REVIEW: Beta Band farewell tour, Belfast

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REVIEW: Beta Band farewell tour, Belfast

Last night was my first (and I guess my last!) experience of the Beta Band live, and they really were an extraordinary live experience. They took it fairly easy for the first half hour ('Squares', 'Needles in my Eyes') and it wasn't until 'She's the One' that they really started to impress me. I loved their use of percussion and the effortless way they swapped around their instruments. Of course their recorded work never surpassed the first three EPs and although the other albums get a look in ('Broke' sounds great, as does the recent 'Assessment'), the songs from the EPs make up the absolute highlights tonight. 'Dr Baker' starts a lot faster than the recorded version then reverts to the familiar psychedelia in the middle. 'Dry the Rain' is the first big crowd pleaser, probably their most well known song, and 'Dog's Got a Bone' is he closest we get to a singalong.
However, it's the trancey percussive songs that really make it special. The final encore (was it 'The House Song'?) sees them all playing drums together. It's sad to think that we'll never see them again, I'm sure the members will continue in some form - I know that Steve has a solo project planned. Although I said that their best work was their earliest, as a live act they are at a peak at the moment, and it's great that they are brave enough to call it a day.

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