The sun is blazing down over Holmfirth on this beautiful Saturday evening and surely you know that one form of music suits a sunny day better than any other and that is good old 2-tone ska and tonight we are in for a treat as 2-Tone legends The Beat return to the Picturedrome for their annual Ska-Splash and the mood is good.
Before the main event though the packed crowd were treated to some appetisers that couldn’t fail to get even the stiffest of people moving.
The Cheapskates wore their love of all things The Clash proudly on their sleeves, local boys Wobbly Bob had them moving with their fun-time ska-pop and the always on form sound of The Uplifters proved that things come and go but ska will never die.
Holding this all together was dj and master of ceremonies for the evening Fat Figgy who kept the energy levels at fever pitch throughout the undercard and we we still had the main event to come.
The Beat walked out to a huge ovation and what followed was 90 minutes of the sweatiest fun around. Frontman Ranking Roger greeted the crowd like old friends with a call and response shout of ‘Rude Boy’ and ‘Rude Girl’, to say this man has been fronting this band since the 1970’s, it’s like he never ages and has a youthful vibrance that seems infectious with the older, Fred Perry wearing crowd.
The band has now truly become a family affair with the singers son Rankin Junior now a permanent fixture in the band and you can tell father and son both love every minute of it, throughout the set looking and giving each other a knowing smile as they have the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands.
The band deliver on every level here tonight. They give the classics such as ‘Tears of A Clown’, ‘Return of The Jedi’ and of course ‘Mirror In the Bathroom’. They throw in some covers, the most memorable being a unique cover of The Clash classic ‘Rock the Casbah’ that comes with a heartfelt tribute to Joe Strummer.
The band even show that they show no signs of slowing down by showcasing some new songs and throughout all this the crowd keeps dancing and dancing and dancing which is a true testament to the dedication shown to these 7 men on stage. If you can play new songs and have them go down as well as your classics, then that is a true bond between a band and their audience.
It is the crowd that truly made this show tonight though, as good as The Beat were, the crowd were just as good maybe, dare I say it, better. They honestly did not stop dancing all day long and this was a very hot day and these were not young kids. These were adults, having the time of their lives and it was a truly special thing to behold.
You find these days at every gig you attend it is hard to see what is going on as you are confronted by a sea of phones taking pictures and filming but that was not the case here tonight.
People were caught in a moment and due to their energy, the bands energy and the good time vibe throughout, it became a very special moment indeed.