Big One 8 Review

“Superb music.International flavour.Friends. Unity.Helping others.The only choice.” – Phil

“BIG love, fabulous people, great music, many laughs, few tears, pennies to those not so lucky” – Jenny

“Ace event. Awesome people , sore head and body” – Mike

Specialized Rocks! – Karen

“It was an awesome and unforgettable enjoyed every minute from start to finish. To all the team of Specialized you are all incredible total respect to you all and a big thank you from Mr Morris and myself, see you at Redcar.” Denise

“Brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant brilliant” – Cliff

This was the projects 8th event celebrating a year of activities including the release of our eighth tribute album Check One 2 the Spirit of 79. whole year of events all over the UK, Australia and America.

The event not only had three days of live music but also a plethora of memorabilia for the Specialized raffle and auction (which by itself raised £3500), a trader area that included Cultured Clothing, Rude Not To, a tattooist stall and the Tonic Music for Mental Health stall. There was also an airing of One Mans Madness. A film covering the career Lee Thompson of Madness. Lee was present for a Q&A after the movie. Special thanks also to Clive & Jamie Bissland of Midland Hotel in Appleby who presented us a cheque for £680. Another cheque for £3,250 was presented by The Unspecials from their Ireland scooter tour n collecting at their gigs. Michelle Scoplins photobooth made £200. Money was also given to us by Simon James (aka Chordie) who gigs in pubs in wales donating all the profits to The Specialized Project and Damian O Kane from who donated the profits from his gigs at Burgess Hill Inn East Grinstead.

The Unspecials

Starting the live music were the exceptional slick Millmen from Leicester, Playing a mixture of Ska Funk and Soul they had a obvious pedigree, containing members of The Splitters, Blackbird Parade and The Paradimes. By this time the place was really filling up. It was four deep at the bar and the hot dog stand doing a roaring trade. Next on were New Yorks Rude Boy George who produced an enerrgitic set of new wave classics restyled into ska floor fillers. From New Jersey the Hub City Stompers treated us to a blistering mixture of Ska and Punk . Upbeat hard edged stomping tunes. This was then followed by Chainska Brassika with a sublime reinvention of the trad sound. They were slick, professional and had the whole room dancing.

As if that wasn’t enough – Specialized favourites The Crombies then hit the stage for the after show party. There really isn’t a more entertaining band around which culminated with The Hub City Stompers and Crombies on stage for Plastic Gangsters. The place was jumping! The three American bands proving that The Big One Festival really does provide the UK audience with a chance to see bands that they normalcy wouldn’t be able to.

Saturday morning had two lovely performances in the lounge by National Milk Bar, who are Chuzz and Sash of Cartoon Violence and Eloise Berry who was accompanied by Pressure Tenants leader Stan Samuel. The opening slots on the main stage require a certain energy to kick the day off and that was what The Corsairs had in abundance. They were followed by excellent performances by The Skatuesques, Big Fat Panda and Captain Accident and the Disasters. They were followed by Big One legends The Feckin Ejits and then fourth American band of the weekend J. Navarro & the Traitors

Michelle Mcguffog delivered a heartbreaking tribute to her daughter Leila and son Ashley

Michelle was followed by three legends. First Roddy Radiation and the Skabilly Rebels and Then grammy award wining Kind Hammond was joined onstage by Susan Cadogan

The hardy stalwarts that rose on Sunday morning were greeted by the sweet sound of the Tonic Ska Choir. The twenty piece ensemble gave renditions of classic ska songs including Sweet Sensation, Monkey man and You’re Wondering Now. They were followed by a screening of Lee Thompsons new movie ‘One Man’s Madness’ and Lee then chatted to Aiden Sterling about his life in in music

We were treated to exceptional performances from The Reggaskas, The Silencerz with Lee Thompson, Susan Cadugan and the three days of fun closed with a super slick set of Lovers Rock by Dennis Bovell and his band Matumbi