Review of 2018

Another great year of generosity and community

Each year we’re astounded by the altruism of people from all around the world. The bravery in adversity, the generosity of spirit and the kindness of strangers that has lead The Specialized Project to become a multinational community of musicians, producers, and music fans. Each year we’re contacted by more people willing to provide help that benefits people they’ll never meet, sometimes at there own expense.

If you’re wondering why we do what we do, please watch this video

Even though all of us would like to think that our sense of wellbeing, freedom, and personal accomplishments are the results of our own efforts, we know that none of these realities are possible without certain essential material conditions: food, clean water, shelter, basic healthcare and stability.
Those in need are having to rely more and more Non-government organizations to provide support but Specialized isn’t about politics. it’s about commonality…. people and community, A community of talented musicians, artists, film makers, events promoters using music as a platform to help the communities in which they live. Providing them support and resources. It has never been about us …it’s about you
Specialized works with three diverse charities that supports, changes and saves lives. Paul Willo asked me to thank a few people from the stage at this years Big One Festival. I found it difficult because everybody in that room was there not just there for themselves but as a part of the growing community of Specialized. To thank everyone properly I would need to know the name of every single person that came to the Big One 7, played on Boss and attended our regional shows.

BOSS a Tribute to Original Sounds

BOSS a Tribute to Original Sounds’ celebrates an international love affair with Jamaican music. Since the early 60’s the sound of Jamaica’s distinct syncopated lilt has filled dancefloors and sold records across the globe. Boss pays tribute to the great music of the 60’s and 70’s that inspired 1000’s to follow.
Musicians from across the globe have contributed their time and skills to the creation of these 70 tracks for a 4 disc CD boxset. It includes tracks originally recorded by the pioneers of ska, reggae and rocksteady, including Laurel Aitken, The Skatalittes, Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals and many more.
The scouting for the seventh album in our tribute series started in 2017. Over twenty countries are represented by musicians and producers across the globe. The quality of tracks that we received were astounding. I’m constantly humbled by the hard work and attention to quality. As we move into 2019 we’ll be continuing with a tribute series (more about that in the coming weeks) and we’ll also be releasing compilations of original material as a new series that will celebrate the international Ska scene. Dave Morans exceptional art work provided striking imagery throughout the whole of our activities. This boxset is available as a limited-edition release and if the sales of our previous box-sets are anything to go by, it will sell out before the year is out You Can buy this Four Disc CD Boxset here

Our regional shows are a community in there own right. Mark ‘Dev’ Hinkley and Kat Dormer have tirelessly travelled up and down the country to host gigs as far apart as Durham and Devon Gigs The annual two nigher in Reading arranged by Tony Clark is attracting larger audiences each year. Kevin Hunt is now running a monthly night in South Wales, Dec Spain continues to put on great gigs in Coventry and new regular annual shows have started in Portsmouth and Newton Abbot. More events are being arranged for 2019 as we speak. Sally continues to establish our cause in Australia with SpecialOz’d with the help of her own team that includes Neil Roche-Kelly (The Funaddicts), Marty Fabok (The Ozskas) and Marc Scully (Studio 57 Recording). Towards the end of 2018 Ace Kiyo of Beat Bahnhof has dedicated gigs to us in Tokyo.

The Big One Festival
The Big One 7 attracted a record attendance this year and many rebooked the moment that they arrived. We hosted bands from as far as America and Australia. We had great sets from Dojo, Buster Shuffle, Kind Hammond with Dave Barker and the Pressure Tenants once again closed the event with a master class in Reggae featuring Susan Cadogan and an incredible vocal performance by Eloise Berry. Lee Thompson joined Nick Welsh for a funny and fascinating Q&A and Jeff Barber with Steve Bourne hosted an emotional remembrance service on Sunday morning. The Specialized team came together for a magical three days of quality live music Jenny Bignell and her team did an amazing job in providing hospitality for the bands, Steve Nevard, Clive Rooke (Sola Audio), Dave Woods ran the main stage with expert precision. The stage looked great thanks to the branded amps by Brynn Willians and art by official Specialized artist in residence Dave Moran. People gave generously for our auction managed by Michelle & Neil Mcguffog. The whole weekend was broadcast live by Wolf and Lee Madge on Wolfman Radio. Show producers Paul and Ruth Williams probably walked more miles in that weekend that they do all year. BUT IT’S WORTH IT… BECAUSE THIS IS HOW MUCH WE RAISED

Yes really that much

Yes- this is the amount that the Big One 7 alone raised and will be added to by CD sales of the album.The biggest total by a Specialized event.
You guys rock – and never fail to astound

You can book for next years on 01202 622513, talk to the reception team.

Work has now began for 2019 as Willo and I look to professionalise The Specialized Project to form a registered Community Interest Company. I’ve already started talking to bands across the globe for our next tribute and album and I’ve been inundated with requests from bands wanting to play at The Big One 8. Tune in to Wolfman Radio every Wednesday to hear updates on the Specialized Radio Show I was asked what was my memorialable bit. When someone came up to me and said, for each of of the past 7 years he’s worked min wage all year knowing that what he saves will pay for his weekend at our festival. I’m humble in your presence sir.
We are forever grateful and honoured by the support of you all
Thank You… so very much
Paul Ayriss


Campaign Video

King Hammond & Dave Barker

Spahni's Dub Dancers

Haley Klinkhammer - Many Rivers to Cross

Millie Manders -The One That Got Away

Leila's Story at The Big One 7

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