The peerless English Beat performs at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on June 21, 2018. (Photo by Chester Simpson)
The English Beat have a brand new album out! The indefatigable Dave Wakeling and company published Here We Go Love earlier this month via Here We Go Records to very strong reviews. And Dave and the band dropped by the State Theatre in Falls Church to play a few of the new songs long with some old favorites on Thursday.
Dave Wakeling of course is strong as steel. The guy has been a tour de force on stages for years now since revitalizing The English Beat as a touring act from his home in California. As you know, the man originally from Birmingham, England, collaborated with the original iteration of The Beat for three timeless albums, and then he and Ranking Roger formed General Public for three more terrific records.
As you may not yet know, Dave recorded Here We Go Love over the past few years via a PledgeMusic campaign, and the new album is a smash. A crowd of all ages took to the State Theatre in a very full show on June 21 to dance the night away to songs new and old — and they liked the new songs very much indeed.
“How Can You Stand There?” is an infectious song that most certainly recalls The English Beat legacy. To my knowledge, the guys have not yet performed live “If Killing Worked,” a more challenging political song that carries a very mod vibe, but hopefully they will incorporate it into their set soon! Make no mistake, however. While these new numbers are certainly dance tunes, many of them carry wry and often pointed observations inspired by the current political times.
Listen to Here We Go Love by The English Beat on Spotify:
As consummate showmen, Dave and English Beat toaster King Schascha played to the front of the stage, dishing out rhymes and rhythms while bursting with enthusiasm for the Beat’s ska and reggae tunes. The gents are a joy to watch! They performed a characteristically leisurely set, jamming and beaming through new songs “Never Die,” “The Love You Give,” and “How Can you Stand There?” as well as the old standards “Twist and Crawl,” “Save It for Later,” and “Mirror in the Bathroom.”
The English Beat also surprised with a rare performance of “Doors of Your Heart” from the original band’s 1982 second album, Wha’ppen?
The band remains on the road this week in California and beyond, and it will return to our general area for a show at Rams Head on Stage in Annapolis on Oct. 4. (Buy your tickets online!) Given that State Theatre was very near maximum capacity, I expect the Rams Head on Stage show will certainly sell out. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of The English Beat performing at the State Theatre on June 21, 2018. All photos copyright and courtesy of Chester Simpson.