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The Beat

Beat This

by Mahala High Five Brigade / 12.11.2010

Provided you were born sometime before 1985, chances are you know The Beat. Yes? British two tone ska revival outfit famous for singles such as “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Too Nice To Talk To” and “All Out To Get You”. Yes? Hurrah! No? Hang your head in shame. They’ve toured with everyone who was anyone including The Police, Talking Heads, Bowie and The Clash? Still no? Back in the day shitty little bands like U2 and REM used to open for The Beat! Seriaas. All we can say is get yourself down to Tanz Cafe tonight, or Mercury Live tomorrow and check these guys out for some seriously good vibes. But first, a few words from original vocalist and toaster with The Beat, purveyor of positive vibes and all round gentle soul, Mr Ranking Roger…

Mahala: First and foremost, why South Africa, and why now?

Ranking Roger: The Beat always wanted the chance to play South Africa even from the early days. Our message of peace love and unity was and still is what we believe in. We were asked to come and play South Africa In the early eighties but a combination of everyone being boycotted (by the rest of the world if they played in SA) and the horrible unequal laws, as they were then, prevented us from helping the people of South africa gain more awareness to the fact that there were people on the outside fighting for them. It would have been a challenge. It is a different challenge now.

You guys are known as The English Beat in the States. I’m assuming that’s because there already was a band there with your name. Who is the ‘other’ Beat? Do you know them? If you had to go up against them in a celebrity death match, would you win?

The other Beat in the USA changed their name to Paul Collins Beat. We met them a couple of times and even checked each others’ bands out. All in all there appeared to be no need for celebrity death matches, as our music was so far removed from each other, there was no need for competition.

Would you say that you have all aged gracefully?

I would have to say yes.

The Beat

You’ve toured with some pretty amazing acts, including Talking Heads, Bowie, The Clash, The Police…. You must have done some fine partying. Can the fans here expect any opportunities for scandal?

Hey,I can’t tell the fans what to expect,when we don’t really know what to expect ourselves. This will be our first time ever so I am filled with excitement. I think half the reason we got to play with these great bands was because of the things we sang about and how brave we were at delivering it in a peace loving manner, and we also gave a lot of money to the CND. And Greenpeace too.

R.E.M are one of The Beat’s old favorite support bands. They must have done at least three tours with us, and I always knew they would make it big, but I didn’t think they would be that big! U2 opened up for The Beat in London 1982, I think, and look how massive they became.

It’s interesting the people you meet along the way. The one thing I have learned from being in the business and meeting all these wonderful people is: The best way is to just be yourself, but always remain grounded!

Are you guys adventurous eaters? Would you be down to sample a Smiley? It’s a township delicacy here. It’s basically when you take a goat or sheep’s head, fur on, and put it on a fire so that all the hair and skin burns off and the lips curl back so the face ‘smiles’. You then cook it until all the inside bits are smooshy and bon apetite!

Well that might be a bit extreme for me to try as I am a vegetarian. There might be other members of the band or crew who would though.

Who is the South African you would love to meet the most? And no, you can’t say Nelson Mandela.

Of course it would be Nelson Mandela. After all I did sing on the original recording of free Nelson Mandela. I would love to meet some of the local talent. How’s about the Kalahari Surfers, Moodphase 5, or even Zoro who sounds a bit like Curtis Mayfield sometimes.

Lastly, tell us something you’ve never told any other magazine. We want to put the word ”Exclusive’ on the headline when we publish this, but as yet can’t really justify it in any way.

I can’t really think of anything I that’s exclusive that I haven’t revealed yet. It’s more like, this is exclusive to us because we have never been to your country before, yet a lot of our influences over the years have definitely come from different parts of Africa including South Africa. For me, this is a moment in a lifetime I’ll never forget.

Thanks for your time. Really looking forward to jamming to you guys!

Peace! ((^_^)) Roger.

*Catch The Beat live in Johannesburg TONIGHT – Friday 12 November – at Tanz Cafe.
*Catch The Beat live in Cape Town TOMORROW – Saturday 13 November – at Mercury Live.

The Beat

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  1. gonzo nowhere says:

    Like the band: Remember them fondly (I was 18 in ’82 when U2 was opening for them).

    Not like: The interviewer. Not sure I would like to have fielded those questions. interviewer threw in some arbitrary lemons mixed with fawning platitudes. Where’s the insight? No wonder Mr Roger lands up sounding like a doos. He had nothing to work with. I’ve come to expect more from Mahala. I mean, throwing that whole smily thing at a vegetarian (correlation between dreaded toasters and vegetarianism is pretty high – so no surpise there if you’re a wakker journo)

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  2. Pauline & Gilbert says:

    (mixed couples swirls Discuss) Flickr
    We get a few dirty looks but mostly people smile at us and sometimes strangers tell us how lovely we look together and that we are glowing! I think we show how much in love we are and people notice that more than anything else 🙂 They do look confused sometimes when my man is walking around with my (100% white) daughter 😉 I let them guess! Does it really matter? No!

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  3. Shelli says:

    Agree with Gonzo nowhere; do the homework. This might not eb Rolling Stone but hey at least find out if the subject is a vegetarian or not before you chuck a roasted animals head at the dude.

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  4. Notme says:

    Mercury here I come…

    Who the fuck bothers about what a bands’ eating preferences are? Why would you want to find that out? Chuck a roasted animal head at the dude just to see what might happen. Something juicy could have come out of that.

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  5. dudie says:

    vegetarians should eat shit – my shit. nothing wrong with the question. You guys are nitpicking. do something better with your time than rant on the net.

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  6. dudie says:

    oh yeah – btw; rolling stone sucks. mahala is 100x more real than that pathetic excuse of a magazine. rolling stone was cool 30 years ago; today it is just a PR agency for the big music corporations. i mean, if you go on their homepage you will read about kanye west, bon jovi and bruce ‘the lier of the masses’ springsteen.

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  7. gonzo nowhere says:

    @ dudie

    so you really think the interviewers questions helped the article?
    the veg thing was just an example of shoddy penmanship.

    Not nitpicking at all, just keeping my favourite local on-line read on-track.
    If I thought Mahala was kak I wouldn’t read it. Like Barney, I share because I care.


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  8. gonzo nowhere says:

    @ dudie

    if copraphilia really turns you on, I’m surprised you aren’t a huge Rolling Stone fan.

    (maybe you should tell your analyst that you go on-line to make comments about people eating your shit. you are one sick, puerile puppy)

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  9. dudie says:

    all im saying is that there was nothing wrong with the questions. i mean, what do you actually ask a lame band like the beat?
    that copraphilia remark was also lame. dont try engage me again – im not going to reply to argumentum ad hominems. wikipedia awaits you my friend.

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  10. Andy says:

    Dudie, Gonzo – appreciated. I thought Danni took a rather fun and fresh approach – perhaps not as schooled as she could’ve been. And we’ll aim to do better. But she uncovered some gems like the thing about bands like REM and U2 opening for The Beat – the only difference being that while U2 enjoy massive global success and decreasing returns in terms of their creative output – yes they’ve been shit since the Joshua Tree – The Beat just keep on with their thing. Rise and fall. Along with the Clash and The Specials they defined the sound of a generation of punks. That’s pretty refreshing. I cannot wait for the gig tomorrow. see y’all there

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  11. sleaze says:

    @dudie lay of Springsteen, one of the most talented songwriters of his generation not for nothing is he called the Boss. Liar to the masses? WTF! Have you every listened to him, I mean really listen, I have a good mind to lock you in a confined space with nothing, but a copy of Nebraska on repeat.

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  12. Andy says:

    the boss is the boss…

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  13. scheme? says:

    south africa. where bands come to die.

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  14. ask says:

    dear scheme…

    you must go to Australia already where things are clean, your kak vibe is boring.
    I was at the show and it was sold out, and a fucking rad rad show.
    The beat are on a world tour they didn’t just come to SA for you and your comment.
    their fans loved every minute. so if your not into the music, go to another page to slag things off there.
    or better yet start packing….

    did any of the gallery actually watch the show?

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  15. Skanking to the Beat says:

    I watched the show and it was awesome, what a band! But I agree the interview was kak, you can feel that Roger is thrown by the arb questions and the lack of insight on behalf of the writer

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  16. sleaze says:

    I was a white African who thought that the Beat knew where we where back in the bad old days,, along with the boss, so I dont care who you feel it was vital to to me, if you dont i can talk…. if you have a sister maybe we can talk more ……………………..

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  17. sleaze says:

    i think the beat are on it, if they did not want to they could have stayed at home – so the beat lives on…..

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  18. tina g says:

    shallow questions. silly interview. should have given the job to an adult.

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  19. ((^_^)) says:

    ((^_^)) I Love you thanks 🙂

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  20. MATT says:

    “…Now! on the re-union side….I dont think Dave will be joining us when we come over.I’m not in the habit of slagging people off so i wont start here.we dont talk to each other any more(my choice).for the last two years i have been talking to him through his manager. When Bands Reunited 1st stopped me in birmingham city centre,i thought there would be a good chance a re-union would happen,but now,i think the chances are slimmer.Im afraid,we have different views,but we dont fight though,yet,which is a good thing.
    hope this has answered your question.

    After being asked what fans might do to help facilitate a reunion, he added:

    “…I never surf daves site,but i have heard it all before.When he goes out as General Public,I don’t say anything.I dont really want to either! All i can say is dave and I have never had a problem over money in the past or now,our problems are more or less deeply routed in personality.I dont think there is anything our fans can do to help us on this one,it is something that will take alot of courage and soul-searching honesy to resolve.

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  21. dave wakeling says:

    i’ve always thought it would be fun to do a few shows together, and look forward to hearing from roger one of the days! love, dave x

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