Top 2-tone band The Beat to play at The Apex early March

The Beat, one of the biggest bands of the 2-Tone movement, are known the world over for a string of hit singles.

They include well known tracks such as “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Too Nice To Talk To”, “Can’t Get Used To Losing You”, “Hands off She’s Mine” and “All Out To Get You”. And they are due to appear at The Apex, in Bury St Edmunds, early next month.

The band was formed in Birmingham in 1978, part of the West Midlands ska revival scene that also produced The Specials and The Selecter. Their songs of peace, love and unity fuse ska, pop, reggae and punk and their dynamic live show continues to attract a loyal following at home and abroad.

Their first single was an infectious version of Smokey Robinson’s “Tears Of A Clown”, given a completely new feel, and was backed with their own composition “Ranking Full Stop”.

Released in a one-off deal on Jerry Dammers’ Chrysalis-backed 2-Tone label, the single stormed into the Top 10 in December 1979 and saw the band appear twice on Top Of The Pops.

Backed by Arista, the band formed their own label Go-Feet Records. The first release in February 1980 was another Top 10 hit, “Hands Off … She’s Mine”, which was the first of 12 chart singles for the band on Go-Feet.

The band released three albums before splitting up: “I Just Can’t Stop It” (1980), “Wha’ppen” (1981) and “Special Beat Service” (1982), which contained tracks that demonstrated their more politicised and socially conscious leanings.

After numerous offers to return to the stage, Ranking Roger alongside Everett Morton, Ranking Jnr and Mickey Billingham returned to their roots for a sell-out show at the Royal Festival Hall in 2003, and then continued gigging until Ranking Roger’s untimely death in 2019.

The positive energy and vibration that has always surrounded the band continues with Ranking Roger’s son Ranking Jnr (pictured above).

They are set to play at The Apex is on Wednesday, March 1, at 8pm. Ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website – for details.

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