Live Review: The Selecter, Project Collective Ska

31 March 2016 | 1:19 pm | Mick Radojkovic

"Judging by the sweat on Gaps' suit, he's gonna need a dry clean."

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Two tone isn't just a genre, it's a culture and a movement. Born out of the late 1970s in the UK it incorporates the ska sound and the punk attitude. The Selecter were a part of its conception, along with The Specials and Madness.

Tonight's support would see a modern version of the sound from local group Project Collective Ska. This denim-clad ten-piece tried their best to get the crowd warmed up with instrumental ska renditions of classics, Georgy Girl and Nutbush City Limits (bad dancing included), but failed to really get the dancing happening. Give them a small, packed 'gin-and-juice' lounge any day!

The Selecter have selected some of the best musicians around to join original members, Pauline Black and Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson, on stage for the current incarnation of the band. They dive into The Avengers theme with gusto and now the dancing begins!

There's a happy vibe in the Factory tonight. Two tone is an infectious and generous genre and there was room to move and throw yourself around on the Factory floor. "Two tone is anti-racist and anti-sexist!" Black, the 'queen of two tone', directs the show like a pro, introducing the tracks and the movements behind them, as they launch into Celebrate The Bullet.

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The band released a brand new album of originals last year called Subculture which is refreshing to see from a revival band. "We think you deserve something new," declares Black as they dive into Box Fresh. The new mixes seamlessly with the old as the groove doesn't change a great deal, but the impressive solos over the top give added life to the beat.

The floor of the Factory is bouncing during On My Radio before the final song of the main set, Too Much Pressure brings the crowd to fever pitch and judging by the sweat on Gaps' suit, he's gonna need a dry clean.

It's a treat to dance and sweat with a group born out of protest, but it is profoundly sad that this modern world still needs to hear these messages.