Two of the biggest acts of the Eighties take to the stage at Carlisle in the next week.

The Specials are on tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the formation of the band and the legendary Two-Tone label in Coventry in 1979 and their latest album.

One of the most important and influential bands in UK music, they were at the forefront of the anti-racist movement in the Eighties and helped launch the Ska movement in the UK, alongside Two-Tone label-mates The Selecter, The Beat and briefly, Madness.

Since then, they have been a major influence on a host of performers, including Amy Winehouse, Blur and Lily Allen.

Their current tour also marks 10 years since the band reformed and also highlights their latest album, Encore, released earlier this year.

Co-produced by Specials founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and bassist Horace Panter, it is the first time Hall, Golding and Panter have recorded new material together since the band’s 1981 No.1 single Ghost Town.

New songs such as Vote for Me and Embarrassed By You are on the show’s setlist, as well as classic tracks such as Man at C&A, Rat Race, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, Too Much Too Young, and Gangsters.

The Specials play The Sands Centre on Wednesday and apart from a few balcony seats, the gig is sold out. But before that UB40 take to the stage on Monday.

Featuring founding members Robin Campbell, Brian Travers, Jimmy Brown, Earl Falconer and Norman Hassan, expect to hear hits including Food For Thought’, One In Ten, Kingston Town, (I Can’t Help) Falling in Love With You, Red, Red Wine and many others.

For tickets, go to or call 01228 633766