The English Beat performing at The Rescue Rooms Nottingham on Wednesday 5th October 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

It was a multi- generational crowd that bopped, swayed and sung to the legendary but highly underrated The English Beat at the Rescue Rooms last night. Now only containing original band member Dave Wakeling, the other band members did a great job of performing all of the old classics.

With seven on stage in this intimate venue, it was a tight fit. But with toaster King Schascha, harmonizing and rapping in the role made famous by Ranking Roger in the original line up, it was Wakeling who led the way as he turned the Rescue Rooms into a nonstop dance party as soon as they launched into opener, Rough Rider.

The Beat’s first single, Tears Of A Clown was given an early outing, whilst Hands Off She’s Mine had this eager audience belting back the chorus. Wakeling, with his strong voice, effortlessly lead the band through a hit filled set that also included an enthusiastic Twist And Crawl, an infectious version of I’ll Take You There and a feverish Click Click.

There were powerful versions of Whine And Grind/Stand Down Margaret, Soul Salvation and Best Friend, before Save It For Later, a song previously covered by Pete Townshend, went down a storm.

Keeping the energy levels high and the tempo fast there was no let up. With everybody, including the bar staff, all singing to a cover of Andy Williams’ Can’t Get Used To Losing You, the evening had been full of nostalgia, with this crowd delightfully recapturing some of the magic from their younger days.

Ranking Full Stop upped the tempo further, whilst the bands classic, Mirror In The Bathroom matched the quality, energy, fast tempos and edginess of the original 2-Tone ska band.

On a night where it had been impossible to keep still, Wakeling showed that the oldies are still the best.