The Selecter’s arrival in Liverpool drew in a small crowd of admirers, ranging from their loyal fan base from the 80s, reliving their heyday, to young new followers grabbing the chance to see the veteran Ska band. It is a shame the event was not advertised better, as you could imagine the reggae enthusiasts from nights such as Eat Your Greens fitting in perfectly with the upbeat Ska sounds. Perhaps the lack of a younger crowd was due to the £15.00 ticket price, slightly out of most students’ price range.
However, the 02 Academy was the perfect venue for such an intimate crowd, with its low ceilings and small dance floor. Once absorbed into the mass of people towards the front, it felt like any other busy night.
The Selecter, suited up with the classic thin tie, arrived on stage to gracious applaud. Their opening songs sent the crowd into a mad frenzy of dancing (think when Madness comes on at a disco or wedding) and it was virtually impossible not to join in. ‘On my Radio’ and their encore mash up song of ‘Too Much Pressure’ and Toots & the Maytals’ ‘Pressure Drop’ certainly stole the show, being the hit songs that everyone was waiting for.
When looking around the crowd, it was like being sucked into a time warp. The mods wearing trilby hats and buttoned down collar shirts, the rockers with their long hair and leather jackets. One member of the Liverpool Scooter Club, wearing sun glasses and bowling shoes, said the Selecter’s performance was of the same quality as it had been 30 years ago. That isn’t hard to believe when listening to the soulful voice of Pauline Black, the front woman, watching the perfect in time dancing of the band and enjoying the charismatic vocals and tambourine playing from Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson.
It was a truly fun night that any lovers of reggae and Ska would have enjoyed. Guitarist, Anthony Harty and keyboardist, Greg Coulson said it was great to young and old faces still enjoying Ska music.
/ Lorna Poultney