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Beta Band better than ever

Seems views are split on the new Beta Band album, Heroes To Zeroes. “It’s not The Three E.P’s!”, they wail. Others proclaim it as a return to form for the grizzled Scots.

I had been a bit underwhelmed by it, to be honest. So I was a bit unsure what to expect from their gig at Rock City last night. I knew the beer would be crap, and was sure the band would play Dry The Rain, the big song they began their journey with, and soundtrack to the best scene in the movie High Fidelity. The beer was indeed crap, but there was no Dry The Rain. Still, I left Rock City happy for several reasons.

“Oh, I love this one”, I’d whisper to whoever was next to me at the time, suddenly realising that I was listening to the opening bars of a new ‘Heroes…’ tune. Album opener Assessment is as big as a house, deliciously delivered live as some kind of statement of intent, with a build towards crunching guitars and some fine whooping noises. Wonderful flits between typical Beta-mope and wide-eyed psychedelic hands in the air heart-wrencher. Liquid Bird and Simple were equally spot-on, and without question, it was the new Heroes... songs that seemed to lift the atmosphere.

I’ve been to many gigs at Rock City over the years, and I’ve seen it go off like a bomb on many occasions. Rarely is the crowd quiet, attentive and patient. I felt like a visitor in some kind of musical zoo, gawping at some new, exotic, Scottish highland monkeys.

My friend Big Lee was by far the most vocal member of the audience, waiting for each lull between songs to scream his request for the often disliked Beta Band Rap. Eventually, frontman Steve Mason delivered his response, through a slightly bemused expression, requesting said song be “...put in a box and sealed, and placed under the bar where nobody can find it.” As far as I could tell, Big Lee was delighted with this response; a small victory that also spared any of us having to actually hear the song.

We were given a hat-trick of big songs from the aforementioned The Three E.P’s which served as a reminder of beta-testing era hypnotic tunesmithery (Push It Out), but it was the new stuff that showed the band have reached a more accomplished plateau.

Obviously, the Beta Band is still up for it. It’s clear they still like a laugh, as proven by their turns in the opening film Troubled Samurai, and the good-humoured banter on stage. I’m hoping Heroes To Zeroes can manage to re-ignite affections for the band (it certainly deserves to) although I’d urge anyone lucky enough to be anywhere near their tour to go along and make sense of it from a live perspective.

And, thanks to this little review, Amazon will now sell five copies of The Three E.P’s by the ‘Bayda’ Band. That’s assuming that life really does imitate art, imitating Hollywood, imitating art.


# Simon Snorkeller responded on 13th May 2004 with...


# Simon Snorkeller responded on 13th May 2004 with...

Sorry, wrong thread! Anyway, I’ve never really loved the Beta Band, but everytime I hear their records, I really like ‘em. They seem to do experimental in a non-self-indulgent way, which is a rare old thing.

And what’s this about ropey ale at Roxicity?

# Jamie Craven responded on 17th May 2004 with...

I was at said gig (the last in their tour I believe) and they were fantastic. I’ve seent them before at Sheffield when I was living in Leeds, but had to get the last train before their encore, so was pleased to be present for the whole gig this time.

Depsite their refusal to play ‘Dry the rain’ (and the beta band rap of course) they were fantastic,  and well worth a look. the new album is a real grower, and all the songs sounded great live, so a big beta band thumbs up.

Also, I saw some old friends there who haven’t seen my beard before, and christened it ‘the beta beard’, which I enjoyed.

# Lapin responded on 17th May 2004 with...

Meh, I’ve always been a little underwhelmed by the Beta Band. Still, it seems to be keeping an old man happy, so it can’t be all bad.

What was wrong with Rock City? Last time I went there (SFA, kids), the toilets were overflowing with piss, and I had to wash my Converse. Balls!

# Mink responded on 18th May 2004 with...

Music, Music, Music.

Tonight was a night of music. Hats off to Dj’s Lapin and Badger…the social was rocking and there wasn’t a miss-placed piece of piss in sight…..Beautiful.

Spell check please!

# Steve Keyworth responded on 26th May 2004 with...

As this thread seems to be playing the second fiddle (my speciality in the Keyworth String Orchestra) to some rather more technical chit chat, I thought i’d better try and drag its digital carcass from the cold dead ground in the sincere and believing hope that cultural observations and related articles will, in time, establish themselves as equally important aspects of this most wonderful of electronic organs. They always have, especially when applied to a subject other than work. Lets have more.

Stick it in the Rants. Oh, i’ve said enough. If you didn’t get the Pretenders reference or take umbrage to anything in this post, well, I can’t do anything about that can I.

Beta band were a bit hit and miss I thought.

# Lapin responded on 26th May 2004 with...

No umbrage, but no refs either. I think I’m too young for this game…

I say: more rants, more bollocks, less earnest yak about all this Tron rubbish. It’s only a small community of people who give the tiniest of rats’ asses about CSS. Why not fight the rage and propel this blog into the Belle du Jour league? IE. book deals and casual prostitution. I know Colly’s got it in him? Does he?

# Simon Collison responded on 26th May 2004 with...

Don’t worry Steve - plenty of rantastic stuff coming your way my friend -just so happens that I haven’t been out much lately, thus I haven’t seen anything, thus I haven’t written anything. Got no brass in pocket either…

Lapin, you troublesome tyke. Good to see that everything you learned about computers through You Are Here is being put into practice on the Logic. You’ll be migrating away from B3TA next…

And anyway, you’re the one who knows about the ladies of the night - remember?! (A prostitute stole his spectacles, dear readers. Very funny indeed)

# Lapin responded on 27th May 2004 with...

Not, I hasten to add, a hooker I was procuring. I used to live on Forest Road East, notorious red light zone in Nottingham, where I was half heartedly mugged by a crack whore, to mutual inconvenience. When she hollered for her pimp, I went home to call the police.

Enough of this, web geeks! I’m going to talk to a real person. Bye!

# Steve Keyworth responded on 27th May 2004 with...

Mr Collision, fancy coming to do a bit of journo reportage on the Keyworth Lawn Bowls Grand Final? It’s a day out, costs nowt and there’s bound to be loads of lovely Vimto going begging. Whaddyasay?

Damn straight Lapin. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that discussions of css twiddlings and other codified meddlements are an excellent source of calcium for the brain bone and combine to form a beautious glaze of knowledge available for all to lick. Bugger all wrong with that, I’ve just seen too many wonderfully pretty sites that do the digital equivalent of hanging around clothes shops in gangs talking about the finer points of lip liner and fake tan while checking themselves out in window reflections.
Less of that!
More bowls!

# Lapin responded on 27th May 2004 with...

I’m afraid Mr Collison has a date at the All Ages Sneinton Bowels Tournament, to be held at the Nelly, so he’ll have to give the bowls a miss. Still, he’ll be available to sign autographs for the usual price: one div tag and three uploads. What a guy!

I agree. If this site goes to far down the geek route, it might as well have a Bulwell face lift and ride the scum-bus trams back and forth, shouting about how ‘You don’t even know meh!’. I’m not sure why, but I feel this is the most likely course of events.

# chuckg responded on 27th May 2004 with...

First time here, but enough about me.  I’ve been in love with Beta Band since the day they came out (or I heard about them).  I can’t wait for them to hit the West coast, I’ll be all over it like ... stink on rotten eggs.

# alena responded on 8th July 2004 with...

Not, I hasten to add, a hooker I was procuring. I used to live on Forest Road East, notorious red light zone in Nottingham, where I was half heartedly mugged by a crack whore, to mutual inconvenience. When she hollered for her pimp, I went home to call the police.

Enough of this, web geeks! I?m going to talk to a real person. Bye!