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Beta Band break up


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Guest Angry Baboon

The Beta Band Break Up!

But "The Beta Band Rap" forever lives on

Nick Patch reports:

I will now sell five copies of The 3 EPs by The Beta Band: According to a statement on the Scottish space-pop band's official website, the group has decided to call it quits at the end of 2004. "Eight years of hard work and critical acclaim but little return in terms of commercial success inevitably takes its toll and a group decision was made to finally lay the band to rest," read the band's statement. However, in keeping with the recent trend of bands breaking up all friendly-like, they're planning a farewell tour of the UK for the fall, with dates to be announced soon.

Formed in 1997, The Beta Band garnered consistent critical acclaim from the beginning (no great surprise-- have you fucking heard "Dry the Rain"?) and a formidable fan following. Over the course of three LPs and numerous EPs and singles, The Beta Band cemented their position among British rock's elite as a diverse and original act capable of dabbling in acid jazz, trip-hop, krautrock and straight-up indie. However, despite the critical fawning and more hype in the British press than you can shake a Clinic album at, sales did not reflect Mojo scores and that apparently put a strain on the band.

Things seemed to be looking up in 2004: Heroes to Zeroes, released in May on Astralwerks, debuted at #18 on the UK album chart and brought the band its most significant commercial success to date. So why break up now? In the statement, bassist Richard Greentree described the decision as a culmination of problems, rather than a direct reaction to poor record sales: "The Beta Band apple has over-ripened and become riddled with maggots, it must fall from the tree and let its seeds return to the ground." While the breakup is indeed sad news for rock music, fans of long-winded metaphors shall certainly rejoice.

Those seeds Greentree mentioned will reportedly come in the form of solo projects from himself and vocalist Steve Mason, while DJ John Maclean and drummer Robin Jones plan on splitting their time between film and music-- which makes sense, as both of them had a major hand in creating the band's music videos. Speaking of which, Parlophone is planning to release a DVD with videos, live footage and other odds 'n' sods in 2005. Details at this point are sketchy, but if they fuck it up in any way they'll have an army of angry Brits on their hands, and no one wants that.

:(

At least they don't have a single bad album, which will probably increase their popularity over the next few years. At which point they'll probably get back together.

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