THE now grown-up rude boys and rude girls had the chance to relive the Beat’s 2-tone hits and skank once more. The Birmingham band’s line-up hasn’t stood the test of time, but original trademark toaster Ranking Roger and his son Ranking Junior ensure that the beat goes on.

The Beat’s fans may have grown up but the band’s message of peace, love and unity and the unsettlement of working class Britain are still relevant today.  But it was Tears of a Clown and Hands Off…She’s Mine that got the crowd moving.

The years have been good to Ranking Roger; his performance was as spirited and lively as thirty years ago. He and his son, Ranking Junior, are a commendable double act; the pair’s relentless energy and style is living proof of ‘like father like son’. Matthew ‘Ranking Junior’ Murphy injected a fresh edge to the Beat’s selection of 80’s hits.

A set of their most popular songs kept the crowd happy. There was never a dull moment with reggae covers Rough Rider, Whine and Grine and the Clash’s Rock the Casbah. The regular shouts for Mirror in the Bathroom were eventually fulfilled and gratefully received by the eager audience.

Ending with a sing-along Jackpot the crowd left grinning with nostalgia. The line-up has altered, the fans are older, but the songs still pack a punch. It was an effortless evening of well-known tunes and another chance to simply enjoy some feel-good ska.

Reviewed for Nottingham Post. Published in print: 16th December 2013


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