The English Beat w/ Ruder Than You at Underground Arts
Friday, November 3rd, 2017
21+ | Doors: 8PM | Show: 9PM
ØˆØˆØ English Beat ØˆØˆØ
Birmingham, England's the Beat were one of the earliest and most important ska revivalist groups of the late '70s and early '80s. The multiracial band carved out a distinct sound through the use of alternating lead vocals by guitarist Dave Wakeling and punk toaster/singer Ranking Roger, supported by a tight band that consisted of guitarist Andy Cox, bassist David Steele, and drummer Everett Moreton. The addition of Saxa, an elder saxophonist who'd previously played with Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker, gave the band credibility and fleshed out their sound. A high standing was secured with their early singles, several of which were Top Ten U.K. pop hits. In North America, where they were known as the English Beat (to avoid confusion with Paul Collins' the Beat), their videos were frequently played on early MTV.
I Just Can't Stop It The Beat formed in 1978. An opening spot for the Selecter led to the band's signing to 2-Tone, where they released the hit single «Tears of a Clown,» a wonderful version of the Smokey Robinson classic. In 1980, the band formed its own 2-Tone-inspired label, Go Feet, distributed by Arista. The string of successful singles continued with the number four hit «Mirror in the Bathroom.» Debut LP I Just Can't Stop It combined the early singles with other pop/ska-oriented material. «Stand Down Margaret,» with its anti-Thatcher stance, found the band moving in a more political direction, leading to several benefit gigs. The Beat slowed down the tempo for a more traditional reggae sound showcased on 1981's Wha'ppen. This direction failed to bring the chart success of its predecessor, but 1982's more pop-oriented Special Beat Service helped the band increase their U.S. fan base through MTV exposure of «Save It for Later» and «I Confess.»
Bounce The bandmembers called it quits in 1983, the year their cover of «Can't Get Used to Losing You» (a song popularized by Andy Williams) became their fifth and final Top Ten single. Wakeling and Ranking Roger formed General Public, and Cox and Steele continued together with Fine Young Cannibals. Without Cox and Steele, the original members reunited for a one-off performance in 2003. Wakeling and Roger separately led different touring versions of the band into the late 2010s. In 2016, Roger's band released the studio album Bounce. The following year, Wakeling's band prepared Here We Go Love.
ØˆØˆØ Ruder Than You ØˆØˆØ
RUDER THAN YOU was founded in 1989 at Penn State University and relocated to Philadelphia in 1991. Long known as Philly’s top ska band, Ruder Than You’s identity has never fit too neatly into any single musical categorization. While ska and reggae stylings have always provided the common musical thread, over the past 20 years they've been mixing in dancehall reggae, rocksteady, funk, hip-hop, jazz, and punk. The consistent factor however is the band’s energy and enthusiasm, which inevitably pulls people out onto the dance floor.
Independent ska label Moon Ska put out the band’s debut album BIG STEP in 1992 and its follow-up HORNY FOR SKA in 1996. By the mid 90s the group had morphed from a five-piece into a nine-piece outfit and captured a passionate, loyal following in the Philly and New York areas, selling out shows regularly. As the ska bubble of the mid 90’s grew, the group toured nationally, regularly opening up for groups like the Skatalites, Steel Pulse, 311, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Blink 182, Desmond Dekker, Ziggy Marley, English Beat, Bouncing Souls, Bad Manners, Fishbone, Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, No Doubt and countless others. Ruder CDs were released in Japan and England, and songs can be found on dozens of compilation CDs far and wide.
In 2005 the band self-released their long-awaited third album, PHILLY STYLEE. Philly Stylee was recorded in spurts during the Third Wave ska heyday between 1996 and 1999 with final vocal overdubs and mixes completed in 2004. The CD was excruciatingly long in the making due to a number of personal obstacles which the band was ultimately able to overcome.
The band released their first truly fresh studio endeavor of the decade, the 5-song EP entitled GOD’S GHETTO in 2008 featuring material influenced by old school hip-hop and dancehall reggae.
The group’s newest release is the 8-song CREATION SOUNDS which features contemporary ska, ska-rock, and reggae sounds. The band still frequently performs on the East Coast and maintains a strong cult following among ska music fans internationally.