Originally published to great critical acclaim in 2004 by Helter Skelter Publishing, Wheels Out Of Gear is a vivid exploration of the 2-Tone movement of the late 1970s and early '80s, set against the turbulent backdrop of Thatcher's Britain.
Taking its roots from caribbean ska, rocksteady and reggae, the 2-Tone sound was honed into a modern urban multi-racial groove led by The Specials, whose 2-Tone record label gave the movement its name and a home to many of the groups of the time, such as The Selecter and Madness. In a period of great political polarisation, with clashes between the National Front and the Anti-Nazi League, as well as riots in London, Liverpool and Birmingham, and the death of Blair Peach at the hands of the police, The Specials and their contemporaries spread a multi-racial message whilst gaining commercial success with hits such as "Too Much Too Young" and "Ghost Town", which combined catchy dance music with socially aware lyrics.
Wheels Out Of Gear is a candid exploration of this fascinating era in British music and politics and is a must-have for all fans of the 2-Tone sound. It will also fascinate anyone with an interest in 1980s politics.