The Beat featuring Dave Wakeling
The Beat starring original guitarist and vocalist Dave Wakeling (also known as The English Beat) have their feet in the here and now, but lose none of the fire and frenzy of those timeless immediate classics that made the band’s name.
L.A.-based Wakeling’s ability to create a nagging pop hook is undimmed, as too is his political edge. Blending wit and wisdom, and of course Ska, Punk, Soul, Reggae, Pop and anything else that came to hand in the melting pot that was late 70s Birmingham, The Beat were ahead of the time and creating a hybrid sound that came in part to define their times. With five Top 10 singles to their name, their first two albums ‘Just Can’t Stop It’ and ‘Whap’pen’ both bounded to #3 in the charts and their rise continued to the point where they could fill arenas across America.
When the Birmingham sextet first hit the charts in 1979, joint-frontman Ranking Roger was just sixteen-years-old while saxophonist Saxa, who had played with the likes of Desmond Dekker and Prince Buster, was pushing fifty. Saxa died in 2017, at the age of 87, while Ranking died two years later, aged 56.