The Beat goes on in Wakefield

Ranking Roger, of The Beat, playing a gig in Wakefield. Picture: Jim Stokes
Ranking Roger, of The Beat, playing a gig in Wakefield. Picture: Jim Stokes

After releasing their first album in 30 years ska legends the Beat are now hitting the road and will be appearing in Wakefield next week.

The truly great bands are the ones you recognise in an instant – from a snatch of vocal, an inimitable snap and swagger of rhythm, a sonic fingerprint that says this could not possibly be anyone else.

That’s the way it is with ‘Bounce’, the new fourth album by first generation 2 Tone skankers turned purveyors of joyous political pop The Beat.

From the clipped and hectic rude boy shuffle of new tunes ‘Avoid The Obvious’ to the chiming sunshine pop romance of ‘Heaven Hiding’ through to ‘Fire Burn’’s heavy duty righteousness, ‘Bounce’ shows off every gleaming aspect of the most musically diverse band to come out of the multiracial, multicultural explosion that remade British pop from 1979 onwards.

‘Bounce’ is the first album from The Beat in over 30 years and released on independent label DMF Records. Written by a combination of Ranking Roger, Mick

Lister and Ranking Junior, it has been produced by Mick Lister (Bad Company, Amy Winehouse, The Feeling) and mixed by Tim Hamill and Mick Lister except Side to Side and My Dream, mixed by Dennis Bovell (The Slits, Madness).

The same energy that drove the hit singles of the 80s; ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’, ‘Stand Down Margaret’ and ‘Too Nice To Talk To’ – reggae looseness plus razor-sharp songwriting meets the paranoid pace of punk – is here again. It’s all been re-rubbed, freshened and refracted through the multiple dance sounds that followed on from 2 Tone, all the black-meets-white, bass-meets-melody mashups that The Beat helped to trigger.

The Beat were a great addition to the Slam Dunk Festival in Leeds earlier this year and now they are on a fully fledged tour of their own, appearing at Wakefield’s Warehouse venue on Friday, December 16.