Friday Night, Saturday Morning - the Specials
The sad news that Terry Hall died on Sunday has broken today. Hall will be most famously remembered as the lead singer of the Specials, Britain's second truly diverse band (the first were the sixties band the Equals). The Specials are, and will probably always be, the greatest UK 2 tone / ska band, fusing the attack and attitude of punk and the danceability and rhythms of ska with strong anti-Thatcherite political views.
From a working class background in Coventry, Hall had a troubled youth on social and economic margins until he found his voice as a vocalist at first in punk groups and then through the 2 tone / ska combination of the Specials, with a string of hit singles including "Gangsters", "Too Much Too Young", "Rat Race" and the 1981 number one "Ghost Town".
One of the two tracks on the "B" side of "Ghost Town" was "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" a stark description of a typical Friday night in the city, penned by Terry Hall. Jerry Dammers may have been the main songwriter of the Specials, and Hall the lead singer, but here Hall is spot on right from the opening line:
"Out of bed at eight am,
out my head by half past ten....."
and the detail is perfectly pitched to resonate in with our own memories
"....I like to venture into town, I like to get a few drinks down, the floor gets packed the bar gets full, I don't like life when things get dull, the hen party have saved the night and freed themselves from drunken stags, having fun and dancing in a circle round their leather bags
I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning, I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning,
but two o'clock has come again - it's time to leave this paradise, hope the chip shop isn't closed 'cause their pies are really nice. I'll eat in the taxi queue, standing in someone else's spew - wish I had lipstick on my shirt instead of piss stains on my shoes.
I go out on Friday night and I come home on Saturday morning...."