Dave Wakeling: the lead singer and songwriter from two of the most popular bands of the end of the millennium, The Beat (known as The English Beat in the USA, where Dave has resided & toured for the last 3 decades) and General Public. Hailing from working-class Birmingham, England, Dave and The Beat entered the music scene in the 1979, with their irresistible love and unity message set to a ska infused beat. Over the course of the three albums, they achieved great success in the UK, charting several singles, with Top 10 hits including Mirror In The Bathroom, Too Nice To Talk To, Can't Get To Losing You, Hands Off She's Mine and their 2 Tone single Tears Of A Clown b/w Ranking Full Stop. In America the band found a solid base of young fans eager to dance to the their hypnotic rhythms. Their constant touring with iconic bands such as The Clash and The Police helped to boost their popularity the world over.As for the reasoning behind the selection of the US version of the band (as opposed to Ranking Roger's and Everett Morgan's UK Beat), Sean posted the following on the festival Facebook page:
For the last 3 decades The English Beat starring Dave Wakeling have been touring, to sell-out houses all over USA. He is now set to bring his all-star ska band to the UK and make a headline performance at The London International Ska Festival.
One of our aims with the festival is to bring bands to the UK that people can't see every month/week. I certainly applaud Rankin Roger and Everett Morton for what they've done with The Beat in the UK, but to make our festival a very special event we are inviting fantastic foreign bands that normally people don't get the opportunity to see perform in London. We had to have somebody representing the 2 Tone era, and Dave & his band were the one artist we could think of that hasn't performed here for years. He has been touring USA for the last 3 decades as the English Beat, and we are delighted to be bringing him to the UK.The London International Ska Festival, which will be taking place at the Clapham Grand Theatre in London on Thursday April 21st through to Sunday April 24th, 2011. Confirmed acts include The Loafers, Bim skala Bim, Napoleon Solo, Intensified, Maroon Town, The Amphetameanies, and The Sidewalk Doctors--with many more to be announced.