The Bees in concert tonight. Together since 2001, The Bees first came to everyone’s attention via their debut album, Sunshine Hit Me, which was no only critically acclaimed but also landed the band a Mercury Prize nomination.
Largely considered an Indie band with Psych leanings, this band from The Isle Of Wight could be more easily classified as an Indie band with Funk leanings – maybe it’s the use of horns, and maybe it’s the tight rhythm section that gives it away. All I know is, listening to this band in concert, recorded at the Rotherham Festival in 2002, I am hard-pressed to consider them Psych, or even new-psych, as much as I instantly think of them as a very tight funk unit. And that’s not such a bad thing.
Still going strong, The Bees have four studio albums and a slew of singles and eps to their credit. They have financially benefitted greatly from exposure via TV commercials for everything from Citroens to Deodorant, they have become instantly recognizable from that, and it has allowed them to experiment with more genres.
This concert appearance marks their first year together, around the time of the release of Sunshine Hit Me, which came out in March of 2002. Needless to say, this gig signifies what the band is all about on a lot of levels, the most important being that they are not really one genre but numerous genres, and that they keep bouncing around.
You may not be all that familiar with The Bees or their music, even though all but their latest album have been issued in the States via Astralwerks Records. Here’s a good jumping off place to start digging. It’s worth the effort.