Sunday night was second of two sold-out nights for the classic ska-pop British band the English Beat at the somewhat shmancy City Winery in Manhattan. Longtime L.A. DJ Richard Blade introduced the band who then proceeded to bounce through a two-hour set to the most people dancing in their seats I’ve ever seen. Save It For Later came, uh, sooner than expected and was the number that really got everyone moving. The audience was too excited to remain at the tables and soon congregated by the stage and in the aisles to dance. Dave Wakeling is the only original member from the Beat, so there was a mix of both English Beat and General Public songs, including faves like Mirror In The Bathroom, I Confess, Rough Rider, Too Much or Nothing and their Andy Willaims cover, I Can’t Get Used To Losing You. Wakeling introduced many of the songs with anecdotes about when they were written or some history. One of my favorites was, “Clinton and Obama both used this song in their campaigns, and they both won, twice. So if you want to be in the White House, ‘I’ll Take You There.'” This was the first weekend of a short U.S. tour that sees the band playing other City Winery locations around the country.
Photos by Harriet Roberts; words by Keith Marlowe.