Sunday, July 5, 2009
Tonight @ Miller Lite Oasis, Summerfest, 6:30 p.m.
It’s an unwritten rule that if a band exists on- and off-again long enough without making any new music, eventually that band will splinter off into two bands touring under the same name. At least the Beat, the popular-’80s ska band, were well positioned for the split, since the group had two vocalists: Dave Wakeling, the Brit-pop frontman, and Ranking Roger, the rastafied crooner. Wakeling now fronts the American version of the Beat, called the English Beat, which continues to tour the nostalgia circuit, much to the delight of young ska fans, while Roger has carried the Beat torch in the U.K. Relations between the two factions remain icy, though Wakeling insists the door is always open for a full reunion.