Bee Bee Sea – Dez Dare – Hula Girls – The Tin Music and Arts Coventry 17th May 2023
Another Wednesday night in Coventry and another gig from Sink or Swim Promotions. This time it’s ‘Italian psych-garage heroes’ Bee Bee Sea, ‘Fuzz Beast’ Dez Dare and Coventry’s own Hula Girls. Read what we thought below.
Hula Girls are a trio, two guitars and drums. A high fuzzy guitar and a steady drum beat. The drummer sings and it’s lazy, cool Indie rock. They are steady and sure. The guitar gets slower and the sound gets harder, the vocal is angrier and the sound turns spiky, a lot more of a post-punk sound. The band harmonise but it’s harsh, the drums turn more seventies punk direct and the rest of the band join in, there’s a rough vocal and there’s a nice hard edge to the song. The sound stays hard and the tempo varies. It fluctuates between angular and just heads down punk. There’s a fair amount of discord to the songs too, all the vocals sound angry and occasionally strays into hardcore which works equally as well as the rest of the set. My daughter is helping me with the review by rating the band by their looks and whether she fancies them or not. It’s an immense help as you can imagine. If you want to know who won you’ll need to get in touch. It’s a great sound, coming from the era just after hardcore imploded and bands discovered how to write tunes again. They almost go into a folk punk vibe on the state of the nation angry song that sounds emotional and heartfelt. They finish with a loud nasty song, and they’re done. An ace set from a band I’ll make an effort to see again.
Dez Dare takes the stage on his own, the projected visuals behind him are brilliant and he starts the backing sounds on his laptop and we are away. The fuzz starts with the guitar and just keeps going, it’s an excellent sound and he totally owns the stage. He has an excellent Butthole Surfers shirt on, long hair and a cap, it’s a grunge fuzzed out sound and he doesn’t so much sing as talk over the top in his Australian accent, the music gets fuzzier and he is covered in stars from standing in front of the backdrop. The lyrics sound rudimental but if you concentrate you realise what he’s singing about means a lot to him. The Fuzz is underneath now, and on top in fact the fuzz is everywhere, even his vocal is now distorted, it’s quite wonderful. The drums get harder and guess what the guitar sounds like… it’s not clear. Dez is now all over the shop, throwing poses and he looks like he’s enjoying himself. I certainly am. People are dancing and grinning, he announces the next song as 1985 and everything on it is bigger and distorted, from the beats up. It chugs along with carefully considered vocals and goes into a huge distorted sound with an extended guitar solo, brilliant.
There’s a huge synth static whoosh and we are off again, punky drums underpin the nasty over the top psych out spaced out grunge. There’s stop and start guitars and a cool heavy skittering as the sound just grows and gets more distorted again. Then thunderous guitars and a punkier feel. The guitar slows and the drums speed up, it’s a happy beat, makes you move your hips to the fuzzy groove. He’s now lost in the projectionand there’s even more fuzz with guitar a go go. It stops, he smiles and says ‘Good Evening, I’ll see you at the bar’ An excellent set.
Bee Bee Sea are Italian and the most striking thing as they come on stage is that the singer seems to have forgotten to put his trousers on. He has an orange t shirt and Beatles cap on, but no trousers. He stands and jams on his own as the other members of the band join him and one replaces a cable. They go into a cool, rock’n’roll funky groove and it’s ultra cool indie, the drums give it an Iggy and the Stooges feel and the feedbacking guitar goes into full on punk battering, he looks like a young, even more off the rails John Lennon as he screams the lyrics and the band lock into the groove. It’s the night of the Championship playoffs and they have a CCFC scarf on the mic stand and Joe the promoter tells them that Coventry won the football, they immediately go into a pop punk groove with an ace bassline moving up and down and a loose, fast beat. Followed by a spiky stop and start song with some thrashy bits. Then an indie rock vibe which with the gravelly voice sounds brilliant. The bassist and drummer are locked in together while the singer plays guitar and grins, a lot, he smiles at cameras and just looks like he’s having the time of his life. This is very danceable and people do, we’re all grinning and moving. It’s a very simple feel, kind of like early Beatles but harder, poppy rock’n’roll but with an abrasive edge to it. The songs are short and sharp and good enough to hold your attention. There are punkier moments and garage rock moments, strutting high up songs, and frantically paced songs.
Then he breaks a string and sits on the floor as the other two just keep going, changes it, tightens it and tunes then straight back into the song. Excellent, I love moments like that. They immediately fall into another huge groove and split off into call and response between the instruments straying into jazz, which of course I always applaud. They fling that away and mash straight into another indie, dance, punk, garage stomp. It gets even more determined, the trouserless guitarist is doing a jerking dance all over the stage and the sound they are creating is brilliant.
There’s a charm to this band that you can’t help but like. It’s glam punk now, with oooh ooohs. The singer plays a recorder over the drums and that leads to another punky garage song which they extend out into a jam. There’s a false ending and then a thunderous groove and I realise that they are covering Let Ther Be Rock by AC/DC, brilliantly, it’s bonkers! Another epic rock pop groove to end and they’re gone. What an ace set! Just Excellent, what a night!
Bee Bee Sea
All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.