Taking the stage to police sirens, Splendour Festival’s legendary ska headliners The Specials opened their set with the classic number one hit Ghost Town. The crowd erupted into mass dancing which didn’t stop for the next hour and a half, from slow skanks for dubbier numbers like Man At C&A to joyous pogoing to upbeat ska tunes Monkey Man, Too Much Too Young and Rat Race.
Terry Hall was on sardonic form, requesting that the crowd remove Nottingham Forest FC flags and bring him ice creams and liquorice. His put on dour demeanour was contrasted by an energetic but tight band bolstered by horn and string sections.
Rich Girl was introduced as Amy Winehouse’s favourite The Specials song and the band closed the show reverentially with ska standards Enjoy Yourself (Prince Buster) and You’re Wondering Now (Skatalites).
As the happy crowd dispersed into the night the fields of Wollaton Park echoed to the sounds of boozy ska singalongs.