Record Collector Sept 2011: 4* "far deeper
than just selective recollections- a complex self-examination of the dichotomies
of Black's life- a valuable social commentary"
The Sunday Herald Scotland Aug 29th 2011:
"Oddly, it was the authors of autobiography appearing at the Edinburgh
International Book Festival who, looking inwards, were able to find within their
own story something larger. PaulineBlack.s autobiography Black By Design gives a
personal account of how Britain became a multiracial society. A mixed race
child, she was adopted by white parents in Essex who, while loving, were
neglectful of her black heritage. She joined ska band The Selecter and
overnight found herself the spokeswoman for youths confused about their place in
society. A cool, confident speaker, she radiated intelligence"
Read Article here
The Scotsman Aug 20th: " strong-minded,
intelligent & open.....Black's story is extraordinary, and at times very sad".
read article here
Metro Aug 10th: 4*Hit List- Metro's pick of Screen,
Sound & Print: "A fascinating, ferocious & funny memoir from the lead
singer of The Selecter who became the perfect poster girl for the 2-tone record
label [with an] intelligence and fierce sense of right and wrong".
Belfast Telegraph Aug 6th 2011: Books You Should Own-
"as honest a biography as you might expect".
The Creative Times: "the fascinating story of
her search for racial identity & the part the band played in it".
Mojo magazine Aug 2011: "there's plenty of
'on the road' tales to please the 2-Tone fan, but this is ultimately the story
of a brave, intelligent woman's struggle to make sense of the nasty world around
The Bookbag Aug 2011: "Her autobiography is
not just another musical memoir, but a genuinely very inspiring read".
Read article here
Elle Magazine Aug 2011: Gwen Stefani recently
chose 1980's band The Selecter in her Top 5 albums for Elle. If you want to know
more, pick up this autobiography of its iconic lead singer: queen of ska,
Pauline Black. combining the best of the 1980s music industry as well as Black's
search for her birth parents, it's gritty, witty and compelling."
Reggae Britannia, Barbican London -The Independent 7th Feb 2011= Reviewed by: Nick Hasted
"Multiculturalism rules", The Selecter's Pauline Black says pointedly, hours after David Cameron has declared it dead. No one else gives the Prime Minister's comment
house-room during this exhilarating, three-hour celebration of reggae in Britain. Look around at the delighted one-time skinheads and rude boys dancing to the heroes that unite them, and the
idea seems the product of a fevered brain.
British reggae's lynchpin, Dennis Bovell, is the MC for this celebration of the living past, which faded out in the 1980's when roots reggae and lovers rock lost their
grip to digital rhythms. the subtly superb house band show what's been lost with their delicate keyboards and heavy-punching horns, guitar echoes and crashing rim-shots- live rhythms that
shift yet stay tight. There's little dub dread, more a relief from pressure in this agile music.
True to history, Jamaican imports dominate at first. The response for Ken Boothe is an instant ecstatic reverence I've rarely experienced, an urgent ovation he fully justifies. He's a suited soul
testifier, a vulnerable lover man. His 1974 hit " Everything I Own" feels like a secret exile's song as well as peerless ballad. "Memories don't live like people do", he
mentions as he ends, when it feels like Elvis has left the building. Toaster Big Youth is as remarkable, a white-bearded Rastafari mixing prophetic chat with sexual jerks of his
gold-suited hips, a wild card swinging his dreadlocks like Medusa's snakes.
Pauline Black is the first British artist. In a Midlands rude-girl suit of sharp straight lines, she brings 2-Tone's faster, jerky punk beat and the needling New
Wave aggro of "On My Radio", to which a platoon of fans jog along. the Special's singer Neville Staple adds more Coventry sufferation with "Ghost Town", though its writer, 2-Tone
founder Jerry Dammers, is a glaring omission. "Proper legend"! someone shouts as the band's infirm trombonist Rico finds the breath to contribute. The ex-singers of Aswad and
UB40, Brinsley Forde and Ali Campbell, fare less well, the latter's adenoidal "Many River's To Cross" making one long for Jimmy Cliff's sacred version. But lovers rock queen Janet Kay
creamily sings the first chart-topper by a black British artist, "Lovin' You", a staging post in the cultural liberation replayed tonight.