I was first introduced to The Selecter in a sort of happenstance way. The closest record store to me was The Exile on Main Street in Hamden, CT. They had a good selection of used CDs and in particular an unorganized box labeled “$5 Ska.” I used to pop in every now and again and dig through that box. I stumbled across The Selecter’s 1999 record Cruel Britannia. I knew the band’s name and I knew they were often cited as by other bands as an influence. I bought it on the spot and was hooked after one listen. It was from there I found my way to their more well-known releases such as 1980’s Too Much Pressure. Of all bands of the Two-Tone era, The Selecter grabbed me first. Much of it was thanks to singer Pauline Black’s distinctive voice (you’ll have to excuse me if I didn’t fall in love with Terry Hall’s voice the first time I heard it).
We owe the biggest tips of the hat to Marco on the Bass for sharing news of upcoming east coast tour dates for two-tone era British ska bands The Selecter. Talk about the bucket list! Here’s another band I’d comfortably filed under “never see.” But sure enough, they scheduled a few west coast dates, played Coachella, and I thought, “this could happen!”
Just months after The Specials play the House of Blues, The Selecter will grace the stage of Paradise Rock Club on Saturday, September 21st. This is an 18+ affair. Tickets will run you $26 and they’re on sale now. Does it feel like a two-tone revival is happening? The English Beat gets as close as Natick July 18. I’m still holding my breath for Madness (I’m convinced I’ll be flying across the pond for that one).