post-punk gems, v. 77 — The English Beat

So, rude boys, rude girls, it’s been 35 years now, since The English Beat released single #4, “Best Friend,” backed with “Stand Down Margaret”–perhaps the most danceable anti-Thatcher tune of the era. (Nuclear anxiety produced some damn fine music, as did anxiety and angst toward Thatcher-Reagan writ large.) All proceeds from the tune went to the Committee for Nuclear Disarmament, which was one of a host of righteous causes the Beat supported back in the day.

I caught Dave Wakeling and his 20-something ska all-stars under the name of English Beat back in 2000 at Cleveland’s Beachland Ballroom, and again in 2013. The first time ’round remains one of my favorite moments of fandom amidst my Cleveland rock’n’roll brethren. At the age of 32, I was among the youngest people in the crowd and, when they played the opening bars of “I Confess,” the 800+ of us started into pogoing. Mikey Mike, our surrogate Ranking Roger for the evening, went backstage, grabbed his video camera, and started recording us. I imagine it was the first time he’d seen that many people that old have so much fun before. Indeed, Cleveland rocks.

Cheers!

post-punk gems: English Beat, Cleveland Courage, etc.

Welcome to mid-week folks! I hope all’s well on your end.

I’m happy to report me head’s a bit foggy, having stayed out later than usual to check out The English Beat last night at the inimitable Beachland Ballroom on Cleveland’s east side.

beat

Good cause, good times and, as always when former punks and mods gather in Cleveland, a host of good people.

While I usually reserve Wednesdays for underheralded gems from back in the day, today’s an exception, and back in the day this gem reached #9 in the UK, and #22 on the US dance charts.

Nice work, gentlemen.

And, for those of you in the Cleveland area looking to celebrate the 31st anniversary of the release of Combat Rock, I’ll be reading this Saturday at 7pm at Visible Voice in Tremont. Do join us. It should be a hoot!