David Corio

The Specials

Hope & Anchor, Upper Street, London, UK

The Hope & Anchor was legendary during the pub rock and early punk days to be daring enough to support new unknown bands. The pub had been threatened with closure by the local council so various bands that got their early gigs there put on a series of benefit shows in the tiny basement. Joy Division and Madness had played on previous nights and these were the hottest tickets in the hottest venue in town.
For the whole band to fit on the stage was an accomplishment. Not only was it tiny but by now the band that had spreaheaded the Two Tone movement was beginning to fracture. Keyboardist Jerry Dammers
was at loggerheads with other members of the band but sometimes creative tensions can produce great performances. The problem for me was trying to get as many of the band members in the frame as they danced around and I tried to avoid being crushed against the front of the stage. When the whole audience is bouncing up and down
sometimes you have to snap away and hope for the best. This one came out pretty well considering.

The Specials