It’s incredibly difficult not to like them

It’s incredibly difficult not to like The Bees, ask anyone who bought their first album ‘Sunshine Hit Me’ or its follow up, ‘Free The Bees’.

These demonstrate the Isle of Wight rabble’s mastery of a multitude of styles, giddily dipping in and out of genres and careering through types, yet remaining joyously cohesive. ‘Octopus’, thankfully, is exactly the same. ‘Who Cares What The Question Is?’ kicks it off, sounding like a Bonzo Dog Doo Dah outtake with Elmore James on slide, while ‘Love In The Harbour’, which follows directly, is pure Byrds. Not to say The Bees are shameless retro peddlers – far from it; everything sounds so fresh, so modern, so Bees. As multi-instrumentalists, The Bees create a magnificent, almost Spector-ish palette; the rollicking Hammond in ‘Left Foot Stepdown’, the smooth horns in the beautiful ‘Listening Man’, the, er, horns, howls and quacks in ‘End Of The Street’. Funky, soulful and wonderfully peculiar, The Bees are modern psychedelic visionaries. Groovy.

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