Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The English Beat, Bad Manners and Chris Murray live in Chicago

I’ve seen The English Beat and Chris Murray a few times before. So one of the main reasons why I drove a total of 1370 kilometers to Chicago was to go see the great British ska band Bad Manners. I believe the last time they came to Montreal was in the 80s.

I know they have always been pretty active in the UK but for me this was quite an event. What a line-up! The English Beat and Bad Manners are two of my favorite bands from my teenage years. The only way I can think of a better line-up is if I had been in the crowd in 1980 during the recording of the Dance Craze album.

To have Chris Murray, my favorite contemporary traditional ska artist as an opening act was more than I could hope for. Chris was as good as ever and although he was alone on stage, his presence rivals that of any 8-piece band. I could tell he was happy that my girlfriend and I were singing along to all of his songs.

Bad Manners
didn’t disappoint either. When Buster came out in his fuzzy leopard suit, I knew instantly that we were in for a great set. All the classics were played and it justified the many miles we had traveled to get there. Between two songs, I overheard a guy next to me say: “He might be a bad singer but he’s one hell of an entertainer!” You could say that…

At this point, everybody was sweating profusely, on stage and off. The place was hotter than a furnace in hell! That didn’t stop The English Beat from giving a stellar performance. I was quite impressed with the new kid on the block, Antonee First Class. He toasted a few of his own compositions and it was well received. The boy has talent.

Aside from the intolerable heat, I was glad to have seen my teenage heroes in a city like Chicago. Next time around, I hope they stop in Montreal. And mister Dave Wakeling, what have you done with my pin? (see April 5 2010 post)

Want to see a few videos of the concert without having to suffer from the heat. Follow these links:

Bad Manners - Sally Brown

Bad Manners - Lip Up Fatty

The English Beat - Hands Off...She's Mine (extended version)


  1. I found your post because of the photo you posted in SKA POOL on flickr. Great story and photos. The references to 'heat' reminded me of when my son and I drove to LA to see Bad Manners play. We went through a small section of the Mohave desert in summer in my van with no air conditioning.

    Totally worth it. Some links about it, for your perusal


  3. I just stumbled across your English Beat vid on YouTube. They have been one of my favs since the '80's, and I was thrilled to be able to see them (for my first time EVER!) in Chicago last summer, in the blaring furnace heat from hell, which made the experience of non-stop skank dancing even more enjoyable for this mid-40's momma!

    So, imagine my delight when they came to my own home town this past month - and I was able to introduce my kids to the art of the dance! Great times! Thanks for the great video memories of last summer!

    Enjoyable blog, BTW! Theresa

  4. Thanks for the compliment Theresa!

    What a great thing to get to introduce your kids to the most danceable music still around. Ska! Ska! Ska!