I recently had an opportunity to see The English Beat at Ace of Spades in Sacramento, for my first concert of the year (on my birthday no less!). Unfortunately, with all of the cold and flu going around, after shooting the first three songs of their set, I had to bail as my fiancée was under the weather and burning up with fever. Rather than waste the opportunity to talk about one of the best live bands playing today, I thought I would put up this preview for what they have coming in 2015, with a list of upcoming concerts, a little bit of information about For Crying Out Loud – the new album due early this year – as well as share a few photos taken at the show last week. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to attend another one of their shows soon, and put up a proper feature about it.
As mentioned in past reviews, Dave Wakeling has such a unique and wonderful energy about him that sort of makes you forget all your worries and life is just better hearing his music. And that contagious smile while he performs. You hear the music and then see him play live for the first time, and it all makes sense – the music mirrors his personality.
I’ve been a huge fan of The English Beat since childhood, and of course the related work by General Public and Ranking Roger. They put out an amazing catalog of work and really inspired and influenced a lot of great bands that followed.
Currently, two versions of The Beat play today – the U.S. version fronted by Dave Wakeling (who lives in California) and the UK version fronted by Ranking Roger.
Operating on two continents, Dave Wakeling is the only original member of the U.S. version of the band, but all on stage are fantastic musicians that are keeping the music alive, and each played their various part spectacularly. They do still tour quite a bit, and it comes across with their apparent comfort on stage and ease with which they work together as a band. They genuinely appear to have a great deal of fun, which is of course contagious with the crowd.
As far as The English Beat goes, Dave Wakeling’s voice is the lead vocal one would most recognize from their collective body of work, and he still sounds awesome today, being indistinguishable from the studio recordings going back 30 years (though I would argue he sounds even better today).
Last year, The English Beat launched a PledgeMusic campaign to fund a new album, which is expect a few months from now. It is still possible to participate in this campaign for cool swag and experiences, all in support of the new album, For Crying Out Loud. Click the link below for all the details:
Below is a list of upcoming concert dates, current as of the time of this article:
- Fri 01/09/15 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theatre
- Sat 01/10/15 Scottsdale, AZ Livewire
- Fri 01/16/15 Palm Desert, CA The Hood Bar & Pizza
- Sat 01/17/15 West Hollywood, CA The Roxy Theatre
- Fri 01/30/15 Laguna Beach, CA Mozambique
- Sat 01/31/15 Riverside, CA Romano’s Concert Lounge
- Fri 04/10/15 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
- Sat 04/11/15 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern
- Sat 04/18/15 Tulsa, OK Guthrie Green Park (Appearing at “Tulsa Roots Music Bash”)
Below are some photos of The English Beat performing on stage at Ace of Spades in Sacramento on January 2, 2015 (click any image for lightbox mode for higher resolution/full screen image viewing options):