The Selecter are a British ska revival band from Coventry, formed in the late 1970s as one of the essential bands of the British ska movement.
Much of what set apart The Selecter from many of the other ska bands at the time was the voice of Pauline Black. She had to disguise herself as a man in order for the band to get gigs, but once they did, there was no disguising her voice. Like other ska bands of this movement, The Selecter featured a racially mixed line up, and songs about violence, politics, marijuana, a fictional spy’s theme song, James Bond, and reggae classics. The name of the band is a reference to the Jamaican word for a music selecter, known elsewhere as the DJ. Also typical to the style is the mix of one vocalist singing, and the other toasting in a Jamaican style, a precursor to rapping.
Formed in Coventry in 1979 The Selecter spearheaded the two tone movement along with The Specials and Madness. Fronted by Pauline Black, they first hit the airwaves with 'On My Radio', followed by countless other hit singles. The band split at the height of their popularity in 1981 but are now reformed featuring original lead singers Pauline Black & Arthur 'Gaps' Hendrickson.