Bands whoring themselves out to commercially driven corporations isnt anything new, and no doubt 'A Minha Menina' did just as much for the The Bees as it did for sales of the Citroen C5. Then again how many people do you know who drive a C5?
Most artists get scalped by the music press for the debauched act of bringing high musical culture to such a lowly defined medium, even to the extent of The Observers Paul Morley proclaiming The Bees as one of those bands who "have been created merely to supply charged up must-see thrill-stings to C4 trailers".
But theres a simple reason why The Bees make such good candidates for adverts that theyve cropped up in everything from World Cup endorsed deodorant commercials to Australian Mars Bar TV spots.
Its because they write great songs. Great, summery pop tunes that sound as happy as a Donovan / Beach Boys collaboration set in Jamaica during a ganja harvest season.
Now Im guessing you already know all that, but what you might not know is just how brilliant they are sounding live at the moment. Going to a Bees gig is like being invited to an Austin Powers 1960s theme party. There are enough hippy-go-lucky broken chords to bob up and down to, and in minutes you find yourself dancing like your uncle dances to the birdie song at weddings.
Wash in the rain is tonights set opener, like an upbeat mix of Super Furry Animals Golden Retriever and a Beatles take on any one of a dozen Doors tracks. The Hammond organ in particular gives the song a great, 70s funk sound and its a brilliant set opener to get everyone dancing.
As the band switch instruments and perform like a travelling circus, constantly engaging to watch, with everyone fully engrossed in the music. This is one of the tightest six pieces I have ever seen.
As soon as Horsemen kicks in the crowd have lost all their inhibitions and the hedonistic party vibe is so addictive you couldnt avoid it even if you really wanted to. The soothing transition between the Beta Band style vocals and the joyful guitar strumming are a stroke of genius and it just takes Kris Birkins over the top guitar solo to complete this great pop song.
Due out next year will be The Bees third album, and we are given a sample of what to expect. It doesnt sound too bad, but latest single Left foot Stepdown is certainly no Horsemen and just sounds a little like a stretched out jamming session by various members of The Zutons and The Coral. Much of the new material is more reggae influenced and thats especially noticeable on Listening Man.
Back with the old though, and The Bees will have to pull out something pretty special if they are going to match the brilliance of A Minha Menina. Not that The Bees can be fully credited for this because its a pretty straight forward cover of a song by Os Mutantes, but its a great tune nevertheless.
Chicken Payback is left to the encore, and I cant think of any song thats steeped so heavily in 60s retrospection. All in all its a great set filled with psychedelic funk, ska, reggae, folk, pop and god knows how many other genre influences thrown into the mix.
sorry, we currently have no gigs listed for this act.