Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Beta Band @ 93 Feet East, London

17 September 2001

You could not buy tickets for tonight’s very special performance by the four orgiastic Scottish rock gods. I am one of the lucky 450 to be selected by XFM for tonight’s frenzied set of epic grooves and inspired showmanship.

Half way through the set I happen to be stood between Bobby Gillespie and John Squire, when Sean Ryder comes over and announces “Fuck me these boys could really start a movement!”. All three nod in mutual appreciation. Bollocks to The Strokes, the most overhyped band since NME’s last lazy attempt to foist some retro dirge on us. Tonight we’re seeing the true saviours of the live music scene.

Sometimes accused of being a little directionless with their studio output The Beta Band’s live performance is the exact opposite.

They serve up the strongest material from The Three EPs and their latest album, Hot Shots II with tremendous focus. Their home movies depicting wacky adventures on mountain and moorland are projected behind the drum kit throughout as the tone pinballs through the dreamy Squares and a kicking Dry the Rain.

The Beta Band display the exceptional ability to marry together a multitude of influences and create a truly eclectic and original sound. A brilliantly climatic performance of Broke leads us into a break. The entire audience chant themselves hoarse for more.

Lead Singer Steve Mason bounces back onto the small stage with rapper Exodus 77 who fires staccato lines over the pulsing hip hop of Won. They eventually go out on their brilliant “party piece” involving the entire band drumming themselves into a cataclysmic frenzy. Mason announces that they are off to Europe, Belgium to be precise, and we all want to follow. You cannot go far wrong if you follow The Beta Band.

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More on The Beta Band
The Beta Band – Music: The Best Of
Interview: The Beta Band
The Beta Band – Heroes To Zeros
The Beta Band @ Ocean, London
The Beta Band @ 93 Feet East, London