English Beat play Neighborhood Theatre (3/24/12)
ENGLISH BEAT I razzed (well, a wee bit) these Two-Tone heroes a while back for tilting toward nostalgia act. Then I saw ’em again and all was forgiven. Dave Wakeling, who’s morphed into a socialist SoCal surfer (“gnarly, comrade!”) and his “hired hands” were clearly keeping the spirit alive without diluting it even in toaster Rankin’ Roger’s absence. Which spirit? Well, along with the Specials and the Selecter, the Beat (their real name, btw) and other Two-Toners were key cogs in arguably the most interesting era in rock ’n’ roll, when white punk rockers and black reggae stars joined arms to fight racism and Margaret Thatcher (aka, the same thing). Great era, great music. $22. Neighborhood Theatre.