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Blog: The Beat

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On Sunday, as part of the ongoing Birthday Festival Celebrations for The Bass In My Ska Band, we went to see THE BEAT. Everyone in our household LOVES The Beat, INDEED their CD is one of the few that makes it onto the kitchen playlist to UNIVERSAL approval, so the FACT that they were playing just down the road, for free, at the Leytonstone Car Free Festival has been a point of some EXCITEMENT for several weeks.

When we got there we found that, just like last year, bands were set up on a portable stage just in front of the tube station - since last year, however, the council have put up a big billboard which blocked the from half of one side, so everyone was squidged round a bit. I was a bit worried, with all the build-up we'd had at home, whether they were going to be all right, but luckily they were FANTASTIC. As soon as they started it was NOTICEABLY that the vocalist who WASN'T Ranking Roger was SIGNIFICANTLY younger than the rest of the band. "Aaah", i thought, "It's like someone's got their LAD in!" IMMEDIATELY after that thought Ranking Roger said "I'd like to introduce you to my son - RANKING JUNIOR!"

And they were BRILLIANT together, it was a) fun b) sweet c) GRATE seeing them DANCE as mirror images of each other, and also to watch the Paternal Pride paying off, as THE LAD DONE GOOD. It was a brilliant hour of Proper SKA, although tinged with a little sadness as I thought about how different it must be from the original band, and wondered if ANY of the other members will still part of it, assuming that this was a mini-pension scheme set up to tour Butlins or something.

OH MY GOODNESS, how INCORRECT i was! Later that evening, while answering Questions Raised In The Kitchen (the lead singer of The Selecter was Pauline Black) I looked up Ranking Roger on Wikipedia. BLIMEY! Turns out The Beat have only recently got back together, with over half of the original members IN it and the BLESSING of most of the others, and have a NEW album out soon produced by Adrian Sherwood! AND Ranking Junior was on the Ordinary Boys single! AND Mr R Roger was recently a guest on The POLICE'S world tour!

I was a bit amazed - so what on earth, I thought, were they doing playing Leytonstone Car Free Day? I guess the answer must be the same as the one I give when asked the same thing - "Somebody asked me". However DID ask them, i say this: BLOODY WELL DONE!

posted 24/9/2007 by MJ Hibbett

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