3MEN+Black - 2Tone Special Tour Reviews
THE SPRING HEAD, HULL - FEB 4 2005
some of those MTV unplugged shows on Sky,I thought it would be good to
see some 2Tone tracks done in that fashion and lo and behold! up pop 3
Men and Black. Normally Pauline, Nick(Selecter), JJ Burnel, (Stranglers)
Jake Burns(S.L.F.) and Bruce Foxton, (The Jam) this new line up saw the
inclusion of Specials guitar maestro Roddy "Radiation" Byers
and Dave Wakeling of The Beat to team up with regulars Pauline Black and
the talented Nick Welsh of The Selecter. In Hull ,we were treated to a
great little compact venue and an even greater show. This was one of those
times when you hit a tour on the right date,because this performance was
top drawer. A relaxed surrounding aided the flow of the gig and these
long standing friends simply bounced off each other,and when we were backstage
it was good to see just how relaxed the four musicians were (those sausage
rolls were lovely! and a buzz to meet Dave Wakeling at last). Before each
song,each individual would explain the ideas behind the track and this
gave us a smart insight into the embryonic versions that would become
chart hits.The whole repertoire was classic 2Tone, with a sprinkling of
fresh material,mainly courtesy of The Selecter contingent. The crowd loved
it and this helped it to be the success it was,with casual banter between
the artistes and punters . Dave Wakeling added some class to the proceedings,
his voice still smooth and clear as Beat numbers were belted out with
gusto, his harmonising with Pauline and Nick was so suited to this acoustic
atmosphere, add Roddy's skilful instantly recognisable guitar into the
equation and the recipe was complete. Roddy's Specials songs were given
rapturous applause and Pauline Black's vocals were soulfully excelling
in this unplugged arena. Some have cast doubts over this type of gig but
the show did more than enough to dispel any fears,as this was such a welcome
change,and it was eye opening to hear renditions of classics,subtedly
re-arranged,casting them in a totally different light that left you wanting
more,and the demand for encores proved that this performance was a hit
with everyone. Rhoda Dakar has been making guest appearances on the tour,unfortunately
she was not in Hull for this one which is a shame as I would have liked
to see her in Bodysnatcher mode. If you are wanting a cracking performance,value
for money,and an evening of classics to boot,then this incarnation of
3 Men and Black is for you. Theres a week left of this tour,so if you
are lucky enough to be in or near a destination on that itinery get yerself
up and out and along to what I think has been one of the best gigs in
a while.I look forward to the next one when 3 Men and Black are back.
Do your bit, get the CD and get out there. NOW.
Review by Paul Williams - Street Feeling Promotions,York.
My husband and his friends went to the gig in Hull & they said it was fantastic, I have listened to the CD it is brilliant.....Debbie Lang
Review: 3Men + Black, at The Subclub, Glasgow, Scotland, 12/02/2005
3Men+Black is a sort of acoustic 2Tone supergroup: it includes The Beat's Dave Wakeling, The Specials' Roddy 'Radiation' Byers, The Selecter's Pauline Black and Bad Manners/The Selecter's Nick Welsh. A long time might have gone since the end of the '70s/beginning of the '80s, when bands such as The Selecter, The Specials and The Beat (better known in the UK as The English Beat) formed and led the 2Tone movement, but for tonight the clocks have stopped at the heyday of 2Tone. This is the first time the 3Men+Black play Glasgow and, in particular, the legendary Subclub, but the audience, pure ska fans, are ready to welcome them. Dave Wakeling, who explains to the crowd that he's been away from the UK music scene because he's been in America for the last 17 years (the only detail of tonight's gig which is fervently booed by the locals), introduces the first track, The Specials' "Message to You Rudy." It instantly sends the crowd into ecstasy. "Tears of a Clown" follows, presented by Wakeling as a good example of how to destroy a good Motown song. Then it's Pauline Black's turn, with an impeccable rendition of "Three Minute Hero", accompanied by Nick Welsh on bass and backing vocals. To prove that they're not ancient ska dinosaurs, Black launches into a recent and moving song inspired by the case of Stephen Lawrence, a black boy killed more than ten years ago in a racist attack in London, "Ten Years". The general mood is light at the Subclub, and Wakeling keeps on alternating on the microphone with Black to present the next song. Each song in introduced with a short story connected to it, at least until Roddy 'Radiation' urges, to the cheers of the crowd, to "fuck the introduction" and just play. More hits are played, among them The Beat's classic 1980 anti-Thatcher hit "Stand Down Margret", "Hands Off... She's Mine", "Can't Get Used to Losing You" and "Mirror in the Bathroom"; The Specials' "Rat Race", "My Girl Lollipop" and "Doesn't Make It Alright"; The Selecter's "Missing Words", "Too Much Pressure" and "On My Radio". Before performing the latter, Black tells the audience a little story from Coventry, where she lives, to prove the obsession surrounding this track. Apparently one day, while she was walking her black-and-white (because she likes to keep everything 2Tone, she underlines) dog in a park, she heard a bird singing the chorus of the song. All the people in pork pie hats and the random-aged skinheads in the audience maniacally dance on each track that is played. It's hard to say definitely which, among these greatest hits, is the most appreciated by the crowd, since each of them is impeccably delivered. There's also a moving moment during the gig, when the 3Men+Black play an acoustic version of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and all the people in the audience join in. Though at the end of the gig there is no encore, which makes the fans a bit sad, this gig is proof that 'dinosaurs' is not the right term to define the 3Men+Black. 'Legends' is much more apt for the members of this special group.
AYLESBURY CIVIC - FEB 3 2005
wanted to say how much Jo and I enjoyed the gig. I got to know of 3Men
+ Black because I am an avid Stranglers fan. I went to the two tone
themed night mainly out of curiousity. Although I always liked The Beat
I was never into 2 Tone as I was a 'Rocker' at the time...
SWINDON WYVERN THEATRE - FEB 1 2005
come again Rob.
just to let you know the gig at Swindon was brilliant and well worth
the trip from Exeter ,Roddy
was just magic and to see Dave who has'nt changed a bit from his Beat
days .Pauline and Nick are always available for a chat after their gigs
but to chat with Roddy and Dave was great . Look forward to seeing an
album to add to the one i bought at the gig.
Tel:0333 9000 919- PO Box 64 Ammanford, Carms. SA18 9AB.
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