Saturday, November 18, 2006

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 24

"The English Beat" at Mezzanine

I put "The English Beat" in quotation marks because the band is now just lead singer Dave Wakeling with some session musicians. But this is still some of my all-time favorite music, regardless who is playing drums, bass or keyboard.

Okay, I do miss Ranking Roger, but sometimes in life we have to do without.

I've seen Dave Wakeling about seven times over the last five years, and at this point, I think he's given up the idea of writing any new songs. Or if he has written new material, he doesn't bother to play it. The set consists of English Beat gems, including deep-cut album tracks, and three or four General Public songs. Most of the songs are from the Beat's first album, but this time around Dave and the boys also played "Ackee 1-2-3," which I loved! "All Out To Get You," "Jeanette" and "Sugar and Stress" would have been nice, too, but maybe those numbers will pop up in the next show.

Experience has taught me that the best place to be during a Dave Wakeling show is right at the very front. In part that's because the last two times I saw him, he was performing at the very tiny Red Devil Lounge. It was sadistically crowded both times, making the front the only place to get any air. Additionally, there is always a group of forty-year old former frat boys who think they can still dance like it's 1981, and they decide to slam. You can only avoid that in the very front or further in the back.

So I opt for the front where I can dance and sing with abandon and pretend Dave and the boys are playing the songs just for me. And that's where I took in the tunes on Thursday night, alongside Fabulous Patti and Carla, my English Beat friend. Even though Carla and I work in same industry, we didn't know each other until we met and bonded at a Dave show last year. We reconnected at this performance.

Mezzanine is larger and much nicer than the Red Devil Lounge, and as a consequence was not as crowded, but it still got pretty hot during the show. I must have been rather sweaty because late in the evening, the bass player, in a completely unsolicited gesture, offered me a towel. So either he thought I was a mess, or he was hitting on me. Since he made an effort to shake my hand and call me sweetheart at the end, I think he may have been hitting on me. Too bad for him I have no interest in being a groupie.

Especially since I am now a rock star in my own right.

That's right, I'm still basking in the glory of my fake band's performance on Tuesday night. Be warned, whether I can really sing or not, I may milk this for months to come. Not to mention that the fake band may play again. One night at Ashkenaz, and six rock stars (in our own minds) have been born....

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