Well i always hoped thru the years that thru bing/playing with the Specials it would help my solo career but that hasnt been the case mostly.
That is abit of a mystery, I guess its because your band is quite alien to your average skinhead/ rude boy who are quite happy just to hear the Specials songs as they were recorded. I asked Nev if he was going to play any of his own solo songs live once and he said "no Im just doing the hits, its what the people want". I said I was one of those people who would like to hear something different, but no it was all Specials songs all the way.
I think sadly alot of people cant get into a Ska, rockabilly, country mix and that the audience you are trying to draw are quite happy with just the two "Specials" albums. Its a Scooby Doo shame as they are missing out on some wonderful music with such a narrow view.
Keep plugging away though as you never know what might happen, I myself try and promote the bands I like at my mates club nights, so if enough people see a t shirt Im wearing or ask me what song ive just played, then they might just come over here and investigate further.
With music so uniform in the charts at the moment, Im finding a bigger proportion of people looking for something fresh.
Kids whose older brothers ,n, sisters saw the Specials but they were too young, so now they have bought the T-shirt and are living what they think happened in 1980 without any knowledge of the times, polictics or where it came from.