The English Beat will be making an appearance at the New Hope Winery on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. The band continues to dish out two-tone, ska, reggae and new wave, while mixing social commentary with danceability.
The original band consisted of Dave Wakeling on vocals and guitar, Andy Cox on guitar, David Steele on bass, and Everett Morton on drums – later additions Ranking Roger (toasting) and foundational First Wave Ska legend Saxa (saxophone) completed the outfit. The band crossed over between soul, reggae, pop and punk, and from these sources 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. By Christmas 1979, The Beat were riding high in the UK charts with their first single, a smoking remake of the classic Smokey Robinson tune Tears of a Clown. Over the course of the next five years, The Beat toured relentlessly and released three studio albums: I Just Can’t Stop It, Wh’appen, and Special Beat Service.
After The Beat, Dave Wakeling formed General Public with his friend Roger. The band took off quickly, scoring numerous hits from their three studio albums, including Tenderness, So Hot You’re Cool, Never You Done That, Come Again, Too Much or Nothing, and I’ll Take You There. While Dave was writing in the US, Andy Cox and David Steele were putting their own band together, placing an ad for a singer on MTV and receiving a response from Roland Gift. Thus, Fine Young Cannibals was formed and right from the release of their first single Johnny Come Home, the band was a hit. Their two studio albums scored multiple hit singles, with tunes such as She Drives Me Crazy and Good Thing becoming instant classics.
Dave Wakeling has continued to keep the music alive and strong, touring the world as The English Beat with an amazing all-star ska backing band playing all the hits of The Beat, General Public, and his new songs.
Tickets for the English Beat are $45. Doors 5 p.m.; showtime 6 p.m.