Wednesday, 28 August 2019

We Don't Need No Skunk Rock! Here's (what) The Beta Band (did next)....


….and sort of before, during and after (and, indeed, what they didn't do but no stopping rumours that suggested they did.... eh?)


Even before The Beta Band were off and running free/wild, Steve Mason was ploughing his own distinctly furrowed brow, releasing 2 EPs of lo-fi abstract folk-funk-hop that was his King Biscuit Time side-project, his excellent chop suey 'I Walk The Earth' track (from No Style) as much his own high flying musical albatross as 'Dry The Rain' was to The Beta Band....

  King Biscuit Time - I Walk The Earth

Still, shortly after the split he'd treat us to a more focussed selection of King Biscuit Time cutz on Black Gold....


King Biscuit Time - Kwangchow


....and following that with the slinky oddball electro of Black Affair's Pleasure Pressure Point before (finally) ditching the multiple monikers for 2010's Boys Outside as (you guessed it!) Steve Mason....


Steve Mason - Fight Them Back

....next up was the cold psychedelic sprawl of Monkey Minds In The Devil's Time – a record that moodswings between the quiet threat of Gravenhurst and a warmer, more uplifting Spiritualized energy - following that with the more recognisably Betas-shaped – though much crisper and sharper – Meet The Humans....


Steve Mason - Planet Sizes

....all culminating - via the prog concept of Alien Stadium's 'Livin' In Elizabethan Times' mini-lp - in the alt-indie of this year's About The Light....


Steve Mason - Walking Away From Love


And what, post-The Beta Band of 'the other two' (Richard Greentree making it 'the other three' when he eventually joined back in)?

'Special thanks and love to Gordon
take the road South soon.'

….well, in the beginning there was The Pigeons.... and one, Gordon Anderson (brother of Kenny 'King Creosote' Anderson) stayed behind, becoming the prolific lo-flying Lone Pigeon, while his feathered friends landed in London, all get set for Champion Versions....


"If there's something inside that you wanna say...."

Well, what about swapping one slightly wayward frontman for another, jumping out of the fried pan and into the fire and forming The Aliens, this time winding their (obviously) Beta-ish sonic explorations around Anderson's wonderful 70's classic-ish songwriting-ish sensibilities....




The Aliens - Ionas (Look For Space)


....taking their flights of fancy from here to there and across the wonderful Alienoid Starmonica EP and the Astronomy for Dogs and Luna albums (giving some of Anderson's most yearning Lone Pigeon recordings a full (Beta) band 'make over' along the way)....


The Aliens - The Happy Song


Sadly Anderson, in spite of the gargantuan Time Capsule retrospective of 2011, seems to have become something of a 'Gone Pigeon' following their somewhat muted parting of the ways....

The Aliens - Robot Man (live)

....and finally. What were we on about when we mention music the ex-Betas might have been responsible for...?


Yep, here it is, Brothers In Sound's Family Is For Sharing. Why, they were signed to Regal Records, they released 3 (fairly forward thinking) E.P.s, collecting them as a single album thereafter. How could the music weeklies not imply it was simply The Beta Band in disguise....

Brothers In Sound - Leave (Glide Out)

Plus it conveniently allows Rob to mention seeing them at King Tuts Wah Wah Hut - Ryan Mair, as ever, in attendance - to find the place totally rammed on arrival. Goodness it was mobbed! First band on and off, crowd rapidly dispersed, leaving headliners Brothers In Sound to amble on all sheepish smiles and wonky equipment, playing to 2 men and their dog. That first band...? Check the ticket (and the ticket number, woo hoo!)....

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