Dave Wakeling, the original front man of the Beat, brought his outfit the English Beat to the O2 ABC in Glasgow within four weeks of Ranking Rodger who had brought his Beat to the nearby Arches, and, although using the same classic songs, both gigs were very different. The only real similarity was that our own ska collective Esperanza had the honour of kicking off both nights.

Before the ABC’s doors even opened, the queue was winding around the corner of the venue with people anxious not to miss any of the bands. I have never seen a venue so busy at 7 p.m. The crowd responded immediately and a wave of skanking ensued as Esperanza, opening with ‘2-Tone Ain’t Dead’, showed that they meant business. It was a real joy to see them back at their very best. The set was short but packed with quality and punch; highlights included ‘Pontiac Skank’, ‘One Man Down’ and the infectious ‘Mr Rude’.

Next on were the recently reformed Capone and the Bullets, with a line-up that includes some of the members of Esperanza. Kicking off their set with ‘Something New’, Capone kept the crowd dancing with a set interspersed with ska classics. These included ‘Twisted’, ‘Time Bomb’, and the classic Nirvana track ‘Lithium’ which was given the full ska treatment. Their set concluded on a real high with ‘Cruel to Be Kind’, ensuring that the crowd were fully warmed up for the headlining act.

Dave Wakeling’s English Beat were warmly welcomed to the stage and powered through a set of classic hits from a very impressive back catalogue.

From ‘Ranking Full Stop’ and the brilliant ‘Hands Off She’s Mine’, to ‘Click Click’ and the forgotten ‘Sooner or Later’ they gave the audience no chance of a rest from dancing. Roddy Radiation’s guest addition to the line-up meant that Specials classics ‘Concrete Jungle’, ‘Little Rich Girl’ and ‘Rat Race’ were aired to an adoring audience midway through the set. Other highlights included the highly popular ‘Best Friend’ and ‘Too Nice to Talk To’ and, of course,‘ Mirror in the Bathroom’ which rounded off a really great night.

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Bill Gray.

Related Links:


Commenting On: ABC2, Glasgow, 10/3/2014 - English Beat

ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment

First Previous Next Last