The English Beat

All Ages
Wednesday, April 06
Doors: 7pm
$30

One of the key bands of the U.K. ska revival of the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Beat (known as The English Beat in North America to avoid confusion with the Paul Collins-led power pop group) achieved a near-perfect balance of pop melodies and taut rhythms that made them stars in Britain and won them a substantial cult following in the United States. Fronted by vocalist and guitarist Dave Wakeling and toaster Ranking Roger, the racially integrated Beat were based in Birmingham, England and released their debut single, “Tears of a Clown” b/w “Ranking Full Stop,” through the Specials’ 2-Tone label in 1979. The single went Top Ten in the U.K., and they soon struck a deal with Arista to distribute their own Go Feet label. 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It (released by Sire in the United States) went gold in England on the strength of the single “Mirror in the Bathroom,” and the band’s ferocious performances and clever blend of personal and political lyrics made them stars at home. After a disappointing sophomore effort, 1981’s Wha’ppen?, the band came roaring back with 1982’s Special Beat Service, a more pop-oriented set that gave them a wider U.S. audience thanks to MTV’s embrace of the singles “I Confess” and “Save It for Later.” The band split at the end of that year, but in the 2000s, both Wakeling and Roger were fielding touring versions of the Beat, and the Wakeling edition recorded a new album, 2018’s Here We Go Love.

CURRENT LINEUP
Dave Wakeling
Lead Vocals/Guitar

Matt Morrish
Sax/Vocals

Kevin Lum
Keys/Vocals

Minh Quan
Keys/Vocals

Brian “Nucci” Cantrell
Drums/Vocals

Antonee First Class
Toaster

Chuck Elder
Bass/Vocals


Quotes


“… [Dave] Wakeling and his crew played 90 minutes worth of hits, deep cuts, some General Public chestnuts and a few new songs… every song was met with recognition and applause.” – River Front Times

“[The English Beat are] more popular now than ever.” – San Francisco Chronicle

[Dave Wakeling] has assembled an incredible band and is playing his hits with the same raucous enthusiasm that made The English Beat one of the biggest acts of the New Wave Era… Every time they play, The Brew [San Luis Obispo, CA] is packed to the gills with an audience bouncing in unison.” – SLO New Times

“People were spilling out the doors by the time [English Beat] went on stage and the palpable joy was in the air when they started… With lyrics about unity, peace, love and partying, and a beat that’s guaranteed to get you out of your seat, their music will always be dancetastic.” – The New York Examiner

[The English Beat continues to take] on 2 tone, ska, reggae and new wave, still dishing out on issues of strife and discontentment at times, but always with a happy, danceable tune… drawing large audiences and still has a growing fan base” – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

“[Dave Wakeling of The English Beat] is a musician who seems to genuinely enjoy performing, and even those new to the Beat couldn’t help but get swept up in the infectious brand of “happy” music, as one put it.” – Napa Valley Register

“As always, the English Beat’s sound is a driving blend of ska, punk, rock and reggae that’s made for dancing.” – Daily Local News