The Selecter – live at The Paris Theatre – Dec. 15, 1979 – BBC Radio 1 In Concert – BBC Radio 1 –
Taking a look at Two-Tone and the Ska/Rocksteady revival of the 1970s with The Selecter, in concert at The Paris Theatre and recorded by The BBC for their In Concert series on Radio 1, December 15, 1979.
Fronted by vocalist Pauline Black, The Selecter probably best epitomized the social/political atmosphere this music embraced at the time. With characteristic frenetic beat and uptempo songs, they cleverly masked a potent message – one which spoke, like the other Two-Tone bands, of politics, society, racism and class struggle. And did it all with grace and eloquence.
Again, not as wildly successful in the U.S. as in the UK, mostly because the message didn’t register with a lot of American kids – the Ska/Rocksteady movement was one that was almost distinctly working-class British. Like Punk, the vibe wasn’t the same over here. But that didn’t mean The Selecter (or the other Two-Tone bands) had no popularity here. They were. But the numbers weren’t as large or as driven by the message as they were in London, Brixton and elsewhere on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Selecter are still very much together – even though they went through a series of breakups; the first in 1981, and the second in 2006. They’ve been reunited since 2010 and have played numerous festivals all over Europe and Britain the last 5 years.
Tonight, it’s The Selecter during their formative period – at the beginning. With all the fire and energy and insane pace that was so much their trademark in 1979.
If you aren’t familiar, it’s practically a requirement to listen to this concert, in order to get a feel for what the excitement was all about. If you are – there’s no need to remind you.
Crank it up.