The Selecter and The Beat Featuring Ranking Roger performing at Rock City Nottingham on Friday 7th April 2017

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Nottingham’s Rude Boys and Rude Girls turned out in force last night at Rock City to gorge on a feast of Ska and 2 Tone music with The Beat featuring Ranking Roger and The Selecter.

With a fairly early start it was a sea of Dr Martens, Fred Perry shirts and Pork Pie hats, that welcomed The Beat to the stage with rapturous applause as they began their set with Stand Down Margaret from their 1981 album Wha’ppen. And from then on Ranking and his son Ranking Junior never missed a beat. Singing the groups most iconic numbers with an enviable energy and passion, they built up a sweat whilst running to opposite ends of the stage for the likes of Hands Off…She’s Mine and Ranking Full Stop.

New songs, Side To Side, Avoid The Obvious and Walking On The Wrong Side from last year’s album, Bounce were well received but when the first bars of The Clash’s Rock The Casbah were heard this crowd went wild. Finishing with Mirror In The Bathroom, it was Ranking Junior who was shirtless as these forerunners of the 2 Tone movement showed that they are living proof that first rate music can stand the test of time.

Up next was The Selecter who delivered a set which was simply Ska heaven. With eight smartly dressed skanksters on stage it was founder members Pauline Black and Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendirckson who took the lead with Three Minute Hero and They Make Me Mad from their 1980 album, too Much Pressure.

From their 2015 album Subculture, there was Breakdown and It Never Worked Out which were not out of place with the likes of Celebrate The Bullet and Missing Words. But the room exploded into a storm of skanking for the classic upbeat Train To Skaville and it carried on for On My Radio and Too Much Pressure.

With the soothing Rude Girl vocals of Black alongside Gaps raw Jamaican holler, the icing on the cake was set closer Madness, which had this crowd singing and still dancing as they put another upbeat performance in their memory box.