On tour the English Beat, Fishbone, and Outlaw Nation

Twenty-five years ago, Fishbone emerged from a sea of alternative rock groups in Los Angeles – that included the Red Hot Chili Peppers – captivating audiences with their live performance.

And Fishbone continues to electrify crowds with the same passion.

Credited with influencing bands like Sublime and No Doubt, Fishbone joins The English Beat and Outlaw Nation in this year’s Spring Skaward tour. The bands will play at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg on Thursday night.

The tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of The English Beat’s debut release “I Just Can’t Stop It,” and Fishbone’s 25th anniversary as a band.

Led by Dave Wakeling, The English Beat – now disbanded – formed in 1979 during uncertain social times in Britain. Originally known as The Beat, the band made their mark by fusing soul, reggae, pop and punk sounds.

“The English Beat is one of the bands that inspired us to be who we are,” said Fishbone bassist John Norwood Fisher.

Outlaw Nation mixes reggae, hip-hop and pop. Fishbone’s Angelo Moore and The English Beat’s Dave Wakeling have guest appearances on Outlaw Nation’s most recent record.

“It’s all family,” Fisher said.

Fisher said the tour is especially exciting because it marks the start of what was then a new fusion of music in England.

“It’s crazy because … this is the 30th year after the inception of the two-tone movement,” he said.

Fishbone is also celebrating the release of their first official live concert DVD, which was shot while on tour.

“After all this time … the cameras were rolling, and I still got nervous,” Fisher said of the recording.

The DVD, “Live In Bordeaux,” was filmed in Bordeaux, France in April 2008.

“It was a sold-out theatre,” Fisher said.

The two-tone movement, named after 2 Tone Records, was the first of its kind to mix ska music with reggae, punk, rocksteady and pop.

Current assortment of reggae-rock bands may seem saturating to some but Fisher said he isn’t worried.

“That youthful energy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon,” he said. “I think the kids will always need this music to stomp to.”

Catch the Spring Skaward tour on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the State Theater. Tickets cost $19.