We saw The English Beat at Underground Arts in Philadelphia. Terrible pictures follow.
We listened to the English Beat all those years ago in art school but we’ve never seen them before. Wish we had in 1981!
Ska is fun, no getting around it. A song about fighting: fun. A song about self-obsession: fun. A anthem calling for your prime minister to step down: fun. A song about mutual selfishness: fun. A song about me ruining three lives, but I didn’t care til I found out that one of them was mine: fun.
And best live. Everybody was dancing.
There’s something about ska which creates a spirit of solidarity. Twice, big guys tried to push their way to the front and center but everyone held their ground, and told them firmly to go back the way they came. They did, and one of them came back and apologized. My fellow crowd mates weren’t just repelling for their own spot; they were defending our mutual space. Solidarity becomes camaraderie.
Dave Wakeling was charming, funny and real. At the end, he shook hands with everyone he could reach, all across the stage.
Also, it was nice not be the old person in the crowd.