Live Review: 282,240 Hour Party People, The Selecter in Sheffield 08/03/14

Venue: o2 Academy
Date: 08/03/14

You know this band. You know them without even realising it.

If you heard three of The Selecter’s hits you be able to sing along to most of them.

This band was among the best bands of the late 70s and early 80s, Two-Tone scene that mixed ska, reggae and punk ethics into a blast of good time grooves.

The Too Much Pressure Tour, named after the band’s debut album, is currently doing the rounds of nation’s venues to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this seminal band and yes, I worked out how many hours there are in 35 years…

By The Rivers are Leicester-based reggae band that knows how to warm a crowd up. They don’t hit you with the same old clichéd beats or progressions that a lot of bands rely.

Vocalist and guitarist Nile Barrow delivered his lyrics with a characterful voice and style that blew away any misconceptions that these lads are not serious about having a good time with their music.

The set was full of highs and lows that show off the talent that is written into the songs, that had even the most unskilled dancers (like my less than animated self) moving like school discos weren’t a past nightmare that keeps coming back to haunt them.

These guys were good and you’d be missing out if you didn’t see them the next time they’re playing a venue near you.

The Selecter is exceptional. They’re the ultimate party band. They’re a national treasure.

Playing a set that took you through the urgent stomp of Three Minute Hero through to the more mellow side of the band with Carry Go Bring Home as they played the Too Much Pressure album in its entirety.

The twin attack of Gaps Hendrickson and Pauline Black gives the band a live credibility and focus that has been honed to perfection. Only years of experience can provide that. The band delivered tight beat one after the other with the brass section, keys and lyrical guitar of Anthony Harty cutting through for melody.

The o2 Academy 2, gave the gig a feeling of togetherness and intimacy that would have been lost on the bigger main stage.

 This was a special night with a special band that was capped off with an encore of On My Radio.

– Matt Churchard

View full set of live gig images: click here.

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