On a hot Saturday night this past August, Midtown Reno’s The Saint was at capacity, with fans dancing wildly to performer Dave Wakeling and the English Beat and his catalog of ’80’s hits that included “Mirror In The Bathroom,” “I Confess” and “Tenderness,” which was written by Wakeling as he fronted General Public.
Hesitatingly optimistic and lyrically effuse, Wakeling and his band played their upbeat ska pop for nearly two hours, showing why 30 years after the first of his songs took over radio and film soundtracks that they remain nostalgically catchy. The band continues to fill rooms and amphitheaters, sending crowds into a cathartic sense of motion throughout.
After the English Beat’s summer show sold out well in advance, the band is returning to The Saint for another performance on Saturday, Jan. 12.
Anyone who has seen The English Beat is familiar with the band’s tongue-twisting segues between songs and its upbeat selection from nearly 10 albums. Along with their own hits, Wakeling also performs the band’s covers of The Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There” and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles’ “The Tears Of A Clown,” both of which were also chart hits when Wakeling re-recorded them with his own upbeat flair.
Those familiar with perennial Reno ska band Keyser Soze may recognize keyboard player Kevin Lum, who has been playing and touring with the English Beat for the past several years.
And if any more excuse is needed to discard those winter layers for a night during the English Beat’s dance party, The Saint is encouraging everyone to come in their favorite ’80s-inspired outfits for this one.
Tickets are available at LINK
Or stop by Midtown Reno’s Recycled Records to get them without the service charge.
— Shaun Astor