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With: Ranking Roger, Dave Wakeling, Saxa, Everett Morton, Dave Blockhead, Neil Deathridge, Andy Pearson, Ranking Junior
Written by: FF-ERROR NO WRITTEN BY
Directed by: Dave Meehan
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 86
Date: 03/18/2013
IMDB

The English Beat: In Concert at the Royal Festival Hall (2005)

3 Stars (out of 4)

We Got the Beat

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

These new DVDs from Music Video Distributors document two 1980s dancebands gathering two decades later for new concerts, and the discs do agood job demonstrating why certain concerts work and others don't. TheHuman League, best known for their hits "Don't You Want Me" and"Fascination," can't quite ignite a spark during their staidperformance. Part of the trouble is that they save their hits for thesecond half of the show, when the energy has begun to flag. On the otherhand, The English Beat scatter their best known songs ("Hands Off She'sMine," "Tears of a Clown," "Twist and Crawl," "Mirror in the Bathroom,""Save It for Later," etc.) throughout, and keep the energy pumping overa longer stretch of time. It helps that the latter band has more in theway of old-fashioned musicianship; people actually play instruments onstage, while most of the Human League do nothing more than sing or dancein place. Oddly, I was more of a Human League fan during the 1980s, butI'm thinking of switching camps. Both new DVDs feature crisp, deepsound, a clean picture and various extras (interviews, galleries,biographies, etc.).

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