The Specials have announced their first ever UK run of shows will bring them to Hertfordshire in May 2017.

The British icons will be joined onstage by reggae group Toots and the Maytals. The two will be sharing the stage for the first time.

The groups, who both boast successful careers spanning more than 40 years, are promising three special shows in Leeds, Birmingham and Hatfield.

Born out of a time of mass unemployment and social unrest, The Specials became known for witty and socially charged hits in which they pioneered the two tone movement of ska music with a punk attitude.

Some of their best known records include Too Much Too Young, Ghost Town, Gangsters, Rudy, A Message To You, Rat Race and Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think).

The Specials’ Terry Hall says; “In all this time, we have never been fortunate enough to play on the same stage as Toots and the Maytals. What a great bill - I’m definitely there.”

The band covered Toots and the Maytals first international hit, Monkey Man, on their 1979 debut album, so the groups have a well-fitting history.

In some ways Toots and the Maytals paved the way for The Specials by bringing reggae and ska from Jamaica into British mainstream music 15 years before The Specials formed.

The Forum, University of Hertfordshire (College Lane Campus), Hatfield, AL10 9AB, Sunday, May 28 2017. Details: