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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 16 May 2018

The Beat's Dave Wakeling Returns With New Politically Charged Album & A Live Show In Brighton

It was always a pleasure for The Brighton Magazine to host The Beat's Dave Wakeling, when he performed in the city as part of the 3 Men & Black collective (alongside Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and Pauline Black and Nick Welsh from The Selecter).

And now Wakeling returns with Here We Go Love, The Beat's first studio album since 1982. 

Wakeling's ability to create a nagging pop hook is undimmed, as too is his political edge.  

Blending wit and wisdom, and of course Ska, Punk, Soul, Reggae, Pop and anything else that came to hand in the melting pot that was late 70s Birmingham, The Beat were ahead of the time and creating a hybrid sound that came in part to define their times. 

With five Top ten singles to their name, their first two albums Just Can't Stop It and Whap'pen both bounded to number three in the charts and their rise continued to the point where they could fill arenas across America. 

They were, as vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Wakeling recalls: "An incongruous set of people from all different cultures and upbringings." 

When the Birmingham sextet first hit the charts in 1979, joint-frontman Ranking Roger was just sixteen-years-old while saxophonist Saxa, who had played with the likes of Desmond Dekker and Prince Buster, was pushing fifty. 


Here We Go Love references that vitality, whilst refracting through the prism of experience, and is packed with a fizzing energy and intent right from the start.  

Thematically, Wakeling explores the outer regions of what it means to be alive in the here and now; notions of love, self, identity, and of course politics. "

The One And Only examines, "the Donald Trump in all of us. Like it or not, the vast majority of white men in America voted for him."  


While the music rolls on a tight groove from the live band, a handful of special guests make a significant contribution too – while Wakeling even sought input from The Beat's late saxophonist Saxa

Although encumbered by a tendon injury which meant he couldn't play, he hummed some saxophone melodies which Wakeling incorporated into the album to maintain a taste of his musical flavour.


Wakeling continues: "Time is a funny thing, makes more sense in heartbeats, sometimes, than on a stopwatch.
 
"It took a while to make this record, in between month long tours, and that gave us time to do plenty of listening. Cut a little, test a lot, as the woodwork teacher used to say. 
 
"The songs suggested that there was something in the air. Now the album is done and, and the face of British and American politics has changed dramatically.  That was what was in the air, and the songs are about what is happening right now.
 
"As we got closer to finishing, our shows started selling out in advance, then becoming two nights, and the new songs going down a storm with the crowds. then, all the right people started showing up at just the right time. Boom!"  

The Beat featuring Dave Wakeling play Concorde 2, Brighton, on Sunday 17th June. New album 'Here We Go Love' is out now. For more details CLICK HERE 

by: Mike Cobley




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