As THE ENGLISH BEAT starring Dave Wakeling readies the public for the release of HERE WE GO LOVE, their first studio album since 1982, on June 15, 2018, venues across the country are bracing for a frenetic and frantic round of skanking with the announcement of U.S. tour dates.
With his brand-new collection of 13 vital songs from the new record to choose from along with his timeless classics such as “Twist and Crawl”, “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Tenderness” (from his General Public days), and of course, “Save It For Later,” Dave Wakeling and his band will be making way for a new generation of Ska, Punk, Reggae, and Pop (tour dates below).
May 19 Hermosa Beach, CA Saint Rocke
June 21 Falls Church, VA State Theatre
June 22 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
June 23 Boston, MA The Sinclair
June 24 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
June 28 Pasadena, CA The Rose
June 29 Big Bear Lake, CA The Cave
June 30 Riverside, CA Romano’s
July 6 Chicago, IL The Metro
July 7 Minneapolis, MN First Ave
July 10 Kent, OH The Kent Stage
July 11 Milwaukee, WI Turner Ballroom
July 12 Omaha, NE The Slowdown
July 15 Denver, CO The Gothic
July 16 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
July 18 Salem, OR Salem’s Riverfront Park
July 19 Orange, CA Irvine Regional Park
July 20 Seattle, WA The Showbox
July 25 Dallas, TX The Kessler
July 26 Austin, TX The Scoot Inn
July 27 Houston, TX Heights Theatre
July 29 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
July 30 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
August 7 Nantucket, MA The Chicken Box
August 8 Nantucket, MA The Chicken Box
August 9 Truro, MA Payomet PAC
August 10 Kingston, RI Ocean Mist
August 17 Santa Cruz, CA (FREE SHOW) Santa Cruz Boardwalk
August 24 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
Nov 3 Punta Cana, DR 80’s In The Sand
Wakeling’s ability to create a nagging pop hook is undimmed, as too is his political edge. Blending wit and wisdom, and of course Ska, Punk, Soul, Reggae, Pop and anything else that came to hand in the melting pot that was late 70s Birmingham, The English Beat were ahead of the time and creating a hybrid sound that came in part to define their times. With five Top 10 singles to their name, their first two albums Just Can’t Stop It and Whap’pen both bounded to #3 in the UK charts and their rise continued to the point where they could fill arenas across America. They were, as vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Wakeling recalls, “An incongruous set of people from all different cultures and upbringings.” When the Birmingham sextet first hit the charts in 1979, joint-frontman Ranking Roger was just sixteen-years-old while saxophonist Saxa, who had played with the likes of Desmond Dekker and Prince Buster, was pushing fifty.
Here We Go Love references that vitality, whilst refracting through the prism of experience and is packed with a fizzing energy and intent right from the start. Thematically, Wakeling explores the outer regions of what it means to be alive in the here and now; notions of love, self, identity, and of course politics. “The One And Only” examines, “the Donald Trump in all of us. It is too easy for us to just point fingers.” While the music rolls on a tight groove from the live band, a handful of special guests make a significant contribution too – notably Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers of The Specials and The Skabilly Rebels, Train guitarist Luis Maldonado and backing vocalists Durga McBroom, Kevin Williams and Jelani Jones. Wakeling even sought input from The English Beat’s late saxophonist Saxa. Although encumbered by a tendon injury which meant he couldn’t play, he hummed some saxophone melodies which Wakeling incorporated into the album to maintain a taste of his musical flavor.
The release of Here We Go Love represents a culmination of a lengthy journey for Wakeling, a man who has been described as “a singer-songwriter as savagely witty as Elvis Costello” (Rolling Stone) and who “ought to be spoken of in the same breath as Weller and Strummer in the post-punk pantheon of heroes” (The Quietus). Honoring The English Beat’s roots, without being beholden to the past, Dave Wakeling’s reappraisal starts here.
Here We Go Love offers fans the chance to reconnect with a truly essential British act. A band that matters.