REVIEW: The Beat/The Selecter at The Pyramids Centre, Southsea

The Beat and The Selecter join together onstage at The Pyramids, Southsea, during the #oneminuteformanchester on Friday, May 26, 2017. Picture by Paul Windsor
The Beat and The Selecter join together onstage at The Pyramids, Southsea, during the #oneminuteformanchester on Friday, May 26, 2017. Picture by Paul Windsor
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‘This band puts more energy into one song than most bands put into a whole gig’ said the ageless (has she a Dorian Gray-style picture in her attic?) Pauline Black partway through The Selecter’s electrifying set.

The evidence set out suggests this may well be true. Even if you include headline-sharers The Beat.

Pauline, Gaps Hendrickson and the band bounced through Three Minute Hero, Too Much Pressure and a wonderful one-two punch of James Bond and Train To Skaville.

The message to The Beat was a clear, yet friendly, follow that. And they almost managed it too. Drawing several songs from their 2016 album Bounce Ranking Roger and his son, Ranking Junior got the whole house moving.

Stone-cold ska classics like Doors Of Your Heart, Best Friend and Mirror In The Bathroom sat alongside new material like Side By Side and Fire Burn.

An almost impeccably observed minute’s silence for the victims of bomb attack in Manchester was followed by a rowdy minute of noise to show defiance.

After a slow start The Beat hit their stride with a skanking finale: Can’t Get Used To Losing You, a cover of The Clash’s Rock The Casbah and both bands united on stage for an almost pub-like singalong of the Prince Buster gem: Enjoy Yourself.

I certainly did. And if forced to choose the better band? The Selecter edged it. This time.