Went down to Oxford this weekend to see The Bees at the Zodiac in Oxford. I'm not too familiar with their stuff (although they were one of the nominations for this year's Mercury Music Prize), and what I heard round at J & J's house was trying very hard to sound like White Album era Beatles. Hm. I have to say that I'm not a terribly big fan of bands whose whole 'thing' is to faithfully recreate the "vibe" of the 60s. All too often this means that the search for an authentic 1960 valve amplifier takes precedence over actually putting a bit of thought into making the songs interesting for the listener. Prime offenders here are (of course) Ocean Colour Scene (new live album out now folks!), but I'm also including The Coral in here, and I was mentally ready to file The Bees here as well.
Ok. Good news - they're not being filed with that lot. They *are* undeniably something of a throwback band, and I'm not sure I'll be rushing out to buy "Free the Bees" tomorrow, but they were pretty good fun live. They look pretty shambolic - hairy, a bit tubby, a little bit dirty looking (one of the guys at the back looks like Badly Drawn Boy with his stubbly beard, woolly hat... not a look to be copying) BUT they are a tight live act. They all seem to be decent musicians - the keyboardist variously plays the trumpet, the bass and various bit of persussion, the singer plays the guitar, the keyboards and the drums, the drummer plays the guitar and does some singing & the bassist plays the guitar and the keyboards. I don't know why this should be so, but that makes for a more interesting live experience (in classic Ringo style, I think the singer is a better drummer than the drummer...). I also recognised a couple of songs, notable "Wash in the Rain", which is a great song.
Anyway - they were pretty good.
On the other hand, Little Barrie, the support, were awful... and I proudly base that opinion entirely on the stupid hat the singer was wearing throughout (although amusingly I've just seen that the guitarist - and silly hat wearer - was actually filling in for Alain Whyte in Morrissey's band both time I saw them this year... ah well.... he wasn't wearing the hat then, so how was I supposed to know?)
Thanks for the tickets Scat - good call.
Watched a bit of ESB whilst I was in Oxford - Lucas has changed Boba Fett's voice so that now he has a distinct kiwi accent. Part of the Stalinist revisionism of history to bring the old films into line with the new film orthodoxy. I fear that rumours of the insertion of Hayden Christiansen into the end of ROTJ may be true.
On the other hand... who really cares?
Am I fooling anyone?