Ghost Town singers come to Aylesbury: Friars returns with something pretty special

Waterside Theatre boss Jamie Baskeyfield with Friars promotor David Stopps. Below, The Specials - then and now
Waterside Theatre boss Jamie Baskeyfield with Friars promotor David Stopps. Below, The Specials - then and now
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Friars triumphantly returns to Aylesbury at the Waterside Theatre with The Specials, a band with a very special place in the heart of the iconic club.

The band, who first appeared supporting The Clash in 1978 and returned two years later as one of the biggest bands in the UK, will kick off a spectacular new era for Friars.

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Legendry promoter Dave Stopps, who over the decades brought David Bowie, Roxy Music, Black Sabbath and Simple Minds to the town is delighted to have a vibrant new working relationship with the Waterside.

“The previous management weren’t really geared up for our type of event,” said Mr Stopps, “they were geared for theatre. There was a big change when Jamie Baskeyfield came in September. He’s had massive experience of our kind of events.”

The criteria for any band appearing at the Waterside will be that they are sufficiently big to fill the flat floor venue and sell out the 1700 tickets.

The Specials, who had a number one hit with Too Much, Too Young and reformed to spectacular success in 2008 can definitely do that.

the specials shot at big sky studios

the specials shot at big sky studios

They first appeared at Friars in 1978. Mr Stopps said: “They were supporting The Clash and at the time they were called Coventry Automatics, but while they were in the dressing room they decided to change their name and the singer Terry Hall asked me to announce them as The Specials, so I was the first person to call them by that name.”

They returned in June 1980 when they were one of the biggest bands in the UK, and now they are playing to bigger audiences than ever before.

Mr Stopps said: “Friars has always been cutting edge and that is the long term goal.

“We will promote up and coming bands as long as they can fill the venue but at the moment we are looking at heritage because its more certain.”

The Specials will appear at Friars on Friday May 3 with tickets going on sale from the Waterside Box office at 10am on Saturday February 16. Ticket sales, limited to two per person, will be available online and by telephone from 2pm on the same day.

For more details visit www.aylesburyfriars.co.uk