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The Beat featuring Ranking Jnr

For British singer Matthew Murphy, honouring his musical influences and honouring his late father are one and the same.

Murphy, 37, who performs as Ranking Jnr and Mini-Murphy, hails from Birmingham, England, the birthplace not only of legendary Two-Tone ska band the English Beat, but of his father, Roger Charlery, a co-founder of The Beat who performed as Ranking Roger.

Jnr released a single, fittingly called “Legacy”, with the help of U.K. pop band the Ordinary Boys on United Sound Records. His song is a tribute to his “poppa,” who died in March 2019. Jnr donated all of the proceeds from the single to cancer research; his father died of lung cancer and a brain tumour.

“‘Legacy’ was written literally a week or two after my dad had passed away,” Jnr says. “It’s one of the most special songs I have ever written; the lyrics came quickly and naturally because of the state of mind I was in and how I was feeling. For me, this is where the magic works; when you are going through tough times in life. The best things [in writing music] come to the surface when your back’s against the wall.”

One of the key bands of the U.K. ska revival of the late ’70s and early ’80s, the Beat achieved a near-perfect balance of pop melodies and taut rhythms that made them stars in Britain and won them a substantial cult following in the United States. The Beat were based in Birmingham, England and released their debut single, “Tears of a Clown” b/w “Ranking Full Stop,” through the Specials’ 2-Tone label in 1979. The single went Top Ten in the U.K., and they soon struck a deal with Arista to distribute their own Go Feet label. 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It (released by Sire in the United States) went gold in England on the strength of the single “Mirror in the Bathroom,” and the band’s ferocious performances and clever blend of personal and political lyrics made them stars at home.

Band line up:

Lead vocals: Ranking Jnr
Sax: Chico
Guitar: Gitz
Bass: James Crosdale
Drums: Fuzz Townshend / Rob Coates

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Doors: 19:00

Price: £22 + booking fee

Ages: All (u16s accompanied)

The Fleece
12 St Thomas Street Bristol BS1 6JJ