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. 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.