Live Music + Gig Reviews

The Beta Band @ Ocean, London

21 January 2002

If I could’ve been in any band, I used to think I’d have liked to be in something like the Happy Mondays. Rock’n’Roll excess – yeah. However, if, in return for chopping off certain body parts, I could join any group then I would trade any of my limbs in order to be in The Beta Band.

I wouldn’t have thought that The Beta Band are aversed to throwing the odd TV out of a hotel window or a dabbling in the ‘cheap and dangerous’. However this is not their singular purpose. They are in this for so much more. You cannot envisage The Beta Band imploding publicly like so many others have, or producing mind numbingly boring shite the way Oasis have.

The Beta Band enjoy themselves. They are unconventional, inspirational and creative, be it their music, performance, their films or decorating the set like a scene out of Star Wars. It is rumoured that they were offered 250,000 to use their music in adverts a while ago and despite being skint turned it down. I would have taken the money and spent it on crack and whores… however, The Beta Band refuse to prostitute their output. At the Ocean tonight you can be assured that this was no pretentious statement.

They open tonight’s shindig with It’s Not Too Beautiful and then proceed to ignore all the rest of their debut album. Their performance builds with each song and by the time they reach Inner Meet Me they are cooking on gas. By Dr Baker they, and we, are flying and Dry The Rain sees the entire Ocean reach an orgasmic crescendo.

Even when it gets to their second encore they don’t really want to leave and it is nothing more than a quick nip back stage. They return with “their mates from Scotland” and She’s The One. The whole performance has been breathtaking and they finally bring it to a close with a high-energy version of Squares followed by The House Song.

If anyone can show introduce me to a better band than The Beta Band right now I believe that I would quite literally lose my head.

buy The Beta Band MP3s or CDs
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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