The Libertines drummer Gary Powell to tour with The Specials
Gary Powell

As we recently reported, The Specials have an extensive UK tour planned for later this year, with 18 dates across October and November.

And now they’ve announced that Libertines drummer Gary Powell will replace “Brad” behind the kit.

The tour was planned for the reformed ska group before the death of original band member Bradbury back in December.

The drummer was a huge part of the band’s signature sound – moving seamlessly from Caribbean influenced rhythms to all-out punk onslaughts.

It’s now been announced that Powell will be taking up the sticks, stepping back from the recent Libertines reunion to continue Bradbury’s ‘legacy’.

Speaking to Fred Perry (a fashion brand synonymous with both groups) Powell said:

“It is with deepest gratitude that I state what an honour it is to be asked to perform for The Specials in their up and coming US and UK tour dates. John (Brad) Bradbury was a unique performer and his style and ability was definitely one of the defining factors that helped to create The Specials sound, and it is with great humility that I will be doing these tours and carrying on his legacy.

“The Specials are one of the UK’s most important bands so I am also very excited at the prospect of performing such a great catalogue of music with some of the most important characters in English music folklore.

“Again I cannot thank The Specials enough for believing in me to take on such a heady task and I look forward to the challenge!”

We couldn’t think of a more fitting replacement.

The Specials are playing the following UK dates:

19 Oct: Nottingham, Rock City
22 Oct: Sheffield, O2 Academy
23 Oct: Scunthorpe, The Baths Hall
25 Oct: Glasgow, O2 Academy
27 Oct: Blackpool, Empress Ballroom
29 Oct: Liverpool, Olympia
31 Oct: Llandudno, Venue Cymru
1 Nov: York, Barbican
3 Nov: Leicester, De Montfort Hall
4 Nov: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall
5 Nov: Exeter, University Great Hall
7 Nov: Southampton, O2 Guildhall
8 Nov: Reading, Rivermead Centre
11 Nov: Cambridge, Corn Exchange
12 Nov: Southend, Cliffs Pavilion
13 Nov: Eastbourne, Winter Gardens
15 Nov: London, Troxy
16 Nov: London, Troxy

More information at

Main image via Getty