I was 11 when I first really got in to music. As a young impressionable kid, I not only wanted to make an impression I was looking for an identity. They were difficult times for me. My parents had just divorced – which, at that time, was a rarity where I came from – I’d moved to the other end of town, where none of my friends went. I think it’s also fair to say, they were pretty violent times round our way. For want of a better word I was lost. And then I heard The Specials – their words spoke to me. Words I could truly identify with (even though I was too young to fully understand them – I made amends later.) I loved them, and feel privileged to have seen them God knows how many times.

Now years later one song stands out from them all, encompasses all that I felt at the time and epitomizes what the band means to me – Concrete Jungle. After hearing of Brad’s untimely death it’s been a weird but welcome ear worm. The drum intro that I’ve heard and seen him perform more times than is possible to remember, never fails to get me fired up, and for that reason alone he’ll always have a special place in my heart.

RIP Brad. Sleep well and sleep long my friend.

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