With The Selecter tour well underway, Louder Than War’s Sophie Sparham spoke to Pauline Black to find out about the new album and to see what it’s like to be back out on the road.
I think the thing that any band is as vintage as us is looking forward to is the pleasure of being out, a new tour, a new album and just doing new music.
I love the Tuts, I’m really glad that they’re supporting you, why did you decide to have them support?
We did Glastonbury last year and I was on my way to be interviewed by Steve Lamacq and there was a huge thunderstorm. I got parked rather strangely at the left field stage for half an hour, while they tried to get the BBC up and running again. While I was there I happened to see the Tuts on stage and I was blown away by them. Funnily enough, our old manager, and this was nothing to do with me, is there mentor in a strange way. It was a really weird situation, I hadn’t seen her for ages and she said they were a great band. They came and played in Coventry, where I live and I saw a much longer set and thought, yeah they’re exactly what we need. They’re like a breath of fresh air.
What’s it been like to reform?
Well that was five years ago now, it’s just been like a steadily growing trend, playing this country, Australia and New Zealand. I think we did nine countries last year. And also to put out the new stuff, we put out two albums ones called ‘Made in Britain’, the other one’s called ‘String Theory’ and this one’s called ‘Subculture’ which is exactly what we are.
What was your inspiration for ‘Subculture’?
We were always inspired by the two tone movement and those inspirations were fight racism where ever you can and that hasn’t gone away even with 35 years intervening. Two tone was an umbrella for a load of different subcultures, but two tone united them underneath that banner, which was always an aint racist and sexist stance. Those are the two themes that most of the music we make addresses and I see no point in deviating from that until it’s actually irradiated. Probably not in my lifetime, but we hope!
Does it feel like a new beginning?
No, not really. The Selector is who there is and who goes out on tour. I mean I’m always really happy to be with the original singer from the original band, Gaps Hendrickson. I mean after 35 years most marriages don’t stay together, let alone bands! So some of the people who are in the band, I’ve know for 25 years, sometimes longer. All that matters to me is The Selecter has the same ethos that it always did and carries on performing in the way that it always did to an increasing audience.
What’s your secret to keeping the band going?
Not being miserable! I mean I get to do good things, well, things that I like, well things that interest me, well, whether they’re good or not is somebody else’s evaluation. What’s to moan about? I didn’t think after this many years that I would an active member of the entertainment industry. I know we’re not up there with the Madonna’s and stuff, we have our own fan base, but nevertheless, it’s exciting for me. And while there’s still things to say and you’re given a platform to say them, I think get out and do them.
- Mar 06 The Met Bury
- Mar 07 Picturedrome Holmfirth
- Mar 08 Brudenell Social Leeds
- Mar 12 ABC 2 Glasgow
- Mar 13 Lemon Tree Aberdeen
- Mar 14 Liquid Room Edinburgh
- Mar 15 O2 Academy2 Newcastle Upon Tyne
- Mar 19 EVAC Liverpool, United Kingdom
- Mar 20 The Globe Cardiff
- Mar 21 The Fleece Bristol
- Mar 22 The Bullingdon Oxford
- Mar 26 Arts Centre Colchester
- Mar 27 Koko London
- Mar 28 Copper Rooms University of Warwick, Coventry
All words by Sophie Sparham. More of Sophie’s work can be found at her Louder Than War Author’s Archive.