Lovejoy - Plays Biff Bang Pow!
matinée 028 / November 2001
Lovejoy - Plays Biff Bang Pow!
matinée 028 / November 2001
Popular English band's homage to Creation Records features brilliant acoustic cover versions of Biff Bang Pow! songs "Hug Me Honey" and "The Beat Hotel." Recorded at the same time as their recent "Christmas Wish" single, the A-side is the first Lovejoy recording to showcase lead vocals from Keith Girdler (Blueboy, Beaumont), while the flip returns Dick Preece to lead vocal duty. Both songs are made spectacular with the addition of haunting female harmonies (and a shared male/female chorus on the B-side) courtesy of Ally Board. Limited edition red vinyl pressing.
- Hug Me Honey
- The Beat Hotel
"...say hi to the band, and I love their versions." --Alan McGee (via email)
We love manifestos with our singles here at RC, and Lovejoy (surely not named after TV's treble chinned antiques dealer?) have given us one. It serves as a sort of memorial to Creation Records and the 80s in general. The band have covered two Biff Bang Pow! tracks on this 7" ("Hug Me Honey" and "The Beat Hotel") as if to prove the point, and their acoustic limpness gives the tracks an almost demo like charm. Think Belle and Sebastian before they could read books... --Record Collector Magazine
In which Lovejoy play the songs of Biff Bang Pow in homage to the late, great Creation Records. It's an excellent single; dark, melodic, layered with guitars and keyboards. It's a bit Paul Weller, a bit Teenage Fanclub, and a bit La's. A damn good band covering a damn good band leads to a damn good single. --Shredding Paper
I have three 7" singles in front of me right now, and at the arse end of 2001 that somehow seems like a minor miracle. I want to kiss the people who still stick out 7" singles. I want to kiss them for being so in love with ancient technologies, for dragging me screaming with joyrage back to my childhood, and... and... that non-existent moon and my singular failure to dance. First of those singles is by Lovejoy! who some will recognise as being one-time Blueboy Keith (with various chums along for a ride - sorry chums, I don't know what ace bands you might have been in before and I don't want to suggest that Lovejoy! is 'Keith's band' because that would be so ROCK and Lovejoy! are anything but That) and here Lovejoy! indulge themselves by covering two Biff Bang Pow! songs. Biff Bang Pow! of course being the one-time band of one-time Creation and Poptones boss Alan McGee, and if that makes you want to rage and scream, than hang on a minute because if you took all the horrors of McGee the record company mogul and the nasties he foisted on the world and wrapped them up in a big plastic bag and chucked them in some incinerator (I'd say 'recycle' to be eco-friendly but really you know you do NOT want shit like Oasis and Five Thirty back in your world), well... um, this metaphor has lost it's way with me being too busy dreaming of burning all the crap, but what I was going to say was, um, imagine all that utter rubbish, and then imagine the opposite, and in terms of sheer beauty, well, THAT was Biff Bang Pow! And speaking of burning the rubbish I suddenly remember the 'pyre of pop' we had planned for our Beach Party ultimate Indie-fest, back in the summer of 1988. Except it pissed it down that whole week and the plan fell through. I can still picture it in my head though... it's marvellous. But Biff Bang Pow! They made a clutch of simply divine singles and albums and then split, with McGee devoting himself instead to pouring other people's trash into the world, which was a shame, but there you go. Lovejoy! here give us two old BBP! favourites: 'Hug Me Honey' is all simple strums, tinkling icicles and growling cello stabs in the dark; the kind of song you recall from autumn into winter mornings past with a breaking head and heart, the vision of That Smile and Those Eyes hammering against you with every note. 'The Beat Hotel' is similarly ravaged, a celebratory giving up the ghost to the echo of heartbeats and sunglassed stares at the sun; a shrugged acceptance of the twists and turns of life and a love of something you know somewhere inside doesn't appeal, but still, you can't help yourself, can't help the way your heart cracks open and bleeds on the carpet. Biff Bang Pow! made such treasures and they're mostly hidden in dusty alcoves awaiting rediscovery. Maybe Lovejoy! can help point the way to a whole new generation. Well, it's nice to dream. --Tangents
The concept here is simple: UK indie-popsters Lovejoy pay tribute to/mourn/acknowledge the importance of/canonize/tastefully worship at the altar of Creation Records and Alan McGee by covering two tunes from McGee's own quietly influential pop group. Good idea? Or recipe for embarrassing disaster? Happily, the "good idea" camp wins a rare victory here. The ever-reverent Lovejoy have stripped "Hug Me Honey" and "The Beat Hotel" down to their jangly basics and truly done them justice. "Hug Me Honey", in particular, works wonders with its economical orchestrations, hinting at the potential for a grand, complex climax but deferring to a simple keyboard-backed chorus when the time comes. "The Beat Hotel" is shorter and simpler, but permits plenty of tasty boy-girl vocal interplay -- and contrary to current indie trends, there's not an off-key vocal within earshot! As far as I'm concerned, bands that can achieve this level of polish on what was undoubtedly a shoestring budget deserve their share of fame. The record's primary message will come as no surprise to the legions of Creation fans: Biff Bang Pow! wrote some pretty damn good songs. Lovejoy's simple, respectful covers reveal the enduring relevance of BBP!'s material; you can even hear the Television Personalities influence, albeit once removed. I gather that the Lovejoy folks went through a fair amount of hell to release this little record, so perhaps they'll take some comfort in learning that Plays Biff Bang Pow! inspired me to pull out my own BBP material, and to search record stores for more. You should probably follow suit. --Splendid
Lovejoy's first single on Matinée owed more than just a passing debt to Biff Bang Pow's "She Shivers Inside" and now their admiration for all things Alan McGee is cemented by this tribute record. Two incredibly faithful versions; the only discernable difference between these and the originals is that Alan McGee isn't singing. And it just goes to show what a great talent he was/is (ah, if he'd only reform Biff Bang Pow! today and spare us the Cosmic Rough Riders). --Wide Open Road
They do two killer BBP tunes (a band I love): "Hug Me Honey" (which sounds just like the original) and "The Beat Hotel" with pretty female backing vocals. Essential. --Dagger
This single harks back to a time when simple strummed pop just wasn't enough. The mainstream press weren't interested in it, no matter how solid the conviction, attitude and belief. Fanzines, flexi discs and a good compilation tape didn't sit well with the shiny modern times and only formed the smallest shield to get you through life's whirlpool. Although not remembered as fondly as others, Biff Bang Pow's intentions were always pretty straight and true. The two tracks here 'Hug Me Honey' and 'The Beat Hotel' are subtle, sweet and have been stripped bare by Lovejoy. They illustrate the point that, with the cultural zeitgeist now appreciating, all things fey (Belle and Sebastian, Track and Field etc.) a bit of re-evaluation is in order....it's ok you can say it...its good...no sod that...its great. Whether its the fact that Biff Bang Pow really were "doing it for the kids" or that it's made me smile now at the fact that I was upset when Sarah put out a CD by them, I'm not sure. Anyhow I don't mind. Lovejoy have really got a hold on me and that's just fine. --Pennyblack Magazine
For those of you who are gracefully unaware, Biff Bang Pow! were Alan McGee's band when he started up Creation. They were widely regarded as shite, and so it is a great surprise that we see sensitive souls making a wonderful job of covering 'Hug Me Honey' and 'The Beat Hotel' Quite why people continue to listen to McGee is beyond me, however, if records like this little gem come along every now and again because of the big ginger lummox, then I'm not gonna complain. --Tasty
Rising in popularity and praise, Lovejoy take a risk and venture into covering two Biff Bang Pow! songs on their tribute to Creation Records 7". They bring a lot of life and their own sounds into the songs with choosing to go all acoustic, and they even add some female vocal help on both tracks as well with Ally Board lending her angel voice to the single. This is a risk that I think paid off, and actually added some new life into some old songs. Maybe someone will hear this single and then go check out some Biff Bang Pow! --The Bee’s Knees
People in their early 20s will only remember Creation as just another mainstream label, funded by Sony and putting out commercial, supposedly 'indie' records by bands such as Oasis. Those who are a bit older have a much fonder memory of the label, as in the 80s they tended to release music with more of a cult following, including yer actual indiepop bands (eg Emily who were previously on the aforementioned Sha-la-la label). I got into the indie scene a bit too late to know much about Alan McGee's own band Biff Bang Pow! - I've possibly heard one song but that's all. Lovejoy, ex-Blueboy and Spinning Wheels, have a new single out which is a tribute to Biff Bang Pow!, featuring the songs Hug Me Honey and The Beat Hotel, played in a sparse, strummy indiepop style. If the originals sounded anything like this, I'll have to track down some Biff Bang Pow! records, but I imagine they'd be pretty hard to find now. --Aquamarine
On this 7" the really great pop band, Lovejoy decided to cover 2 Biff Bang Pow! Songs in tribute to that great band as well as a tribute to the late, great Creation label. The songs they cover are "Hug Me Honey" and "The Beat Hotel". This is a great 7" and one of the songs features Keith Girdler (Blueboy, Beaumont) on vocals. --D is for Distro
Un título: "Lovejoy plays the hits of Biff Bang Pow!"; Un single de vinilo de color rojo; un corazón en el centro de la galleta; una canción de Biff Bang Pow! en cada cara: "Hug me honey" y "The beat hotel"; en la contraportada, un fotomontaje con fotos de Alan McGee y este texto: "Este disco está dedicado a la memoria de Creation Records. ¿por qué este single y por qué ahora? Bueno, es un tributo, un agradecimiento, un dar las gracias y una declaración de principios. Los primeros fantásticos años de Creation influyeron a tanta gente, y ahora que el sello y sus grupos están en la papelera de la historia del pop, nos gustaría dar a conocer que Creation fue muy importante para nosotros. Poptones ya ha editado algunas grabaciones interesantes, por tanto somos optimisitas de cara al futuro. Pero bandas como Biff Bang Pow! todavía muestran que hay grandes discos que revivir para inspirarnos y deleitarnos. Sus discos ilustran los estériles tiempos que vivimos ahora: ¿Y cuántos de nosotros pensábamos que los ochenta fueron una mala época?" Lovejoy es un grupo de Brighton liderado por Dick Preece con la inestimable ayuda de Keith Girdler (Blueboy, Arabesque, Beamount, Snowdrops). Tienen un lp editado por Matinée Records -"Songs in the key of..."- y han grabado este single al "estilo Creation": con una grabación de una sola toma, con pocos medios y con mucha emoción. Felicidades. Biff Bang Pow! fue el grupo de los dos capitostes de Creation: Alan McGee y Dick Green. A lo largo de sus carrera grabaron varios discos de pop emocionante con toque sixties que llegaron al corazón de algunos -pocos- amantes del pop, pero que pasó completamente desapercibido para el resto de los mortales y con un absoluto desprecio por parte de la crítica. Por sus filas pasaron gente como Joss Cope (hermano de Julian), Ed Ball (TV Personalities, The Times), el bajista Philip King (Lush, The Servants, Felt, See See Rider, The Apple Boutique) o Innes (Primal Scream). --Ya No Puedo Mas
Um single do Lovejoy - que em 2000 lançou "Songs in the Key Of...", um dos melhores discos daquele ano - prestando tributo ao Biff Bang Pow!, legendária banda da Creation que incluia o próprio "hómi", Alan McGee, como principal compositor e instrumentista. Apesar de pouco falada hoje em dia, o Biff Bang Pow! era uma das melhores bandas da Creation em meados dos anos 80. Eles lançaram seis álbuns (e diversos best of), hoje perdidos no imenso catálogo da Creation. O Lovejoy presta tributo a gravadora e, em especial, ao Biff Bang Pow!, para mostrar - como eles mesmos dizem na contra-capa - o quanto Alan McGee foi importante para a formação musical de toda uma geração e, logicamente, resgatar músicas belíssimas que, infelizmente, estão fadadas a poucos felizardos. O Lovejoy resgata o lado mais melancólico do Biff Bang Pow!, fazendo covers de "Hug me Honey", presente no penúltimo álbum da banda, o "Songs for the Sad Eyed Girl" de 90 e "The Beat Hotel", presente no excelente segundo LP "The Girl Who Runs The Beat Hotel" de 87. Na primeira quem assume os vocais é Keith, do Blueboy/Beaumont. Na segunda é a vez de Dick, com apoio da Ally no refrão. As versões são quase idênticas às originais, basicamente baladas com letras fofíssimas baseadas em violão e voz. Com o Comet Gain também prestando tributo à banda no último álbum, quem sabe não teremos um revival Biff Bang Pow! em 2002? Tomara. Vou fazer minha parte escrevendo um artigo deles pro zine. Não dá pra deixar coisas tão belas fadadas a obscuridade completa. --Esquizofrenia
Biff Bang Pow! was een band die in de jaren '80 op het toen hippeCreation-label zat. Die periode heb ik echter muzikaal gezien amper meegemaakt, dus ken ik nauwelijks muziek van Biff Bang Pow! en moet ik afgaan op wat Lovejoy van hun nummers maakt. En dat is erg mooi, twee hele mooie lieve popliedjes, waarbij vooral de B-kant erg mooi is met de tweestemmige (en tweeslachtige - voorzover dat een goed woord is in deze context) vocalen. Deze single maakt erg benieuwd, niet alleen naar het originele werk van Biff Bang Pow!, maar vooral naar meer werk van Lovejoy. --Think Small