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The English Beat
Ska Pop Soul and Punk
- Saturday, May 14, 2016
BOX OFFICE 612-332-5299
About The English Beat
One tempestuous weekend in March 1979 was not only the date of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident, but also, in Birmingham, England, the very first show by a nascent band known as The Beat. The band hailed from working class, industrial Birmingham, England. When The Beat rushed on to the music scene in 1979, it was a time of social, political and musical upheaval. Into this storm came The Beat, trying to calm the waters with their simple message of love and unity set to a great dance beat.
The Beat were all about inclusion, rather than exclusion, and this showed in their personnel and their music influences. The band crossed over fluidly between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these disparate pieces they created an infectious dance rhythm. Along with their contemporaries The Specials, The Selecter, and Madness, the band became an overnight sensation and one of the most popular and influential bands of the British Two Tone Ska movement.
From 1978 to 1983 The Beat released three acclaimed albums, and toured the world with David Bowie, The Clash, The Police, The Pretenders, R.E.M., and Talking Heads. After disbanding, members of the band went on to form many other groups, including General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals.
In 2003 the English Beat reunited for one special show at Royal Festival Hall. Invigorated by the show’s success, guitarist/vocalist Dave Wakeling re-assembled a touring version of the English Beat. While the band has been dedicated to keeping the music of the early English Beat records alive, a new studio album, For Crying Out Loud, is currently being set for release.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
“Nostalgia has nothing to do with it. The English Beat endures because of musicianship.” – Dallas Morning News
“[Wakeling] still sounds awesome today… He has an immediately recognizable voice” – Rock Subculture