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Back To The Future: Ska Selecters Who Beat The English Beat

This Sunday, Valentine's Day if you nasty, Warehouse Live gets a two-tone shot of ska history when the English Beat and Fishbone hit the stage. The two bands tour together quite a bit and have become the sort of elder ambassadors of the genre while bands like the Specials mull over extensive touring plans.

The English Beat is best known for the tracks "Mirror In The Bathroom" and "Save It For Later." Both songs are heavily trafficked on various '80s compilations, so you no doubt at least own a track or two from the Beat, as they are known in England. The band is buoyed by leader Dave Wakeling, who worked with General Public after the Beat's first break-up in 1983. If you ever see Reverberation DJ and local garage maven Jason Puffer around town, ask to see the Rude Girl tattoo on his arm. It's from one the Beat's album covers.

Fishbone never really went away, and with a lead singer like Angelo Moore, it would be nearly impossible. He also runs by the name of Dr. Madd Vibe, and for awhile you could see him touring the country in the early '00s with Neville Staples. This included a peculiar Friday-night gig at Fitzgerald's and something involving a chair. The band was on the forefront of the early-'80s punk scene in Southern California, helping birth fellow funk-punkers the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction. The self-processed "disparate, all-black oddball crew" has been jamming since 1979. The above 1985 video scared the ever-loving shit out of us when we were little.

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty