Beat goes on in Truckee
Dave Wakeling and The English Beat perform on Friday, July 13 at Truckee Regional Park Amphitheater. The Reno band Keyser Soze, which features a three-piece horn section, will start the show at 7 p.m. performing their original roots and dub tunes along with traditional Jamaican ska.
Wakeling loves to tell the stories behind his songs, either from stage or after the show. Ask any one of the thousands of fans who have met him over the years and that’s what you’ll hear. Never mind that Wakeling is the singer/songwriter from two of the most popular bands of the end of the millennium, The English Beat and General Public, he’s a stand up man from Brum.
Whether it’s the personal as political in “How Can You Stand There,” making politics personal in “Stand
Down Margaret,” taking a stand against global warming as he did with Greenpeace’s “Alternative NRG,” or helping little kids stand up proudly with “Smile Train”, Wakeling has always stood for something.
Hailing from working-class Birmingham, England, Wakeling and The English Beat entered the music scene in the 1979. When The English Beat rushed on to the music scene in 1979, it was a time of social, political and musical upheaval. Into this storm came they came, trying to calm the waters with their simple message of love and unity set to a great dance beat.
The six-member band consisted Wakeling (vocals and guitar), Andy Cox (guitar), David Steele (bass), Everett Morton (drums), Saxa (saxophone) and Ranking Roger (toasting).
The band managed to fuse all of their respective musical influences – soul, reggae, pop and punk – into a unique sound that was highly danceable. Along with contemporaries such as The Specials, The Selecter and Madness, The English Beat became one of the most popular and influential bands of the British ska movement.
Over the course of the three albums, The English Beat achieved great success in its home country, charting several singles into the top 10. In addition to their UK chart success, in the U.S, the band found a solid base of young fans eager to dance to the their hypnotic rhythms. Their constant touring with iconic bands such as The Clash and The Police helped to boost their popularity in the United States.