19 September 2010



19 May 2009

Hey there chumps, it looks like you’ve found Team BB:
the only BEACHBUGGY fansite.

Nearly semi-legendary South Yorkshire no-fi / hot-rod / rock ‘n’ roll / surf / goofball crossover combo BEACHBUGGY may have finally raced their last quarter mile and hung up their matching race suits early in 2006, but that ain’t gonna stop me from bugging all you internerds with archived info on their super charged residency at the fringes of rock ‘n’ roll semi-stardom.

Here’s a run-down of the contents. You can access the various pages by clicking on the links on the right. Easy, huh?

The Auto-Buggy-ography details the ups and downs and the (numerous) ins and outs that have shaped the band we now know as BEACHBUGGY. This is the full, no-holds-barred story of one man and his quest for the perfect rock ‘n’ roll / hot-rod crossover sound.

Wanna find out about every BEACHBUGGY record release EVER? Of course you do! The Albums page gives details of all three BB long-players with full track lists and soem additional useful info. We’ve re-produced the CD covers so you know what to look for when you get to the record store and we’ve included a few choice cuts from each album to help you with your purchase (tho we recommend you buy ’em all).

All of Beachbuggy’s excellent Singles (early stuff) are described and explained here and the full catalogue details noted. Read about the rare limited edition, self-produced 7″ singles, important US-only releases, the Poptones years and the transition from vinyl to CD (I know, at last!)

Rarities & Other Recordings includes early demos, rare releases and a few unreleased tracks you might just be lucky enough to own. You’ll learn about the very first BEACHBUGGY demo tape and some other cool, hard to find releases.

Check out some cool Compilations featuring BEACHBUGGY tracks and lots of other diverse stuff.

Unreleased Songs gives the low-down on a handful of tracks you may have heard the band performed at early shows or on almost impossible to find demos. Each song is appraised and described.

Just to show that we’re not making EVERYTHING up, you can read a bunch of Reviews that we stole from other websites and music magazines. This is the place to go to check out what other people have said about BB records and live shows.

Find out what life on the road with BEACHBUGGY is really like by clicking on the Tour Diary section.

The News Archive gathers all the gossip, hearsay and stuff we just made up when we were first putting together the TeamBB website. The truth? Vicious rumours? Downright dirty lies? You decide. (Clue: it’s usually lies!)

We all want to check out some cool BEACHBUGGY videos, don’t we? Well guess what, you can do just that on the Moving Pictures page. We got a couple of official promos and some live stuff we nicked from A.D’s YouTube page.

Every known BB song (released or unreleased) is included in the Songs A-Z, which allows you to link up any BEACHBUGGY song with its associated single or album release.

If you wanna explore the various BEACHBUGGY influences (musical or otherwise), or check out past and present band members’ other projects then go to the Links page. We’ll also point you in the direction of some cool music and some other stuff we recommend.

If you want to contact Team BB you can leave a Comment on any of the pages – but keep it clean kids, this is a family site so I vet any comments and get rid of the filthy stuff!

That’s all for now. It’s been a pleasure getting to know ya.


Marshall Quinn
Team BB HQ
North of England

Moving Pictures

2 May 2009

Here’s some kick-ass BEACHBUGGY videos that were illegally uploaded to YouTube…

The last six songs from the 2014 non-reunion:

Ya Just a Little Punk! (single version):

Three songs live on the tellybox in the olden days!:

The cool Kickin’ Back promo:

The equally cool Killer Bee promo:

Dirty Mouth live from the Killer-B promo tour in 2003:

The Driver live from the Killer-B tour:

Check out more live BEACHBUGGY tracks on A.D’s YouTube page:


1 May 2009

Dateline : ENGLAND, Spring 1992…

The legendary second-ever lineup of BEACHBUGGY (circa ’92) kickin’ back in Jack’s open top 1960 Ford Galaxie (RIP). That’s Jack behind the wheel, Jim Vevee riding shotgun (hair, drummer’s own!!) and Paul Maan bringing up the rear. Dig that shirt, Jack — All together now: “TEQUILA!”

Formed out of the ashes of two local indie outfits, Doncaster rockers BEACHBUGGY hit the streets in the spring of 1992. Soon-to-be-nearly-semi-legendary frontman Jack Straker (occasionally going under the aliases Lou or Luke – for reasons best known to himself) recruits Jim Vevee and A.D as accomplices in his new venture. A.D has been chief sticksman in Jack’s previous band Bungalow but is now asked to plunk about on bass, whilst Jim – easily the town’s BEST rock drummer – quits noise-merchants Heathers to take up skin-thumping duties (tho not before being ordered to dispose of his trademark fuzzy perm!)

With this line-up in place Jack sets about putting his twin obsessions of cars and girls – in no particular order – to a soundtrack of the best (read: ‘coolest’) rock ‘n’ roll music in town. Working on the assumption that ACE MUSIC + COOL IMAGE = POP SUCCESS, the guys soon have a demo tape recorded and an entire wardrobe of Hawaiian shirts at their disposal. Gigs are usually loud and chaotic but always fun and they give Jack the chance to sharpen up the band’s unique sound. But pretty soon the first line-up change occurs – Paul Maan replaces A.D, who promises to be back for more later.

Dateline : ENGLAND, Fall 1992…

The new line-up signals a decisive change in musical policy – early songs are dropped and Jack finally decides to GET SERIOUS and put out a proper record. The self-funded label Ostrich GT is formed and debut single “Can’t Get Enough” released. It’s the perfect calling card for Jack’s rapidly developing Hot Rod aesthetic (“I’ve been around / The fuzz ran me downtown / They say I ran a red light / Oh well, I guess they were right”). The single sells well at early gigs and a follow-up is soon issued. “Chrysler 440” continues the street racing theme while B-side “Fuel Injection (it’s better)” is a rodder’s wet dream (“I got a big block Ford / It had a carburetter / Now I’ve got fuel injection / It’s better”). Jack’s occasional Ostrich Club nights see them develop a loyal following and a growing reputation as they headline their own gigs and support some bigger names.

Dateline : ENGLAND, 1993 thru 1995…

Gigs become more frequent and widespread and the initial local following grows as the guys start to infultrate the UK college circuit – usually dragging a bunch of loyal fans along for the ride. In the process they play the first of the soon-to-be-nearly-infamous ‘trailer’ shows – turning up outside other bands’ gigs and playing impromptu sets to the queuing crowds from the back of a truck or trailer. It’s a great way to get the band heard by the COOLEST kids in town but, as they soon discover to their annoyance, the door receipts are lousy. Despite this, the guys manage to put up the cash for a third self-financed single: “General Electric Pilot” sees another shift in emphasis – the beefed-up production pre-empts the sound of their later twin-drum attack. Oh, and another line-up change, as Joe Robo takes over bass-plunking duties and ‘Rocket’ Ron Haslam arrives to sing back up.

Dateline : ENGLAND & USA, 1996 thru 1998…

Things really start to fall into place when the band get hold of TWO drum sets (or 'kits' as they like to call them!). It's a while before they realise they need two ACTUAL DRUMMERS to play them.

With little serious record company interest to date, the guys take the initiative and make up a handful of demos of their latest recording “Firebird Special”, sending them out to their favourite record labels. US indie Sympathy For The Record Industry get to hear this, immediately issue it as a 7″ single in the USA and follow it up with a full-length CD album “Unsafe.. At Any Speed”. “Unsafe” brings together their last couple of singles with a bunch of new recordings and is a hit on the US underground/college circuit so the guys head across the pond for a handful of gigs. Moderate US success follows but, with no UK distribution and an indifferent UK music press, “Unsafe..” fails to make a dent in the domestic market. A further single “Ya Just A Little Punk” follows, this time on indie 555 label, but the lack of interest in the UK press is compounded by Jack’s (and occasionally Jim’s) increased moonlighting with a BIG famous rock band.

Dateline : CHICAGO, 1999 thru 2001…

“Musical differences” and a wish to devote more time managing Team BEACHBUGGY eventually lead to Jack leaving the BIG famous rock band  (tho not before their leader steals his best ideas) and BB return with a renewed vigour – and did I mention another line-up change? Jim Vevee has already left to spend more time playing BAAAD AAASSS heavy metal so Jack replaces him with TWO whole drummers – ‘little’ Bill Vevee (Jim’s lil’ bro) and Johnny Napolis.

Mid-period BB in a typically "live" concert situation with ground-breaking pyrotechnic stage show (that'll be the white bedsheets!) L-R: Jack Straker (gtr/vox), B.C. Banks (black drum set), Al B. Kirkey (bass gtr), 'little' Bill Vevee (white drum set).

Jack then buys the guys some decent race suits (at last!) and a bunch of raucous shows follow, one of which is witnessed by former Creation records boss, friend of the former Prime Minister and then Poptones impresario Alan McGee. McGee offers to put out the band’s first UK album and before long BB find themselves holed-up in the Chicago studio of celebrated producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Big Black, some other dorks you’ve never heard of). The resultant album “Sport Fury” is a triumph – the ultimate expression of the BB ethos and the perfect balance between smart wit and cool attitude.

More gigs follow, the line-up changes again (spotted a pattern yet?) – as Robert ‘Quincy’ Quinn takes over bass plunking – and the press attention steps up a gear. The guys rack up positive reviews in Kerrang! and NME, and Jack gets to show off all his cool gear in one of those specialist (read: ‘dorky’) guitar magazines (Go Jack!). They even get to play live on TV to promote one of their ever-more-frequent London gigs. “Kickin’ Back” and “From The South” are issued as 7″ singles and the 5-track “Kickin’ Back ep” collects together the lead track, a couple of B-sides and some new songs on one CD. Things are looking pretty good in CAMP BEACHBUGGY.

Dateline : ENGLAND & USA (again), 2002 thru 2004…

‘Little’ Bill leaves then re-joins, Al B. Kirkey takes over on bass and the second drum set is now being hit by B.C. Banks. Poptones offer to put out another album and, with a bunch of new songs ready to roll, the guys take the first available flight to Chicago and re-aquaint themselves with that nice Mr Albini. Ten days later they emerge with a new album “Killer-B”, which follows on from “Sport Fury” and further hones the BB sound, attitude and aesthetic. If anything, “Killer-B” is BETTER than “Sport Fury” (hard to believe, I know!) and whilst “Killer Bee” and “Dirty Mouth” are obvious singles, the whole album – artistically at least – is a well accomplished success.

"Go Jack...!" Straker kicks out another hot guitar 'lick' (technical music term there, kids. Do keep up) during one of BEACHBUGGY's later live shows at the 2004 Bulldog Bash. Mud wrestling biker chicks not pictured.

This time tho, press attention is muted as Poptones fail to adequately promote the album: the momentum established by “Sport Fury” begins to wane and sales are ultimately disappointing. It’s no surprise therefore when Jack parts company with Poptones and eventually with most of his band – tho a handful of shows nevertheless follow. Line-ups vary from show-to-show – original bassist A.D briefly returns to the drum stool, which is also sometimes occupied by Bert Fourman and Danny Sicks, and bass is occasionally plunked by Paul D – but they still manage to record and release “Nineteen” as one side of a split single with Huddersfield band Scaramanga Six before Jack retreats to consider his options.

Dateline : ENGLAND, Fall 2005…

Jack devotes much of the next year to Walker – his new project with Paul D and, depending on which day of the week you catch them, either ‘little’ Bill or ‘big’ Jim VeVee, but the hiatus from BB doesn’t last long. By 2005 he’s back writing and making a racket with original BB accomplice Jim Vevee. By the summer Jim has helped Jack work up a new batch of BEACHBUGGY songs and they’ve soon put together a whole new band (well two bands, to be precise). New recordings are planned and a fresh set of gigs are announced. BB are BACK ON TRACK.


Dateline : SCUNTHORPE, Spring 2006

The optimism doesn’t last long as Jack issues another P45 to Jim VeVee shortly after the band played a show at the Pinstripes and Pistons day in Scunthorpe, UK (the glamour!). Since then they’ve continued to play together after Jim became a permanent fixture behind the Walker drum set but it now appears almost certain that BEACHBUGGY have run their last quarter mile.

Which, if you’ve read this far I’m sure you’ll agree, can only be a… (wait for it, wait for it…) Very Bad Thing!

Marshall A. Quinn


Okay, so that’s the TeamBB version of how Jack bullied a bunch of reprobates with no discernable talent into forming a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band. But I may have made some of it up so the following is the ‘official’ band biography that once appeared on the now-defunct BEACHBUGGY website. This is guaranteed to be 110% nearly accurate (except the bits that Jack made up)….

I guess you might have been wondering just where and how the guys in BEACHBUGGY met, and why, against all their better judgement and cries of “don’t do it, PLEASE don’t do it” from all around them, the guys made the decision to get ‘Team Beachbuggy’ onto the startline at all.

It’s no secret that these guys love most things with a motor, better still a BIG MOTOR. Cars, motorcycles, boats, planes, trucks whatever as long as it’s got a motor, so that’s where their story begins.

Let’s go back a couple of years, Jack (that’s Straker, guitar and vocals) was running a 1960 Ford Galaxie on the street at night, big block V8 powered with a set of fresh whitewalls, and working as an auto mechanic by day to pay the bills. Jack wanted to go racing, to see what he and the car could do at the track, so he began dragracing the Galaxie most weekends. This is where Jim (Jim Vevee, drums) comes in, y’see Jim also worked as a mechanic albeit for a rival auto shop in the same town as Jack, and although Jim couldn’t afford to race, he could afford to crew, and so he would be at most of the dragmeets that Jack raced at working as crew on a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner owned and driven by a friend of Jim’s called Ricky Pearson from Dallas, Texas USA.

Now it’s gonna get a little complicated from here on in so try and stay with me ok, Jack already knew Ricky, well actually he knew Ricky’s car the ‘Plymouth’, since he’d had a few late night street races with the ‘Plymouth’, Ricky coming out on top two to one so far. So when Jack saw the ‘Plymouth’ at the dragstrip he just had to go say ‘hi’ and introduce himself as the guy with the Ford Galaxie. An instant friendship was struck between Jack and Ricky and of course here’s where Jack meets Ricky’s mechanic JIM VEVEE (Jim has a brother, but we”ll hear more about him later).

So Jack and Jim start hanging out together in bars, swap meets and the like, gettin’ drunk, talking bull, y’know what I mean. Jim lets slip that he has a drumset, Jack’s got a guitar, so whadya know they figure it’d be fun to get a band together to play at the drags. Word spread like a bush fire at the track, and before you could say something very quickly Maan (Paul Maan, bass guitar) the track DJ had installed himself into the backseat with a bass. If only their ability matched their enthusiasm! But then none of the great bands could play their instruments . . . . . . . . . . .right?

So the three of ’em get together and start making strange noises and a few weeks later play their first show as BEACHBUGGY, met with lots of whoopin’ and a hollerin’ at the track bar.

So far we’ve got Jack, Jim and Maan, three guys with gasoline in their veins out lookin’ for action. Time to mention ‘THE PIT STOP’. This was a club set up by the guys a few summers ago, the guys would set up their drums and guitars next to their cars in the pit area at drag meets and play a few songs between races! Pretty neat huh. Well they were soon shut down by track officials who said it was getting a little dangerous having a whole bunch of people watching the band while race cars are zippin’ by around them, so instead they took to showing up unannounced at car club meets away from the track, complete with portable generator for power, and playing in the street, of course wearing safety helmets in case of an accident during one of their songs.

It was around this time the guys started playing outside their favorite bands’ shows too, including SONIC YOUTH, PAVEMENT and ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT.

People seemed to dig what the guys were doing, so much so that they decided to cut a record as soon as they could, and so came ‘CAN’T GET ENOUGH’, ‘CHRYSLER 440’ and ‘GENERAL ELECTRIC PILOT’.

Just after the release of ‘General Electric Pilot’ Maan began to have money problems and time problems. Working two jobs and spinning discs at the track at weekends didn’t leave much time for for racing the ‘Beachbuggy’, so he told the guys he was gonna have to hang up his helmet.

By now the band had met and played with lots of other bands so getting someone to fill up Maan’s safety helmet (!) wasn’t that much of a problem, although the guys were sad to see him go.

Meet Joe (Joe Robo, new bass guitar), one time bass player with Mexican surf trio ‘The G T Four’, who sadly split, which was great news for ‘Beachbuggy’, and he had the correct size head to fit into Maan’s safety helmet!

It was around about this time that Ricky Pearson, remember him from earlier, had a bunch of friends visiting from Dallas. It just so happened that one of these guys was Ron Haslam, known as ‘ROCKET RON’, an english guy who’d gone to Dallas a few years earlier and was currently working as a motorsports commentator for Cable TV in the Dallas area. Ron was hoping to return to England in a few months time and was gonna move into Ricky’s place for a while, he told Ricky that he loved the ‘Beachbuggy’ and that since the band had a definite trackside feel to them maybe they’d like a race commentator for their shows! Ricky told Jim, Jim told Jack and Joe, and Rocket Ron joins the team.

Ok, we’ve now got Jack on guitar, Jim on the drums, Joe on bass and Rocket Ron as the show commentator. The guys have cut a couple of records which have been sold at shows, but how about a ‘proper’ record that people can buy in the stores. Two new songs are recorded, ‘MIDWEST’ and the soon to be semi-legendary ‘FIREBIRD SPECIAL’. Five cassette tapes are made and sent to the five favorite record labels that the band would like to be involved with. A few short months later and ‘FIREBIRD SPECIAL’ hits the shelves, produced by the amazing SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY, a company owned and controlled by the corrupted lifeless brain of a man whose empire would not exist without the income spewed from his lowlife pornography publishing subsidiaries. Don’t take our word for it, check out his back catalog and current releases (records we mean!).

Aswell as the ‘Firebird Special’ 7″ single, a full length record was talked about, and subsequently released on SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY titled ‘UNSAFE . . . AT ANY SPEED!’.

The group continued to play wherever and whenever they pleased, thanks to their portable generator and a new CUSTOM BUILT FLATBED TRAILER on which to setup their instruments, but more changes were on the way, somehow the band had to have MORE POWER.

You want more power? Then get TWO drummers they said. Who are they anyway?

Time to meet ‘LITTLE BILL’ (Bill Vevee, second drums), Jim’s younger brother and a pretty snappy drummer too. They wanted more power and that’s just what they got, the two drummer setup worked perfectly and was pretty loud, although their rehearsal space was getting a little cramped (Yes they do actually rehearse!). Within a few weeks of finalising the two drummer setup, Jim had a motorcycle accident, it wasn’t really life threatening but was still a pretty bad time and messed him up quite a bit. So much so in fact that since the accident Jim hasn’t been able to play his drumset properly, only being able to play bad heavy metal, which sadly has meant him having to give up playing for the ‘Beachbuggy’. Wipe those tears away now,’cos Jim is still around, being involved as a technical consultant in a purely advisory capacity. Jim no longer playing was a bit of a blow since he and Jack had been there from the beginning and were close friends, fate had dealt them a cruel blow!!

Anyway, the two drummer setup had worked so successfully that the guys at the back decided to try to replace the irreplaceable Jim Vevee, and so their quest began . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The guys at the back didn’t have to look very far in their quest to replace the one and only (!) Jim, Little Bill took over the drumming pole position spot with the new guy moving into second position. That guy is JOHNNY NAPOLIS, a former professional trick skateboard king who constantly keeps reminding us how he used to date a cheerleader for the Miami Dolphins. Johnny knew Rocket Ron from way back, so the guys knew that if Ron said that Johnny was ok, then he was ok.

Jack has since sold the Galaxie and replaced it with a JENSEN INTERCEPTOR, powered by a 440 c.i. Chrysler motor, and Little Bill has 1965 Mustang, straight six powered with a four speed manual transmission. Rocket Ron is a local celebrity commentator since his T.V. work, and that’s about where we are now in spring 1999.

Beachbuggy have got new records on the way, check out ‘RACE DIVISION’ for news, and will continue to show up in the most unexpected places . . . . . . so lookout. . . . Here’s more of the story. . . .

Ok, it’s now spring 2000 and a few things have happened to Team Beachbuggy in the last year so here goes.

Spring ’99 and the two drummer set up was working real well, word was beginning to get around that the group weren’t actually that bad. They played a few trailer shows over the summer, some in the dry and most in light to torrential rain! but no matter, the team just kept a rollin’. Towards the end of the summer they began thinking about recording a new full length record, and so got new songs together and also thought about where they wanted to record. Around about this time Jack parked up the Jensen in his mom’s garage due to insane fuel consumption figures not at all helped by his somewhat heavy right foot . . . . . and the car has been there ever since, although Jack does visit his Mom regularly, starting and warming up the car now and again while he’s there . . . . . .

Anyhoo back to the story, the group played what shows they could where they could, and by chance kinda got seen by some kind of agent, a booking agent that is, not a secret agent. This meant that Beachbuggy got to play slightly better shows at slightly nicer places for slightly more money then they were used to . . . sometimes even being paid enough money to cover their travel costs . woo hoo!

The group played a short tour of shows just before the Christmas holiday, see Tour Diaries, and began to finalise recording details for the new record. A guy with a pretty strong reputation for recording some of their favourite records was considered, he’s called Mr Steve Albini, but the group really didn’t expect to be able to put enough money together to make the deal, they sent him their previous record anyway.

A couple of telephone calls by Joe Robo to Mr Albini and they had a deal!! I guess he liked the records they sent him. Such was the deal that the whole band, the full team two drummer set up were headed for Chicago USA late January for one week to record a new LP. woo woo hoo!

There is a write up about the recording in the tour diaries section.

Remember Jim VeVee, ‘little Bill’s brother, well at the time of his motorcycle accident way back the cops couldn’t figure out what went wrong and called in the experts to check out the scene . . . step forward Mr Robert Quinn . . . ‘Quincy’. Quincy was with the team of forensic guys who worked on the scene of Jim’s crash, and became a big fan of the band, so much so that he actually played bass guitar with Beachbuggy on tour in late 99, as Joe couldn’t make it.

Now when the team returned from Chicago their double agent guy had booked a few shows but it was apparent that all was not well with Joe Robo. The first couple of shows were good but then without much warning Joe decided he could no longer wear a team shirt, this actually occurred mid song at a show when Joe simply removed his guitar and race shirt and left the stage! . . . . . lucky for the team that Quincy was in the audience and he duly leaped onto the stage, put on the team shirt that Joe had disguarded and finished the song and the show . . . . . . . . what a guy! . . . . . and that’s the way it’s been for a while, Quincy now plays the bass guitar for the team, whilst still working in the forensic lab during the day.

Another short tour of shows around the United Kingdom went really well, again see Tour Diaries, and now the band are trying to finalise details for a release for the new LP recorded by Mr Albini in Chicago.

If you were wondering ‘little’ Bill still has his Mustang, he uses it even less now than Jack uses his Jensen!, I think he keeps plants in it . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hopefully the new LP will be available later this year, or at least a single from the same recordings, and then who knows?


1 May 2009


Unsafe..At Any Speed
This full length follows 2 singles by them which did very well at WZBC and made them many DJ’s favorites. They sounded exactly like the Fall on thier second single “Firebird Special” (also on this CD). Their first single “Machine” was played by every WZBC Rock DJ. This CD sounds like Yummy Fur and Nectarine No. 9 with the guitars doubling on the bass riffs (like Lungleg also do). The vocals have the Mark E. Smith (The Fall) fixation many of the Scottish bands (like Male Nurse) seem to affect.
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Sport Fury
Surprisingly, the band responsible the massive Z-Rock hit, “We Don’t Have a Machine” (7″ still available from the band, see their website for details), has only released two albums and a handful of singles. They’ve certainly shown a fair amount of progress since their ’98 debut album “Unsafe…at Any Speed! Gone are the cliche sound bites starting each track — even Man…Or Astro-Man? got tired of doing that — and there’s a marked improvement in the recording quality, due at least in part to the skills of Steve Albini. And while Jack Straker’s vocals still show him to be a graduate of the Mark E. Smith Singing Academy, this record sees him lose the distorto vocal effects; his British accent is also less pronounced. I think they’ve been listening to a lot of Pixies records (and the Sonic Youth songs with talking in them). My favorite tracks: “Science Fiction,” “Touch My Stuff (You Can Die),” “Bad Guys Wear Black” and “It Might Be the Jets.”
Review taken

Sport Fury
Doncaster-based Poptones signings Beachbuggy bear an unnerving similarity to the Pixies; indeed, they’ve recorded a whole song about the bit on ‘Surfer Rosa’ where Black Francis tries to appease an irate recording engineer (‘Touch My Stuff (You Can Die)’).

To emphasise the point, they’ve recruited that very engineer. Steve Albini, for it is he, ensures ‘Sport Fury’ captures the sound that Beachbuggy have perfected over years of support slots, with the none-more-rockabilly two drummers providing forceful backing for Jack Straker’s whimsical lyrical pursuits.

The sinisterly feisty ‘Just A Little Punk’ marks these boys down as bona-fide punk-pop contenders, so let’s ignore the fact that ‘Science Fiction’ is a near copy of the Pixies’ ‘Cecilia Ann’. Pastiche rarely rocks this hard.
Review taken

Sport Fury
RATING: 7 out of 10
VERDICT: Almost the greatest album the Pixies never made.
You’ll like this if you like: The Pixies, The Fall
The twin-drum kit powered band once voted most likely to be mistaken for The Fall have gone and turned into the Pixies. Recorded by Steve Albini, the man responsible for recording the latter’s “Surfer Rosa” album, “Sport Fury” contains more Pixies references (both musical and lyrical) than you can shake a gearstick at. Of course, acknowledging your sources can often get you off the hook when allegations of plagiarism are hurled your way. Beachbuggy are obviously well aware of this, so we get “Touch My Stuff (You Can Die)”, a song built entirely around that vocal excerpt on “Surfer Rosa” where Black Francis explains to Steve Albini that he “was just finishing Kim’s part for her”. It’s hard to decide whether this is clever or just plain fucking lazy. Whatever, it sounds great. As does “From The South”, a hair’s-breadth away from being on trial for sounding too much like the Boston four-piece’s “The Happening”.

“Science Fiction” displays sonic shades of Beachbuggy’s good mates Man Or Astro-man? before it kicks in with some unexpected nu-metal style ranting. “Godspeed My Friend” recalls The Surfing Brides’ “Little Blue Planet”, while “It Might Be The Jets” is Beachbuggy’s only regression into Fall territory (unless you count album opener “Kickin’ Back”). “The Fastest Time” sounds for all the world like it has Kim Deal playing bass and supplying backing vocals, and if The Breeders ever covered it, you would never even suspect it might be a Beachbuggy song.

If the album closed with the band’s showstopping “Just A Little Punk” it would go down in history as the best album the Pixies never made. As it is, the abysmal “Cuba” (don’t you hate it when vocalists “narrate”?), the dull instrumental “Tom’s Dead” and the throwaway “Radio Ad” are proof that less is definitely more.
Review taken

More of the Fall-meets-Pixies sort of rock that one expects from these guys. While there’s no big stylistic leap on this, their third full-length, I think their material has gotten tighter and more focused. The impeccable production is once again courtesy of Steve Albini.

Killer Bee, the first single, is sung from the point of view of, yes, an actual Killer Bee: “How could Science be so wrong?”.

Kelly Hogan (ex-Rock*A*Teens) sings “oh wow!” on the choruses of Oh Wow!, adding a little extra something.

Strike! is a mid-tempo rocker with nice dynamics.

Easycome Easygo, one of my favorite tracks on the album, is a four on the floor number with noisy-ass choruses and an exquisite feedback outro.

The Hitt is classic Beachbuggy with primal drumming, bass riffs galore, spooky angular guitar parts, spoken/sung vocals, and a cool bridge in the middle.

Very Bad Thing, a mellow, melodic instrumental, is a nice change of pace before the album’s final blast of grit, Deathray.

Apparently they’ve already garnered some mainstream airplay in their native England with Killer Bee. Could 2003 *finally* be Beachbuggy’s year?
Review taken

Two drummers, goofy costumes; the first time I saw Beachbuggy in the flesh, supporting …Trail of Dead at the top of Manchester University’s student union, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They looked pretty odd, and had songs that bordered on cringe-worthy, but they did it all so well. Having two drummers just worked, and when they dropped their ‘Sport Fury’ album, any doubt I had was banished. Here was a British band playing genuinely exciting rock ‘n’ roll (punk rock I suppose – ethically rather than aesthetically) with scant regard for commercial gain or critical acclaim. They were just doing their own thing, and with Steve Albini on production duties, ‘Sport Fury’ was justly praised. And so here we are again – same band, same producer, and near-enough same album. You may have already heard the single Killer Bee, as it’s been played on a few radio stations, but it’s far from the best moment on a mixed bag of a record. In fact, it’s probably one of the worst songs, with the grungy following track Fire In My Eye (remarkably Jesus Lizard-like), the fuzz-crunch of Dirty Mouth and the slacker-indie stomp of Strip City Heights all outshining it with ease. Overall, ‘Killer B’ is a good record, occasionally great, but not one to drop everything and rush out for. Wait for the sales and have some budget fun instead – you’ll appreciate it a lot more.
Review taken fromCWAS #12

From playing off the back of a truck outside the Leadmill to recording their new album with legendary hob-nob fanatic Steve Albini Jack Straker and Beachbuggy have carved out a nice niche for themselves through the simple virtues of driving straight and fast. Now if laid the three ‘buggy albums end to end you’d have a pretty straight path to walk down since there is little deviation from their chosen path.

Joining the dots between The Fall and a rather more prosaic Pixies, Killer B kicks off with the swirl of American stadium organ before igniting into the lead off single and the title track. It’s a buzzing, crunchy slice of overdriven pop. That it maintains its initial volition is both a blessing and a curse in that the album never lets up – by the time you get to The Hitt, Sandman’s favourite, you’ve had half an hour of taut American-inflected chug-garage and little else give or take a wee dab of backing vocals. There’s a lack of variety which would be fine if some of the tracks didn’t blur into each other quite so much. That said there’s not many doing what Beachbuggy do better than Beachbuggy and what more can you ask for?
Review taken

A Box Of Odd (compilation)
While Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation has gained quite a reputation for a string of excellent 7” singles, this 12-track compilation marks its first foray into the full-length market. A Box Of Odd features two recordings from six different Sheffield-area bands, all of whom ply their trade in the surf/garage-rock genre.

Beachbuggy are the only genuinely internation band represented here – they’ve already released two Steve Albini-produced LPs on Poptones, and one on US label Sympathy For The Record Industry – and, as their two contributions quite clearly demonstrate, their relative fame probably isn’t the result of a coincidence. But while Deathray and The Driver certainly shine brighter than any of the other material on display, they’re certainly not the only worthwhile offerings here.

Make You Mine, The Motherfuckers’ first slice of Doors-meets-Nuggets garage-rock, provides the compilation with a memorable, hook-laden start. In fact, it’s probably the most infectious tune on the whole album. G.G. Action’s Dirty Girl is a close second in those stakes, but sadly fails to stand up to anything more than two or three plays. Texas Pete’s Superhero Stomp – a jangly ode to Batman et al – proves that this charismatic live band can deliver the goods on record. Elsewhere, Chuck (clearly the black sheep of TSPC family) get aggressive on Kill ‘Em All while The Special Agents manage to pull off a couple of outstanding organ-drenched instrumentals, the best of which is Our Man On Mars.

There are definite lulls in the action (although I won’t name names, I share a city with these artists after all) but, crucially, each band turns in at least one solid performance.

The limited range of the music on offer is perhaps A Box Of Odd’s biggest single flaw. Although each band adds its own unique spin to the surf-rock formula, a few of the genre’s trademark features (those jangly one-note guitar runs, in particular) do begin to grate after a while. As a result, after one or two sittings, I found myself listening to the odd individual track rather than the album as a whole.

Nevertheless, I haven’t heard many label samplers in recent months that can match A Box Of Odd in terms of quality. In simple terms, the good definitely outweighs the bad here. At only £6, you could certainly do a lot worse for your money, particularly if you’re a surf-rock aficionado or a resident of Sheffield. And if you fall into both categories? Please tell me you have this record already… 7/10
Review taken


Kickin’ Back ep
How odd, a CD single released for a song taken from an album that came out over a year ago.

Mind you, I’m not complaining; these four new songs (plus “Kickin’ Back” from their Sport Fury album) continue along in the Fall-meets-Pixies vein quite competently.

Still, no big surprises from everyone’s favorite drag racing-obsessed Limeys. Dunno if any but the album cut were recorded by Steve Albini, there’s no credit; not that it matters or anything.

My favorite track is “Information” — great pummelling beat! Actually it sounds a LOT like another track on the single, “Ha! Ha!” which I just don’t like as well. “I Got Root Beer” is more pep than plod; a nice change of pace.

This CD also includes the mpeg music video  for “Kickin’ Back,” complete with goofy outtakes from the shoot.
Review taken

Dirty Mouth
S’funny, you can never hear the twin drummers that make Beachbuggy such a sight when they play live on any of their records. Never mind, this is another straightforward piece of Fall-y garage rock. It roars and thumps but in the same way a nicely tuned engine does, none of the conks and splutters that gives lesser engines some character, if less motive force. A typical Steve Albini gives the sound space to breathe (or grunt at least).

A good single (and blimey there’s even a wee touch of harmony in their somewhere.) If you like your rock’n’roll withouts frills then this is for you.
Review taken

The latest endeavour Wrath 15 see’s the Poptones endorsed BEACHBUGGY roll out both drummers and supercharge a post Mark E Smith sermon. A bit like Ikara Kolt with bigger guitars and beats but with vitriolic venom in their vocal line. So promising but let down by the fantastic opportunity missed to rant like the devil himself.
Review taken


London: Notting Hill Arts Club, circa 2000
Uncouth is the word…

Uncouth is the word. Beachbuggy play rock’n’roll all souped-up and geared-down, with the mufflers removed. Singer/guitarist Jack Straker shreds his vocals with echo-boxes until all that’s left is a detached noise. Meanwhile, his rhythm section – one bassist, two drummers playing side-by-side – hit harder than an earthquake, slicker than grease. Top this off with a wry, love-us-or-just-fuck-off-and-die spirit, and it’s suddenly no mystery Steve Albini flew ’em over from their native Doncaster to capture this dense diesel-rock on tape.

No matter how spotless their matching white pit-stop smocks, sinister sleaze is Beachbuggy’s text. You can feel it in the probing low-end grunt of their riffs; so solid, so shuddering, you’ll swear you could swing astride ’em and peel off into the darkness. You sense it in the tangible nastiness that bubbles underneath the likes of ‘Kill Straker’ and ‘Speed-Racer’. With all their automobile imagery, Beachbuggy are the Greaser-Rocker archetype of the ’50s, retooled for the noise-fried ears of the Y2K rock audience.

They’re currently without a label over here (perversely, they have an album out on US indie Sympathy For The Record Industry), though, judging by the influential heads nodding tonight, that won’t be a problem much longer. Those with a hunger for grit and groove in equal helpings – hang in there. Beachbuggy are coming for you.
Review taken

Doncaster: Nags Head, 11/01/2001
Beachbuggy / J*R
Well, it’s 2001 and enigmatic alien monoliths have inexplicably failed to forcibly evolve mankind into a higher order of being. And are we driving rocket cars home to take care of our electric sheep? We are not.

So forget about the future (even if it is now), and let us revel in some classic rock and roll retooled for the new millennium. Because it’s time for the annual festive J*R/Beachbuggy double header, hosted this year by the Nag’s Head.

These days seeing either band play Doncaster is getting to be an annual event, so catching both together falls squarely into the category of ‘Rare As Amish Porn’.

Last year’s event saw them cram all 9-odd members of both bands onstage, along with two and a half drumkits and countless guitars, with the bands playing alternate songs, for a ingenious parody of what Half-Man Half-Biscuit like to call the ‘running order squabble-fest’.

For 2001 it’s a variation on the same theme, with each band playing two 3-4 song sets each. And once again, the practicalities of the arrangement (such as repeatedly rounding up drunken musicians in a crowded pub) are gleefully ignored because once such a cool idea has been conceived, it would be criminal not to see it through to the illogical end.

So sets one and three see J*R rending the air with their vicious psychobilly blues apocalypse. On tracks like the mighty Executive Decision great greasy waves of sleazy noise pin back the ears as the guitars stab at you like a homemade shiv to the kidneys.

The queasy psychosis of Dave Took A Brick is given an added air of menace by frontman Rob Ché, who precedes it with five minutes spent haranguing someone for attempting to leave before they’ve finished playing.

Sets two and four see Beachbuggy putting the pedal to the metal for some of their fearsome, rumbling garage rock. With two drummers, they’re never going to be short of power under the hood, and the ‘Buggy are never running on less than a full tank of (natural) gas.

Jack Straker’s vocals sound brilliantly like they’re coming out a small tannoy two fields away, as the guitar riffs pump like pistons and the bass purrs like… another part of an engine (I don’t know cars).

For large stretches they sound uncannily like The Fall covering The Pixies. And, of course, that makes them the best band in the world ever.
Review taken

London: The Garage, Highbury, circa 2001

Trans Am / Him / Beachbuggy
May the backlash be swift and bloody.

Buzzsaw indie rockers Beachbuggy are well used to lowly support slots, but footing this particular bill is way beneath them. With their thundering basslines and sneering vocals, they may owe heavy debts to The Fall and the Pixies, but ‘Bad Guys Wear Black’ and ‘Kickin’ Back’ bristle with punky menace. Jack Straker and co wear matching white overalls and applaud themselves after every song. On this evidence, it won’t be long before the rest of the world joins in.

If Beachbuggy wear their influences on their sleeves, Him’s queasy jazz-dub hybrid teaches us the perils of experimentation. Tonight, they work through new album, ‘Our Point Of Departure’, in its entirety, but sound like they’re playing the same track the whole time. And while their percussionists conjure a spooky, pulsating backdrop, Carlo Cennamo’s caterwauling sax solos don’t half get boring after a while.

Yet Him’s muso crimes are dwarfed by those of Trans Am. Initially this Washington trio flatters to deceive: with its vocodered vocals and staccato rhythms, ‘I Want It All’ is prime Devo-esque synth-pop, while ‘Play In The Summer’ boasts a scuzzy melody worthy of Sonic Youth. But then they decide to prove how clever they are, and we’re subjected to a barrage of noodlesome guitar solos and droning electronic instrumentals. It’s all heartbreakingly self-indulgent, and people start streaming out long before the ghastly Spinal Tap finale.

It seems the prog rock enemy still walks among us, even while righteous souls like Beachbuggy fester in obscurity. May the backlash be swift and bloody.
Review taken

Nottingham: Rock City, 16/04/2002
Beachbuggy / BellRays
Summer is definitely on the way – bright sunshine accompanied my journey into the city centre tonight and I lost count of the number of short sleeves, short trousers and shades (not to mention the odd bikini top) that I passed on the way.

Now what has that got to do with a gig review?

Well, in BEACHBUGGY’s world, summertime is 352 days of the year, where everyone cruises along Miami beach wearing loud fluorescent shirts, driving top down convertibles and surfing ‘til the sun goes down – except they’re from Doncaster, so the nearest they ever get to a cattle ranch is probably the local KFC, but we can all dream, eh kids??

To their credit, Beachbuggy certainly look the part, in their matching ‘Team Beachbuggy’ race wear and Nick Straker’s heavily accentuated drawl could be easily mistaken for being of genuine deep southern origin if you didn’t know any better.

They also possess a glut of killer tunes such as ‘Bad Guys Wear Black’ and ‘I’m With The Jets’ which provide a fitting excuse for one lone cowboy at the front to have the biggest party this side of….Watford.

As garage acts go, Beachbuggy are definitely more Kwikfit fitters than Dodgy Dave’s second hand Tyres and Exhausts, straight in and out without any fuss but overall money well spent.

Tonight’s headline act THE BELLRAYS hail from California, and were discovered by none other than former Creation records svengali Alan McGee, who promptly gave them a record deal and brought them over to blighty for a series of dates.

The first thing noticeable about the BellRays is that they are no spring chickens, with bass player Bob Vennum in particular looking 40+ and the rest of his colleagues not far behind in the “been there, seen this, done that” stakes.

Their sound is also steeped in past traditions, 1977 to be exact.

Every song sounds like it has been lifted from ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’, with the exception being the vocal talents of one Lisa Kekaula.

Big of hair and even larger of lungs, Miss Kekaula raises the roof with her bluesy howl, which would probably shake the most stagnant particles of dust from Rock City’s rafters, and the audience seem compelled to listen, well for the first three songs at any rate, because after a while it becomes more like a guessing game to see which punk classic the band have pilfered next while Miss Kekaula screams and shouts her intentions over the top.

0/10 for originality then but I suppose they make up for that with their boundless energy.

They do say what goes around comes around after all.
Review taken

London: The Garage, Highbury, circa April 2002
Bellrays / Beachbuggy
Beachbuggy are a fourpiece with more gimmicks than a badger riding a bike whilst juggling pickled herring.  For a start they all wear matching mechanic’s overalls.  However their main act of non-conformity is their use of two drummers.   Unfortunately this is actually pointless as the two skin slappers play the exact same rhythm for almost the entire set.  So what about the music?  Well it’s all moderately appealing if rather overly-familiar with Jack Straker’s Mark E Smith style delivery accompanied by a prominent bassline that mimicks in turn either the Pixies or a keyboardless Stranglers without ever reaching the peaks of either.  The gimmicks may well help you remember the band but the music will probably not have you speeding down to the local Megastore.
Review taken

Sheffield: Boardwalk, 13/05/2003
Beachbuggy roar into the Boardwalk, and take a pit-stop to chat to L2SB.

It’s a Tuesday night at the Boardwalk, and Doncaster’s Beachbuggy are beginning a tour to promote their new album, ‘Killer B’.

“Eight shows in a row,” says singer/guitarist Jack Straker, “that’s going to kill us. We don’t usually play two shows in row, let alone eight, on consecutive nights”.

The album is their second to be produced by Pixies and Nirvana producer Steve Albini, after 2001’s ‘Sport Fury’.

“We were in rehearsals and we wanted to make a record,” says Jack, “we didn’t have a deal, nobody was interested and we thought what’s the best record we could make for our own personal satisfaction, who would we want to make it with, and we thought of Steve Albini.

“We got hold of his phone number and rang him up. We sent him a record we’d already made and he said yeah, come and do it.”

The album was released by Alan Mcgee’s label Poptones after the ex-Creation boss saw them playing London. The deal was nearly off, due to Beachbuggy’s insistence on their individual style.

“It was a difficult decision, for the strangest reasons,” says Jack. “Alan McGee has his own in-house artist who designs all Poptones records and were adamant we wanted to design the sleeve, and it was our sleeve or we don’t sign the deal basically.”

All Beachbuggy’s imagery is that of traditional British racing, from the record sleeves to the regulation blue racing overalls that act as the band’s onstage uniforms.

Jack says: “I don’t take part but I go to drag racing weekends, and I used to go to a lot of circuit racing with my dad when I was younger. I’m a mechanic by trade and I’ve kinda got that kind of thing going through my family as well. I think it’s really stylish too, that 60s racetrack stuff. It’s just great.”

A further trait that stands out is the fact that Jack and bassist Al B Kirkey are joined by not one, but two drummers. Jack and Al stand on the sidelines to give the focal point to dual sticksmen AD and Danny Sicks.

“We had two people come to rehearsal,” says Jack. “They both seemed really keen and they were both really good, it seemed a shame to turn somebody down.”

The band describe their new album as “13 tracks about killing, alien invasion, riding a rollercoaster and what it’s like to be a bumblebee”. It’s a fine slab of garage rock, with quirky lyrics and (obviously) a lot of drums. They often get compared to The Pixies, but Jack can’t see it.

“Everybody says that, but it’s only since ‘Sport Fury’ that I even bothered with them really. I own one Pixies record, and I don’t think we sound like that.”

Jack and Al are currently listening to Hot Hot Heat and Electric Six – strangely enough two bands that found themselves on the wrong side of anxious wartime censoring along with Beachbuggy.

“Do you know Radio 6 wouldn’t play our single ‘Killer Bee’ because it contained the word ‘killer’”, he says. “But it’s about a bumblebee!

“I don’t know if people are too sensitive, or the media who are too sensitive about upsetting people. They should treat us with the intelligence to be objective and get some perspective on things.”

The album has received a 5 ‘K’ review in Kerrang!, and hopefully this is a start of a change of fortune for the band, who reel somewhat reticent towards the music press

“When was the last time you saw us in the press, that wasn’t an advert we payed for?,” points out Jack.

” I don’t expect great things, but I would hope we have some good reviews. Hopefully it’ll help us play slightly bigger and better shows later in the year, which is all we want to do really.”

As well as the LP, the band are releasing tracks on the forthcoming ‘Box of Odd’ compilation which will be released by The Motherf*ckers’ Sheffield Phonographic Corporation label. It will also feature other local garage rock stalwarts such as Chuck and Texas Pete.

“They got together and wanted to do a record of a couple of tracks each. Which is exactly how we started doing things. And so I saw no reason why we wouldn’t want to do it just because we’re associated with Poptones. It would be utterly ludicrous to say ‘oh no, we don’t do that now, we’re on a proper label

And so to the obligatory cheesy music interview-closing question – are Beachbuggy here to change music?

“I think music’s beyond being saved. Saved from what? Music’s music, today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. It’s just music – we’re just a bunch of guys in a band having a laugh.”

Hopefully this time the music press will wake up and notice Beachbuggy. This could finally be the time we’ll see them race to the top, like a British racing green Mini. Packed with drum kits, of course.
Review taken

Leeds: Joseph’s Well, 01/06/2003
Beachbuggy / The Scaramanga Six / les Flames!

School age kids and those a little more, how shall I put it, mature – those that experienced punk the first time round – seem to have a fascination with France’s most delectable garage punk export: les Flames! A collective love for dirty rock’n’roll combined with colourful language perhaps, as a hundred fucks never sounded so good… on the other hand labelmates The Scaramanga Six don’t shout obscenities, which is probably for the best with them being respected, upstanding rock stars. If you thought the youthful Flames’ scuzzy guitar riffs were sexy then you’ll be flirting your pants off with these snarling senior citizens, like a Good Charlotte video with a rockingly better soundtrack. Only kidding guys and gal Six! Six! Six! As we approach a decade of the super slick Six tormenting our ears, the music remains as fresh and relevant as ever and as one hack got it so wrong, bandwagon jumping it most certainly is not. Beachbuggy seem lame in comparison, and once the initial gimmickry has worn off the dual drumming four-piece seem quite one-trick. I’m sure something special must have happened after song four, but with a few punters heading for the bar by then I ventured that one step further and ended up at home… good on record though, and they do look nice in white…
Dave Sugden

Leeds: Joseph’s Well, 19/10/2003
Beachbuggy / Magoo
Let’s see…tonight we’ve got two bands who seem to have been stuck on the minor label/toilet circuit for longer than most people care to remember. Journalistic credibility rating about two out of ten. Yup, should be a good night.

And indeed it is. I was actually genuinely surprised to find out that Magoo are still going considering the last record I can remember of theirs was about four years ago but they’re still out there peddling their own slightly skewed brand of Seafoodesque Husker Du indebted indie and, surprisingly, it sounds quite good tonight, veering from snotty art-punk thrash one minute to more considered psychedelia the next.

Now reduced to a four-piece (but with the two drummers still intact), Beachbuggy comprehensively steal the show tonight though (even though, at a mere 30 minutes, their set was disappointingly short). Coming on to a backdrop showing the old Stallone film “Deathwish 2000” (which they take the odd break between songs to comment on – sample quote, “Yup, this guy’s gonna die any second…(cue bloke being squished underneath the wheels of a speedster)…see, told ya…right, this next one’s called “From The South”…”), they make for an excellent evening’s entertainment with the Frank Blackisms of “Kickin’ Back”, “Bad Guys Wear Black” et al rocking like the proverbial caveman’s house. They may be short on journalistic credibility but really, in both these bands’ cases, that’s the music press’ loss and the fans’ gain. Good stuff.
Review taken

Bulldog Bash, 08/2004
Beach Buggy [sic] are an unusual band and can only be categorised as strange rock with a punk rock feel. Bringing older riffs to their sound this bunch of friends that started by goofing around and don’t take themselves too seriously. Punk rock that has gone almost uncovered by the UK press is now beginning to get the recognition it deserves, What the band lack in stage presence is made up for by a set full of musical talent.
Review taken

Bulldog Bash, 08/2004
With a name like Beachbuggy it’s not surprising that this band manages to cope well with the shifting sands of seemingly ever changing line-ups. The live Beachbuggy experience is now somewhat legendary. Their truck has rolled up outside several big gigs over the last two years to deliver impromptu shows to the waiting fans…and some people have been known to queue deliberately early just to make sure they have a ringside seat in the car park! Today Beachbuggy are down to one drummer, but that doesn’t slow them up…and nor does the sparse afternoon crowd inside the cavernous main stage tent that could easily swallow up even a respectably large crowd in it’s gloomy depths. When the single ‘Ya Just a Little Punk’ crashes out of the speakers then the spirit of Mark E Smith is summoned from whatever bedsit he currently inhabits and some Mary Chain magic is worked into the mix.
Review taken

Singles (later stuff)

1 May 2009


7″ Single / Limited promotional CD
Poptones. Cat. No: MC5056S / MC5056SP

Side One: Kickin’ Back
Side Two: I Got Root Beer

Jack and the boys really hit their stride with this ace single lifted from the “Sport Fury” long-player which came as a numbered edition in this plain Poptones sleeve. (Note to confused collectors: No. “0000” may not actually exist!)

Just like “Can’t Get Enough”, this reads like a BB mission statement: “I’m drinking beer and I’m feeling ace”. Cool or frickin’ what?

Jack slicks back his quiff for “I Got Root Beer” and kicks out a manic rockabilly riff. Go Jack!

This should have been a massive hit – except they made the dumb-ass decision to issue it on limited edition 7″ only – tho if you bought it from Jack at a gig you probably got the free promo CD too (also in plain Poptones sleeve).



7″ Single / Limited promotional CD
Poptones. Cat. No: MC5056S / MC5056SP

Side One: From The South
Side Two: Infomation

This 7″ also came as a numbered limited edition and again had a free promo CD (if you were lucky). The generic Poptones CD sleeve is pictured here.

Not the most obvious single choice from the Sport Fury album – but maybe that was the point.

Ace B-side “Infomation” rocks like a good ‘un and is produced by local boy Pat Grogan.



CD Single
Poptones. Cat. No: MC5072SCD

1. Kickin’ Back
2. Ha! Ha!
3. Take A Ride
4. I Got Root Beer
5. Infomation

Back on track with a decent cover, a couple of new tracks, some B-sides you probably missed and the kind of packaging (and format) deserving of the classic lead track.

This is great stuff right from the start line to the chequered flag. You also get to see the video for “Kickin’ Back”, custard pies and all!!

But just for the record Jack, have you ever, like, tried root beer? It tastes like crap, doncha think?



CD Single
Poptones. Cat. No: MC5080SCD

1. Killer Bee
2. So Wholesome
3. Sheriff Is Law

They’re back with the lead track from new long-player “Killer-B”.

This is a 100% sure-fire sting-a-thon where BB – guaranteeing to raise a few blisters – buzz in with a well-timed warning not to mess around with no Bumble Buggies. (Someone stop me, please!)

The extra tracks are great and the cover is good too.

Bzzzzzzz etc…



CD Single
Poptones. Cat. No: MC5086SCD

1. Dirty Mouth
2. Each Dawn I Die
3. Oh My God Oh My God

Possibly the best track on the Killer-B album gets the single treatment. Check out Jack’s hard-man act (“My mom can kick your ass”) and that killer chorus. CD single includes a couple of kick-ass extra tracks and another great cover (wow – dig the cowgirl look!).

If you’re wondering why Poptones didn’t get these guys onto TOTP every week – well, so are we!



7″ Single
Wrath Records. Cat. No: WRATH15

A Side: The Scaramanga Six – The Poison Pen
AA Side: Beachbuggy – Nineteen

7″ split-single with Huddersfield “musical assault group” (eh?) The Scaramanga Six. Released by Leeds-based indie Wrath Records as part of their Supersevens Singles Club (this is Supersevens #5).

“As always, the criminally overlooked Beachbuggy are a revelation – ‘Nineteen’ is a relentlessly pummelling seedy indie-rock circus. Jack Straker’s theatrical vocals equal parts Frank Black and Mark E Smith chewing on coal. It’s the Poptones-signed, Steve Albini-approved beachbuggy you should really make an effort to track down – you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them” THE FLY

Singles (early stuff)

1 May 2009


7″ Single
Ostrich G.T. Cat. No: GT1

Side One: Can’t Get Enough
Side Two: There’s A Place (In My Heart) / G.T.O.

This limited edition 7″ vinyl single on Jack’s own Ostrich G.T. label was sold mostly at early (circa 1992) gigs.

The A-side is the perfect calling card for BB’s hot rod aesthetic (“Can’t get enough of this street-racing stuff / Can’t get enough of this quarter-mile stuff”) and opens up with a burst of fuel-injected fury from Jacks open-top 1960 Ford Galaxie. Cool!

B-side “There’s A Place (In My Heart)” showcases the band’s early Velvets influences, mentions dancing bears (seriously!) and is so long it plays at 33.3 rpm. Hey, that’s really cool!

G.T.O. has Warren Oates banging on about testing jets (this audio later turns up on the intro to General Electric Pilot).



7″ Single
Ostrich G.T. Cat. No: GT2

Side One: Chrysler 440
Side Two: Fuel Injection (it’s better) / DeTomaso

In which Jack gives us the lowdown on his lates ride – you know, the kind of technical jargon only serious petrol-heads could give a damn about – then just admits, “that’s how I get my kicks”. Yeah, whatever Jack – just sing the frikkin’ song, OK?. The Velvets influences are still there despite Jack’s admission that, “I’m in a rock ‘n’ roll band and we sound like the Rolling Stones” (thankfully, they don’t).

“Fuel Injection (it’s better)” manages to name-check Jack’s cool WWII motor sidecar (“it’s not real fast / it’s heavy duty, it’s built to last”) over a cool hypnotic bass line.

All these early Ostrich GT releases included cool paper inserts like the ones shown here.



7″ Single
Ostrich G.T. Cat. No: GT4

Side One: General Electric Pilot / Bonneville
Side Two: (We don’t have) A Machine

Okay, we know the drill by now – songs about cars played in VU-style, right? Wrong! Jack surprises us by going all glam and sticking in some bad-ass backing vocals (think of Blockbuster by The Sweet, but with better hair an cool race-suits).

And he’s graduated from cars to planes – well, jets to be precise (but don’t try this at home kids, “it’s really dangerous”!) Warren Oates gets in on the act again on the intro – will someone ask that guy to get the Hell outta the studio – we’re makin’ a record here!!

“We don’t have a machine”, says Jack on the plod-along B-side, “for looking inside a man’s mind”. Which is a relief.



7″ Single
Sympathy for the Record Industry. Cat. No: SFTRI499

Side One: Firebird Special
Side Two: Midwest

Jack drags (geddit?) the guys back to the race track for their first release on US label Sympathy For The Record Industry (but some of us are lucky enough to own a promo tape copy on Ostrich G.T. Cat. No. GT5).

Rocket Ron does his screamy thing all over this taster for the first BB full length album, which suffers only from being over too quickly. (Hey, when you’re going at 160mph whaddya expect?).



7″ Single
555 Recordings. Cat. No: 55518

Side One: Ya Just A Little Punk
Side Two: The Chauffeur

Another US-only single – this time on Flagstaff, Arizona’s 555 Recordings.

A-side is BB’s most sinister-sounding track to date (“I got it in the trunk / It’s just a little blood”) and is the prototype for the later version on the “Sport Fury” album (tho Jack says this is better).

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