The English Beat
Culture Room, Fort Lauderdale
Friday, November 7, 2014
"I don't know why you're asking us to play that song. We haven't played it in years." Dave Wakeling said deadpan in his thick English drawl as the crowd roared for "Mirror in the Bathroom."
What other accent would you expect to hear from a band forced to call themselves the English Beat on US shores since there was already an American band with the name they're known by in the UK, The Beat?
From 1980 to 1982 The Beat, English or otherwise, put out three touchstone ska albums with hits like "Save it for Later," "Hands Off She's Mine," and yes, "Mirror in the Bathroom".
The only member from that classic line-up still gigging is Wakeling. And so the night was more of a retrospective of Wakeling's career including songs from his post-English Beat ensemble, General Public.
He was joined by another guitarist, a bassist, a sax player, a drummer, and keyboards as well as a row of his guitars displayed in their many alternate tunings. Together they entertained the large crowd for over two hours.