The Selecter @ Gramercy Theatre, NYC

Live Reviews | By on Oct 8th, 2016

The Selecter, Hub City Stompers, high School Football Heroes @ Gramercy Theatre, NYC (5)

Date: October 6th 2016
Opening Bands: High School Football Heroes, Hub City Stompers

Believe it or not, I’ve never seen The Selecter before. The last time they were in NYC in 2013, I was in Italy so I had a good excuse. Thankfully they returned and I got the chance to finally see the legendary 2 tone band. They were celebrating 35th anniversary of their classic album Too Much Pressure.

The first band was Long Island ska punk band, High School Football Heroes. They were entertaining and lively, but people were slowly coming into the venue so not sure a lot of people saw their set. I’ve seen them once before at Cake Shop for that Apple Stomp 2.0 thing and both times I enjoyed their sets. Not sure what they played but I’m assuming they played a mixture of old and newer stuff, which you can get at their Bandcamp page.

Hub City Stompers played next and I’ve seen those guys quite a lot over the years. They got the crowd dancing and played songs like “WTFIU.” That song always stands out to me. Travis sang the majority of the songs but their guitarist Rob sang a tune as well. I don’t remember him singing a song, at least when I saw them in the past. At one point they dedicated a song to the late Roy Radics, who played with NJ’s Bigger Thomas and The Rudie Crew. Their bouncy NJ hooligan ska music was a better fit with the crowd than High School Football Heroes’ harder ska punk style. With that said, I enjoyed both sets.

The Selecter were celebrating their classic album Too Much Pressure but unlike the Levellers who I saw 2 weeks ago, they didn’t play the album from start to finish. They mixed things up, played some new songs from their awesome newest album Subculture. As soon as Pauline Black & Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson came on stage, I knew I was going to see an awesome set. It’s something about their dynamic that just works. Their dancing, their energy and how passionate they get about the songs…it just makes for a killer set. The first few songs were so awesome, particularly “Three Minute Hero.” That was the first song I heard from The Selecter back when I got into ska in 1996. Other highlights for me were “Missing Words,” “Time Hard,” and “It Never Worked Out.”

Towards the end of the set, they played a killer rendition of “Too Much Pressure” and mixed in “Pressure Drop” in there as well. “On My Radio” was probably my favorite song played that night but “Three Minute Hero” was definitely up there as well. The band came back and played “Carry Go Bring Home,” “My Collie” and some others, but I needed to get home so I left few minutes early.

Overall, I can’t believe it’s been this long of not seeing The Selecter. No idea why that was the case. I definitely didn’t make a good decision of skipping their past shows when they were in town. They were one of the most energetic bands that I’ve seen in awhile. Not to mention a blast to photograph! Hopefully The Selecter come back soon so I can see them again.

Enjoy some photos below, all of them will be posted on SkaPunkPhotos.com over the weekend.

High School Football Heroes

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Hub City Stompers

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The Selecter

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