The English Beat will headline Rock the Farm, a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project, happening on Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. at Ocean View Farm in Amagansett. The following evening, the English Beat will perform at the Stephen Talkhouse, also in Amagansett, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are still available for the fund-raiser, which will feature other musical acts to be announced. In addition to the live music, the $130 price includes an open bar and barbecue. Tickets are available on the Stephen Talkhouse Web site.
A favorite at the Talkhouse, the English Beat has performed there more times than Dave Wakeling, a founder of the band, can remember. “They gently blur into one long visit,” Mr. Wakeling, who is from England but a longtime resident of California, said in an interview this week. “A walk on the beach and sand in your toes, everybody dressed in sailor stripes — carefully casual. There’s just something utterly charming about it. I suppose it’s a fairly wealthy area but people get to enjoy acting a down-home, beach-bum vibe, which I find fascinating. Being from California, you think if you’re not wearing shorts and sandals you must be going to court.”
The band has sometimes addressed political issues in its music, and performs benefit concerts for many causes. In conversation, Mr. Wakeling offers his observations of social and political issues. “America is a land of contrasts,” he said. “I see, traveling around the country, that people are far more open-hearted and willing to connect with people that aren’t like them. We are a nation of immigrants.”
“I enjoy going ’round and doing concerts and linking the songs to what’s going on in our everyday world,” he said. “I feel a real privilege in being a troubadour in everyday times.”
“It’s a very volatile world,” Mr. Wakeling said. “I still think we have far more in common with one other than our differences. I wish there was the political will to pull that together, that the same courage and bravery of the solders that put themselves in such danger could also be inspired in everyone else to work for each other to create a more clear, positive effect on the world by our example. Maybe one day we will.”
At Rock the Farm, he said, “There might be a quip or two, but the main idea is to let time stand still and enjoy the moment. That’s very soothing and healing. It also reminds us that we are all one. That’s going to be the main part of the afternoon. I look forward to it. Come on down, everybody!”