In October 2004, The Beta Band played their final gig. After 8 torrid years of some highs but mainly lows, the band called it quits and headed off in their own directions.
Front man and general enigma Stephen Mason, had already foraged around with his own side project since 2000, releasing "No Style" (a seemingly adjacent step to his fulltime work), but can now boast not only full concentration, but also his own label (helped along with Creation stalwart Alan McGee), allowing him more time to experiment "without major record label interference".
This single is unmistakeably a composition from the school of the above. The crazy psychedelic mix, lazily sung verses, clap happy sound. I'm far more comfortable with Mason in this mood, rather than his last anti-government outing. This is what has made him so recognisable and fits beautifully alongside "I Walk The Earth" in terms of originality.
Muffled guitar and vocals break into this relaxed offering that skips along as smoothly as kid on a waxed floor at a birthday party. I can imagine John Cusack saying, "I'm going to sell 10 copies of KBT's 'Kwangchow'."
I can't help but think of sitting in the garden, beer in hand, welcoming in the summer whilst listening to this. Someone will ask who and what the tune is. I'll tell them. We'll discuss how cool The Beta Band were. Then they'll ask what Kwangchow means. I'll explain that it is a city in Southern China that sits on the Zhu Jiangi delta. They'll ask what relation that has to the song, and I'll say "absolutely nothing".
Somewhere Stephen Mason will laugh knowingly.
Catch King Biscuit Time on tour:
Fri 12 Ireland, Galway, Roisin Dubh
Sat 13 Ireland, Limerick, Dolans
Sun 14 Ireland, Cork, Cypress Avenue
Mon 15 Ireland, Dublin, Whelans
Wed 17 UK, Edinburgh, Venue
Thu 18 UK, London, Scala
Fri 19 UK, Birmingham, Barfly
Sat 29UK, Brighton, Hanbury Ballroom (Mojo Stage - Great Escape)
Mon 22 UK, Manchester, Academy 3
Tue 23 UK, Glasgow, Oran Mor
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