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Lynval Golding still has flashbacks. They are no longer frequent, almost 40 years on, but there will always be little things, noises, sudden movements, that trigger the memories.

That's the hardest part, he says, of getting over a violent attack. The physical scars heal, eventually. The emotional scars take a lot longer to fade.

The Specials guitarist and singer was stabbed in Coventry city centre in 1982; his neck slashed in a racist attack which left him fighting for his life in intensive care.

With knife crime dominating the headlines, the reminders are everywhere.

Image: The Specials pictured in 1980

"The hardest part of it is how long it takes you to get over the emotional side," Golding says. "The scar will be healed but the emotional side, it takes years. It's hard to understand the trauma, and how many years it takes to feel normal.

"Afterwards, for a long time, when I went to a pub I would stand with my back against the wall, to make sure I could see people. The emotional part of it is everlasting. Any little noise, you know?"

Golding says he had another run-in near Westminster last year which brought it back.

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"I was about to sit on a bench where this guy was sitting on his own. He says, 'you can't sit here, I'll stab you'. Straight away, flashbacks. He pulled something out, it looked like an ornamental sword. I backed away and called the police."

Golding is speaking to Sky News from a hotel in Cologne, west Germany, as he prepares for the first night of The Specials' 40th anniversary tour, which will take shows across Europe before the UK and then the US and Canada.

The ska and 2-tone legends' current incarnation features original members Terry Hall and Horace Panter, along with Golding, and they are still celebrating their first ever number one album, Encore, which peaked at the top of the charts in February; coming as the country prepares for Brexit, it was a poignant milestone for the band that provided a musical backdrop to the political turmoil of the late 1970s and early '80s.

Lynval Golding and Terry Hall: The Specials have scored their first ever number one album with Encore, 40 years after their first album
Image: The band scored their first ever number one album with Encore earlier this year

As one of the biggest bands of their era, it is easy to forget that The Specials, in their original form, only lasted a few years. In 1981, after their biggest hit, Ghost Town, went to number one, Hall, Golding and Neville Staple left to form Fun Boy Three, while co-founder Jerry Dammers and the remaining bandmates continued as The Special AKA, with other new members, until 1984.

After numerous splits, reunions and some 30-plus different members getting involved over the years, they have been gigging the hits live again for a decade now but new material was longer in the making. With the saga of Brexit rumbling on, it seems they have got their timing just right.

"Ghost Town came out in a time of riots," says Golding. "And here we are now… it took years for us to get to this stage [releasing new music]. Lots of people ask why it's taken so long but we had to wait for the right occasion…To me, it is just a shame that we have to repeat ourselves."

It is a shame too, that we are discussing knife crime, he says, but here we are.

"Everything is Brexit now. What is going on? It's chaos. And now it's all cutbacks. That's the problem. Cutbacks are affecting today's generation. When I was growing up, we had youth clubs, we had activities, we had places to go. Today, kids are hanging around streets because they have nowhere to go. We need to invest in today's youth so they become productive adults.

"I feel very sad for today's youth. We blame the youth, but we're the adults. All this money spent on Brexit, what a waste. This is money that could be invested in young people, to make sure they've got a future."

The Specials: (L-R) Terry Hall, Lynval Golding, Horace Panter.
Image: Hall, Golding and Panter were part of the original line-up

Golding is enthusiastic about reaching out to a new generation of fans.

"I went to talk to kids at a church in London. I sing our songs and they say, 'is it on Spotify?' 'Are you in a band?' Then they go straight on their smartphones, on to YouTube, and it's 'oh my God I can't believe it, 13 million hits', or whatever it is.

"They don't know me but they see that and that's how kids get to know who you are now. Before it was Top Of The Pops, but not anymore.

"Read More – Source

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Sky News

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