Friday night was my first time seeing a concert at The Bell House in Brooklyn. I'm from Brooklyn and very familiar with the neighborhood but still wasn't sure where I was going or if the show was starting on time. Fortunately, once I found The Bell House, Dave Wakeling, Rhythmm Epkins and Wayne Lothian were standing outside. As soon as I recognized Wakeling's face, I was relieved that I hadn't missed the beginning of The English Beat's set. But, then again, I do recall thinking that Wakeling had a worried look on his face, which I later learned was about Antonee First Class's delayed arrival from Philadelphia.
Once inside The Bell House performance area, I decided I liked the space. It's a big cavernous room with two gold chandlers and a stage against the back wall in the middle of the room. The bar is stage right and off to side. The room looks like it fits between 300 - 400 people. The sound in the place seemed pretty good, but please don't go by my judgement because I stood conspicuously in front of the The English Beat for their entire set. I, therefore, don't know what the band sounded like in other parts of the room.
Rhythmm Epkins- Drums/Vocals
English Beat walked on stage at 10PM. I would like to think that the boys made up for starting late by playing straight through for the following two hours. However, I looked at an English Beat set list online from St. Louis in March of this year and it was just as long. So, basically, The English Beat enjoy performing long sets but since they have very recognizable material, 2 hours went by really quickly.
Wakeling called out the name of the first song before starting it and did the same for the second. I automatically noticed, that after all these years,Wakeling's voice has the same vibriance it had in 1982. Wakeling's vocals still hold up to English Beat's recordings and so do the arrangements which were elongated and sometimes milked for the benefit of the audience. "Tears of A Clown" was one of those songs where the band repeated a chorus with Wakeling doing some adlib scatting.
Wayne Lothian - Bass/ Vocals
Antonee First Class- Toasting
Kevin Lum - Keyboards
Matt Morrish- Sax/ Vocals
Rick Torres - Guitarist/ Vocals
Guest Rapper - Roy Radics