The English Beat

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Back in 1979, as the decade’s upbeat psych-rock aesthetic was giving way to the darker sounds of post-punk and electronica, something was growing in the blue-collar metropolis of Birmingham, England. A four-piece band then known only as The Beat played its debut show and were introduced as “the hottest thing since the Pennsylvania meltdown.” (The Three Mile Island incident had just happened.) As superfluous a comparison as that may have been, the group instantly connected with its audience, thanks to optimistic songwriting and danceable rhythms that served as an anesthetic of sorts at a time of high unemployment and political tensions throughout their native country.

Of course, the ska genre was well-established by the time The Beat—known as The English Beat in the U.S.—first hit the live scene, but they were among the first to infuse it with elements of punk rock and new wave to pave the way for the rise of 2 Tone. After five years together, during which they released three studio albums and donated profits to various charitable causes, the band made the decision to call it a day following the release of 1982’s Special Beat Service.

The original Beat may cease to exist—though they reunited for a brief UK tour in 2003—but guitarist Dave Wakeling continues to keep its spirit alive with new members, playing songs from the band’s catalogue, as well as its newer material. As the crowd at this World Café Live show will attest, maybe that Three Mile Island analogy is accurate, as there really is no stopping their legacy from radiating. / JAKE ABBATE

8pm. $25-$38. With RK$TDY. World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. 215.222.1400. worldcafelive.com
 

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EVENT DETAILS

WHEN
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Recurring: ONCE

TIME & PRICE
- Price: Unknown

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