Welcome to the home page of everybody's favourites Where's The Beach.
There's a YouTube channel
Where's The Beach were formed in late 1987 in Liverpool after hearing the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu's The Queen and I. Pete and Adam soon enlisted the vocal talent of the diminutive minx Chloe Mac.
Following in the footsteps of The Beatles the band played their first Liverpool gig in the (then squatted, now Wine Bar) Jacoranda Club on 3rd February 1989. The audience included a large percentage of dogs on bits of string but as this was the first night of squatting there was very little dog poo on the floor. The gig was a total classic although not in the musical sense. (Small feedback problem!)
The band got their first big break when Fenny from Radio Lancashire's seminal On The Wire radio show played not one but all the tracks from the bands first porta-studio demo. Luckily, Alison Martin, Scam Records supremo, heard the tracks and got the band to supply two songs for the well respected Freak Beats compilation. This LP also included The Suns of Arqa, Mighty Force and 808 State . Where's The Beach were deemed to be so good (or perhaps just cheap) that they were asked to record two numbers. In order to fool a discerning public who would otherwise think that the album was nothing more than a thinly veiled vehicle to shovel out Where's The Beach material, one of the songs, Deliciously Deranged was attributed to a different (stoopid) name, The Elliptical Trampolines, or the Convoluted Pullovers as John Peel called them.
The bands looked destined for the big time after having their other Freak Beats track, Tripping The LUV Fantastic, broadcast on daytime Radio Ones' Newsbeat program.
Quite literally, a short while later, Peelie got in touch and booked them for a first session. There was absolute panic in the Beach Camp as the band only had three songs instead of the usual Peel quota of four. They were going to record a version of the Cabaret Voltaire classic Nag Nag Nag but in the end the twit Dale Griffin (ex-Mott The Hoople drummer and professional saddo) cut the session short. The band recorded three tracks in the studio where Bing Crosby made his last recording. They did the two songs from Freak Beats and a version of their soon-to-be first single Suakin (pronounced Sue-R-Kin). Peelie absolutely loved the session and played it three times once being in his best-of-the-year round-up in December.
(Many people say that WTB never regained the raw energy that was captured on that session - it was mainly due to the equipment not being very good and slack midi timings caused by connecting things up incorrectly. Technology is not always a good thing! Check out Tripping The LUV Fantastic on the New Season Compilation CD on Strange Fruit Records.)
On the back of this publicity the band first signed a deal with Scam Records who were a subsidiary of Bop Cassettes and then clinched a gig at at the 'Greetings' Festival Festival in Florence, Italy supporting The Residents. Things went badly and Chloe the singer left the band as soon as the gig finished but as a high point the band were treated like pop-stars and saw the Residents without their Eyeball masks on. (Hippies the lot of 'em!)
When they arrived back in the UK the band began the search for a new singer. In the end they plumped for Angie who was a bit of a Blueser. They were just about to go into the studio to record their first LP when the studio phoned to say that Bop Cassettes were refusing to pay the bill because the band "had split up". This heralded both the birth of Mantra Communications, the bands own label, and also the demise of Bop Cassettes who went bust soon afterwards and became the first in a small sequence of companies that went under owing WTB some money.
The band quickly bodged together enough tracks to make up a mini LP and recorded it in a small studio in Liverpool. The tracks were:
Unfortunately, most of the songs were crap so a 12 inch single was released instead containing the first three songs. The single gained absolutely ecstatic reviews in Music Week and Sounds. Music Week described it as "the first proper acid crossover record" and Sounds showed that it (as always) had its finger on the pulse by stating quite categorically that "This band are going to be massive". Despite this, the single did sell quite well although Sounds went bust soon afterwards. The band also recorded Suakin for an appearance on Granada TV (in the next studio to where Coronation Street is filmed).
Soon after hearing the single Peelie was moved to book the band for a second session of which he said: "I can't understand why this band aren't what you kids call MEGA". Well they weren't - and to this day nobody can understand it!
WTB were soon hard at work and chucked the singer out and released a second single, Primeval Goddess, which soon sold out and was in the Mixmag Techno chart for a couple of months.
Their third single Sex Slave Zombie was single of the week in NME but, in a cruel twist of fate, the review was printed in such a cack-handed way as to render it totally illegible to the casual reader. The members of the band read the 'Singles Page' and didn't even spot it. The review, Seething Wells, was (for historical reasons) as follows:
WHERE'S THE BEACH - Sex Slave Zombie (Mantra) In Star Trek - The Next Generation, Captain Luc Picard is kidnapped by the beastly automaton alien hive race - the Borg. Like the rest of the Borg Jean Luc is stripped of all individual personality and forced to walk with wires poking out of all his most intimate parts. "Aha!" quipped my musical flatmate, "What an apt metaphor for techno!" The sad fool. 'Sex Slave Zombie' is quite simply the best pop record of the week. The fact that it is made by men with no faces and only two fingers each merely makes it all the more remarkable.
Doubtless the NME disco police will now sneer and tell me this is a rubbish record and the version put out by Monty Palago and Wonky Vibe Jambo and remixed by AKU Faction Z was much better - they always do. But to hell with them, this is monstrous and beautiful.
If I was of a mind to stop washing and shaving and go to live in a bus and drive around the country shittin' in farmers fields and killing their sheep and being pilloried by the daily star and generally being "free", then this is the record I would choose to do it to.
Good eh? After this, the band did a third Peel session which was dead brill.
£4:00 UK (incl. P&P). £4:50 (or $7:00) Rest of the World. Please make cheques (for £ payments) payable to Mantra. Send $ orders in Cash.
Gigs click here.
© Mantra Communications, 1996.