English Beat - <em>Legal Music Download</em> ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, June 17, 2007

English Beat - Legal Music Download

It has now been 24 years since the English Beat broke up and it seems that their legacy has grown over the years. Dave Wakeling, who re-entered the music industry a few years back, is currently touring the US under the English Beat moniker. (Where it gets confusing is that Ranking Roger, Blockhead and Everett Moreton are currently touring the UK as The Beat).

English Beat cica 1983The revised English Beat played a 50 minute set in the KEXP studios back in March of this year. I loved The Beat but have mixed feeling about the revised band. Like many of the bands with a strong back catalogue, the set focuses on the band's "greatest hits" and they only play one new song. I have been reading about the problem bands in this space have (Kiss and R.E.M. are the ones that come immediately to mind) as the fans don't want to hear anything new. Does anyone really think that the Violent Femmes two-night stand at Warsaw is anything more than a showcase for "Blister in the Sun", "Kiss Off", "American Music" and a couple of other crowd favorites?

The good news is Dave Wakeling sounds great and the new band lineup is solid. The bad news is that there is a "missing element" to the band's sound. I don't know if it is the mix on this recording but I really miss Ranking Roger's vocal interplay with Dave and Andy Cox's guitar work. There is a pretty solid interview with Dave as part of this podcast and Dave mentions that he hopes to work with Roger later this year. It would be great to see the two reunited but I'd love to see the pair onstage with Andy Cox and David Steele. I hate reality shows but I did make a point of watching The Beat on VH1's "Bands Reunited" and it was very clear that Cox and Steele want nothing to do with The Beat.

Check out the podcast and make up your own mind (link).

Dave Wakeling's Main Website (link)
The New English Beat's MySpace Page (link) [Note: this is Roger's band]