THE SELECTER + THE BEAT FEAT. RANKING ROGER – BRIGHTON DOME 2.3.18
It may have been cold enough outside to freeze the balls off a brass monkey but an ecstatic crowd of all ages sent the temperature soaring inside the Dome, dancing to The Selecter and The Beat featuring Ranking Roger.
First up were The Selecter.
I was too young to see them the very first time around, on the legendary 2-Tone tour – which, as it happens kicked off in Brighton in October 1979 at the Top Rank Suite. But I have managed to see them many times since.
Originally hailing from Coventry (a hotbed of acts for the 2-Tone label), the band have seen numerous line-up changes and had a long hiatus between 1982 and 1991. Since then they have recorded numerous albums – their latest being Daylight released in October 2017 – and they have performed around the globe.
The eight-piece band dive straight into their hits, including On My Radio, Three Minute Hero and Missing Words, but also played a really good selection of new and old album tracks like Carry Go Bring Home, Danger and Too Much Pressure.
Pauline and Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson blended their vocals and dancing throughout the whole performance.
During the half-hour interval a certain Pauline Black, fresh off stage, was to be found at the merchandise stall, signing tickets (including mine!), books and CDs. My God, this woman must have found the elixir of youth. She just hasn’t changed!
Next up on stage were The Beat featuring Ranking Roger (and his son Ranking Junior).
The Beat disbanded originally in 1983 but spawned some of the 80s’ most memorable acts, including General Public, Fine Young Cannibals and Big Audio Dynamite.
Beginning their frantic set, with the anthemic Whine and Grine/Stand Down Margaret – a real crowd pleaser – the show never really ceases in speed.
It took in all the singles from the first two albums – Tears Of A Clown, Hands Off She’s Mine, Mirror In The Bathroom, Too Nice To Talk To, Doors Of Your Heart and Can’t Get Used To Losing You – plus album tracks like Monkey Murders.
The band also played a smattering of songs from their fantastic 2016 album, Bounce, seeing father and son bounding across the stage, with Ranking Junior showing off his impressive toasting abilities.
The last song, saw Pauline Black and Gaps joining The Beat on stage to perform Enjoy Yourself – as recorded by The Specials on their second album.
A fabulous night, listening to two amazing bands that really have stood the test of time. Long live 2-Tone!
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