BIRMINGHAM band The Beat had a string of hits in the early 80s during an era which saw the Ska sound peak in popularity.

The band released three albums before a split in 1983 which led to the formation of General Public and Fine Young Cannibals.

The Beat founder member Ranking Roger has been telling The Base Sessions about life in the band, whose 12 hit singles included Hands Off She's Mine, Mirror In The Bathroom and a cover of Can't Get Used To Losing You.

Along with other Ska bands, The Beat were not afraid to tackle the social problems of the Thatcher years in tracks like Stand Down Margaret and Get-A-Job.

It may be with some sense of history repeating itself that The Beat re-released all three of their albums in June, in the middle of the UK's latest battle against the effects of another damaging recession.

The new releases of albums, I Just Can't Stop it, Wha’ppen and Special Beat Service, came out on Edsel Records and feature a huge amount of bonus music and video.

The Beat are set to play live at the Upton Music Festival in Upton upon Severn on Saturday August 25.

Interview by music writer Roland Link.The Base Sessions is produced and recorded by Base Studios in Stourbridge.