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Music Review: The Bikini Beach Band – Sour Cream For The Soul

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The Bikini Beach Band saved the day. We had been trapped in the week from hell and when the pipes burst leaving gallons of water cascading through the ceiling we were left walking around with faces longer than an aardvark convention.

Salvation appeared thanks to The Bikini Beach Band and their album Sour Cream For The Soul. Within minutes we had remembered how to smile. So who are these guys? The fez wearing foursome are, in fact, from London, where they are the undisputed live circuit kings of what is called 'surf noir'.

Clearly these four guys have, along the road, become possessed by Duane Eddy, and obsessed by Hank Marvin. As soon as their latest album Sour Cream For The Soul erupted into my airspace with “Galloping Medley”, I felt compelled to start enjoying myself, frozen pipes and all.

As they galloped through the "William Tell Overture", "The Black Beauty" theme, and the worst song ever written (okay maybe all my twisted misery hasn’t quite melted) "Crazy Horses", they began to spread their magic fun dust. If I had a hideous coloured Hawaiian shirt, I’d be wearing it. Who cares about the weather?

To top it off, all that is needed, is one of those huge tequila cocktails, the one with all the garden furniture and stupidly shaped fruit sticking out of the top. Without pausing for breath, up comes the band's take on Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab”. Before you know it they take us on a rapid romp through “The Model”, “Feel Good Inc.”, and “Hey Ya!”.

It's all delivered in Duane and Hank style. “Tequila Rockingbird”, their self-penned single, has me reaching simultaneously for both the sunglasses and the tall glasses.

Next up is “007 Theme”. Send up, stand up, get up, drink up, fall down, lay down, it’s The Bikini Beach Band. Getting drunk at a BBQ will never be the same again. I just need  to remember to invite the hula girls.

“Aguafiestas” (party poopers, evidently) out there beware this track will have you venturing out of the kitchen and, heaven forbid, on to the dance floor. Even a sand covered, beach bar version of, “Another Brick In The Wall”, yep Pink Floyd, makes an unlikely, yet weirdly effective, appearance.

“Crazy” is next, somehow smoothly joining said Floyd to Danger Mouse. I kid you not.
Just in case there is anyone left standing, it all ends with the “Can Can”. The promo material tells me to, ‘anoint myself with these beautiful instrumentals, the cool sour cream to soothe the burning chilli in your soul’. Well, it worked. Burning chilli smoothed, smile restored, situation normal.

Cool is the word. In fact, it’s even cooler than my damn pipes. It’s witty, it’s fun, it’s skilfully done. It’s Sour Cream For The Soul (Mad Village Recordings, September 2008).

Drop in on the party at The Bikini Beach Band's website or MySpace page.

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About Jeff Perkins