Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009

English Beat Still "Just Can't Stop"

By Evan Rytlewski
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I say this as someone who treasures those first three English Beat records: Dave Wakeling, please stop touring. You are making me sad.

The English Beat tops even The Specials for the Most Crappy Offshoots and Cash-Ins award—though sometimes the two acts work together—and particularly in recent years Wakeling has outdone himself, touring with the gutted corpse of the English Beat (which, not to play William Safire here, should technically be called the American English Beat, since a real English Beat, but not the real English Beat, still continues to perform in England as, simply, The Beat. Yes, it's confusing. Any band with a taxonomy that jumbled should probably just call it quits.)

Anyway, for the last half decade or so, two dueling, woefully incomplete versions of the Beat have toured seperate continents in a misguided effort to disappoint twice the fans. Wakeling's version of the Beat returns April 12 to the Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee's premier ska venue, for another show that will invariably have the audience asking, "where's that one rasta guy?"

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