I wanted to start a list off all the reviews I can find….
- Date: 1 November 2007
- Written by: David Pollock
At last! Scotland has its very own film star vanity project band, and – as is the unspoken tradition with such things – they’re not quite as good as everyone might hope. To be fair, though, Billy Boyd’s Beecake were playing an acoustic charity set for the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in the corner of a packed Ashton Lane pub (and Norman Blake, on just before Boyd, was great), and everyone guffawing away over the other side of the bar just about got away with their rudeness this time. At least they didn’t have to listen to the lyrics.
Legend has it that Boyd is one of the nicest men in the shallow pond of Scottish showbiz, but his music isn’t quite so pleasant. Although his band’s MySpace suggests they’re a extremely passable post-grunge outfit, this stripped-down set – with the smartly waistcoated Boyd on vocals and guitar and Billy Johnston on guitar and keys – showed up the pub-rock poetry of songs like ‘Lost Direction’ and ‘Soul Swimming’. It’s like Fran Healy never got signed. (David Pollock)
Thursday, December 06, 2007
|Artist Review – Beecake
As a former musician and recording-engineer, I’ve developed a certain ‘wary
cynicism’ about lead-singers. It’s too easy for the engineer to ‘help out’ with
stuff in the studio. Use a harmonizer to fix bad notes and a de-esser to kill
sibilance; record at slower tempos/lower keys to give a singer a higher and
smoother range – it’s an endless bag of tricks. So when the standout is the singer,
I get suspicious and nervous, and I listen long and hard before I make my own opinion.
I don’t hear any tricks in this material. In my opinion, Mr. Billy Boyd is a reallygifted singer with huge innate talent and the chops to use his pipes like the instrument that they are. The backing band are no slouches either; they are a superb rhythm section on a mission to showcase their singer – and they succeed at it.
Billy sings a warm, smooth, round tone that reminds me of the great crooner, Roy Orbison. He combines that silk with an ear for note choice that I haven’t heard since Jon Anderson of YES. And I can hear ‘the better’ that is to come; his phrasing is great now and is just going to keep improving.
The band – the band is right on. They play beautifully without overplaying, and always in support of the singer, the lyrics, and the essence of the song. Take a listen to the guitar solo in “Soul Swimming.” It’s a lesson in two subjects – how to reprise what the singer has already established, and how not to overplay. I can imagine earlier versions of that solo – keep pulling notes out, keep playing less until you have *only* what belongs. The result is pure craft, and a solo that you feel as you hear it.
As a yank, I’ve never heard of a ‘Beecake’ and have no idea what it is. But the musician in me knows that “Beecake” is dessert, and I’m going to listen until I’m gorged.
Music is the one love,
French label M-tronic are quickly establishing themselves as one of the most high quality and interesting of electronic and industrial labels on the scene today. After excellent releases by Beecake, Mlada Fronta, Dither, Kaltesglas and Displacer, they now offer this split release by newcommers Ch District and Duuster. This is the first edition of an M-tronic series of split CDs entitled ”Chemical Elements” and offer an innovative vision of industrial sounds that will appeal to fans of the Warp and Hymen labels. Ch District ( from Poland ) create very clear and succint industrial-idm music reminiscent of Beefcake, Gridlock or the more approachable and quieter moments of Venetian Snares. Crystal clear Stuttering Beats and clicks are combined with wonderful melody lines. Duuster ( from Holland ) produce very subtle industrial music where beautiful melodies and deep drones combine with complex beat patterns reminding of ”Amber” period Autechre. The CD contains 5 tracks by each artist, a remix by each other and a collaborative track. Released in a splendid black digipak with silver ink and STRICTLY limited to 500 copies ! Recommended.
KING TUT’S, GLASGOW, JANUARY 3
For a gig by an unknown band, this show pulled a decent crowd of fans who were probably still nursing New Year hangovers.
That might have had something to do with Beecake’s frontman Lord Of The Rings star Billy Boyd.
On this evidence he is not quite ready for rock stardom full-time just yet, though nor is the Scots actor wasting his time with a band who show plenty of potential.
They’re a pretty decent mainstream rock band in the tradition of Glaswegian giants like Texas and Travis.
Songs like Soul Swimming, Rip It Up and Ball Of Earth are a decent standard of rocker and Boyd is clearly extremely passionate in his lyrics and delivery.
They delivered warm banter between songs and the guitarist summed up the show well when he congratulated Boyd on some “nice Status Quo action”.
Beecake: Soul Swimming
Glorious Scottish roots, extremely strong songwriting, and the beautiful tenor of Billy Boyd (yes, Pippin from “The Lord of the Rings”, also in “Trainspotting” among other Glaswegian films). What more could you ask for? “Soul Swimming”, the title track of the new Beecake project (the long wait is over) is a powerful combination of melodies and styles. The band is solid as are the tunes. There isn’t a weak song on the CD. What kind of style, you ask? Well, it’s mixed. If you enjoy the music of The Beatles, Alan Parsons Project, early Genesis, and even some edgy stuff like LIVE, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam, you will probably love this CD. Boyd wrote every song (and co-wrote “Radio” with bassist Rick Martin), and it shows his range not only vocally, which is outstanding, but also his thematic attractions.
Falcon’s personal favorites include the Alan Parson-esque “Lost Direction” including Billy on harmonica, the profoundly brash and stinging “Radio” that questions the capitalist culture, and my favorite, “This is Not an Exit”, a pro-environment, anti-stupid, introspective examination of what makes us collectively queasy. “Rip It Up” has some of the strongest vocal stylizations on the project, there’s a little Dean Martin on the track “Friends and Lovers” and “Boy” may be in the top ten for most emotional songs ever written, examining a parent’s emotional turmoil after their adult child dies in war.
There are videos on You Tube of Beecake and on My Space:
Beecake is wonderful to see live. I was extremely lucky to see them at Tin Angel in Philadelphia, (where I got some lovely birthday gifts) a fantastic venue with yummy food (especially the tuna!). I have to say that I am working my way through their menu, and although half-way there, I have many more dinners to enjoy and awhile before I can get through their wonderful offerings.
425 Lafayette St (between Astor Pl and E 4th St)
East Village | Map
Tickets: $25 plus $12 minimum at tables
The four members Billy Boyd’s Scottish rock outfit, Beecake, may look like bruisers, but they make surprisingly sensitive, whispery music. Tonight the band trials material from its forthcoming debut, Soul Swimming.
Oct 11 midnight
Billy Boyd Soulfully Swims With Beecake On Their New Album “Soul Swimming… Drowning in Blue”
Posted by Losillë May 23
First let me talk about Billy Boyd, it is impossible to ignore he is the lead singer in Beecake. I am a Ringer and I admit this review maybe slightly biased.
And yes I am the woman who had her picture taken with Billy and found out when I picked up the photo that my dress had been unbuttoned exposing my lily white breasts. (no one said a word!) I shall forever be known as the woman that flashed Billy Boyd!
Actor Billy Boyd, best known for playing the character Peregrin “Pippin” Tookhttp://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -827px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”> in the film adaptations of The Lord of the Ringshttp://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -827px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”> is a member of the up and coming band Beecake. Boyd first wowed and surprised Ringers by lending his hauntingly beautiful voice to the lovely and sad J.R.R. Tolkien lyrics “Edge of Night (Pippin’s Song)”. The song left fans wishing for more. Their wish came true in 2006 when Boyd joined with top musicians John Crawford (Drums, Vocals), Billy Johnston (Guitar, Piano, Vocals) and Rick Martin (Bass, Vocals) to form Beecake.
“Beecake was formed in late September 2006 over a bottle of malt whiskey in a Glasgow bar when the guys remembered how much they loved making music together.” (“Welcome to Beecake.” Beecake. 03252010. Beecake.com/i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/theme/green/palette.gif”);”>http://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -855px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”>)
To find out more about the name Beecake I went to Penny Gibbs the webmistress of Basically Billy Boyd/i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/theme/green/palette.gif”);”>http://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -855px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”>.
“The name Beecake came about when, Dom (Dominic Monaghan, Flash Forward, Merry in the LOTR series, Lost) was on holiday in Spain and took a pic of a cake covered in bees. The shop owner just knocked the bees off and cut a slice for people. Dom sent the pic to Billy and called it Beecake. Billy liked it!”
Beecake has been busy the past few months, releasing “Soul Swimming… Drowning in Blue”, touring the UK, Europe and the USA and launching their website.
“The official website for all things Beecake.” Beecake.com/i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/theme/green/palette.gif”);”>http://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -855px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”> is easy to navigate with link names that make sense. I did find it was difficult to find the outlet to buy advance concert tickets. The link on their site takes you to a confusing MySpace page rather than a direct link to the ticket outlet. (You can find the direct link to the ticket outlet near the bottom of this page.) When you visit the site add your name to their mailing list to receive their latest updates.
Right now you are thinking, “Losillë that is all well and good but are they hot and how do they rank on the Man Candy Rating System?” I’ll put it this way. I WOULD ABSOLUTELY lie and say I had sex with any one of them. (And of course, I would flash Billy again.)
To be honest I approached the CD with some trepidation. It occurred to me that as beautiful as Boyd’s voice is, like all albums there was a chance it would suck. Thankfully, I will be adding “Soul Swimming… Drowning in Blue” to the websites music highest ranking category “This Music Doesn’t Suck”.
It is impossible to play this music too loud!
“Soul Swimming… Drowning in Blue” is sexy, relaxing and dreamy with a hint of jazz. Two tracks stood out for me”This Is Not An Exit” and “Broken Songs”.
“Broken Songs” came in second. Each time the song starts I am slightly taken aback at Boyd’s amazing voice. It is the kind of voice that makes want to possess and some how absorb it into yourself. Boyd soars through difficult high notes with precise control of his voice. He has the right balance of relaxed vocal chords and power that allow him to hit high notes perfectly. He does it without screaming and without a hint of cracking. These are kinds of notes that are frequently delegated to back up singers.
“This Is Not An Exit” won out as my favorite. The arrangement and instrumentation broke the tie. Boyd’s exquisite voice sings every word with perfect enunciation. Such a perfect voice has the potential for over powering and obscuring the musicians, fortunately he is surrounded by a strong band. They compliment his voice, bring the heart, soul and the emotional element into the music. The music is tight and they play in a way that becomes more than the sum total of the instruments.
“Soul Swimming… Drowning in Blue” officially drops June 27, 2010 and can be purchased on their website. The tracks will also be available from all usual sites iTunes, Napster, Best Buy etc on June 28th.
Experience the album “live” at The Official Album Launch Party June 27th. Tickets are on sale now HERE/i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/theme/green/palette.gif”);”>http://i.ixnp.com/images/…reen/palette.gif”); background-color: transparent; visibility: visible; width: 14px; height: 12px; background-position: -855px 0pt; background-repeat: no-repeat; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: top; display: inline;” src=”http://i.ixnp.com/images/v6.31/t.gif”>
The price of admission is £7.00 (If you plan to fly over from the US that is $10.50 in US currency.)
O2 ABC2 GLASGOW
300 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow UK G2 3JA
And if you are lucky you may get a banana pancake.
This is a new segment I am adding to my reviews. My objective is to give artists more feedback their music.
I asked Beecake fans two questions.
Which track do you like the most?
Why do you like it?
I love their responses and I hope you will add your favorites in the comments.
(These three fans were picked because they are on my Facebook page and I am lazy.)