Thursday, April 12, 2012

Beats working overtime

When I went to The Specials show on Tuesday night, there were some folk handing out flyers at the gate, advertising The English Beat playing at The Powerstation, August 23rd. Tickets available through from Thursday 19th April.  Today's NZ Herald has an interview with Ranking Roger - he's bringing The Beat to NZ in late September (Sept 29 Auckland; Sept 30 Wellington; Oct 2 Christchurch). Two versions of The Beat. What gives? EDIT That story was from 2006 - my apologies, I got it wrong.

The English Beat is led by original member, vocalist Dave Wakeling (the sole original member in the English Beat), and apparently he and Ranking Roger don't get on these days, so Roger and original drummer Everett Morton tour their own version, as The Beat.

Given Wakeling SANG most of the songs, and Ranking Roger was their toaster, I suspect seeing Wakeling's version might be slightly more rewarding.

".... About here is where the band's history becomes ska's answer to Spinal Tap. When the Beat split after three albums in 1983, Roger and Wakeling formed General Public, which got them some mid-80s American pop success. So did Beat guitarist Andy Cox and bassist David Steele after recruiting signer Roland Gift into their Fine Young Cannibals.

As the years rolled on, and with the split of General Public, various incarnations of the Beat kept touring. As well as Wakeling's English Beat there was Special Beat, International Beat, the New Beat and Roger's Twist and Crawl, which eventually took back its original moniker...

...Roger says Cox and Steele have given their blessing to his Beat carrying on under the original name. But as the competing Beats might suggest, there's little love lost between Roger and his former co-frontman Wakeling.

"Dave Wakeling and myself, we haven't got on for a couple of years so I just don't really bother with him. He doesn't exist as far as I'm concerned."

The Beat (w Ranking Roger, Morton) toured here in 2006, and according to the NZH's Timeout "resident Beat fan they weren't very good, and not just because they didn't play Dream Home in New Zealand..."

Ranking Roger also worked a lot with Mick Jones from The Clash in his post-Clash outfit Big Audio Dynamite. The Beat opened for The Clash in live shows too. Read Ranking Roger and Mick Jones: A musical mutual appreciation society.

I know I posted this recently but hey.... twice as nice? Ranking Roger with The Clash

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