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Sunday, 06 July 2014 12:00

Dave Wakeling 7/6/14 + Video

Dave Wakeling 7/6/14
Written by Kevin Edwards
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About this Media...

  • Date Recorded: July 6, 2014
  • Artist / Band: Dave Wakeling
  • Hosting Show: Ska's the Limit
  • Sound: Drew Freiberger
  • Video: Valerie Tichacek

Dave Wakeling was instrumental in bringing the driving sound of ska and reggae to post punk in an otherwise bleak era of big hair, shoulder pads, MTV and Colombian No-Doz.

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Wakeling fronted two of the '80s great bands, the English Beat and General Public, and both bands had a sound that was difficult to forget, once heard. In an act of over definition, we Americans added "English" to the band's name, as they were known just as the Beat in Britain. That seems a little like the superfluous addition of "Tennessee" to Ernie Ford's name, as if there were another to be confused with.

The English Beat's "I Just Can't Stop It" was one of those albums that would nearly incite a riot at a party. The sound of driving bass, often in 2/2 time to make things just that much livelier, mixed with reggae or ska beats, all topped by power pop melodies and Ranking Roger's Jamaican toasting style of singing, made the band's sound unique and infectious. Many critics cited General Public's first album, "All the Rage," as the ska revival standard of its time.

In this almost-solo performance, Wakeling is armed with only his voice, a left-handed Telecaster, an effects pedal and the backing vocals of Brad Engstrom, who also helped with sound engineering.

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