Alpha to Beta
Contrasting opinios as The Beta Band end their career


Cambridge Junction

The Beta Band's penultimate date of their farewell tour brilliantly encapsulated everything good about the Scottish mavericks, and demonstrated why they will be so sorely missed.
This was an genre hopping, instrument swapping, endearingly shambolic yet celebratory two hour set which left the Junction raving like loons, just like they did the first time this correspondent saw them back in 1999 then at Glastonbury the following year when they dressed up like a military coup and scared the hippies.
They played 'She's The One' from their 'rubbish' debut album, did 'Dry The Rain', blasted through 'Assessment', danced during 'Out-side', and brought the house down during final song 'House Song' which morphed into a acid house moving The Fly's mate to tears saying it reminded him of taking lots of drugs in a field in 1989. Bless.
Let's face it one wonders if today's pretenders could invoke that kind of reaction, hell, any kind of a reaction. The Beta Band were a one off, god knows we'll miss them.

Anthony Gibbons


THE BETA BAND- Heroes To Zeros

I saw The Beta Band at a festival once. I don't remember much about them apart from I was making a fire and this weird man was chatting me up via my other half, which was fairly interesting. In other words, they didn't grab my attention. That is why I have procrastinated in reviewing this, their farewell album to go with their farewell tour that if you just missed… Don't worry; I did too. Oh dear? More like "one down, several hundred pretty dull indie bands to go".

Having said that, it is certainly not the worst I've heard and not having a back catalogue to compare to and/or kiss ass to makes it that much more enjoyable; for example, I can't do what everyone else does and say it's not as good as "Hotshots" because I haven't heard "Hotshots". All I can say is that it is listenable, as listenable as anything in this genre can be. I particularly like the use of beats which usually doesn't work in something so generally slow ("Lion thief" has a good bit of 80's beatbox action), whilst the slight funk of "Easy" is definitely one to do your jazz hands to, not to mention "Out-side", an energetic baggy extravaganza with a few nice sampling sounds thrown in to drag it a little further out of the 1990's.But then there's also supposedly more experimental tracks like "Rhododendron", perhaps better placed on the Lion King soundtrack, which left me as confused as when Tabby go voted out of The X Factor instead of G4. Except definitely not as angry. I lost a tenner.

Mind you, if I hadn't, then I still wouldn't buy this nor would I recommend you to.

Anna C