"Why can't you make up your mind?" my old man said as I wandered in the house with my latest acquisition. "I suppose that's another piece of mindless rammel!" Stunned by the outburst from a bloke that (it felt like at the time)firstly hadn't said a trendy word for months and secondly by the ignorance of someone that was apparently "back in the day" quite a mover himself, I put my new copy of the Selecter's 'On My Radio' on his old gramophone. After removing his "old" music, I clicked the 45 switch and it lowered itself on to the gleaming black vinyl...


The last time I got the pleasure of watching one of the best Two-Tone bands of all time was last year when the Selecter visited The Venue in Derby. I had followed this soon after with an interview for Pennyblackmusic, and time I was eager to see them perform on a bigger stage at the excellent Rock City in Nottingham.

When I spoke to front woman Pauline Black, she was very keen to tell me about the support act for tonight which was Talisman who have been doing the reggae circuit for years now, and are just as brilliant as they were back in the day. A small but very appreciative crowd witnessed a great set with all the colour and danceability you would expect from seasoned pros.

By the time the Selecter hit the stage the crowd had grown and were in quite a party mood. The Selecter were in no mood to disappoint them. Even as they ventured into the third or fourth track of the evening, the audience were still coming in through the doors. I was a little concerned at the start because I was having doubts whether or not the venue would be too big for them. I needn't have worried. The Selecter's vibe has reincarnated itself it seems, and the momentum is picking up fast as it did back in the day. It's no wonder either because the set they deliver now with Pauline and the group's other singer Gaps Hendrickson still at the helm is just as energetic and strong as it was back then. I was watching Gaps a little closer this time, and from the moment he set foot on stage he had a hunger and a shine in his eyes like he was on to something new again.

There is nothing new about the Selecter's stance on life and politics. It's still the same if not stronger than it was. The live set isn't new either, although it has certainly not lost any of its energy and passion. One thing that is new though is the growing fan base. The old Two Tone fans are still there, but there is a growing fascination from the younger generation that are now becoming more and more inquisitive of this old-come-new ska cultural vibe that seems to have resurfaced. After having the entire boy band manufactured pop rammed down their necks for the last few years, at last there is something different to listen to and something with a message and purpose. Fancy it coming from an old ska band though.


..."And anyway," I smiled, "What do you mean making my mind up?" as I sat back and listened.

"Well, one minute it's,that Electronic gubbins and next minute you're wearing a fish tail and now you're into black music like you know what it is..." he exclaimed from the kitchen. What did he know anyway? "Tell you what!" I thought. "Let's have another look in his record box and that'll shut him up." I pulled out the blue leatherette 45 box from under the Gramophone and prised it open.

"Ha!" said I triumphantly, "The Melodians...the Four Tops...Desmond Decker...Bob and Marcia...and you listen to this granddad's music!"

I got my coat quick...

















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Commenting On: Rock City, Nottingham, 30/3/2013 - Selecter








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