Just Can’t Stop It: The English Beat Goes On in Brooklyn

The English Beat, The Hall at MP, Brooklyn, 03/03/17

Last Friday, 80s UK legends the English Beat came twisting, crawling, and kicking off their 2017 tour in full Fred Perry regalia. A rare Williamsburg audience with no apparent age limit was cast under the group’s spell, as first-wave fans and millennials alike fell victim to the urge to dance. With Dave Wakeling the sole member of the Beat’s classic lineup to appear onstage, the band nevertheless came through with their best-known hits like “Save it for Later” (cheekily prefaced by Wakeling as “one of my favorite Pete Townshend songs”) as well as lesser-known, equally-riotous numbers like “Rude Boy Skanking”. Toaster King Schascha gave one of the most exciting performances of the night, undulating back and forth with his audience, “spar wid me Brooklyn!” Tapping toes came to a standstill for “Never Mind”, the band’s ballad of the night and one of the long-awaited tracks from their forthcoming album Here We Go Love.  To lifelong Beat devotees, this brief glimpse of a quieter direction proves nothing new for a band which has spent decades crossing genres and striking more than 2 tones. With hearts danced out and spirits lifted, fans left with one performance to look back on and even more to look forward to.

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