The Selecter is led by their iconic frontwoman Pauline Black and co-fronted by original member Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson. Pauline Black is one of very few women in the 2-Tone scene – she is often referred to as the Queen of Ska and was awarded an OBE in the 2022 New Year Honours. Not only a crucial figure in the music community, Black is also a published author, gifted actress and a celebrated style icon.
2-Tone was a crucial multi-racial, multi-cultural explosion borne out of Coventry and the Midlands that remade British pop from 1979 onwards. The main bands who pioneered the movement were The Selecter, The Beat, The Specials and Madness.
The Selecter teamed up with The Beat Feat. Ranking Roger in 2017, hitting the road together for a number of co-headline shows. Originally just a six-date tour, due to phenomenal demand they played nearly 40 dates together in 2017, including sold out shows at London’s iconic Roundhouse and Amsterdam’s Melkweg, selling nearly 50,000 tickets that year. The hugely successful pairing headed worldwide in 2018 with tours of Australia, New Zealand, Scandinavia and Germany and continued until Ranking Roger fell ill in late 2018.
The anarchic passion that fuelled Selecter gigs during the original 2-Tone era is still there, except the pair are more driven than ever. Their confidence is sky-high and they’re also writing the best songs of their career, which is saying something given the enduring popularity of hits like “Three Minute Hero,” “Missing Words,” “Too Much Pressure” and “On My Radio.”
The Selecter continue to release new music, charting new albums in the UK in the last couple of years, proving that 2-Tone is still as relevant and important as it was 40 years ago. In October 2017 The Selecter released studio album Daylight – their most urgent, politically engaged and purely uplifting record since the days of Too Much Pressure and Celebrate The Bullet.
The Selecter toured extensively to celebrate their 40th Anniversary and the 40th anniversary of 2-Tone in 2019. The tour started in Europe covering 7 countries before they headed back for 20 dates in the UK & Ireland finishing at London’s o2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. 2021 saw the release of a Too Much Pressure Deluxe Edition 3CD Box Set & Vinyl. The box set contains a new remaster of our original 1980 debut album. CD2 collects all the non-album singles, b-sides, John Peel session and some previously unreleased rarities. CD3 features a newly mixed concert recorded at Tiffany’s in Coventry on the Two Tone Tour in November 1979, along with some tracks recorded in 1980.
The band’s second album, Celebrate the Bullet was released in February 1981. It has been remastered from the original production tapes for its 40th Anniversary and a new Deluxe Edition was released on 11 November 2022 on Heavyweight Clear Vinyl and a 3CD Box Set with additional B-Sides, Unreleased Live Sessions and a 20-page booklet featuring band notes.
New studio album HUMAN ALGEBRA will be released in 2023.