The Big One 12 was a classic

This year we finished our 12 year tenure with Sandford Holiday Park in Style. We’re about to announce the new venue for The Big One 2024 shortly, but first here are some highlights from The Big One 12

Friday began with a montage of music videos recorded by Specialized artists over the years. Bad Manners founding member then commenced with the opening introductions. The Ranglins from London laid the foundations of a brilliant weekend with their unique brand of fundamental Ska. They we’re followed by one of the break out sets of the weekend by the genre defying Instincts Take Over (as Willo remarked..”I wasn’t expecting that!!).
The Skandalites visited us from from Stockholm for the first large ensemble band of the weekend (they even had a melotron!)
Our premier act of the evening was the legendary Potato 5. The Potato 5 were one of the few ska bands active during the mid-80’s in the Uk and it was they that popularised Laurel Aitken’s Sally Brown as a go to cover for many proceeding bands and we we’re treated to this evening as port of a huge sounding horn driven set of pure Ska.
The Skavengers provided us with the aftershow party with a set comprising of everyones favourite covers.

Still a little heady from the previous night Saturday began in gentle fashion in the lounge area with Uncle Phil’s Pop Quiz. This was followed by a wonderful acoustic set by The Decatonics front woman Sally Meaden. Louis Alphonso supplemented his role os the weekends compare with an excellent solo set.
The main arena opened with a fitting video tribute to Terry Hall that encompassed material from his entire career. It was DeadBeat At Dawn that started the live music in the Arena with an energetic set of Ska, Hiphop and Punk.
The Splitters were among the countries leading ska bands during the 1990s and we were treated to a one off reformation show as they played their classic Good Time Trouble album. Zen Baseballbat returned for a third year by popular demand and yet again produced one of the weekends most outstanding performances. As did The Skalps who’d traveled over from Dublin to join us. BlueKilla have been at the vanguard of the German Ska scene since 1985. They’d originally been book for a previous Big One that had to be cancelled due to the lockdowns but they delivered a set that was really worth the wait.
Specialized stalwart King Hammond brought his new look Rude Boy Mafia and put on a show that shows what a natural entertainer he is, featuring a mixture of original and classic covers he set the scene perfectly for the headliners The Dub Pistols. Now the Dub Pistols are one of the few remaining working class bands who carry the flame of reggae-driven sound system music, the secret rhythm of Britain from ska and rocksteady through Soul II Soul to grime and dubstep and beyond.
The Skapones had just arrived back in the UK from their American tour to provide an adrenaline fuelled aftershow

We must congratulate Specialized Project CIC supporter Katie Seabrooke. Katie walked 45 miles from Cricketers Arms ,Fair Oak to Specialized Big One Festival in Sandford, Dorset.
Katie has been a huge part of both The Specialized 3 Peaks walk and The 500 Miles, and this time she went solo walking this huge distance from her local pub to the festival site.

Big thank you to Lee Taylor from the Lloyd McGrath Collective for donating a cornet and Matt Downton for donating a staggering array of drum equipment formally owned by Collin Miller. Collin had enjoyed a lifelong career playing Jazz around the world, most notably with the Chris Barber band!
These will go into the Instrument Library and put to good use. We’ll update on usage update!
Thank you chaps

After the Sunday Remembrance service we also took time to remember Big Fat Pandas Andy Laidlaw who we lost this year. Big Andy had played at every Big One Festival so we we’re determined that he should feature at the Big One 12. In You Call That Radio TV Big Fat Panda recorded a full set for ‘You Call That Radio TV. That recording was played in the main arena as the days opening act

SubbZero took to the stage with an astonishing and smooth set of smooth Jazz infused Reggae with a huge and exceptionally gifted horn section. They were followed by the equally sublime Subject A. 3 Piece Ska/Punk/Reggae King’s Alias travelled from Chepstow to get kick up the energy level. The Lloyd McGrath Collective gave a performance with huge arrangements and slick songs. Italys Big Ska Swindle featured guest appearances from King Hammond and Louis Alphonso. Captain Accident and the Disasters are one of the break out bands of the UK Reggae scene and joined us straight of the back of their tour with Julian Marley. The event was closed by an exhilarating finale from Stereotype. The Leicester all star band played a dedicated tribute to Terry Hall. The line up cossited of various musiians that have performed as The Specials band including Jon Reed, Tim Smart and Stan Sammuel. Lynval Golding made a guest appearance by video link.

Thank you to everyone who attended from us here at Specialized. Not enough words really. But the one thing we do know, is you guys out there are the best.
Big news coming very soon!
and as Lynval said… Love. Love. Love. Xxx
Heres a clip of you beautiful people in fine voice on a late night Sunday.

a big shoutout to The Unspecials, from the North West who raised £1500 from their wonderful little local pub gigs. These guys do this every year for us and have been amazing for the Project. Thanks so much lads.
Clive and Amie Bissland, proprietors of The Midland Hotel in Appleby in Cumbria are another couple who with their customers always raise funds for the Project and this year was no different with the guys raising over £400 so huge thanks to those lovely people for thinking of us and taking the time out with their clientele to do these great things.
Our Ska Train DJ crew lads Rob O Leary and Kev Stoker in Bristol, again, always raise funds every year from their events from donations and this year they have us just short of £300 so cheers to the boys and girls in Bristol! Fabulous stuff.
Mhari Laidlaw brought us over £700 from the collection at her dad Andy Laidlaws funeral. Andy, God bless him, was of course front man of Big Fat Panda, massive Specialized supporters and had wanted the collection to come to us and other donations online went straight to Teenage Cancer Trust. Thank you Mhari. Thank you Andy.
Katie Seabrooke, our Katie, walked all the way to Sandford for the Big One from her base in Fair Oak, a total of 45 miles, to raise funds. It was a bit of a torment for her when she was refused a bed at the Premier inn late into the night cos she had no photo Id, so she just kept on walking through the night and ended up at Sandford v. Early. Shame on you Premier Inn! But this wandering warrior raised over £500 on line with gofundme and more with her friends and colleagues her to take her over the £1K mark. Huge thanks to Katie. What a thing to do. Get some rest mate xx
And to Michelle Scoplin who with her team of husband Paul and friend Ali Farr, raised over £400 with their fabulous photo booth and home made Specialized Merch which was amazing.
Thank you, legends one and all