From the working class suburbs of Birmingham in 1978, to a jam-packed Wedgewood Rooms 37 years later, 2-Tone ska forerunners The Beat are living proof that great songs played with fire and energy will always stand the test of time.
Support band The Jamie Freeman Agreement warmed up the crowd superbly with their spiky pop-tinged Americana sound. Melodies but with a message.
However, the crowd erupted into a writhing, dancing frenzy as Ranking Roger and Ranking Jnr took to the stage and launched into Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret, a song that saw the audience in full and fine voice.
With three gold and platinum top selling albums worldwide to their name, it was hardly surprising that hit followed hit. Too Nice To Talk Too, Hands Off She’s Mine and Mirror In The Bathroom ensured that the energy continued to flow effortlessly from the indefatigable father and son front duo.
A wonderful ska mash-up of The Clash’s Rock The Casbah proved a popular choice, and one of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for Get A Job which the band dedicated to David Cameron.
The Beat are very much alive and kicking and still showing the wannabes how it’s done. KEN BROWN