Bigger Thomas
The English Beat
Canal Room NYC
Jan 13 2006
sponsored by
WWWhatsup Online Pinstand
with thanks to Canal Room, and Metropolitan Talent

'The Horns. The Rhythm. The Spirit.'

Back in the late 80's/early 90's the pinstand would regularly trek down to Trenton, NJ, on a Sunday, for the shows at City Gardens. One of the hottest local bands down there was a stomping ska crew called Bigger Thomas. What particularly endeared them to us was their very excellent logo, which sold a lot of pins. Running into Marc, the bass player, recently, I found that they are still going strong, and he invited me to come and shoot this show, where they'd be opening for The English Beat. The Beat themselves were another band who have sold enormous quantities of pins in their time. Back in the UK, we made 1000 upon 1000 for Phil Mason. their merch guy. And the pin connections go even deeper on this show, as the promoter, Metropolitan, booked the old NYC Ritz back when the pinstand was resident there. So, all in all, we were very much at home. Despite it being Friday the 13th, this, the first of two thoroughly sold-out nights at the Canal Room, went very well, and a word has to be said for Sean the engineer who gave the bands a particularly warm sound that well complimented the optimism of the music. I will admit the vid could have done with a little less of theflashing lights, but hey..

Bigger Thomas, I think, only retains two of the original members, but still play with the same reckless enthusiasm. They have had two veritable hits - 'Can't Remember My Name' and 'Ska In My Pocket'. The latter song, joined onstage by Roy Radics of the Rudie Crew, closed their set and is the clip here. Similarly to BT, The English Beat has only one original member, but that is main man Dave Wakeling, whose voice and guitar were very much the signature of the band. He now lives in LA, and coaches kids at soccer when he's not touring, apparently with some success. It seems after the demise of General Public, the world was carved up into 'Beat' territories, with Ranking Roger taking Europe, and Dave the USA. So the 'English' Beat are in fact the american Beat! Paul Collins, strangely enough, whose american Beat originally forced the 'English' moniker, has been relegated to Spain.. But, anyway, Dave has got himself a cracking band on the west coast, as you will see in the clip - the old Beat hit and Smokey Robinson classic 'Tears Of A Clown'. Speaking of tears, note Dave's guitar, pictured above - is a classic Brian Jones teardrop vox - which he mentioned, whether in jest or not I cannot say, was imminently headed to the RnR Hall of Fame.

No VCD on this one. If you program a tv show and are interested in running either of these clips, do please get in touch.. We still do the pins - check the WWWhatsup links below for that and links to the bands. Dave W. has been active in Greenpeace in the past, but his current passion is The Smile Train which raises money to pay for cleft palate operations for indigent chinese kids. Check it out.

capture captain: joly
date posted: 1/26/06

WWWhatsup The Beat
WWWhatsup Bigger Thomas

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