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Churchill, facing the darkest of times in the face of a supposedly unstoppable Nazi war machine vowed to a hushed House of Commons in 1940 that he had nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Dave Wakeling, leader of The Beat faced a much less fearsome hoard, but there was no shirking on the stage, plenty of sweat and, yes, the Tears of a Clown.
This gig took place in the smaller annex bar of the impressive Limelight venue. And while this no doubt added to the atmosphere, the sight of hundreds of punters packed in close proximity on one of the hottest nights of the year brought back memories of the late and much lamented Joe Strummer kicking open the security doors here on a similar sweltering evening when he played some years ago with his band the Mescaleros.
Perhaps sensing that he didn’t want to bring the crowd to boiling point too early on such a humid evening, the band kicked off on a rather low key note with a sedate version of Rough Rider. However this was quickly followed up by a frantic rendition of Hands off She’s Mine and from that point on the Beat didn’t miss a step.
Hit followed hit as the band rushed through their impressive back catalogue with the stand out tunes being a rocking Sooner or Later with Best Friend and Ranking Full Stop fully deserving of an honourable mention in dispatches.
Another war time leader, the divisive Margaret Thatcher was brought to mind when the strains of Stand Down Margaret filled the hall. For some this might spark questions about the relevance today of a band like the Beat.
Wakeling, in an aside to the audience, remarked how the Covid crisis had emphasised to many just how important friends and family are.
We can add to that the importance of music, a sense of community and the pleasure of a shared and hughly enjoyed experience. That surely is the relevance of a band like the Beat today. And what wonderful legacy to have.