The Beat is going on this fall. In double-time.
There was a time in the late 70s when the English Beat and the Paul Collins Beat were each simply known as The Beat, and each added prefixes to avoid confusion. They're currently on A Two Beats Heart As One tour together, and English Beat leader Dave Wakeling reports it's been "smooth sailing so far, with happy and smiling faces."
"I think coming up with the English Beat probably did no harm to our career in America because the word English at the time was still seen as a positive sounding word," says Wakeling, 56, who now resides in California. "British always seems to smell of empire and revolutionary wars. It's the British who were the bad guys; English is what everybody's great, great, great grandfather was, so it was OK."
Wakeling is planning some new English Beat music for 2013, but this year he's been immersed in the group's past, with a box set ("The Complete Beat"), a single-disc compilation ("Keep The Beat") and DVD and CD issues of the group's US Festival show in 1983.
"It's been a nice sense of validation, I must say," says Wakeling, who's working on reissues by his subsequent, General Public, for next year. "I really enjoyed the reviews that say the lyrics were good and even moreso that some of them still seemed contemporary -- which led a few reviews to say some of the songs were timeless.
"that's as good as it can get for a songwriter. If you can capture the mood of the period you're in and try to come up with some ideas that might live beyond the winds of fashion or decades or whatever, you can't really dream of doing more than that. It makes pacing the room for nine or 10 hours over one word seem worthwhile."
The English Beat and the Paul Collins Beat perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the Hard Rock Cafe, 45 Monroe St., Detroit. Tickets are $25. Call 313-964-7625 or visit www.hardrock.com.
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