Coming to prominence as part of the second wave of ska in the late 70s, The Selecter will seemingly always be best known for their early singles ‘Three Minute Hero’ and ‘On My Radio’ and their 1979 full length ‘Too Much Pressure’. As one of a dozen or so albums released on the 2-Tone label, it achieved instant cult status and sounds just as fresh decades after it was recorded. The years passed and The Selecter endured shifting line-ups but, during an on-off career, continued to make great music and never lost their edge with regard to live performance.
Bringing together the disparate words of reggae and indie on their 2015 release ‘Indie Reggae Revolution’, Leeds ten piece collective The Ship-Tones bring the world some of the best mash-ups and re-imaginings since Mark Ronson dropped ‘Version’ to almost unanimous critical praise in 2007. Taking some classic sounding reggae sounds (mostly rooted in the 70s and 80s), the band rebuild a few familiar tunes from the ground up, with largely enjoyable results.
In the early 80s, the Midlands was home to a few reggae and ska bands with a disheartened view of life under the burgeoning Tory government. While the messages from those bands may seem to some to be relevant only to the times in which they were created, the political messages have endured the passing decades and – frighteningly, by the summer of 2015 – some seem as relevant as ever. The bulk of UB40’s first two albums are filled with biting political and social commentary, their ‘Madame Medusa’ arguably the most savage anti-Thatcher song ever. The Beat, meanwhile, mixed old ska classics with more of the same levels of anger – their ‘Stand Down Margaret’ choosing a more obvious message over UB40’s dystopian horror tale, but their upset regarded the same issues as the bulk of the young left in Britain at the time. Over the years, many other bands mixed reggae with punk politics and anger – usually citing either the 2-Tone scene or The Clash as a vital influence.
Ska legends The Selecter have announced their plans for a full tour and new album in 2015. The news comes while the band are still on tour with The Levellers.
‘Subculture’ is the band’s third album since reforming in 2010 and its release will be prefaced by a twenty two date UK tour taking in many towns and cities. A London date is to be held at Koko in Camden on March 27th.
Full details can be found in the below press release.
The mid 90s was a time when rap-metal reigned. No matter how genre-crossing acts sprang up (usually from the US), the alternative record buying public clamoured for more. For the huge amount of (sometimes deserved) column inches afforded to Rage Against The Machine or Limp Bizkit, so many other bands worked just as hard on the fringes – Snot would have been bigger than everyone if not victims of tragic circumstance, while bands like Shuvel and Reveille now seem all but forgotten, but were as good as any.