The band was one of my highlights of the second week of Coachella '13 (see my review elsewhere on this blog). Now a few areas in the rest of the country gets to experience them again...
The Selecter has announced more dates on the U.S. “Non-Stop Pressure Tour.” The two-week trek will bring the legendary ska band to the East Coast and Midwest for the first time in nearly a decade and follows several summer festivals, a performance at this year’s Coachella and a handful of West Coast dates with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry.
Formed in the late 70s in Coventry, The Selecter was one of the early acts to sign to 2 Tone Records, home to Madness, The Beat and The Specials. They became an integral part of the emerging ska scene, setting themselves apart from the pack by being one of the only female fronted ska bands.
Led by the fashionable and talented Pauline Black, The Selecter released a number of seminal singles on the label including “On My Radio,” “Three Minute Hero,” and “Missing Words.” A couple of these songs made it on their 1980 debut LP, Too Much Pressure, which charted in the Top 5 in the UK. The following year they released their much anticipated follow-up album Celebrate the Bullet – an album that No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani placed in her Top Five Albums of all time in a 2011 Elle UK interview.
This comes as no surprise, considering Stefani has been a fan since ska made its way over to the US in the mid-80s. Noting Pauline and The Selecter as a big influence on her career, in 1997 Stefani invited a reunited The Selecter out on their Tragic Kingdom tour. This was the last time The Selecter toured the US outside of some select dates in 2003.
On Halloween in 2010, Pauline Black and Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson celebrated the 30th anniversary of Too Much Pressure with The Selecter performing the album live at the Sinners Day Festival in Hasselt, Belgium. This event kicked off the current revitalized incarnation of the legendary band who has continued to write and release new music including 2011’s Made In Britain.
That same year Pauline Black released her powerful and critically acclaimed memoir Black By Design, in which she explored her racial identity, ska, and a search for her biological parents. The book became a #1 Best Seller in the Guardian Bookshop and was highlighted in NPR’s Weekend Edition. The Independent reviewed the book, calling it “…More than a musical memoir-vivid, intelligent, compelling”.
Now it’s 2013 and The Selecter is back with another new studio album – String Theory – currently available in the UK only. The album got the band out on the road again ultimately leading to their first US tour dates in a decade with the “Non-Stop Pressure Tour.”
The Selecter "Non-Stop Pressure Tour"
13 - Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis, MN
14 - Riot Fest Chicago, IL
15 - Magic Bag Detroit, MI
17 - Lee’s Palace Toronto, ON
18 - Starlight Room Waterloo, ON
19 - Trocadero Philadelphia, PA
20 - Gramercy Theatre New York, NY
21 - Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
22 - State Theatre Washington, DC