The Selecter is an interesting choice to support Public Image Limited at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The obvious link is that John Lydon was first coming to prominence at the forefront of London punk in the 1970s when Coventry’s 2 Tone ska act The Selecter were also hitting the airwaves.
But whilst Lydon has moved on to territories new with PiL (you won’t hear a Sex Pistols track tonight, that’s for sure), The Selecter is back with a new album that fits right into the style of their early work and sporting the classic 2 Tone look of sharp suits and hats.
Yet, of all the revivals of bands from the 70s ska and punk scenes, The Selecter prove, over a 50 minute support slot, that they still have the energy, songs and sound to set a dance floor alight.
Kicking off with their early hit ‘Three Minute Hero’ before steering us through a set of old and new songs, including Doris Day cover ‘Secret Love’, older tracks ‘James Bond’ and ‘Missing Words’ in addition to ‘London’s Burning’ from the current album ‘String Theory’.
The interplay between singers Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson adds to the energy of the band whose sound is tight and joyful tonight.
Crowd-pleasers ‘On My Radio’ and ‘Too Much Pressure’ are held off for last. With a spring headline tour in the works, the band may well have won over some new fans and stirred the embers in the hearts of old fans too.
The Selecter at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London on 21 October 2013
Live Review and Photography by Imelda Michalczyk. Check out Imelda’s own site here: http://www.rebeladelica.com