studio. Already in The Beta bag was an acclaimed trio of EPs. released between the summers of I997 and 98 (‘Champion Versions'. ‘The Patty Patty Sound‘ and ‘Los Amigos Del Beta Bandidos' ). later to be melded together and unsurprisineg named The Three El’s. Where this collection picked the right moments to go off into whatever odd directions were available at any given moment. the anonymously named 1999 album found itself with nowhere to go: it was a sprawling. rambling. set of noises trapped up a psychedelic cul de sac. All that was left were caustic recriminations and playful criticisms of the producers. the managers and. way above all. themselves.

What can we make of a band advising people not to buy their record because it was so rubbish and that. in all likelihood. the next one would be even worse? Brutal honesty in a music world full of hyperbolic pomp and twisted PR? A pre-emptive strike as they awaited the media backlash? Or grist to a headline-makers spiel? Whatever. the critics wholeheartedly agreed with the sentiment and slated the thing (asides from dear old Mojo. which at that point was still gushing over anything that remotely reeked of the 60s).

Boldly going where no man (and his dog) has gone before

Now though. after welcome distractions such as getting over the notion of disbanding . side projects (mainly Mason‘s melodic loony tunes in King Biscuit Time). and the central appearance of the screamadelic ‘l)ry The Rain‘ in the lilm of High l-irlr'lirv ( ‘lt‘s not so much our ‘My Way" as our maybe our "l‘hree The Hard Way‘f) Now they could be set for a reacquaintance with critical acclaim by putting out a very line record. And then probably blowing it all again by mooting a possible link-up with soft rock sods Phil Collins and Jennifer Rush. Yes. really.

‘We were going to redo the “Power Of Love with Rtish.’ says a straight-faced Mason. ‘She‘s got two managers but only one of them was into the idea. And he also manages Phil Collins. so we were going to do a Collins track with him on drums. Maybe 'Suddio' [actually ‘Sussudio‘l or something. Maybe that‘ll be on an EP next year. The fact that no one expects us to do something like that is what attracts us.‘ So. don't place your Betas. They‘ll only go and do something silly.

The Beta Band play Barrowland, Glasgow on Sat 21 Jul; Hot Spots is out now on Regal; see review, next issue.

5—7?) Jtr' 20")" THE LIST 15