Don’t Miss: Culture Club @ Strathmore, 9/11/16

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Culture Club (Photo courtesy the band)

Culture Club eyed releasing a new album in 2016, but they seem to have cooled off on it for the time being.

That said, the soulful UK quartet has been hard at work on touring! The original members — including bassist Mikey Craig, guitarist Roy Hay, drummer Jon Moss, and vocalist Boy George — have been traveling the world together in the last few years, and they appear to be having the time of their lives.

As evidence of how good touring has been for the group, Parklife DC gave their live show a very positive review when it stopped by Wolf Trap in 2015, and Boy George himself came around again with his friend Cyndi Lauper (again at Wolf Trap) in June. But the local touring doesn’t end there! The restless band now are planning to hit the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, Sept. 11.

Watch Culture Club perform their classic hit “Miss Me Blind” for Jimmy Kimmel Live! on June 28, 2016:

Last year, we wrote, “It’s a miracle — that we were able to witness the reformation of these remarkable musicians, and I say that because Culture Club doesn’t work when it’s just the Boy George show. Surely, the flamboyant vocalist is a key ingredient of the act, but he needs his compatriots to pull it off. For their part, the other three were in remarkably good spirits, waving, shaking hands, smiling along with the audience. Their high spirits buoyed a strong performance and fed into making the band seem like a band.”

Tonight, Culture Club perform in San Antonio, Texas, hitting the road on the journey to their DC-area show. Don’t miss them blind — go see them in concert!

Tickets for the DC show are available online. (Check out the VIP package as well for a meet and greet with Culture Club!)

Culture Club
Strathmore Music Center
Sunday, Sept. 11
Show @8pm
$65-$165
All ages

Music Park: The Fuss @ Wonderland Ballroom — 1/21/16

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The Fuss, “In Anacostia” (Photo courtesy The Fuss)

Before the snow hit DC on Thursday night, people were in the mood to go out. Drifting from nightspot to nightspot, I could already feel the restlessness among the crowds anticipating they would soon be snowed in.

There was no snow to be found as of yet, however, and a sizeable group formed at the Wonderland Ballroom for a night of ska and reggae presented by BlueBeat DC, which produces a show every third Thursday of the month at Wonderland. The first band up last week was The Fuss, a DC collective of eight musicians who satisfied the crowd’s desire to dance the night away.

The Fuss opened with their song “Just for Show,” a laidback, jazzy and funky tune that really captures the band’s sound. To be clear, that sound is textbook rocksteady, a slower yet still dance-driven sibling of ska. The song is an ideal set opener as its tone and lyrics truly invite the listener to come into the show. In performance, The Fuss are quite fluid, orchestrating smart use of its horns, strings, and percussion. Vocalist Andi Leo has a big voice that pairs well with the big instruments.

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Music Park: English Beat @ 9:30 Club — 11/25/15

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Dave Wakeling of The English Beat performs at Bumbershoot 2010 in Seattle on Sept. 6, 2010. (Photo by Dave Lichterman)

Calling all rude boys and rude girls!

The venerable English Beat have been revitalized this year with a new toaster — King Schascha. For a 2-tone band, a toaster isn’t mechanical, but in King’s case, he’s certainly electric.

The reggae rhymer from San Diego effectively got the very full house at the 9:30 Club dancing right away on Wednesday, Nov. 25, paving the way for band leader Dave Wakeling and his time-tested repertoire of ska and reggae. They kicked things off with “Rough Rider” from the debut album by the English Beat, 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, and the entire audience was moving and grooving from the very first note.

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Don’t Miss: The English Beat @ 9:30 Club, 11/25/15

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Dave Wakeling (Photo by Bryan Kremkau)

The English Beat are perennial favorites in the DC metro area. They turned up at the State Theatre not long ago, and now they have a show slated for the 9:30 Club.

But wait! Not only are the [English] Beat hitting our premiere concert destination on Wednesday, Nov. 25, they also are preparing to release a new album, tentatively titled Here We Go Love! The ska/reggae collective famously published three albums in the early ‘80s, and they haven’t released a new studio album since Special Beat Service in 1982.

Special Beat Service, of course, spawned some of the English Beat’s greatest hits, such as “I Confess” and “Mirror in the Bathroom,” fueling the capability of Dave Wakeling and company to continuously tour the world for years.

Watch the official video for “Mirror in the Bathroom” on YouTube:

If you haven’t seen the English Beat in a while, or somehow you have never done so (you saved it for later?), this is a perfect opportunity to see them. After all, they are playing the night before a holiday, so you have all of the time in the world to beat to the Beat.

Tickets are available online!

The English Beat
9:30 Club
Wednesday, Nov. 25
Doors @7pm
$25
All ages

Music Park: Culture Club @ Wolf Trap — 8/10/15

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Culture Club (Photo by Dean Stockings)

Boy George strode onto stage in an elaborate helmet and a black cloak.

The sparkling gold headpiece looked as if he might have nicked it from an expensive Hollywood production of the story of Cleopatra. He grinned mischievously at the audience at Wolf Trap.

“I had to wrestle Lady Gaga for this,” he said of the headpiece. “She lost. She’s backstage, crying, right now.”

With that, the cheeky singer set off into a performance of “Victims,” a show-stopping tune from his band Culture Club.

And it was absolutely thrilling. When the beat dropped in the song, as it famously does shortly after the 2-minute mark, the audience was completely enraptured by the ode to being a thrall to love. You could feel goosebumps.

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