songs would deal with social issues of the day, painting an image of a country suffering industrial decline and racial unrest, as well as capturing the frustrations of angry young men.

Through two studio albums, The Specials yielded eight top ten singles, including two number ones for the Too Much Too Young EP and the dramatic Ghost Town.  Each album reached the top five.

The gigs will see the line up of Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Neville Staple, Roddy Byers, Horace Panter and John Bradbury team up again, although it is understood that Jerry Dammers will not be performing.

Rumours of a hometown Coventry gig have been reported, with an announcement expected before the end of the year.

Tour dates
22 April Newcastle, Academy 0844 477 2000
23 April Sheffield, Academy 0844 477 2000
25 April Birmingham, Academy 0844 477 2000 
26 April Birmingham, Academy 0844 477 2000
28 April Glasgow, Academy 08444 999 990
3 May Manchester, Apollo 08444 777 677
6 May London, Brixton Academy 0844 477 2000
7 May London, Brixton Academy 0844 477 2000

Tickets go on sale 9am Thursday December 11, priced £32.50 in advance except London £35. 
Tickets hotline: 0871 2200 260 / online:

> website: The Specials