Bassist Wayne Lothian is the band's rhythmic soul, punctuating the intro to "Twist & Crawl" with appropriate plucks and slaps. Antonee First Class fills the vocal role originally created by Ranking Roger, offering more harmonies than reggae-based toasts and serving as something of a hype man. He aptly handled the lead on "Ranking Full Stop," which merged seamlessly into "Mirror in the Bathroom" toward the end of the set.
The straight-ahead ska songs were the heart of last night's show, but the airing of Wakeling's pop gems made the show memorable. The piano-pop melodrama of "I Confess" (from the band's swan song, Special Beat Service) was a treat, as was the similarly heart-on-sleeve "Never You Done That" (from Wakeling and Roger's post-Beat group General Public).
In the past few years, Wakeling has murmured about making new recordings with the band, and last night he performed a few new songs. From first listen, they maintain the high-energy ska sound of the first record, and last night the new ones fit alongside the old ones nicely.