Droplets of Verse: ‘Watching the Specials at Splendour in the Company of Frank McMahon’

Andy Szpuk

‘Terry Hall’s a miserable git, he’ll just walk off
If anyone throws beer cans on to the stage’
That’s what Frank McMahon said as we waited
For the Specials at Splendour, at the home of the Batcave

The band arrived and played a version of ‘Ghost Town’
Stripped back to the bones, a skeletal ska rattle
A dystopian vision floated on a haunting delivery
Rhythm and melody alive in harmony, Terry got lyrical

It didn’t appear to impress Frank, he remained negative
He speculated that the band were all just session musicians
Performing a script soullessly, disappointingly workmanlike
A lukewarm offering, journeymen going through motions

And he noted Terry’s reluctance to engage with the crowd
Relating that previous gig when someone threw those beer cans
On that occasion Terry asked them to stop, and said if not he’d leave
To go home and watch Match of the Day, and have a wank

Personally, for…

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