Tuesday, 8 December 2015
The Selecter - Manchester Academy
Support tonight was from one of my favourite bands (which may make me slightly biased but, whatever, I'm right anyway), The Tuts. They've been opening for The Selecter for this whole tour, and once you've seen them play, it's easy to see why Pauline Black chose them. This was my fourth time seeing The Tuts, and they really do keep getting better every time; no matter how big or small the crowd is, they put so much passion and energy to every show they play.
Next on stage, of course, was The Selecter, with the crowd well and truly warmed up from The Tuts infectious energy.
Their setlist perfectly interspersed newer material with the old, proving that bands can get back together and record new material that is just as good as the early stuff. The crowd reacted to each song, new and old, as though it were their favourite, skanking furiously. As Pauline Black herself said on stage, "we are not going to be a heritage band".
Among the new songs that were played, "Breakdown" was my personal favourite, with its lyrics that tackle the disproportionate number of black people who are killed by police.
We were also treated to ska-riffic cover of Patti Smith's "Because the Night" which, controversial as this may be, I actually preferred to the original.
The iconic "On My Radio" was, of course, one of the most exciting moments of their set and had everyone shouting along with its infectious chorus.
Afterwards, I headed over to the merch table, and was lucky enough to meet The Tuts (again!), and Pauline Black and Gaps Hendrickson. Everyone was really happy to chat and sign things, with Pauline making sure she personalised everything.
Tonight proved that, 35 years on from bursting onto the scene, The Selecter are still just as relevant today. If you get the chance to see them live, make sure you grab it. Unless you don't like fun, then don't.