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The Thai weather authorities officially lifted their storm warning on Saturday

A return of the specials – much later than, say, the ska-pop colleagues Madness or The Selecter – was very welcome. And here it is now, the first studio record with original singer Terry Hall since “More Specials” from 1980 – until recently hardly thought possible and smugly titled “Encore” (“encore”).

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From the line-up of the legendary debut “The Specials” (1979), guitarist Lynval Golding and bassist Horace Panter will be there alongside Hall. So no Neville Staple as the second singer, no Jerry Dammers – the keyboardist and songwriter was left out in the dispute. What the three current Specials men, together with a larger group of guest musicians, manage to do on “Encore” is nevertheless more than respectable.

Stylish and with astonishing enthusiasm, they merge on the album released by Universal in ten songs – mostly new material, but also some cover versions – again ska, reggae, pop and brass soul. As if they had never been gone, and yet with red-hot urgency.

The anti-racism piece “Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys” – in the original 1968 by The Equals – fits perfectly into a time that is not only characterized by isolation and discrimination in Great Britain and the USA. From the choice of this opener speaks “the perhaps idealistic and naive hope that mankind will one day overlook colors,” said Hall in an interview with the online music magazine “laut.de”. And he added: “After all, within the band we don’t see ourselves as black and white, but as people.”

With songs like “Too Much Too Young” or “Ghost Town”, later with “Racist Friend” and the anti-apartheid world hit “Nelson Mandela” (in the successor version The Special AKA), this band was always decidedly socially critical, anti – racist, left. And she didn’t give up the furore at the studio cloakroom door on her return.

For example “Vote For Me”, the first specials single in what feels like an eternity – it’s about the cynicism of many politicians. “They think we have to follow it just because they have an agenda. But in the end, politicians mostly let you down,” said Hall (59), who after the Specials years also had some success with Fun Boy Three and The Colourfield had in the interview.

An important reason to finally write fresh specials pieces again were, in addition to the general political weather in the UK, specific concert plans. “There’s a new tour coming up, so we wanted to have a few new songs,” said bassist Horace Panter the “Musikexpress”. This tour also takes the still thrilling live band The Specials to Germany – and that could get complicated.

“It’s actually not funny, but our very first appearance on the tour is in Cologne and will take place on the very day England is officially no longer part of Europe,” said Hall, with a view to a potentially chaotic Brexit at the end of March. “I have no idea what impact this will have on us. But we are known to be not alone with this ignorance – which sums up the ridiculousness of the whole scenario.”

Germany concerts by The Specials: 29.03. Cologne, E-Werk, 02.04.123helpme.me Hamburg, Große Freiheit 36, April 3rd. Berlin, Columbiahalle.

The fear of tropical storm “Pabuk” was great, but Thailand got off lightly. The damage is limited and flight operations are already starting again on Koh Samui.

Thailand survived the tropical storm “Pabuk” without the terrible damage it had feared. The storm moved with strong gusts and heavy rain over several holiday islands such as Koh Samui, where numerous German tourists are currently staying. Contrary to initial fears, however, the effects were limited. In some places trees have been uprooted and roofs covered. There were also floods.

The Thai weather authorities officially lifted their storm warning on Saturday. “Pabuk” is now only a tropical low pressure area. Koh Samui Airport resumed operations. The ferries, on which many holidaymakers rely, should also run again over the course of the weekend. Because of the storm on the island, the power went out for hours on Friday afternoon.

“Pabuk” aroused great fears

The weather front moved further west on Saturday with heavy rains. In total, almost 30,000 people had to leave their accommodations in southern Thailand since last week. The authorities had initially expected the worst. At first it was feared that “Pabuk” could be as destructive as the tropical storm “Harriet” in 1962. At that time, almost a thousand people died in Thailand.

“Pabuk” was the first tropical storm to hit the region outside of the monsoon season in three decades. According to meteorologists, it had increased in strength on Friday morning (local time) and reached a speed of 75 kilometers per hour, the waves were up to five meters high. All ships had to stay ashore, three regional airports – Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Koh Samui – remained closed. According to the authorities, ten thousand tourists were stuck on the holiday island of Koh Phangan, which is known for its full moon parties. The beaches were empty, red flags indicated that swimming was prohibited.

Tens of thousands fled the storm

On the mainland in the provinces of Nakhon Si Thammarat and Surat Thani, numerous households were without electricity because of fallen trees and electricity pylons. Hundreds of people found shelter in emergency shelters. “I am concerned that my house was flooded when I left. I don’t know what condition it is in now,” said Preach Kongthep, a villager who sought refuge in Nakon Si Thammarat town.

Since New Year’s Eve, tens of thousands of tourists had fled the holiday islands from “Pabuk”. It is currently high season there. On Saturday morning, “Pabuk” should continue to weaken over the Andaman Sea, where the popular vacation spots Phuket and Krabi are located.

Storm claims two lives

In Pattani Province, near the Malaysian border, a fisherman was killed early Friday morning when his boat was caught in the storm waves on its return to port. One crew member was missing. A Russian tourist drowned on Koh Samui on Wednesday after going swimming with his family despite the bathing ban and being dragged into the sea by the strong current.

Overview: When hurricanes and cyclones have high season Tropical Storm Pabuk: What Thailand travelers need to know

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. This year the Southeast Asian kingdom expects a record number of 40 million visitors.

Sources used: news agencies AFP, dpa

Berlin (dpa) – The British jazz scene is more vital and diverse than it has been for a long time. The sampler “We Out Here”, compiled by DJ and label boss Gilles Peterson, recently proved this. Keyboardist Joe Armon-Jones, who was presented with a track there, now has a larger stage.

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His debut “Starting Today” (Brownswood) works in a similar way to the music of the great saxophonist Kamasi Washington, who after his worldwide breakthrough with “The Epic” (2016) presented another monumental work at the end of June (“Heaven Earth “).

As with Washington, Armon-Jones’ jazz term is very broad: improvisation and groove flow loosely into one another, in the third track “Mollison Dub” a mighty throbbing dancehall reggae forms the stable basis for distinctive sax solos, then in “London’s” takes over Face “a trumpet starring.

When there is singing here (by As Elevator, Ego Ella May, Oscar Jerome and Armon-Jones himself), the voices are always pleasantly embedded in the jazzy fusion sound. The band leader often lets his competent companions on a long leash, but carries the sound of “Starting Today” with his skills on piano and Wurlitzer.

Like his US colleague Kamasi Washington, the Briton Armon-Jones is obviously not afraid of the strict “jazz police” who relentlessly demand clear demarcations. His six partly long tracks are ambitious jazz and casual summer music at the same time – and thus part of a redefinition of the traditional genre.

Berlin (dpa) – When famous singer-songwriters submit pure cover albums, you can be concerned: Is there no more creative spark, no inspiration for your own songs? If, however, such a beautiful pop-jazz album like “Valve Bone Woe” by Chrissie Hynde comes out, complaints are completely out of place.

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The selection of pieces recorded in London with a large orchestra is extremely tasty: from the pop “Caroline, No” by Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), “River Man” by Nick Drake or “No Return” by Hyndes ex-husband Ray Davies (The Kinks); from jazz the instrumentals “Naima” (John Coltrane) and “Meditation On A Pair Of Wire Cuts” (Charles Mingus). And then the ballads of the Great American Songbook: for example the Sinatra classic “I’m A Fool To Want You” or “I Get Along Without You Very Well” by Hoagy Carmichael.

Another event are the fantastic arrangements of the 14 cover versions – and Hynde’s wonderfully warm vocals. One day after the release of “Valve Bone Woe” – on September 7th – the American will be 68 years old. But her voice still sounds as fresh and beguiling as it did when she sang “Stop Your Sobbing” (1979) or “Don’t Get Me Wrong” (1986).

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In “Wild Is The Wind”, a song made famous by David Bowie, Hynde’s longing alto vocals float above an unexpected, slow dub reggae rhythm. But the former punk-pop pioneer also adopts every other template with a lot of feeling and some production-related surprises. 

“Actually, I’m not particularly interested in moving into other music genres as a passionate rock singer,” says Hynde. “However, I grew up with jazz music and have had a little soft spot for jazz ever since.” Ultimately, this is “the most creative and innovative form of music of the 20th century. I am only too happy to jump on this train.” The result is a worthy first retirement work by one of the best singers of her generation.

A tornado has hit the country in eastern Romania. The windpipe also captured a coach. The vehicle was spun through the air.

A tornado hit a coach in eastern Romania on Tuesday and whirled dozens of meters through the air before crashing into a field. Of the 40 inmates, at least twelve were injured, four of them seriously, the media reported late in the evening.

The tornado then narrowly missed the village of Dragalina, but according to media reports it covered some roofs and uprooted trees.

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In view of this weather phenomenon, which is unusual for Romania, meteorologists warned of possible further wind pants, especially in the lowlands.

Washington (AP) – Tropical storm “Humberto” has developed into a hurricane of the lowest level 1 over the Atlantic.