Despite a torrential downpour, fans packed the Belly Up in Solana Beach for a fun-filled evening with the English Beat. Just shy of his 61st birthday, Dave Wakeling acted like an old-time vaudevillian as he led his animated band through his hits from the ’80s including “Save It for Later,” “Mirror in the Bathroom,” and General Public’s “Tenderness.”
"Tears of a Clown"
...the English Beat on Top of the Pops, 1980
Except for Wakeling, this band is not English and they’re way too young to have been original players in the Beat. The current line-up is a United Nations–style mash-up that includes two energetic keyboard players, Kevin Lum and Minh Quan (who enjoy jumping up and down), a dreadlocked Ranking Roger–esque King Schascha, who helps out on vocals, and the James Bond of sax players, Matt Morrish. Steady percussion is provided by drummer Brian “Nucci” Cantrell with Brad Engstrom on bass.
Wakeling is front and center — singing, strumming, and grinning like he’s having the time of his life — like it’s almost his birthday! His voice is still strong, supple, and distinctively syncopated and his sunny ska-full tunes dispelled the winter gloom. After midnight, the happy crowd drifted out from the dance floor into the cool coastal air. The rain had stopped.
- Concert: English Beat
- Date: February 17
- Venue: Belly Up
- Seats: GA