Saturday, October 06, 2007

Embed and breakfast man: Voice of the Beehive weekend

"It's those American girls again" - that would be my Dad's observation whenever I played Let It Bee, and he wasn't wrong. Although he used to confuse Voice of the Beehive with The Rhythm Sisters, so it could be he didn't really recognise them. They were, perhaps, the ultimate Janice Long Night-time Radio 1 Band: kinda ballsy, kinda cute, confusingly transatlantic (Tracey and Melissa were, indeed, American, but their percussion section - Woody and Mark - came from Madness, which is about as British as you could get at the time without being Norman Tebbit.

Twenty years ago, their debut, Just A City (an early release on Dave Balfe's Food records, back while Damon Albarn was still sounding his haitches) came drifting out the radio. Here was a song, surely, that would change lives and be attached to hearts for years to come.

Of course, I was on the point of leaving home, leaving the town I'd grown up in and striking out, and that might be why it resonated with me more than it seemed to with anyone else, and the record disappeared without trace. But a leap to London Records - and a larger marketing budget - changed the band's fortunes. A little. And for the next four or five years, they'd pop up in the lower reaches of the charts, a sweet burst of colour and shouting and running-down-the-street-in-your-pyjamas-laughing.

Just A City isn't on YouTube, so instead, to start us off, here's their number 23 smash Don't Call Me Baby:

More Voice of the Beehive over the weekend:
Beat Of Love live on The Tube
Monsters and Angels promo video
2003 comeback


Paul Wells said...

voice of the beehive? you must have been reading my mind. I spent most of yesterday humming I Say Nothing and being sad that I couldn't find it on YouTube.
What a great, underrated band.

mrdiscopop said...

"Number 23 smash"? You do them an injustice. It climbed all the way up to number 15!

I loved Let It Bee... even the Zodiac Mindwarp duet. Pity their second album was a load of toss, though.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

It's not that I'm reading your mind, Paul - however, I am currently rootling through your bins and inspecting your credit card receipts.

And to be fair, mrdiscopop, back then number 15 was really something of an achievement...

Anonymous said...

Please don't mock me, but I've got my fingers crossed for an appearance of 'Monsters and Angels' before the weekend's out. One of the first cassingles I ever bought (and one of the few I admit to owning).

*kicks impulse-bought MC Hammer Addams Family theme under sofa*

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