It was a super Ska-bbath at The Muni, Pontypridd as the Dave Wakeling version of The Beat entertained an energetic audience. The age of the crowd meandered from those original rude boys and girls of yesteryear through to the offspring of the offspring of that first time generation of rocksteady rebels. However, Sunday night fever certainly offered a path to pleasure for those in attendance.
The Beat were an early 80’s hit factory – and, in a live format one can appreciate just how influential their tunes have been on the pop parade. Their selection of infectious hits, b-sides and album tracks have not lost their momentum and it is dance delight as a crowd of many quadragenarians and quinquagenarians turned the clock back to their sta pressed youths. The eight members of the group all sported Fred Perry t-shirts as did many of the punters – and, this is not just a fashion statement because to these folk it is a way of life!
The music offered immense joint jerking, shoe shuffling, toe tapping joys. For those in the know one has to admire a well delivered set consisting of the likes of: Whine & Grine/Stand Down Margaret; Hands off she’s Mine; Twist & Crawl; Doors of Your Heart; Save It for Later; The Tears of a Clown; Click Click; Can’t Get Used to Losing You; Rough Rider; Best Friend; Ackee 1-2-3; Rude boy Skanking; Sole Salvation; and, Ranking Full Stop / Mirror in the Bathroom.
Dave Wakeling offers a friendly presence as the band leader and he is the sole remaining force of the line up that scored heavily many moons ago. His old sidekick Ranking Roger also performs in his own presentation of The Beat; and they are worth a viewing. However, the Wakeling product now containing his daughter Chloe on backing vocals just wins the day over the alternative take of this acclaimed act. The electric energy of toaster King Schascha adds to the party and this guy has an abundance of stage presence and at the end of the gig he dived in to the moshpit delivering high-fives as if his life depended on it! The royal Rasta certainly enjoys his work and his athletic prowess plus willingness to fraternise with the ‘General Public’ was to be applauded!
The eight on stage became ten for a finale which also included two brass players from the lively support turn Upbeat Sneakers; and, the overwhelming conclusion was one that if you want to party look no further than a date with Wakeling and his warriors.
The Muni has become a community run facility and for the venue to get The Beat on board is a significant coup! Everyone was a winner – and, there are many more shows to follow at this reborn outlet – so music fans of different persuasions keep your eyes peeled, However, for now let’s celebrate an affair that that offered excessive joy to those lucky folk that did not miss a beat of The Beat!