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Wednesday, April 28, 2004
  beta band, ica

what ho. glad to see phil holding the fort. i'm still here too though, honest! how's everyone been? good? lovely.

BETA BAND UPDATE! since i wrote to them down there (the letter was returned, unread ;( i've heard the album. i was prepared for disappointment, after reading this review by jess harvell, and also by the number of positive reviews the album was getting in the press. not in a perverse way you understand, just because most of the praise seemed to be coming from the direction of people who didn't rate Hot Shots II, which is silly, obviously.

so, yes, i've heard it, and i'm underwhelmed. something isn't there. it's a 'good' album, maybe the first 'good' album they've done. just a nice solid album. but it sounds earth-bound and humdrum where HSII was galactical and visionary. i saw them play last night at the ICA and it was a very good gig, theirs always are, and the new songs did sound more inspiring in that setting, but that whole air of whispered nocturnal revelation that HSII had in spades seems to have evaporated. the band have cheered up and fallen to earth. this album feels like the first time the band aren't marching off into the ether - it's the first time when, listening to it, i can imagine them standing there in a studio playing instruments. you can see the joins.

i remember steve mason saying a few months ago that the new album was going to sound like 'the mily way in a teacup,' which is a beautiful phrase, and a noble ambition, i think. thing is, they got that on Hot Shots! that's exactly what it sounded like! ah well. i'm going to see them a few more times in the next few months so i'll have more to say then perhaps.

and i apologise for apparently only being able to write about the beta band these days, it's a bit pathetic i appreciate that, but everything else seems to just turn my mind to mush, maaaaannnn...
 
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