Leicester musicians from The Specials to play at Olympics closing ceremony
Three Leicester musicians will be flying the flag for the city when they play in a huge gig as part of the festivities to mark the end of the Olympics.
Drew Stansall, Jon Read and Tim Smart make up the brass section of ska legends The Specials, who share a star-studded line-up at the Hyde Park concert with Blur, New Order and Bombay Bicycle Club.
Up to 80,000 fans will gather at the official closing ceremony celebration concert – dubbed The Best of British – on August 12.
Saxophonist Drew Stansall, 44, who grew up on the city's Saffron Lane estate, said: "I'll be there flying the flag for the Saff lads.
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"We'll be following New Order and supporting Blur, who top the bill.
"There's going to be up to 80,000 fans there, which will be quite something."
Jon, 47, from Melton, who divides his time between playing trumpet with The Specials and his day job as a head teacher in Kirby Muxloe, said: "It's pretty thrilling to be involved in the closing ceremony concert and a great privilege. Everyone is incredibly excited about it."
Drew, Jon and trombonist Tim, 33, who is originally from Countesthorpe, have been mainstays with The Specials since the band reformed four years ago.
The band, including founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple, have just returned from Japan, where they supported Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds at the Fuji Rock Festival at the weekend.
They will be playing hits including Too Much Too Young, Ghost Town and Gangsters at the Hyde Park gig.
Having played the Royal Albert Hall, performed to 100,000 music fans at Glastonbury and appeared on the Letterman Show in America, Drew, who now lives in Aylestone, said the closing ceremony concert will be another major highlight of his career.
"It's been a whirlwind few years," he said. "It couldn't get any better for me playing alongside my boyhood heroes. There have been so many highlights already, but the closing ceremony concert will be up there, most definitely. It's going to be a bit special."
Drew said the band missed out on seeing the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday as they were off to Japan.
"I hear it was amazing," he said. "Everyone has been talking about it and I hear they even played A Message To You, Rudy during the show.
"It just goes to show how iconic The Specials are and how much a part of British culture they remain."