The Beat goes on: Wakeling’s band at Telluride’s Opera House October 6

The Beat goes on: Wakeling’s band at Telluride’s Opera House October 6

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OK, Telluride: dress for the occasion, thinking caps and party shoes, when singer/songwriter Dave Wakeling and The (reincarnated) English Beat perform Tuesday, October 6, at Telluride’s historic Sheridan Opera House.

English Beat in Concert Margaret Thatcher may be out of the spotlight, but Dave Wakeling’s band, (they blasted on to the scene in 1979, the year she became PM) is still making news – and tracks, on tour to  celebrate the band’s 30th anniversary…For Crying Out Loud. (Still, the band’s “Sit Down Margaret has relevance as more and more Americans embrace the power of one.) Since then, Wakeling has never met a challenge he didn’t want to take on: Greenpeace, Rock the Earth, CND, Amnesty International, The Smile Train, and Heal the Bay to name a few headliners.

The English Beat’s sound fuses ska – for genre virgins, a musical form blending Jamaican sounds like calypso with jazz, blues or rock –  with pop, soul, reggae (which ska influenced, not the other way ’round) and punk rock. Lyrics with a razor edge deal with universal themes of love, coming together, and the socio-political zeitgeist. And Wakeling himself, the only original member of the band? Think Bill Maher or Jon Stuart with an axe, not just an ax to grind – but that too. For this super talent, personal meets political meets the dance floor.

When The English Beat takes to the Opera House stage Tuesday night, expect to shake a shoe to the group’s best-known originals: “Mirror in the Bathroom,” “Save It for Later,” “Stand Down Margaret” and “I Confess.” Inspiration covers  such as “Tears of a Clown” and “Can’t Get Used to Losing You,” are on the set list, as well as the hits Wakeling scored with ‘80s pop icons General Public, such as “Tenderness,” “Never You Done That” and “I’ll Take You There.” A growing number of new English Beat songs are fast becoming favorites with the fans too: “The Love You Give Lasts Forever,” “How Can You Stand There” and “Said We Would Never Die”

Long live the King of Ska.

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