Barrowland Ballroom Reviews


Richard Greentree, left, and Steve Mason

Sat 21 Jul 01

FOR a bunch of belligerent sonic adventurers, The Beta Band boast an infectious, eccentric sense of humour, which is only fully activated at their superior live shows. On Saturday night, their set was preceded by a cheap but charming B-feature, starring the band in a variety of hats, moustaches and bad American accents. This was not the extent of their celluloid offerings - the entire set was visually punctuated by a succession of similar no-budget comic videos with, at best, a tangential connection to the music.

The dressing-up did not end on the big screen. While the rest of the band modelled the latest in astronaut leisure wear, singer Steve Mason rocked the Ming the Merciless-meets-Terry Thomas look in an oriental-style silk dressing gown, which he later shed to reveal one rolled-up trouser leg (Mason? geddit? - common name, crazy guy).

Live, their stoned sound was more primal, more textured, more eventful than on record, with older tracks Dr Baker, She’s the One and Dry the Rain provoking the best reaction from the, shall we say, mellowed-out crowd. The concluding percussive love-in prompted the sweaty bloke contingent of the audience to disrobe and twirl their T-shirts overhead in a suitably bizarre salute to a distinctive band.

Fiona Shepherd

Friday, 27th July 2001
The Scotsman


 This review by Fiona Shepherd was originally featured on the Scotsman's Culture Review Page



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